President Muhammadu Buhari spoke for the first time yesterday on the excruciating nationwide fuel scarcity, expressing his sympathy for Nigerians who are enduring weeks of needless queues at filling stations.
In a statement personally signed by him and posted on his twitter handle, @Mbuhari #FuelScarcity, he said the development was regrettable.
“I am being regularly briefed, especially on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC’s) interventions to ensure that there is enough petrol available during this period and beyond. The fuel scarcity being experienced nationwide is regrettable. I sympathize with all Nigerians on having to endure needless fuel queues,” he said.
The president said he had the NNPC’s assurance that the situation would improve significantly over the next few days, “as new shipments and supplies are distributed across the country.“I have also directed the regulators to step up their surveillance and bring an end to hoarding and price inflation by marketers.
“Let me also assure that the relevant agencies will continue to provide updates on the situation. I thank you all for your patience and understanding.”
Struck by the pains following the fuel scarcity, Nigerians have taken to the social media to call on President Buhari, who is also the Minister of Petroleum, to address the issue.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari yesterday came under attack from the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the nation’s economic hardship was largely caused by “sheer incompetence, gross insensitivity and shambolic policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.”
The PDP said it was disheartening that Nigerians could not merrily celebrate the yuletide due to the biting economic hardship worsened by an acute fuel shortage.It described the nation’s economic situation as a national embarrassment, which “cannot be glossed over with deceit, lies and propaganda.”
The PDP, however, urged Nigerians to overcome the very sordid situation by rallying around one another in true love as epitomised in the birth and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.The party said: “Indeed, this is the worst yuletide ever. There is no way one can sugarcoat the fact that the anguish Nigerians face today is because of the incompetence of the APC Government, which has also amply demonstrated that it does not care about the welfare and happiness of the citizens.”
The opposition party lamented that many families are completely stranded while many more could no longer afford basic needs.“Nigerians have become ravaged by economic hardship because the APC-led Federal Government has abandoned them and refused to channel the abundant resources available in the nation for the good of the people. Instead, they are heartlessly diverting such resources for their selfish political purposes while the people suffer.