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Peter Obi Breaks Silence on Fuel Subsidy Removal, Says His Policy Differs from Tinubu’s

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ABUJA, Nigeria – Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has broken his silence on the recent controversial removal of the petrol subsidy, a week after President Bola Tinubu announced the move.

Speaking with judicial correspondents at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal at the Court of Appeal on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, suggested that he would have instituted “various relieving policies” to ease the effects of subsidy removal, rather than a “forceful removal.”

“I’ve actually been in support of the removal of subsidies right from the President Goodluck Jonathan era, when I was a member of the Economic Management team,” he stated.

Obi has long held the view that subsidies should be eliminated, viewing them as organized crime.

“People were just stealing the resources of the country, and I showed it empirically in my statistical analysis that we were not consuming the amount of fuel they claimed we consumed,” he said.

Obi likened subsidy removal to a dental procedure.

“If you approach a dentist to remove a painful tooth, he will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth so you do not feel pain.

For me, I will go with the approach of the dentist, while supporting the removal of the tooth because I wouldn’t want to go through the pain of a forceful removal.”

He recalled that during the Jonathan era, when subsidy removal was considered, relieving policies such as Sure-P were introduced.

He said, “If you read my manifesto, you will see clearly how I planned to remove subsidies.

I will govern with the people and show them statistically and empirically what we are going to save, and what we are going to do using the savings to better the suffering masses.”

Obi highlighted the recurring cycle of sacrifice demanded from the masses, only for situations to worsen in the future.

“The problem in Nigeria is that often the government tells the masses to suffer and sacrifice for a better future; but in the future, things get worse,” he added.

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