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Fuel crisis: Kachikwu splits APC

By News Express on 28/03/2016

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The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was literally divided, yesterday, over whether or not Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, should retain his prime position in the APC-led Federal Government on account of the worsening fuel scarcity and his comments that he is not a magician. While the National Vice Chairman of the APC, South-South wants Kachikwu to resign immediately, the South-East chapter of the party thinks otherwise. This is coming as mixed reactions greeted APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s, blasting of Kachikwu, weekend, on the issue. “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,” Tinubu spat.

Resign now, APC National Vice Chairman tells Kachikwu

In a statement in Abuja, the APC National Vice Chairman, South-South, Prince Hilliard Eta, said: “Kachikwu has not entirely cast off the orientation of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP where he was,” adding that such is still manifesting in his actions and utterances such as the recent one that attracted opprobrium from many Nigerians. “In the light of the foregoing, Mr. Kachikwu must not be a cog in the wheel of progress and he should do the needful by resigning honourably if he is not capable of doing his part by efficiently running the ministry assigned to him.”

While denying that there was any major rift in the party, APC said: “It is important to reiterate here that winning the federal election in 2015 has not eroded the core ideology of progressivism, which we espouse as it is the very foundation on which the party rests.

“This progressive ideology strongly emphasises government as a tool for service to the people, who are the custodians of power in the first instance. In line with this, it is not wrong or out of place for Tinubu to call the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to order owing to the anti progressive statements he made in the Presidential Villa on Wednesday March 23, 2016, while fielding questions from journalists on the persisting scarcity of petrol.

“Secondly, we in the APC believe that it is proper to immediately correct mistakes or errors committed by any member of the party, no matter how highly placed and we are developing a culture of accountability to Nigerians that government is meant to serve. “From this perspective, it is, therefore, understandable that Kachikwu’s statement to the effect that he has no solution to petrol scarcity bedevilling the country drew flaks from Tinubu and this does not, in any way imply that there is a crack within the party.

“In African culture, it is seen as irresponsible for an elder to watch a youngsters or an inexpensive person blunder without immediately calling him to order.”

We don’t subscribe to resignation calls —South-East APC

However, the South-East chapter of the APC, in a statement by its Spokesman, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, said the zone was against calls for Kachikwu’s resignation. It said: “Whereas our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was not only politically correct but has the constitutional right to condemn the awkward joke made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, over the national embarrassment caused our great country by the ugly fuel supply chain logjam; however, the South East Zone of the APC does not subscribe to the call for his resignation.

“Those who call for his resignation should not forget the transparent, frugal and prudent manner in which Kachikwu and co deployed in the petroleum product importation and fuel supply chain; a policy which has saved our country over N500 billion.

“May we also remind those who call for his resignation, how the PDP turned the petroleum product importation and fuel supply chain into a slush fund, recklessly increased the cost geometrically from N634 billion in 2010 to N1.6 trillion in 2012. In 2013, N888 billion was officially budgeted with a supplementary budget of N232 billion in the same year, making an average N1 trillion per annum.

“It is our considered opinion that Kachikwu should stay, for bringing sanity to the petroleum product importation and fuel supply chain in the last 10 months.”

•Excerpted from a Vanguard report. Photo shows Kachikwu.

Source News Express

Posted 28/03/2016 1:22:49 PM





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