*Urges him to go after ‘subsidy cabal’
John Shiklam in Kaduna
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has asked President Bola Tinubu to go after those he described as “subsidy cabal” and recover all the money they stashed in foreign banks.
Dogara, commended steps so far taken by the Tinubu, since he assumed office on May 29, describing the President’s actions as a departure from the past.
Speaking in an interview with journalists shortly after a Thanksgiving service by the immediate past General Secretary of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), Rev. Yunusa Madu, yesterday, at ECWA, Lemu Road, Tudun Wada, Kaduna, Dogara said Tinubu has made, “fantastic decisions” and should be supported whether anyone voted for him or not.
Dogora, who was commenting on the appointments of service chiefs and the removal of fuel subsidy, said if the president would hold fort and resist those forces that had always made it difficult for presidents to succeed, he would succeeds.
“As a matter of fact, so far so good, the steps that have been taken, whether you supported the president or you didn’t vote for him, I think, he is doing very well, he is showing leadership in terms of appointments,” the former speaker said.
He said, “I have always want a situation whereby we can prioritise competence above loyalty and he seems to be that.
“That is a clear departure from the past. If he sticks to it, it is not the beginning but the end that matters.”
Dogara said further that if the president, “is able to hold fort and resist those forces that have always made it difficult for presidents to succeed, I think he will succeed.”
Dogara declared total support for the for the removal of fuel subsidy and commended the president for being courageous enough.
He said, “I have twitted about removal of fuel subsidy, I support it 100 per cent because if care is not taken, the government will run into a situation whereby the government cannot even pay salaries and render basic services.
“I know that it has brought a lot of pains to our people. I have urged the President and his administration to do all within their power to recover the money from some of these subsidy cabals who have stashed this money in foreign banks, so that the money they had taken, running into trillions, that were illegally collected, can now plough back into resolving some of the problems created by the subsidy withdrawal.
“So it was a fantastic decision, we stand by him on this one. Like I said before, whether you support him or not, this is what is truthful, this is what we ought to have done since yesterday (in the past).
“I thank him for being courageous enough to that and he should show that courage by pursuing these subsidy cabals, they said they are strong, they are not stronger than Nigeria. Nigeria has a standing army, EFCC, police, Navy, these people don’t have any of those institutions.
“They should go after them and recover our money.”
Also speaking in an interview with journalists after the Thanksgiving service, the President of ECWA Rev. Stephen Baba Panya who doubles as Vice President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said the Tinubu is making deliberate efforts to carry every section along.
“I want to say that so far so good, the President is making deliberate efforts to make sure that appointment of security chiefs are not lopsided and one sided.”
According to him, “That is a very good start. We are praying that the lord will continue to guide and lead him and see him through the challenges facing Nigeria…”
He however said Nigerians were watching to see how things will unfold.
“We are watching to see as things unfold more and more. You don’t too speak early on things, you wait and see before you speak at the time God want you to speak”, he said.
On removal of fuel subsidy, CAN’s Vice President maintained that the problem with fuel subsidy was the corruption associated with it.
Panya said, “The problem is not with the removal of fuel subsidy. The problem is with the corruption that is associated with the fuel subsidy.
“Let me tell you that every country subsidises one thing or the other for its citizens.
In this country, it is only right that the government subsidises something for the general benefits of the people which is fuel.
“However, the problem of corruption associated with subsidy made nonsense of it.
“There is no way anybody can say such corrupt subsidy should continue.
“Whether this is the right time to do it or not, we leave it to the leadership. But we are praying that no matter what happened with the removal of subsidy, God will work things out for good for citizens of this country.”
Panya, said urged the government to plough back the gains of the subsidy removal into projects and programmes that would benefit the people.
The ECWA President also condemned the persistent killings in communities in Plateau state and called on security agencies to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
“We find no justifiable reasons for the killings in Plateau state.
“We condemned in totality. We are just praying that the story will not continue as before where the killers will not be apprehended and brought to justice.
“If there is no justice being done, this kind of thing will continue.
“So our prayer is that the security organs on the Plateau will up their responsibility and bring those behind the killings to justice,” he said.