The Christian Association of Nigeria urged Nigerians on Thursday to be patient with President Bola Tinubu and give him time to turn the country around.
The group praised Tinubu for acting quickly to prevent the strike that the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress had threatened to call in protest of the elimination of fuel subsidies.
The CAN informed the NLC and TUC that if there was ever a need for a call to action, it should be for the responsible and sensible use of the money that would have otherwise been used to subsidise petrol.
The problems were brought up at a news conference in Abuja by Methodist Bishop of the Ikeja Diocese and Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of CAN, Stephen Adegbite.
He called the fuel subsidy “a misadventure profiting the rich and politically connected,” adding that the situation got worse when local neighbours and smugglers began reaping lavish rewards at the expense of the general populace.
He praised Tinubu for his invitation to the NLC and TUC leaders for a private meeting that led to a truce and put an end to the widespread protest.
He claimed that the President’s move demonstrated that he is a leader who listens and is motivated to advance the interests of the country.
Adegbite, therefore, pleaded with Nigerians to give the President an opportunity to turn the nation around for good.
He stated, “Since May 29, 2023, when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s new administration assumed power, I have closely observed the socioeconomic events in our nation.
“The President had, upon taking office, made his now-famous ‘fuel subsidy is gone’ remark in his inauguration speech. Since then, fuel prices have doubled in accordance with market forces.
“The majority of Nigerians agreed that the action he took was necessary. It became more and more clear that the subsidy system was not helping the people it was intended to help.
“The truth is that the mishandled fuel subsidy scheme was benefiting the wealthy, the politically connected, and even worse, our regional neighbours and smugglers who enjoyed opulent returns at the expense of the populace.
“Basically, the masses who were supposed to benefit from the subsidy were not the primary or secondary beneficiaries, but the saddest part is that the people have somehow been hoodwinked and deceived into believing that the fraud of subsidy was in their favour,” he continued.
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