THE Presidency last night came to the defense of President Muhammadu Buhari over the removal of the petroleum subsidy that led to the increase in the petroleum pump price saying previous administrations lacked the courage to take the action.
It also said President Buhari had to take the difficult decisions, both popular and unpopular, stressing that as a leader, he was demonstrating the right courage to take such decisions as they become necessary, given present circumstances Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who said this in a statement in Abuja last night, noted that subsidy removal had long been seen as a game-changer by successive administrations which lacked the courage to implement the reforms.
It said more than the expectations of critics, history would be kind to President Buhari for eliminating the evil of corruption embedded in subsidies. The statement read: “The All Progressives Congress, APC, came to power in 2015, defeating an incumbent administration amid very high expectations from President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Five years on, the administration has worked hard to meet many expectations, but still, there are certain tough decisions that had to be taken to put back the country on the path of sustainable development.
“To stop the mismanagement of taxpayers’ money, eliminate corruption associated with subsidies on petroleum products, power, fertilizer among others, the administration decided to implement long-delayed reforms, withdraw and allow the market to determine their prices.
“Over the last few days, one claim acquiring a potent resonance with the online community, sections of the labor movement and the opposition are that the actions are ill-timed and ill-advised. “There is nothing new in the fact that the country is today fighting multiple challenges along with COVID-19, including low earnings, near-collapse of the oil market, floods, threats of terrorism and banditry but the challenges notwithstanding, a good government must make decisions for the people’s good.
“As President, Muhammadu Buhari takes these difficult decisions, both popular and unpopular, and as a leader, he is demonstrating the right courage to take such decisions as they become necessary because of present circumstances. “History will be kind to President Buhari because, in addition to his amazing ability to command votes, he will be remembered as the President who made real contributions to economic and overall national development by eliminating the evils of corruption embedded in subsidies.
“In any democracy, the most important certificate in governance is acceptance by the people and, with the support of ordinary Nigerians, President Buhari has shown a rare determination to carry out the bold initiatives as these are driven by nothing other than the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
“In carrying out the reforms, the President needs the support and understanding of all citizens, inclusive of the opposition parties, the labor movement, and civil society groups. “In these challenging times, the President is pushing development goals, not politics, and history will judge him in favorable terms rather than his critics in the new media and the opposition.”