A coalition of civil society groups, Civil Society Coalition for Positive Change and Stand Up for Nigeria (SUN) have issued a 72 hours ultimatum to the Minister of State for Petroleum and NNPC GMD, Dr Ibe Kachikwu to resign from office over the prolonged scarcity of fuel which it said has brought Nigerians severe hardship.
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.
Comrade Venatius Torkuma and Labake Boboye National President and Executive Director of the groups respectively in a joint statement issued and made available to journalists on Sunday, said the Minister of State for Petroleum has failed to justify his appointment.
It would be recalled that Kachikwu who doubles as Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had said, in reaction to public criticism of his handling of the fuel scarcity, that Nigerians should count themselves fortunate that the NNPC under his stewardship has been able to bring in the amount of fuel it is currently doing. The group described the statement as careless and insulting to Nigerians who voted for the current administration.
The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari to fire Kachikwu should he refuse to resign. It stated that the statement by the Minister of State that he was not trained as a magician is an admittance of his incompetence. The groups threatened to take to the street on Wednesday in “a mother of all protest” in the nation’s capital to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and members of the international community should the minister refuse to resign.
The statement said, “Nigerians fought hard to vote in this government of change. But to hear the minister say the kind of things he said is not only insulting to Nigerians but showed his gross incompetence. Nigerians will not tolerate such recklessness. In case the minister needs a reminder, the era of incompetence is long gone with the previous administration. “Since he has admitted that he cannot restore normalcy to the current fuel crisis, he should immediately resign his position. Indeed, Kachikwu was not coerced to take this job. He accepted the job and its responsibilities knowingly.
He also must remember that he does not own NNPC. This also is not a private company that owes nothing to the public except the duty of fair dealing. He is a public servant. The seat he sits upon is owned by Nigerians not by him.”
The group added that the fuel shortage is severely biting for the average person and to hear the minister make such statement puts the Buhari administration in bad light.