FUEL SUBSIDY REMOVAL 'LL IGNITE REVOLUTION -ODIGIE-OYEGUN
As the planned removal of petroleum subsidy continues to generate concern across the country, first executive governor of Edo State, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the situation is capable of sparkling off a revolution. The former governor, who is also a national leader of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) told Daily Sun that with fuel subsidy, the economic situation in the country was still very disturbing and wondered what things would be like if it was eventually removed.
He said those around the president were making him to underestimate the situation of things in the country and the negative effect the removal of the petroleum subsidy would have on the country. The Federal Government in recent times had been toying with idea of removing subsidy on petroleum products. Though the Minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economic Team, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said President Goodluck Jonathan was still consulting on the issue, the president was silent on the issue of petroleum subsidy when he presented the 2012 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly last Tuesday, thereby fuelling speculation that the government may have tactically removed the subsidy.
Odigie-Oyegun said: 'There is no question that there is tension in the land. There is anger in the land. We should not continue to inflict more burdens on the people of this country. Nigerian is sitting on a time bomb. That is the only reason we are asking the president to tread softly on the removal of petroleum subsidy. Those around him are making him to underestimate the situation on ground.'
He said should the government go ahead with removal of the petroleum subsidy, then it would be left for President Jonathan to decide how many Nigerians he could shoot in the mass protest that would follow. The ANPP chieftain said the situation of things in the country could not continue for long, especially in the face of unaddressed government inefficiency and inadequacy.
For those who think Nigerian were too docile to push for a revolution, Odigie-Oyegun said they would be shocked by kind of revolution the continued impoverishment of Nigerians would cause.'The carmel is very docile. It can carry very heavy load. But just one extra bottle of coke can make it not to be able to function. You can continue to take Nigerians for granted. But one day they will revolt. I cannot say it is today or tomorrow or next year. But the situation will not continue for long,' he stated.