I’ll support subsidy removal under Buhari – Bakare

The Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has said he will support fuel subsidy removal under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Bakare, who was Buhari’s running mate in the 2011 presidential election, said this while delivering his State of the Nation address, titled, ‘Roadmap to successful change,’ in his church in Lagos on Sunday.

The Convener of the Save Nigeria Group, said although he opposed the removal of subsidy and joined in the anti-subsidy removal protest in 2012, he would support the move now.

He explained that the protest against subsidy removal under former President Goodluck Jonathan was because the plan was only a ruse to cover up the diversion of stolen subsidy funds.

He said, “Given the resurgence of the subsidy conundrum, it has become needful to pre-empt and inform those who have been wondering if our January 2012 protests were organised in error. Let me reiterate that the Save Nigeria Group did not mobilise the people of this country to the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, merely to protest the removal of the fuel subsidy but to challenge the corruption that defined the fuel subsidy regime.

“We said then that it was not a dregulation, as was being claimed by the government, but a hike in fuel price. We demanded the prosecution of those indicted in the damning report of the Farouk Lawan committee, a phenomenon we refer to as ‘Kleptoric kleptocracy unlimited’, where for instance, N999m was reportedly paid 129 times totalling N128,871,000,000 to some companies by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.

“Four years later, those indicted persons have not been prosecuted. Do we still need to wonder why corruption is so endemic and very pervasive in our nation today?”

He, however, urged Buhari to channel funds saved from the removal of subsidy to other critical areas.

Bakare also called on Buhari to immediately sack the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and probe him.

He explained that it would be unfair and improper to prosecute the immediate past National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, for allegedly misappropriating the money meant for arms while the CBN governor, who released the money to Dasuki, was allowed to remain in office.

The cleric, who hailed Buhari’s anti-corruption war, argued that the best way to bring about change was to implement the report of the National Conference.

He explained that the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress and the confab report were very similar.

Bakare said states must be given more financial autonomy in the face of their inability to pay salaries, adding that Nigeria had structural defects and only a restructuring would curb corruption and waste.

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