The All Progressives Congress (APC) asked President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the fuel subsidy, but he refused, according to Nasir el-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna.
The APC, he insisted, had not made any commitments to preserve fuel subsidies or redesign naira notes.
when speaking on the Channels Television show Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, El-Rufai stated that the redesign of the naira was not a party policy but rather a choice he made.
As a “Nigeria problem,” he claimed that the party had asked the president to end the fuel subsidy.
Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), announced the redesign of the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes in October 2022. He urged Nigerians to deposit their old notes before January 31, 2023, when they would no longer be accepted as legal tender.
Buhari has endorsed the policy and stated that “there’s no going back” despite the deadline being moved to February 10.
In the meantime, Bola Tinubu, the APC’s presidential candidate, said that saboteurs were behind the ongoing fuel shortage and the redesigned naira in order to sabotage the next elections.
El-Rufai claimed that the president kept the subsidy because he thought that removing it would harm Nigerians.
“The problem is not the APC government but the people of Nigeria who are not willing to face the truth. People are paying N300 to N500 per litre in part of the country and they have to queue for hours to get this all because of this unsustainable and broken down subsidy regime that we have chosen to maintain for the past 50 years. It has not worked,” he said.
“It is not an APC problem, it is a Nigeria problem because today if president Buhari said remove subsidy, the NLC will be out on the street protesting. We have had that anytime the price slightly increases.
“It is a national conversation. The presidential candidates, including Atiku Abubakar, Peter Obi, and Bola Tinubu have said they will remove the fuel subsidies. They have to unless the country will go bankrupt. The next government must remove it otherwise the country will collapse.
“This fuel subsidy requires a national conversation. It is not a partisan thing, it has been going on for years, we tried to solve it under the Buhari administration but we were sabotaged and we are where we are.
“And to be honest, we have had the conversation at the level of the national economic council chaired by the vice president and we all agreed it should go. It was Buhari himself that took the decision that this subsidy will hurt the poor and he won’t do it.
“That is why our presidential candidate in the same party is saying he will remove it. It is not a party position but the personal position of the president.
“If you were at our party, we didn’t promise that we were going to keep the fuel subsidy or redesign the currency. It isn’t in our manifesto. You need to separate the personal decisions of some people in the villa from the manifesto of the party. It is important to understand that.”