From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Erstwhile Secretary of the foremost northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony N.Z. Sani has disagreed with President Muhammadu Buhari’s back down on earlier planned removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit popularly known as petrol.
To him, Nigerians would understand the need for such tough but necessary decision especially if there is a blueprint on how the money that will accrue from the subsidy removal will be distributed to cushion the effect on Nigerians over time.
Sani told Saturday Sun that, because of the dire financial situation of the country, he had opted for the removal of petroleum subsidy.
He further said, to appease the restive labour, he had suggested that any savings from the removal of petroleum subsidy be used for the development of health and education through an agency akin to the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).
“But it seems the labour has arm-twisted the government into reversing its determination to remove the subsidy. Some people attribute the decision to the president’s sensitivity to the plight and yearnings of the people while some others believe it is because it is the elections year.
“I agreed with the maxim that in matters of public affairs, there is time to stay the course, there is time to make compromises and there is time to let go, all for the larger good of all. Yet we must agree that we are in extenuating circumstances, which should make the president locate the courage of his conviction and act appropriately.
“Nigerians are also expected to know that the good things of life are not inevitable and attained through ceaseless hard work by all, and not by leaders alone. I agreed with Igbos when they say, ‘to be a man is not a day’s job’”