The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has said the party introduced the fuel subsidy removal and would have handled it differently if it were to be in power today.
Recall that President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural speech last Monday, declared that “fuel subsidy is gone”.
The decision was first taken by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022, and the move received the backing of Tinubu, Atiku, and several other 2023 presidential candidates, who sought to end the funds-guzzling subsidy regime if elected.
But speaking on Saturday in Bauchi State addressing PDP officials elected in the recent polls, Atiku kicked against the decision which some have described as a knee-jerk policy action.
“Between 1999 and 2007, the PDP government initiated the petroleum subsidy removal and I chaired the committee. We achieved subsidy removal in two phases but only after providing palliatives to those most affected by the subsidy removal,” the former Vice President said.
“We have the experience as a party in government. That is what we would have done and not just announced subsidy removal without discussion with the affected sectors of the economy. I think Nigerians should appreciate what they have temporarily lost.”
As a minority party in the soon-to-be-inaugurated 10th National Assembly, the PDP urged newly elected lawmakers to work in unison as “one family”.
The acting National Chairman of PDP, Ambassador Umar Damagum, in his opening remarks at the retreat, said, “I want to reiterate, on the issue of the National Assembly, we have to know we are an opposition.
“In order to remain relevant, we must work together as one family. That’s the only way you’ll be able to ensure that your relevance is being determined.”
The acting PDP chairman argued that it was a “very crucial” period in the history of the party, adding that how its members navigated present events would determine the progress of the party in the near future.