The 2023 presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has told Nigerians that they should expect the government to still take more difficult decisions.
Adebayo said this in the midst of the hardship faced by Nigerians as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy.
Vanguard reported that he argued that President Bola Tinubu was just fulfilling one of his campaign promises which Nigerians were aware of before they voted him into power.
He said, “Tinubu told Nigerians during his campaigns that he would remove fuel subsidies if voted as president and Nigerians went ahead to vote for him.
“That’s democracy for you and that is why you have to be 18 years old before you can go and vote. It’s an adult decision. If you decide to take a particular road, whatever traffic you meet on the road is your choice, because you were given different roads, which you could have taken.
“It is too early to cry because there are more difficult decisions that the government would have to make. Having taken this part of neoliberal economic policies, there are many choices they have to make along the way. Not all those choices will make the people happy but people should bear in mind it is a social contract they have signed with the government and if they face any difficulties along the way, they can bring it to the attention of the government but they should not assume that they have no role to play in it. That’s democracy. That is how we learn.”
He also stated that last week’s protest by the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress shouldn’t have been held because the subsidy removal was part of the promises President Tinubu, including the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party, made to Nigerians before the elections.
He stressed that what the labour unions and Nigerians should do now is to support the Tinubu administration to succeed.
On Tinubu’s promise to labour unions that the Port Harcourt Refinery would begin operations by December this year, he said that was mere aspiration because it would not happen.
“Although the president told labour that Port Harcourt Refinery would be operational by December, that’s mere aspiration. So, all those calming down talks are just a way of calming the people down,” he said.
He also stated that the Dangote refinery which is expected to start operation in August or September would also not be ready this year. He said former President Muhammadu Buhari was just accorded the honour to commission it, and not that it was ready.
“They just wanted him to have that sense of achievement that the refinery took place during his time. I can tell you that I don’t see that refinery producing anything this year; maybe towards the end of this year or early next year, but before it can fully become operational, it will be 2025,” he said.
Prince Adebayo further argued that even if the Dangote Refinery starts operation, it would not crash the price of fuel as people are speculating, saying, “What happens now is that we are merging with the international market in terms of the pricing of petroleum products. Even if we produce locally, the only way we can reduce the cost here is if the logistics is easier. So, there is no time when the price of petrol is guaranteed.”