APC National leader, Bola Tinubu, says the comments made by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and Group MD of NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, about the current fuel scarcity, was insulting and unacceptable and worsened the situation nationwide. Kachikwu had told state house correspondents on Wednesday March 23rd, that he was not a magician and that the fuel scarcity will be resolved sometime in May.
In a statement titled “Kachikwu needs to know that respect and good performance will do what magic cannot.” which he released and personally signed yesterday March 26th, Tinuby condemned Kachikwu’s comment. The statement reads in part ;
“Much public ire has been drawn to the statement made by Minister of State Ibe Kachikwu that he was not trained as a magician and that basically Nigerians should count themselves fortunate that the NNPC under his stewardship has been able to bring in the amount of petrol fuel it is currently doing. 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 off-putting. 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”. Continuing, Tinubu stated that Kachikwu’s comments were insulting and was not a good representation of APC and was more of the statements likened to PDP members who were voted out of government last year “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. He is not theirs. Power is vested 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 ultimate bosses, the people have a right to demand the requisite performance and respect from him. He should apologise for treating them so lightly in this instance. His portfolio being a strategically important one, he needs to re-establish the correct relationship with the public. They no longer feel he is working for their optimal benefit as their servant. Instead, he seems to be standing above them, telling them to take it or leave it. For his policies and stint in office to be successful and a help to this government, he must have the support and belief of the people at this tough time. He must talk to them in a way that they believe he seeks their best interest and understands the hardship weighing upon them. He must ask them to work with him and, perhaps, to endure a bit longer but with the knowledge that he is working to resolve this matter as fast as he can and as permanently as possible. That he is dedicated to the position that once these current lines are gone that never again shall they reappear as long as he has any influence in the matter.”