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Labour Party Faults Subsidy Removal Approach, Tinubu Supporters Attempt To Give Clarity

The Labour party condemned the approach, saying that it had made life harder for Nigerians.

The Labour Party, on Tuesday, expressed shock over what its described as untimely removal of fuel subsidy by Tinubu.

The party lamented that it had been confronted with the stark reality that less than 24 hours after Tinubu took over the reins of power, Nigerians woke up to see the pump price of petrol shot up to N600 per litre and N750 per litre in the black market, calling on Nigerians to be ready for more anti-people policies by the government of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).

Obiora Ifoh, the Abure’s led-NWC National Publicity Secretary, stated this on Tuesday in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.

He said though Labour Party had during its campaign promised to end the subsidy regime, but would not have gone ahead to announce the removal by a presidential fiat without working out modalities to cushion the effects it might have on the people.

He said: “As we speak now the queues are back again and Nigerians will, as was the case in the previous administration, begin to keep vigils in the filling station to get just a few litres of petrol.

“As expected, commercial transporters have hiked their trip fares across the country in response to the developments. While product hawkers are once more the king of the jungle.

“This scenario easily reminds one of the story of a certain Pharaoh who on assumption of throne empowered his task-masters to tripled the daily tasks of the Jews.

“What a way to announce once emergence as the sheriff in town. President Tinubu’s first executive proclamation was such that it is purposed to inflict pains on Nigerians.

“Labour Party, while campaigning in the last election also proposed ending the subsidy regime, however, on the condition that necessary policies and actions would have to be in-situ.

“The removal of subsidy by a presidential fiat as witnessed on Tuesday was not only shocking but practically took every Nigerian by surprise. We advise Nigerians to brace up for more shocks and surprises in the days ahead.

“Labour Party is therefore condemning the unilateral decision by President Tinubu who without any form of consultation with the stakeholders particularly, the Labour unions removed the subsidy on petroleum and has instantly pushed Nigerians further into hardship.”

The party however called on the various unions, social activists and Nigerians in general to “be watchful and ensure that democracy is not derailed by whatever means and guise”

However, on Tuesday a Tinubu Support group attempted to clarify the President’s stance on the controversial policy, saying subsidy was already removed by the previous administration as the 2023 budget for fuel subsidy was planned and approved to last only for the first half of the year.

The group explained: “The public is advised to note that President Bola Tinubu’s declaration that “subsidy is gone” is neither a new development nor an action of his new administration.

“He was merely communicating the status quo, considering that the previous administration’s budget for fuel subsidy was planned and approved to last for only the first half of the year.

“Effectively, this means that by the end of June, the federal government will be without funds to continue the subsidy regime, translating to its termination. The panic-buying that has ensued as a result of the communication is needless; it will not take immediate effect.”

Deji Elumoye, Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Emmanuel Addeh, Emameh Gabriel, Udora Orizu in Abuja, Nume Ekeghe, Peter Uzoho and Kayode Tokede in Lagos

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