The outburst of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) last week in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital is already yielding positive results, party leaders informed DAILY INDEPENDENT on Thursday.
Tinubu while speaking during the presidential campaign had alleged that the current fuel scarcity in the country and the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign banknotes, were contrived to sabotage his victory at next month’s election.
The former Lagos state governor whose outburst was seen by many as a direct attack on the president, who is also the Minister of Petroleum, vowed that he would win, despite the disruptions.
He also told APC members and supporters at the party’s presidential campaign rally that the fuel scarcity and naira redesign project were artificially created to deny him victory at the February 25 presidential election.
“This is a revolution. This election is a revolution. We shall take over from them. They don’t want an election to take place, but we won’t accept it. They want to hide under fuel scarcity to cause the crisis so that there won’t be an election,” Tinubu had said.
Prominent leaders of the party who aligned with Tinubu’s position include Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, a former Minister of Aviation and Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC).
Also the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari shared a video of Governor Nasir El-Rufai saying that elements in Aso Villa are working against the APC and Tinubu’s presidential ambition.
Speaking with our correspondent, a presidency official said Tinubu’s outbursts is already paying off as the CBN is already relaxing its hard stance on the cashless policy while the NNPC has also assured that the fuel scarcity will end in few days and won’t affect the election.
The presidency official who is a former Senator in the South-West region said many APC officials who were not “lifting a finger to support Tinubu’s presidential bid are now showing serious commitment”.
“From the look of things, Tinubu is gaining the upper hand. Just few hours ago, the CBN has directed commercial banks to commence paying the newly redesigned naira notes to customers over the counter in a bid to address the long queues at Automated Teller Machines nationwide. That is one of the advantages of Asiwaju speaking out“.
“Also, the NNPC has also promised to make fuel available to Nigerians. When Asiwaju said the fuel scarcity will affect the elections, some people faulted him but few days later, the INEC Chairman also shared similar views“.
“So, contrary to what people thought that his outburst will negatively affect his relationship with President Buhari, it has further deepened it as the President has agreed with him on the need to relax the naira redesign policies”.
“I think this is the kind of leader Nigeria needs in 2023. A courageous leader who can speak the truth to power no matter whose ox is gored”.
Also the NNPC Limited on Thursday said the lingering petrol scarcity across the country is not a deliberate action to sabotage the forthcoming general elections.
The NNPC Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, disclosed this while speaking on NTA Good morning Nigeria programme Thursday morning.
Kyari said there is a very cumbersome logistics that has disrupted the supply chain of petroleum products.
“Today, based on the records on our system, there are over 38,000 trucks on our roads just carrying petroleum products and this is the reality,” he said.
“By the way, I think it is very good also to say that no matter what you do, once there is an arbitrage environment, some people will take advantage of it. And it is very contrary, we all respect the comments, I don’t think anybody sat down and orchestrated that there should be scarcity so that it will impact the election. I don’t think anyone did this. If it is so, we will know”.
“But it is not true because the reality is that these glitches started well early in 2022. It has nothing to do with this election period. Once you have a challenge of this nature, it is a cyclic thing and they will continue to come up. And then once you have arbitrage issues, you will have a glitch.
“Today let me just put it clearly, our redundancy in terms of petroleum product supply is just three days in this country. When you have a glitch that extends longer than three days, you will need another three weeks to stabilise it,” he said.
According to Kyari, irrespective of measure put in place, whatever causes a three-day glitch is a nightmare to tackle.
“We will always prepare. That is why we put everything possible to avoid glitches from happening. I don’t think anyone will sit down and say, let’s create this so that there will be an impact on the election and so on,” he said.