Pastor Tunde Bakare Speaks on Fuel Subsidy, Says 2012 Protest was for a Better Nigeria
Former running mate to General Muhammadu Buhari at the 2011 presidential elections, and serving overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, on Sunday blamed the federal government for not consulting widely before recently increasing the price of fuel.
The often outspoken cleric equally clarified his silence in the face of the price increase as compared to a similar fuel price increase in 2012 when he led the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) to join nationwide protests and particularly rallies held at Ojota in Lagos.
Bakare said his group was not against the economic arguments behind fuel subsidy removal in 2012. He added that he and other pro-democracy groups protested against the fuel subsidy removal in 2012 because they wanted former President Goodluck Jonathan to investigate the subsidy regime and recover stolen funds before commencing the discourse on subsidy removal.
The pastor while giving an address titled “The courage to do the right things,” said those who alleged that he kept quiet on the recent fuel price hike were not being sincere just as he stressed that he was not politically motivated to join the protest in 2012 but to seek a better Nigeria.
“We have not changed our earlier conviction in spite of a change in government. We have only acknowledged that the new government has persistently demonstrated its anti-corruption stance while seeking policy solutions to the economic crisis, though there have been gaps in policy management,” he said.
Bakare, however, said the Federal Government should have consulted extensively with stakeholders and embarked on enlightenment campaigns on the new pump price regime before introducing it.
In a series of recommendations to end the impasse, the cleric also said a Downstream Sector Bill should be sent to the National Assembly to pave the way for a completely deregulated oil sector.
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