Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has described the statement made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu that he was not trained as a magician and that Nigerians ought to commend the NNPC under him for its efforts in petrol supply, as off-putting and advised him to apologise to Nigerians.
He however noted that steep reduction in global oil prices from over $100 per barrel to roughly $40 was challenging for Nigeria.
Tinubu in the statement he personally signed, titled, ‘Kachukwu Needs to Know that Respect and Good Performance Will do What Magic Cannot’, called on the NNPC boss to apologise to Nigerians for making such unguarded statement.
According to him, “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 right to feel insulted as the minister was wrong to have said such a thing.”
Tinubu lamented that the current fuel shortage was unpleasant for the average Nigerian due to long hours spent on queues at fuel stations stressing that Nigerians’ livelihood and welfare was at stake.
“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 but he 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 because the seat he sits upon is owned by Nigerians not by him.”
While describing Kachikwu as the custodian of the NNPC, he noted that he committed an act of insubordination through his comments and advised him to refrain from such interjections in the future.
“There may be no economic matter more difficult to unravel and more sensitive to the purse of the average person than the current fuel scarcity and I am confident of progress because I know the commitment of the president to resolving this matter,” Tinubu said.
He advised Kachikwu to re-establish the cordial relationship with Nigerians given the importance of his portfolio adding that Nigerians are maligned with his comments.
“For his policies and stint in office to be successful and a help to this government, he must have the support and belief of the people at this tough time but he must talk to them in a way that they believe he seeks their best interest and understands the hardship weighing upon them.
The former governor disclosed that Nigeria requires creative reforms to overcome the past national economic policy, which is the basis for progressive democratic governance.
Tinubu who is also a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) noted that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration represented the last hope for Nigerians, adding that there is a need to fully connect with the government to avert the catastrophe of the last administration.
“Had the nation continued with the spendthrift corruption and vagabond economic policies of that administration, we would have soon experienced such a collision with the harsh consequences of that government’s malign ways that our very institutions of government may have been distorted beyond fixture and repair.
He expressed hope that Buhari led government would resolve every outstanding issue beginning from establishing full security and safety to true economic prosperity and fairness.