Former Senior Special Assistant to the President (Office of the First Lady), Ike Neliaku, has asserted that deliberate actions by certain individuals have caused the dysfunctional state of refineries across the nation, driven by their self-centered motives.
Speaking to Newsmen on Saturday, Ike expressed his disappointment in the deplorable condition of the country’s refineries, alleging that despite significant financial resources being misappropriated, the refineries remain inoperable.
He expressed regret that the National Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) was not consulted prior to President Bola Tinubu’s announcement on May 29, 2023, regarding the removal of subsidies.
Ike stated, “Regrettably, consistent leadership failures have eroded the foundation of trust, which should be built on principles of fairness, equity, and justice. This is one of the key issues. Many Nigerians are aware that the so-called fuel subsidy was not presented to us transparently. The government’s inability to address this matter is puzzling to me as I am not involved in the decision-making process. However, these revelations have emerged from the voices of the Nigerian people.”
“It has become evident that the term ‘subsidy’ does not accurately represent the reality of the situation. Certain individuals were exploiting our national wealth under the guise of a subsidy. The primary concern here is that Nigerians demanded proper procedures be followed before reaching such a decision. This is where differences lie, and it is why I emphasize our exclusion from the process,” he added.
Reflecting on Nigeria’s democratic progress, Ike commented, “Our journey remains ongoing. Although we have not yet reached our destination, we are advancing. The path has been fraught with numerous challenges. Since 1999 and beyond, the political class seems to have not fully absorbed the lessons from history.”
“The situation often seems to revolve around the ‘me’ mindset, where if it’s not me, then I must shift the balance. Personal interests play a significant role. However, I believe that over time, as we deepen our understanding of one another and embrace the responsibilities inherent in our roles as citizens, a positive transformation will occur.”
He concluded, “I consistently remind people that Nigeria is arguably one of the world’s finest countries. Drawing from my three decades of involvement in nation-building, I have yet to encounter a nation as blessed as Nigeria. Although challenges persist, our potential is immense, and we must harness it.”