The South East chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has frowned at the call by some Civil Society Organizations for the resignation of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, for his inability to proffer solution to the prolonged petrol scarcity in the country.
Kachikwu has come under heavy criticism over his comments that the fuel crisis going on in the country may likely continue for the next two months.
He also declared he has no “magic powers” to find an immidiate solution to the fuel crisis.
The national leader of the governing APC, Bola Tinubu, on Saturday took a swipe on 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 quit his office over the prolonged scarcity of petrol.
The groups pointed out that the inability of the minister of state to bring back normalcy to the current fuel crisis was a depiction of 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.
Reacting to the development, 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.
It said those clamouring for the Minister’s sack should not forget the transparent manner Mr. Kachikwu and his staff handled 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.