Controversy Surrounds Fuel Subsidy Removal as Claims Surface Over Credit Attribution
The recent removal of fuel subsidy has ignited a wave of condemnation from critics who argue that the government failed to implement measures to cushion the impact before making such a decision. During his inauguration speech, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu boldly declared the end of fuel subsidy. However, a different perspective has emerged from Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the Director of Publicity and Advocacy at the Northern Elders Forum (NEF).
In an interview with Saturday Vanguard, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed expressed his belief that Tinubu should not be credited with the removal of fuel subsidy. Contrary to popular perception, he argued that it was actually President Muhammadu Buhari who removed the subsidy. Dr. Baba-Ahmed explained that Buhari had been subsidizing fuel until June, the month in which Tinubu assumed the presidency. It was at that point, according to Baba-Ahmed, that Buhari ceased the provision of subsidies, leaving Tinubu to discover upon taking office that the subsidy had already been removed.
Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed further stated that while Tinubu may have been inclined to remove the subsidy had it still been in place, he should not claim credit for its removal as Buhari had already taken that step.
Offering his perspective on the matter, Dr. Baba-Ahmed remarked, “Honestly, I don’t know how better he could have handled it. Incidentally, Tinubu didn’t remove the subsidy. Buhari did by providing for it until June when he knew the new administration would be in place. Tinubu came in and found out that the subsidy had been removed. So, he shouldn’t take credit for removing the subsidy. Yes, he would have removed the subsidy if it was in place, but Buhari removed it.”
These claims by Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed have injected an additional layer of controversy into the already contentious issue of fuel subsidy removal. As Nigerians grapple with the effects of this decision, the question of who should be credited with its implementation has become a matter of debate.
Both President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and President Muhammadu Buhari have been pivotal figures in Nigeria’s political landscape, and their roles in shaping the nation’s policies are subjects of immense scrutiny. The public now awaits further clarification from the concerned parties to gain a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances surrounding the removal of fuel subsidy and the attribution of credit.
As the nation navigates the repercussions of this decision, it is essential for transparency and accountability to prevail, ensuring that the interests of the Nigerian people are protected and that measures are in place to mitigate the impact of subsidy removal on the population.