By Emmanuel Mogbede
Abuja, Sept. 9, 2020 The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was being hypocritical by criticising Federal Government’s recent decision to increase petroleum pump price from N143 to N151 per litre and to deregulate the petroleum sector.
The party said this in a statement issued by Mr Yekini Nabena, a chieftain of the party, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The party also accused former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who was PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 presidential election of being “two faced” for speaking against the decision.
The PDP it would be recalled had in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan rejected the new fuel price and hike in electricity tariff.
“The PDP vehemently rejects the fresh increase in the price of fuel to N151 per liter and electricity tariff to N66 per kwh under the APC and its government,” Ologbondiyan had said.
He demanded for a reversal of the prices to avert what he called a national crisis.
According to him, the increase will result in upsurge in costs of goods and services and worsen the biting hardship being faced by Nigerians.
The APC, however, said it received with some amazement comments attributed to the PDP and Atiku Abubakar on the development.
The APC spokesman said the PDP and Atiku’s reaction to what had been adjudged an inevitability by many experts clearly depicts the height of hypocrisy demonstrated by them on issues relating to the country’s progress and well being.
“It’s rather unfortunate, if truly, the comments reported by a section of the media, condemning the removal of petrol subsidy, is attributed to Atiku Abubakar.
“Atiku’s comments clearly reveals his two-facedness and portrays him as a man not only acutely lacking in integrity but one that should never be trusted,” Nabena said.
According to him, the former vice president was part of the government that created the corrupt petrol subsidy monster and also the chaos in the electricity sector.
Nabena added that a further portrayal of Atiku’s hypocrisy was his pretentious promise to deregulate the downstream petroleum sector by privatising the NNPC.
“Atiku made the sale of NNPC to his friends and the deregulation of both the PMS and the electricity sector the hallmark of his 2019 presidential election misadventure,” he further said.
Nabena recalled that Atiku had argued at different fora in 2018 and early 2019 that NNPC and the power sector must be disbanded through privatisation if they must be efficient.
He also recalled that Atiku’s campaign platform, during the electioneering, emphasised on the liberalisation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
“Recently, specifically in June, 2020, Atiku, in a tweet, hailed the Buhari administration’s drive to remove subsidy on petrol, saying that the stoppage of subsidy and price fixing is a right move,” Nabena said.
He noted that even Atiku’s Economic Adviser, Mustapha Chike-Obi, had the decency to hail Federal Government’s decision to remove subsidies for petrol and electricity.
He maintained that judging from its background as a party that instituted the subsidy regime in the petrol sector, the PDP lacked the moral to question an honest move by the Buhari-led administration to find lasting solutions to the problems it caused.
He stressed that the PDP describing the deregulation of the price of petrol by the APC-led government as callous and cruel was rather sarcastic.
This, Nabena said, was especially so, given the pain and anguish suffered by Nigerians on long queues at petrol stations when the PDP-led government presided over a corrupt subsidy regime.
He added that it was therefore laughable that the same set of people would turn around and condemn decisions taken to fix the mess they created in the system.
“The PDP’s outburst indeed exposes once again its real fraudulent character and plot to patronise Nigerians and make them suffer in perpetuity by keeping a fraudulent subsidy arrangement that feeds a few individuals at the expense of the masses.
“Judging from the foregoing, the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, and comments attributed to them should not be taken seriously,” he said.
He added that in line with the drive to deregulate the oil sector, the petroleum products pricing template now reflects competitive and market driven components.
He further said that this had in turn freed up cash to fund the ongoing development of critical infrastructure across the country