NATIONAL leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has come down hard on the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, demanding an apology over his recent outburst on the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.
Kachikwu had apparently in a very testy moment last Wednesday declared that the “prevailing fuel scarcity may linger till May,”adding that he was not a magician to offer a quick-fix.
Tinubu in a statement last night described the minister’s statement as unbecoming of a ‘member of this progressive government,’ adding that, ‘he has strayed from the progressive calling required of this administration.’
In the nine paragraph statement personally signed by him, and entitled “Kachikwu needs to know that respect and good performance will do what magic cannot,”
The former Lagos State governor admonished him on the rudiments of understanding his role as a public servant and applying it strictly in his relationship with the people, who he described as “his boss.”
While stressing that he insulted the people by his “unguarded,” and “cavalier” remark, Tinubu also observed that “he jis actions amounted to insubordination,”enjoining him to “refrain from such interjections in the future.”
Said he: “Power is rested in the people. He is a mere custodian, or agent of their will. In talking to us in such a manner, he committed an act of insubordination.
If he had talked so cavalierly to his boss in the private sector, he would have been reprimanded, or worse. If wise, the man should refrain from such interjections in the future, “
As his bosses, the people have a right to demand the requisite performance and respect from him. He should apologize for treating them so lightly in this instance.”
Tinubu described the art of governance as ‘difficult and complex, especially during trying times.’ Saying that the steep reduction in global oil prices from over 100 dollars per barrel to roughly 40 dollars now presents a hard challenge, he advised that “we can no longer afford past practices,” which demand “a new creative reform, materially changing the substance of a national economic policy as well as the objectives of that policy, and how the policy is presented to the people. Therein lies the essence of progressive governance.”
He said the Buhari administration represents the last best hope for the people, away from the corruption and reckless governance experienced under the immediate past regime of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The APC leader lamented the plight and hardship of Nigerians inflicted on them by the fuel crises, saying “there may be no economic matter more difficult to unravel and more sensitive to the purse of the average person than the current fuel scarcity.”
He expressed optimism on its resolution because “ I know the commitment of the president to resolving this matter.”
On his concerns, and why he is alarmed by the statement from the minister, he said: “I am an avid and partisan supporter of this government and of the progressive policies of the party, the
APC, upon which this government is based. With that, I do 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.”
He spoke further on the impact of Kachikwu’s statement on the people and the economy, observing that it was needless, “untimely,” “off-putting,” and “did not sit well with the people.”
His rebuttal reads in part: “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 offputting. The remark did not sit well with the Nigerian people;; they were as right to feel insulted as the Minister was wrong to have said such a thing. 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.” He continued: “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.