23 May 2016
Pastor Tunde Bakare, founder of the Latter Rain Assembly has shared his opinion on why himself and other pro-democracy groups did not protest against the fuel subsidy removal implemented by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
He addressed journalists in Lagos on Sunday over the fuel price hike. This comes relevant to understand as his Save Nigeria Group kicked against the subsidy removal in 2012 when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was President. Pastor Bakare explained that then, he requested that the President investigate the subsidy regime and recover stolen funds before starting out on a discourse on subsidy removal.
According to him, the current situation differed significantly from the “corruption-ridden 2012 subsidy crisis” which he condemned then.
He said, “in 2012, we were not against the economic arguments behind fuel subsidy removal. Instead, we wanted the government to investigate the subsidy regime, bring culprits in the maladministration of that regime to book and recover stolen funds before commencing the policy discourse around subsidy removal.
“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.”
“We had expected that, in response to our call earlier in the year, the government would have consulted extensively with stakeholders and embarked upon extensive communication and enlightenment campaigns across the social spectrum, with particular attention to the middle class and the grassroots, on the new price regime prior to its introduction.
“This would have been a better-received sequence than the sudden policy introduction and the after-the-fact approach to informing and enlightening Nigerians.”