During an interactive session with traditional rulers organized by the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu expressed his support for the removal of fuel subsidy, stating that his administration made the right decision. The President emphasized that Nigeria could no longer sustain the practice of feeding smugglers.
A statement issued by the State House Director of Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye, revealed that Tinubu delivered these remarks in Abuja. He further warned that if the subsidy were to continue, it would have detrimental effects on the nation, potentially bringing Nigeria to its knees.
Addressing the traditional rulers directly, Tinubu’s words were as follows: “I am grateful that you are paying attention to what I have been doing. You have paid attention to the subsidy removal.
“Why should we, in good heart and sense, feed smugglers and be ‘Father Christmas’ to neighboring countries, even though they say not every day is Christmas?
“The elephant that was going to bring Nigeria to its knees is the subsidy. A country that cannot pay salaries, and we say we have the potential to encourage ourselves. I think we did the right thing.”
Tinubu urged the traditional leaders to use their influence to instill confidence in Nigerians, emphasizing that fuel prices would eventually decrease. He reassured them that his administration would adopt an open-door policy, attentively considering the aspirations of Nigerians to actualize the nation’s abundant potential.
“We are all ears. We are ready to listen at any given time. I promise you an open-door policy, and that is the way I will go. That open-door policy is for you to call me and send to me at any given time any concern that you might have.
“We may not have it right 100 percent of the time, but we must get it right 90 percent of the time for this country,” he added.
Additionally, the President committed to prioritize national security, striving to ensure that every Nigerian can rest peacefully with a sense of security. He strongly denounced crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region, attributing it to a small fraction of the population.
“We need to tame those involved in this sabotage, and we will work as hard as possible to ensure that the diversity of this country is used for its prosperity, growth, and stability,” he said.
“I promise you an open-door policy, and that is the way I will go. That open-door policy is for you to call me and send to me at any given time any concern that you might have.
“We may not have it right 100 percent of the time, but we must get it right 90 percent of the time for this country,” Tinubu added.
In response to the concerns raised by the traditional rulers regarding the challenges faced by the country, Tinubu provided reassurance by stating, “Worry not because the country is in good hands.”
During discussions on the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, Tinubu urged the traditional rulers to advise individuals aspiring for elective positions on the importance of managing their ambitions and fostering unity within the legislative body. He also expressed his willingness to collaborate with any elected representative.
The Chairman of the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar, pledged the unwavering support and loyalty of traditional rulers from all six geo-political zones to President Tinubu. He assured the President of their continuous prayers as he leads the country forward under his Renewed Hope agenda.
“We are 100 percent in support of your government, and we believe in the will of the Almighty Allah, you will move this country forward.
“We will contribute our quota to the development of the country once you reach out to us,” the Sultan added.
The Co-Chairman and Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, expressed his satisfaction with the unity and resilience demonstrated by the country in the face of challenges. Nevertheless, he urged President Tinubu not to underestimate the influence and capabilities of traditional rulers in supporting and enhancing the programs and aspirations of the new government.