You owe Jonathan, Obi apology – Peterside tells 2102 subsidy removal critics

Peterside said the people that opposed the removal of the subsidy in 2012 owe the Jonathan economic team an apology.

A foremost banker and Founder of the Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Dr Atedo Peterside, has asked anti-fuel subsidy removal crusaders of 2012 to apologise to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In addition, the investment banker also demanded an apology for Jonathan’s economic team at the time, comprising the current Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

It’d be recalled that the Jonathan administration’s decision to remove the fuel subsidy was met with strong resistance by opposition politicians, organised labour and civil society organisations who converged under the ‘Occupy Nigeria’ slogan to carry out massive protests across the country.

The movement, supported by the incumbent President, Bola Tinubu, his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, and some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), quickly gained traction amid biting economic effect on the masses.

This forced the Jonathan government to backtrack, even though the decision had been projected to stimulate economic growth and prosperity.

Meanwhile, eleven years after and with Tinubu taking over power as Nigeria’s president, the subsidy debate is back on the front burner.

The President had on May 29, 2023, announced that the federal government will no longer devote money to pay subsidy as the current budget he inherited from the Buhari administration made no provision for fuel subsidy.

This development has given rise to concerns regarding the ripple effect of the policy on transportation fares, food prices, and the spending power of the Nigerian populace.

Reacting via a Twitter post on Sunday, Peterside described the fuel subsidy removal as a complicated matter as those who opposed it in 2012 have turned out to be its proponent and supporters.

The serial entrepreneur also said those who mobilise strike action and protests against the Jonathan government in 2012 should apologise to Nigerians for their action.

Peterside wrote, “The petrol subsidy removal is complicated by the fact some liars who held sway in 2012 are now singing a different tune in 2023. They should apologise to @GEJonathan @PeterObi @NOIweala & others in the 2012 Economic Team & beg Nigerians for forgiveness so we can move forward.”

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