The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had described the condemnation of deregulation policy of the federal government by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and it’s Presidential candidate at the last general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the height of hypocrisy.
The party also noted that Atiku’s outburst revealed his two-facedness and portrayed him “as a man not only acutely lacking in integrity but one that should never be trusted.”
Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena of APC in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja said the condemnation of the opposition party and its presidential flag bearer on the deregulation of electricity tariff and pump price of petrol smack nothing but hypocrisy of the highest order.
The statement reads in part: “As genuine patriots, reputable groups and organizations, make honest contributions to the reactions about the deregulation of electricity and petrol prices, we receive with some amazement comments attributed to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, condemning the decision of the Buhari administration to deregulate the PMS sector.
“The PDP and Atiku’s reaction to what has been adjudged an inevitability by many experts clearly depicts the height of hypocrisy demonstrated by them on many issues relating to the progress and wellbeing of Nigeria.
“Worrisome is the action of the PDP’s presidential flag bearer at the 2019 general elections. It’s rather unfortunate if truly, the comment reported by a section of the media, condemning the removal of petrol subsidy, is attributed to Atiku Abubakar.
The ruling party also noted that Atiku’s hypocrisy was his pretentious promise to deregulate the downstream petroleum sector by privatizing the NNPC during the electioneering campaign of 2019.
According to APC, “Atiku made the sale of NNPC to his friends and the deregulation of both the PMS and the electricity sectors the hallmark of his 2019 presidential election misadventure.
“Atiku argued at different fora in 2018 and early 2019 that NNPC and the power sector must be disbanded through privatization if they must be efficient.”
Quoting from his specific words about the privatization of the NNPC as a springboard for the deregulation of the downstream sector, Atiku said, “Privatising NNPC would be to our advantage. We are not going to lose anything, but we will rather gain a lot,” Guardian of January 17, 2019 had reported.
It also recalled that during the campaign Reuters reported on November 19, 2018, Nigeria’s Abubakar promises to boost oil investment, cut subsidies if elected.” The news report added “Abubakar said he would eliminate subsidies on imported fuel and let the market determine the price.”
Again, his campaign platform, during the electioneering also disclosed: “The liberalization of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry to, among others, allows market-denominated prices for Premium Motor Spirit and eliminate subsidies for its consumption.”
APC further noted that in June, Atiku, in a tweet, hailed the Buhari administration’s drive to remove subsidy on petrol, saying that “the stoppage of subsidy and price-fixing is a right move, although it should have come earlier when the economy was stronger.”
According to Atiku, “FG and state governments should proceed to remove other impediments and roll out incentives to spur investments in the sector, especially the numerous refineries that have been licensed but yet to be built. Then ensure the quality of fuel meet set standards.”
The ruling party maintained that the PDP lacks the moral credentials to question an honest and transparent move by the Buhari-led administration to find lasting solutions to the problems caused by the party in the years that it led the affairs of the country
“Describing the deregulation of the price of petrol by the APC-led government as callous and cruel is rather sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek, given the pain and anguish suffered by Nigerians on long queues at petrol stations when the PDP-led government presided over a very corrupt subsidy regime.
“It is therefore laughable that the same set of people will turn around and condemn decisions taken to fix the mess they created in the system. The PDP’s outburst indeed exposes once again its real fraudulent character and plot to patronize Nigerians and make them suffer in perpetuity by keeping a fraudulent subsidy arrangement that feeds a few individuals at the expense of the masses.
“Judging from the foregoing, the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, and comments attributed to them should not be taken seriously as they simply lack the decency required to guide Nigeria and Nigerians to the path of prosperity and progress.
“Compared to PDP’s failed past, under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, the reviewed petroleum products pricing template has resulted in a more transparent, efficient and realistic pricing system for petroleum products and also resulted in constant availability of fuel nationwide.”
The ruling party then concluded that “in line with the drive to deregulate the oil sector, the petroleum products pricing template now reflects competitive and market driven components which has in turn freed up cash to fund the ongoing development of critical infrastructure across the country.”