The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quit his role as the Minister of Petroleum “to save Nigerians the trauma of sleeping in fuel stations” in order to get fuel.
The party made the call in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday, insisting that “the failure of the Buhari Presidency to resolve its inflicted unabated fuel crisis, which has brought untold hardship to Nigerians” is unpardonable.
“We call on President Buhari to quit this all-important Ministry of Petroleum Resources and allow competent hands to save our people from the anguish and pains they have been subjected to in the last few months,” it said.
Many Nigerians have struggled to get fuel in recent months after the nation was hit by fuel scarcity late in 2017. While fuel queues have disappeared in several parts of the country, many people still have difficulty getting petrol and are forced to buy the product above the official price of N145 per litre.
As the Minister of Petroleum, the PDP said President Buhari must directly accept responsibility “for the manifest failure in the oil sector, even as his government should be held responsible for the exacerbated economic and security situation in the country under its watch”.
To turn the situation around, the opposition party wants the President to appoint “competent hands” to manage the affairs to the ministry.
At the height of the fuel scarcity, some Nigerians had called on the President to quit his role as Petroleum Minister. Some others debated the legality or otherwise of the President’s decision to occupy the position.
For the PDP, if the President “had heed wise counsel from well-meaning Nigerians, since last year, to quit office as the Minister of Petroleum and allow a more competent and knowledgeable person to run the ministry, the situation would not have degenerated to excruciating pains Nigerians suffer today”.
The party also accused the Presidency of unapologetically failing to fix a national problem, which it promised to resolve within one week in December, saying it has no solution but intends to continue to hold the nation to ransom.
Arguing that “poor coordination, inefficiency and reported heavy sleazes in the petroleum sector”, under the direct supervision of the President, raises a lot of issues which require urgent action, the PDP said the President has failed to take decisive steps.
“Rather, the sector has been delivered to an APC cabal, whose mission, particularly, the desperate re-election bid, largely account for the biting fuel situation and the economic misery Nigerians suffer today,” it said.
But in his New Year broadcast on Janaury 1, President Buhari had vowed to the root of the fuel scarcity which he said was a “collective blackmail of all Nigerians.”
He had acknowledged that the Christmas and New Year holidays didn’t go well with many in the face of the lingering fuel crisis.
The President, however, decried that: “Some of our compatriots chose this period to inflict severe hardship on us all by creating unnecessary fuel scarcity across the country.”