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APC campaign to NLC: By backing Obi’s presidential bid, do you support removal of petrol subsidy?

  The presidential campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Nigeria Labour Congress to state its position on pe...


The presidential campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Nigeria Labour Congress to state its position on petrol subsidy.


The NLC is among the groups that have declared support for the presidential bid of Peter Obi, candidate of the Labour Party (LP).


On Monday, Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, while speaking at a retreat of the LP, said the union will mobilise its members across the 774 LGAs to achieve victory for Obi in the 2023 presidential election.


Obi had said part of his plans if he becomes president, would be to remove petrol subsidy.


 “Going forward, we must look for ways to move Nigeria beyond oil. We must end this criminality called ‘oil subsidy’,” he had said.


Over the years, the NLC has protested against the plan by the government to remove petrol subsidy.


In November 2021, the government announced the plan to remove petrol subsidy, but it was met with a pushback from key stakeholders, including the NLC which threatened to embark on a nationwide protest.


In January, the federal government postponed the plan indefinitely, citing “high inflation and economic hardship”.


In a statement issued on Saturday, Festus Keyamo, spokesperson of the APC presidential campaign council, said by supporting Obi’s presidential bid, the NLC should disclose its current position on petrol subsidy.


“We note that the leadership of the organized labour under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday, September 13, 2022, at a national retreat of the Labour Party in Abuja, promised to mobilise its members across the 774 local government areas in Nigeria to ensure victory for Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, in next year’s presidential election,” the statement reads.


“We also note that in several interviews he granted in the last few months and weeks, Mr Peter Obi has vowed to totally remove subsidy on petrol if elected President. We also note NLC’s long-standing opposition to the total removal of fuel subsidy. Other left-leaning supporters of the Labour Party were also present at the event to cheer Mr Peter Obi.


 “Consequently, the following questions are urgently begging for answers by the leadership of the NLC:


“Before adopting Mr Peter Obi as its candidate, did the leadership of the NLC have a discussion with him on the issue of removal of fuel subsidy?


“If they did have that discussion, did Mr. Peter Obi agree to back down on the issue of subsidy removal? Was that a basis for supporting him? If he did not back down on the issue, did organised Labour agree with him?


“If no such discussion is held, does it mean the leadership of the NLC now fully supports the removal of fuel subsidy? Or will that not be reckless of the NLC to adopt a candidate without thoroughly interrogating the candidate on his policies as they affect the Nigerian workers or the masses? The NLC must make a public statement and come clean on this.


 “If the excuse is that Mr Peter Obi has said that the money saved will be used in other critical areas of the economy, how is that different from what Buhari’s Government is also saying?


“These questions have become necessary because Nigerians deserve to know whether organised Labour’s adopted party, which is the Labour Party, supports and promotes a policy that the leadership of Labour opposes in another breath when it is adopted by the government of the day. They cannot be blowing hot and cold.”

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