The national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has lashed out at the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachukwu, for his utterances over fuel scarcity.
Tinubu took a swipe at the Minister on Saturday, March 26, 2017 saying he has not only strayed but needs to guide his utterances as a public servant.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation was also accused of straying away from the progressive calling required of the administration.
In a statement by Tinubu titled, ‘Kachikwu Needs to Know That Respect and Good Performance Will Do What Magic Cannot,’ he said, “I make no attempt to hide it. I am an avid and partisan supporter of this government and of the progressive policies of the party, the APC, upon which this government is based.”
‘With that, I do reserve the right and the duty as a Nigerian to voice my opinion when I believe a member of this government has strayed from the progressive calling required of this administration. I do this because my greater devotion and love are for this nation and its people. Party and politics fall secondary.
‘Much public ire has been drawn to the statement made by the Minister of State (for Petroleum Resources) Ibe Kachikwu that he was not trained as a magician and that basically Nigerians should count themselves fortunate that the NNPC under his stewardship has been able to bring in the amount of petrol it is currently doing.
‘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 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 ex-governor stated.
Continuing, he said, ‘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.
‘He is a public servant. The seat he sits upon is owned by Nigerians, not by him. The company he runs is owned by Nigerians, not by him. They are his boss. He is not theirs. Power is vested in the people. He is a mere custodian or agent of their will.
‘In talking to us in such a manner, he committed an act of insubordination. If he had talked so cavalierly to his boss in the private sector, he would have been reprimanded or worse. If wise, the man should refrain from such interjections in the future.
‘As his ultimate bosses, the people have a right to demand the requisite performance and respect from him. He should apologise for treating them so lightly in this instance.
‘Instead, he seems to be standing above them, telling them to take it or leave it,’ Tinubu added.
In conclusion, Tinubu said, ‘He must ask them to work with him and, perhaps, to endure a bit longer but with the knowledge that he is working to resolve this matter as fast as he can and as permanently as possible; that he is dedicated to the position that once these current lines are gone, never again shall they reappear, as long as he has any influence in the matter.
‘To do this requires no magic or training in that strange craft. It requires empathy, compassion and the willpower to forge a better Nigeria. These must be the common trademarks of those serving in a progressive government, for these attributes are integral parts of the spirit and ideals upon which the APC was founded,’ Tinubu said.