BEVERLY HILLS, June 07, (THEWILL) – Atiku Abubakar, former Vice-President, has revealed that Adams Oshiomhole, chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), stood against fuel subsidy removal when Olusegun Obasanjo was president of Nigeria.
In a tweet on Saturday, Atiku, who was vice-president to Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007, said he was the one assigned to negotiate with the the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) whose President was Oshiomhole, but his efforts were frustrated.
“The Obasanjo government in which I served commenced a phased subsidy withdrawal. I was tasked with negotiating with then NLC Chairman and current APC Chairman who stood strongly against it,” he wrote.
He added that “nonetheless, we achieved two phases of subsidy removal of fuel and complete withdrawal of subsidy of diesel before we left office.”
The decision to remove the subsidy and increase fuel price had been opposed by the NLC under Oshiomhole, leading to series of protests across the country at the time.
Obasanjo then had maintained that it was not sustainable as the government had spent more than $1 billion on fuel subsidies to offset high oil prices promising that money from increased fuel prices would be used to eradicate poverty.
In similar circumstances, removal of fuel subsidy was also rejected under the Goodluck Jonathan administration leading to protests and rallies against the administration by a coalition which included the NLC.