LAGOS – The Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has re-stated its opposition to the plan by the Federal Government to remove fuel subsidy, saying the pains that the action will inflict on Nigerians, who are already reeling from the effects of bad governance, will far outstrip whatever ‘gains’ will accrue therefrom.
In a statement in Lagos, yesterday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the clarification of its stand on the issue becomes necessary in view of the insinuation by the government’s propaganda machinery that it has secured the support of 40 political parties for the subsidy removal.
It said: ‘’The government should state the 40 political parties it met on this issue. By the Grace of God, our party is the largest opposition party in the country today. We have not expressed support for the removal of fuel subsidy.
“We remain on the side of the people. We feel their pulse and their pains. We believe the removal of fuel subsidy is a great misadventure, and have conveyed our stand on the issue in a letter to the President, though we never got a response.”
ACN also wondered what a government is elected to do, if it is now tying the provision of infrastructure to the removal of fuel subsidy.
‘’President Jonathan did not tell Nigerians, during his electioneering campaign, that his administration will only be able to deliver the dividends of democracy by removing fuel subsidy. Therefore, it amounts to arm-twisting the people to say that funds saved from fuel subsidy removal will be used to construct roads, build hospitals and schools and other expectations from the government.
“The government should have been honest enough to say it is seeking ways to raise money for governance, and Nigerians would have been glad enough to let it know how to raise money without resorting to a phantom fuel subsidy removal.
“Our message to the President is that if he feels he cannot explore other areas to raise money for development, like cutting down on government excesses, then he should say so clearly and leave the stage for those who can ensure development with minimal pains. Our party, the ACN, will provide good governance without removing fuel subsidy, and we are ready to do so today if the Jonathan government cannot.”