Garba Shehu, the former Senior Special Assistant to the immediate past president, Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, June 26, has said President Tinubu wouldn’t have won the 2023 presidential election if Buhari had removed the subsidy on petrol.
In a statement titled, “Why did it take the new Tinubu/ Shettima presidency weeks to remove the petrol subsidy when Buhari didn’t do so for years fails to ask the right question” and released today June 26, Shehu said that the All Progressives Congress had an election to win and Buhari could not have removed the subsidy in the last days of his administration following the earlier removal of other forms of subsidies such as diesel subsidy, hajj/Christian pilgrim subsidy among others.
“So far I have refrained from answering these repeated questions on the removal in Nigeria of subsidies on Premium Motor Spirit, PMS and that arising from the dual rates of the Naira in the Central Bank and the parallel market: Why did Buhari “fail” to do these? First of all, my thinking is that instead of the former President answering this question, it is the Party, the All Progressives Congress that is best suited to speak and failing to do this, we are forced to say what will follow here.
Secondly, we are mindful of the fact that with a Tinubu/Shettima presidency now in place and for which there is a “New Sheriff in Town. We do not want to distract them from the onerous tasks facing them and the nation. Neither is it our wish to take the spotlight away from them in any way.
In terms of the timings of the decisions to remove fuel subsidy and unify the currency, the Tinubu/Shettima administration has done overwhelmingly well. Even more importantly, they have been most dexterous in managing the aftermath of the decisions by successfully avoiding any crisis.
The decision to remove subsidies, as in our case – and we believe in all situations – was not for the President to take all by himself. That’s why it’s important to remind ourselves – and all those who have conveniently forgotten – that the Buhari administration had been on this pathway from the very beginning in 2015.“