The South East chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has condemned the call by some Civil Society Organizations that the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, should resign or be fired for his inability to find a solution to the lingering petrol crisis in the country.
Mr. Kachikwu has come under fire over his comments that the fuel scarcity being experienced in the country may likely continue for the next two months.
He also said he has no “magic” to find a solution to the problem before that time.
A leader of the governing APC, Bola Tinubu, on Saturday lambasted the petroleum minister, saying his comments showed a lack of respect and empathy to suffering Nigerians.
A coalition of civil society groups, Civil Society Coalition for Positive Change and Stand Up for Nigeria, SUN, on Sunday issued a 72-hour ultimatum to Mr. Kachikwu to resign from office over the prolonged scarcity of fuel.
The groups stated that the inability of the minister of state to restore normalcy to the current fuel crisis shows his incompetence to manage the situation.
Venatius Torkuma and Labake Boboye, National President and Executive Director of the groups respectively, in a joint statement said the Minister of State for Petroleum has failed to justify his appointment.
Kachikwu will not resign
The South East APC in a statement signed by Osita Okechukwu said Mr. Tinubu is not only “politically correct but has the constitutional rights to condemn the awkward joke made by the Hon Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu.
“However, the South East Zone of the All Progressives Congress (APC) do not subscribe to the call for his resignation”.
The party said those calling for the Minister’s resignation should not forget the transparent manner Mr. Kachikwu and his staff deployed in the petroleum product importation and fuel supply chain; a policy, they said, has saved Nigeria over N500 billion.
“May we also remind those who call for his resignation, how the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) turned the petroleum product importation and fuel supply chain into a slush fund, recklessly increased the cost geometrically from N634 billion in 2010 to N1.6 trillion in 2012. In 2013, N888 billion was officially budgeted with a supplementary budget of N232 billion in the same year, making an average N1 trillion per annum.
“It is our considered opinion that Kachikwu should stay, for bringing sanity to the petroleum product import and fuel supply chain in the last 10 months,” it said.