By Sunday Ani
The candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 presidential election, Peter Obi, has said that his support for the removal of subsidy on petroleum products is not in doubt but noted that his idea of subsidy removal is quite different from what is happening today because his own methodology would involve condition that would be empirical to the people.
He made the clarification on Tuesday when he was ambushed by judicial correspondents as he attended his ongoing election petition case at the Court of Appeal headquarters in Abuja. He explained that his support for subsidy removal dates back to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s era, when he was a member of the Presidential Economic Management Team.
“If you have followed me very well right from the time when I was a member of Jonathan’s economic management team, I have consistently maintained that subsidy should be removed because I see it as an organised crime. People were just stealing the resources of the country and I showed empirically in my statistical analysis that we are not consuming the amount of fuel they claim we consume.
The former Anambra State Governor differentiated his idea of subsidy removal from what is happening in the country now, using two options available to a person that has a toothache.
He said if you approach a dentist to remove a painful tooth, he would apply a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the tooth so you do not feel pain. “It’s not the same thing as pulling the tooth forcefully because the pain you feel will be different. For me, I will go with the approach of the dentist, while supporting the removal of the tooth, because I wouldn’t want to go through the pain of forceful removal,” he said.
Obi reminded Nigerians that even when former President Jonathan wanted to remove it, they came up with various relief policies like the SureP programmes and others.
“If you read my manifesto, you will see clearly how I planned to remove the subsidy. I will govern with the people and show them statistically and empirically what we are getting and how we are deploying it. The problem in Nigeria is that when people say, let’s go and suffer or let’s go and sacrifice, they don’t see the results of their suffering and their sacrifice,” he stated.