A national leader of All Progressives Congress-APC and former governor of Lagos state; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has called out the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, for his insensitive utterances over the on-going petrol scarcity in the country.
According to him, Kachikwu deserves to tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians for his comments which he finds not only obnoxious but disrespectful to the populace under whose trust the petrol minister holds his office.
For saying he was not a magician who could immediately end the scarcity of petrol, Tinubu released a statement on Saturday, entitled: ‘Kachikwu Needs to Know That Respect and Good Performance Will Do What Magic Cannot.’
The minister was quoted to have said last week that he (Kachikwu) was not trained as a magician and that basically Nigerians should count themselves fortunate that the NNPC under his stewardship has been able to bring in the amount of petrol fuel it is currently doing.
He said that “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.
“The fuel shortage is severely biting for the average person. They are forced to remain in lines far too long, for too much time, to pay too much money for too little fuel. This is no joking matter. Livelihoods and people's welfare are at stake.
“With so much on the line, Kachikwu's flippancy was out-of-line. He was basically telling Nigerians that they should be lucky that they are getting the inadequate supply they now suffer and that they should just be quiet and endure the shortage for several weeks more.
“Kachikwu's intervention was unhelpful. It panicked and disappointed the public as to the duration of the crisis. It insulted the people by its tonality. 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.
“Kachikwu 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.
“He is a public servant. The seat he sits upon is owned by Nigerians, not by him. The company he runs is owned by Nigerians, not by him. They are his boss. He is not theirs. Power is vested in the people. He is a mere custodian or agent of their will.
The former governor who described himself as “an avid and partisan supporter of this government and of the progressive policies of the party, the APC, upon which this government is based.” declared that he “reserve the right and the duty as a Nigerian to voice my opinion when I believe a member of this government has strayed from the progressive calling required of this administration. I do this because my greater devotion and love are for this nation and its people. Party and politics fall secondary.”