Sani disagrees with Soludo over subsidy removal, sale of refineries

Port Harcourt refinery.

Port Harcourt refinery.

RIGHTS activist and Senator representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Shehu Sani, has criticised former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo for suggesting to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to remove fuel subsidy and sell the nation’s refineries. He said that the move was capable of engendering a socio-economic crisis that “would lead to the downfall of the present government.”

Sani, who spoke at the weekend in Kaduna while receiving officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and some leaders of Baptist Church who paid him a courtesy visit, lampooned Soludo for recommending fuel subsidy removal and other policy options which could not be implemented by former President Olusegun Obasanjo which he served under as the apex bank’s chief executive for five years.

According to him, the economic policy packages suggested by Soludo could only worsen the living conditions of Nigerians, incite tension, crisis and ultimately bring down Buhari’s government.

Sani, who conceded that the beauty of democracy was the fundamental right of people to criticise and oppose, however, noted that the role of opposition must played patriotically.

“I will use this opportunity to respond to the critics of the present administration of Buhari. Though, in a democracy, there is need for people to criticise and oppose. That is a fundamental right. Opposition is the oxygen of democracy. Without opposition, we will simply be sliding into a dictatorship. People need to speak out and criticise the government, so that the government will always be on its toes,” he said.

The senator, however, argued that, “in the last 48 hours, the Nigerian media space has been outwashed with a paper presentation by Professor Charles Soludo, critical of the economic policies and strategies of President Buhari.

“There is nothing wrong with anybody criticising, we need criticisms and alternative points of view for us to understand whether we are wrong or right. But, if criticisms are made, it is better we take them into a moral filtration to see where it is coming from and what it was intended to achieve and from who.

“Professor Soludo called on President Buhari to remove fuel subsidy. This was a man who was governor of central bank for five years, under a government that served for eight years. And if the government of Olusegun Obasanjo was not able to remove fuel subsidy while he was a leading figure in the economic circle, is it the government of Buhari that will be told to remove fuel subsidy,” he queried.

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