The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has lashed out on the Minister of State for Petroleum, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, over his recent comments on the lingering fuel scarcity in the country which aggravated the fuel crisis.
He did this on Saturday in a statement titled, ‘Kachikwu needs to know that respect and good performance will do what magic cannot’, where he pointed out that the minister’s comments on the fuel scarcity were not only disrespectful but were out of line.
The minister had stated last week while speaking with State House correspondents in Abuja that since he was not a magician, the fuel queues could not be eliminated with a magic wand and that it was by sheer magic that the country had the amount of products it currently had in filling stations.
Tinubu, however, reacted in his statement that the minister “was basically telling Nigerians that they should be lucky that they are getting the inadequate supply they now suffer and that they should just be quiet and endure the shortage for several weeks more.”
The former Lagos State Governor continued, “Perhaps the statement by Kachikwu was made in a moment of unguarded frustration or was an awkward attempt at a joke. Whatever the motive, it was untimely and off-putting. The remark did not sit well with the Nigerian people; they were as right to feel insulted, as the Minister was wrong to have said such a thing. The fuel shortage is severely biting for the average person. They are forced to remain in lines far too long, for too much time, to pay too much money for too little fuel. This is no joking matter. Livelihoods and people’s welfare are at stake. With so much on the line, Kachikwu’s flippancy was out-of-line …”
He added, “Kachikwu’s intervention was unhelpful. It panicked and disappointed the public as to the duration of the crisis. It insulted the people by its tonality. He spoke with the imperious nature of a member of the elitist government the people voted out last year and not the progressive one they voted in. Kachikwu must be reminded that he was not coerced to take this job. He accepted the job and its responsibilities knowingly. He also must remember that he does not own NNPC. This also is not a private company that owes nothing to the public except the duty of fair dealing.
He further said that since Kachikwu is a public servant and the seat he occupies is not owned by him but by Nigerians, he is answerable to them, adding that the minister should “refrain from such interjections in the future.” He emphasized his confidence in President Buhari and his government in resolving pressing issues, including security and the economy and concluded, “Let all of us, in and out, of government never forget this. If we adhere to this remembrance, we shall see that magic will not be needed to bring the progress we seek.”