The South-South and the South-East regional chapters of the All Progressives Congress have thrown their weight behind the recent unabashed criticism of the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, by the National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu.
In a statement released on Sunday by the APC’s National Vice-Chairman, South South region, Hilliard Eta, the minister was advised to resign from his position if he is unable to discharge his duties.
The statement, which was titled: “No split in APC: Tinubu right to critique Kachikwu,” said that: “The South-South Chapter of the All Progressives Congress feels that Kachikwu has not entirely cast off the orientation of the Peoples Democratic Party, where he was and this is manifest in his actions and utterances such as the recent one that attracted opprobrium from many Nigerians.”
“Mr. Kachikwu must not be a cog in the wheel of progress and he should do the needful by resigning honourably if he is not capable of doing his part by effectively running the ministry assigned to him.”
The statement noted that Kachikwu was an important member of the buhari administration, hence “it is incumbent on him to shed his haughtiness and climb down from his high horse to face his duties squarely.”
On Tinubu’s criticism of Kachikwu, the South SOuth APC stated that: “This progressive ideology strongly emphasises government as a tool for service to the people who are the custodians of power in the first instance.”
“In line with this, it is not wrong or out of place for Tinubu to caution the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, owing to the anti-progressive statements he made in the Presidential Villa on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, while fielding questions from journalists on the persisting scarcity of petrol.”
On its on part, the South-East chapter of the APC said that Tinubu, as a democrat and patriotic Nigerian, had given voice to the pains of Nigerians.
In a telephone chat with The Punch, spokesperson for the South-East Zone, Osita Okechukwu however, stated that calls for Kachikwu’s resignation were hasty and unwarranted, given the problems at hand.
“Our National Leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, re-echoed the anger of the Nigerian people about the current situation we have found ourselves with regards to the shortage of petrol.”
“We have been privileged to have attended the recent meeting the President held with stakeholders in the oil and gas sector where he outlined his policies and programmes with regards to how he intends to deal with the problem.”
“It was part of his commitment to resolving these issues that made him (the President) take up the responsibility of the Minister of Petroleum.”
“He has visited Saudi Arabia and Qatar and he has made a personal commitment to supporting private sector investment in the sector. Having this as a background, we wish to state that calls for Kachikwu to resign are hasty at this point.”