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The Natives, Hon. Smart Edwards,

ABUJA/Nigeria: A citizens-led anti-sabotage organisation under the aegis of The Natives has commended the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his public declaration that he will remove fuel subsidy if elected as president in 2023 general elections.

The anti-sabotage group, however, promised to stand by Tinubu to carry out the plan and also hold him accountable to ensure he urgently fulfil the promise if elected as President.

The APC presidential candidate while speaking at a Business Luncheon with business owners titled, “Business Forward” on Thursday at the Wings, Victoria Island, Lagos, had promised to remove fuel subsidy if elected no matter the length of protest by Nigerian workers.

Tinubu said: “How can we be subsidising fuel consumption of Cameroon, of Niger, of Benin Republic. No matter how long you protest, we are going to remove subsidy,” he said emphatically.

But responding to the promise after an assessment parley with its regional commissioners known as the G-43, National Leader and President General of The Natives, Hon. Smart Edwards, commended the APC candidate for what he described as “a courageous statement to the oil cartels.”

In a statement released to newsmen Saturday in Abuja, the group which has large membership across all the 774 Local Government Areas in the country, lamented that Nigeria is losing over five trillion Naira to a few cartels in the name of subsidy every year.

According to Edwards, the removal of fuel subsidies is a difficult decision every government wants to make over the years, however, some cartels make it look like the Nation will not be at rest if the subsidy is removed, but that’s a big fat lie, Nigeria cannot continue to subsidise a cartel.

“How can we continue to condole the eating up of our national treasury in the name of subsidy, trillions of Naira spent every year to subsidise what exactly?

“The humanitarian initiative of President Muhammadu Buhari has about 500 Billion Naira as its budget, Ministry of Youths has close to 80 billion for the Nation’s entire youths, and that’s why many don’t get to benefit from government gestures. The country’s critical sectors don’t even enjoy a trillion in planning, so what are we doing.

“Our message to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is that if he wins the forthcoming election and anytime is ready as a President, we will stand with him, it is a bold statement he must keep and if he is elected we will hold him accountable for this.

“We are citizens and we know what we want is development, infrastructure,  growth in a secure country, not a group of people fleecing out our resources in the name of subsidy. The truth is subsidy must go.

“We, however, call on the Labour Unions, Civil Society Organisations and youngsters to prepare their minds and show understanding because removal of fuel subsidy is a policy long overdue, the sector is caged and must be unbundled. We cannot be offering cooperation to saboteurs to arbitrarily unleash untold hardship on us as citizens year in and year out. This evil work by the saboteurs must come to an end.”

While rejoicing with Nigerians for the 2022 Yuletide and asking them to be vigilance during the holidays period, the group added that “take it or leave, Nigerians need those oil subsidy funds allocated released into other sectors.

“So, at a round table, we must discuss this Subsidy again, remove it and stop the bleeding,” Hon. Smart Edwards said.

 

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