‘I consistently maintained that subsidy should be removed because I see it as an organized crime’
By Valentine Amanze
The Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, has said that he supported conditional fuel subsidy removal in the national budget because of its negative impact on the economy.
Obi, who spoke at the ongoing election petition tribunal at the Court of Appeal headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, explained that the condition must be empirical to the people.
The Anambra State former governor pointed out that his support for the removal dated back to the ex-president Goodluck Jonathan’s era when he was a member of the Presidential Economic Management Team.
He said: “If you have followed me very well; right from the time I was a member of Jonathan’s Economic Management Team, I consistently maintained that subsidy should be removed because I see it as an organized 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”.
Obi also made an analogy of his idea on subsidy removal with what the current development in the country now to strategies in dealing with a tooth ache.
His words: “If a patient approaches a dentist to remove a painful tooth, the dentist is expected to apply a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth so that the patient does not feel the pains.
“It’s not the same thing as pulling the tooth forcefully; 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.
“Recall that even when Jonathan wanted to remove it they came up with various relieving policies like SureP and others.
“If you read my manifesto you will see clearly how I planned to remove 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, let’s go and sacrifice, they don’t see the results of their suffering and their sacrifice.”