Fuel scarcity: Give up petroleum ministry, PDP tells Buhari
• Says N201bn for adulterated fuel clean-up pushing Nigerians too far
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to give up the ministry of Petroleum Resources as its minister and appoint a competent hand to man it.
The main opposition party maintained in a statement by Hon. Debo Ologunagba, its National Publicity Secretary Wednesday that the president has performed below expectation in his responsibilities as the Minister of Petroleum.
The PDP, therefore, demanded that “having woefully failed, President Buhari should hands-off responsibilities as Minister of Petroleum Resources and allow competent professionals to man the ministry in order to restore sanity in the system.
“This is because the headship of the Petroleum Ministry as presently constituted is peopled with persons with no relevant education, experience and expertise to manage this critical sector that accounts for over 90 per cent of the revenue of the nation.”
The party similarly called for the immediate sack of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, for allegedly misleading Nigerians and concealing critical information at the onset of the presence of adulterated Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the country.
The PDP accused him of “having refused and failed as a public official with the duty to Nigerians when he said on national TV that he cannot name persons involved in the fraud.”
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The party alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration is pushing Nigerians to take to the streets in protest against its “continued arrogance, corruption, insensitivity to the feelings of the people as well as alleged shielding of APC leaders behind the importation of toxic fuel into the country.”
The party condemned what it saw as the moves by APC interests to further siphon money from the national coffers by seeking to draw a staggering N201 billion under the pretext of cleaning up the poisonous fuel instead of exposing the culprits and getting them to bear the cost.
It added: “It not saddening that the APC administration has continued to turn deaf ears to the cries by Nigerians to end its corruption and treasury looting spree and ease the suffering of the people occasioned by its sleaze and manifest incompetence in governance?
“Nigerians were shocked when the news broke out over the weekend that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company is seeking an estimated N201 billion to clean up the adulterated fuel.
“It is clear that this is another ploy by officials of APC administration to continue to pilfer the national treasury to fund APC’s rigging plans ahead of the 2023 elections as well as to finance the wasteful lifestyles of it leaders at the detriment of other Nigerians.
“Such move by the APC to further fleece the nation amounts to pushing the already exasperated citizens to the wall. The APC government would have nobody but itself to blame over the possible consequences of its continued impunity, insensitivity and disregard to the feelings of Nigerians.
“It is instructive to note that the APC has remained unyielding since our Party demanded an investigation into allegations that APC leaders connived with some foreign interests to import very cheap heavily contaminated fuel-laden with methanol in their desperation to corruptly raise billions of naira to fund APC’s plots to rig the 2023 general elections.
“Nigerians can recall that our Party, well-meaning Nigerians and organizations had exposed and challenged APC’s plot to siphon N2.557 trillion padded as fuel subsidy for 2022. Having been so exposed, the APC resorted to fleecing Nigerians through the importation of toxic fuel and now seeks to fritter N201 billion under the guise of cleaning up the adulterated fuel.
“The failure by the APC administration to set up an Independent Commission of Enquiry on the ‘APC Toxic Fuel ImportGate,’ especially to ascertain the individuals involved in the deal, who undertook the pre-inspection and how much was paid for very cheap contaminated fuel, is fast putting the nation on edge.
“The only way to douse the tension is for the APC administration to heed to demands by Nigerians and expose APC leaders allegedly involved in the importation of the toxic fuel; get them to pay compensation particularly to those whose vehicles and equipment were damaged by the bad fuel as well as bear the cost of the said cleanup.”