John Odigie-Oyegun, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has blamed the current fuel crisis in the country on lack of proactive attitude of the APC-led Federal Government.
Odigie-Oyegun made the confession in Benin-City in a reception in his honour and other Edo indigenes by the Benin National Congress (BNC), tagged, ‘Benin Fundamental Reception: Celebration of an icon’.
“It is very sad that Nigeria is experiencing fuel shortage crisis. The party and the Federal Government owed this nation an apology. When the Christmas was approaching we ought to have seized the possibility, given our past history that this could happen. Yes we apologise; we are not proactive enough. We didn’t have our eyes on the ball. And we are sorry for the inconvenience our people have suffered.
“The development is not taking us to another fuel increase. Anyway, that is government policy entirely. What I am against personally is fuel subsidy. I pray we don’t go to another regime of subsidy because the ordinary, labouring and suffering Nigerian does not have a car. So we cannot subsidise for those who have the ability to own vehicles,” he said.
He also disclosed that elite in the country never voted for Muhammadu Buhari to be president but that the ordinary masses did.
“Gani Fawehinmi was popular but controls nothing. Fela Kuti was popular but also controls nothing. The same attribute is what our president today has. He controls nothing. He doesn’t have mansion but the whole nation has accepted him because of his integrity.
“Let me make one thing clear, that president Muhammadu Buhari was not elected by the elite. I hope you know that. If he had depended on the elite Buhari may not be president today. And even if he depended on the elite with the way they are crying today over foreign exchange and other things, Buhari will not be president tomorrow. But the ordinary people of this country looked up to him as the symbol of the kind of person, leadership and the kind of country that they want Nigeria to become,” he said.
“He is a symbol, a light house, a guide, he doesn’t have to be good at everything but he has those attributes which ordinary Nigerians are telling us is what they need,” he added.
The APC, national chairman, who admitted that there is hunger, poverty in the country as well as the bad economy, however blamed the development in the past several years of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) misrule.
“Yes, I accept there is hunger in the land, I accept that the economy is relatively in bad shape. If I tell you what President Buhari inherited is far worst; if you hear some of the details, I won’t be surprised if you people go out will be asking for a stricter measures on those who have brought this country to its kneel. At the time we took over there wasn’t any single kobo anywhere. As if that was not enough the price of crude oil collapsed from a $110 to $40 per barrel,” he said.
Odigie-Oyegun, however, disclosed that he was being persecuted because of his loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that the loyalty was not palatable to some members of the party.
“I grew up in an environment where bringing disgrace to the family is the worst thing you can possibly do; even the family will be the first to disown you. So, in all my life, this is the circumstance that has conditioned me. I do not do things that will not make me sleep soundly at night. I do nothing that will appear as headline in any of the national dailies,” he further explained, adding; “Yes, I have been through several trials, but, I have overcome them all.”
According to him, “Why have I done so? Because, at the end of the day, whether detailed or forensic examination, you will not find that your own Oyegun has done something dishonourable. And so, with all the hue and cry, at the end of the whole thing, when we sit down, and ask, ‘tell us what he has done?’ Behold, the whole situation fizzles out”.
Earlier, the National President of Benin National Congress, Aiyamenkhue Edokplo, noted that when President Muhammadu Buhari was on medical trip, the national chairman of the party, took epistemic steps to preserve the sanctity of the presidency, protect the public interest of the country as one and indivisible nation, and defended the founding values of APC.
IDRIS UMAR MOMOH, BENIN