Fiery preacher and General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has accused the Federal Government of failing to consult widely before increasing the pump price of petrol.
Bakare, who spoke in Lagos when he briefed journalists also explained why his group, Save Nigeria Group, SNG, protested the removal of subsidy in 2012 by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to Bakare, the SNG was not opposed to the economic arguments for the removal of subsidy but wanted the government to investigate the subsidy regime and recover stolen funds before commencing the discourse on subsidy removal.
In his address titled “The courage to do the right things,” Bakare said people who have alleged that he had been silent on the fuel price hike were not sincere, adding that he was not politically motivated to join the protest in 2012 but to seek a better Nigeria.
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.”
Bakare also said the Federal Government should have consulted extensively with stakeholders and embarked on enlightenment campaigns on the new pump price regime before introducing it.
“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.”
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