Subsidy removal: No instant solution to Nigeria’s problems – Tinubu

Subsidy removal: No instant solution to Nigeria’s problems – Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu has said that the solution to Nigeria’s problem cannot be like instant coffee, noting that what the country is going through is like the pain of birth but after it will come merriment.

Speaking at the public presentation of “Brutally Frank,” the autobiography of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, in Abuja on Thursday, he affirmed that the country is going through a difficult stage, but assured that the problems will be surmounted.

Tinubu pointed out that the federal government has started to provide palliatives such as the distribution of grains and provision of mass transit buses.

Tinubu, who was represented by the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF), George Akume, said that even though Nigeria is structurally complex and structurally difficult, it is not difficult to manage.

He added: “Your Excellency, this country’s structurally complex and structurally difficult but can never be difficult to manage. And that is why the President said I should tell you our polarities, our diverse cultures, languages; our religions constitute a source of strength.

“And since he came in, he has demonstrated enough for the management of this diversity through appointment of person, citizens to key strategic positions for the past many years, no south east indigenes have been appointed to the position of Minister of works. That is part of management of this diversity.

“And he has also asked me to tell this gathering that we are going through a difficult phase in the history of this country. But these pains are pains of birth, birth of a new nation. And that if you want to celebrate a child, a baby, and then the mother must go through some pain. But at the end of the day, there is joy. There is merriment when the baby arrives. And we will certainly be there.

“Solutions to problems can never be as instant as coffee. But we must certainly be there.

“I know the removal of fuel subsidy has created some things. And that is why palliatives are being put in place of 100 trucks, fertilizers have been sent to the States, 100 trucks of grains have been sent and more are coming and more buses are also coming.

“We can endure this for a moment. What we’re going through today is for a better tomorrow. Nations are great because citizens have hope. They have hope that tomorrow will be better than today.”

The president expressed his respect for Chief Clark who he said he recognized as “part of the Nigerian legend,” adding: “You are the Iroko of the south out the Eagle of the nation. And you believe in the unity of this country. And it has been demonstrated in your book personally written by you.”

According to President Tinubu, “Chief E. K. Clark belongs to that very rare form of extraordinary men, Patriot who had at any point in time, would be relied upon to stop any efforts that could lead to the dismemberment of this country.”

In his address, Gowon under whose administration Chief Clark served as the Federal Commissioner for Information and Foreign Affairs, said that even though the foremost South-South leader, was a person of strong character, he put forward his views respectfully.

He said Clark, who is the only surviving member of his cabinet, helped explain enhancement policies and enhancing national unity.

Gowon, who was the chairman of the occasion, said: “I can assure you I’ve never had any difficulty or argument with him. It was most amicable and respectfully given. However, considering a strong personality, there were of course times that he would vehemently disagree with his colleagues, commissioners and military officers and worked hard to convince them of why his own position is better than theirs.

“He was helpful not only in explaining government policies and programs in the efforts to rebuild our unity in the country. I also find him useful in our vision of building a common identity within the West African sub-region.”

The former Head of State noted that “Brutally Frank” is a good chronicle of the events that happened under his administration.

While hoping that the younger generation can read the book and learn from it, Gowon added: “I, therefore, found his personality and partnership skills assets in visiting various West African countries to canvass the need for us to have a common regional body which today is known as ECOWAS.

“Of course, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs certainly did a very good job along with his efforts.

“So this book, ‘Brutally Frank,’ therefore, is a very useful chronicle of what transpired in Nigeria during his lifetime of service. I am hopeful that the younger generations would be better informed on the experiences, which has brought the country to what it is today on which our president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu who would have been here with us but represents the centre of our common aspirations of peace, unity and progress.”

Also speaking, former President Goodluck Jonathan said Clark’s name should be one of the few Nigerians written in letters of gold for his invaluable contributions to the unity and progress of the country.

He said: “In fact, Clark is one of those few Nigerians his name should be written in letters of gold in our political history book. And not because he’s my father but I knew his contribution. When I set up the 2014 National Conference, there was a debate about percentages of 70 percent or two third or a quarter or whatever that could make them to come up and agree on something.

“And most of the resolutions were not voted, people agreed. And from the information I got, Clark was one of the fathers that worked behind to make sure that north, south, east and west agree on most of those things.”

The Senate President, Godswill Akpabio was the keynote speaker at the event while former Governor of Edo State, Prof Oserheimen Osunbor, was the book reviewer.

Among those that attended the event are prominent political and traditional rulers including Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma, who was the chief launcher; Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi; wife of late former Head of State, Maryam Abacha; traditional rulers including Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Amanyanabo (King) of Twon-Brass, and the first Military Governor of Rivers State, Alfred Papapreye Diete-Spiff; Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, and Attah Igala, Àtá Matthew Opaluwa, Segun Awolowo, among others.

Among the governors present at the occasion are those of Edo, Delta, Bauchi, Taraba, and Plateau states.

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