The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to quit his position as the minister of petroleum resources.
The opposition party also demanded the “immediate sack” of Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources.
The PDP said Buhari has failed “woefully” in his duties as the minister of petroleum resources following the importation of off-spec petroleum into the country.
Last week, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) confirmed that petrol, with methanol quantities above Nigeria’s specification, was discovered in the supply chain.
The development led to long queues at filling stations as many shut down services.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Debo Ologunagba, PDP spokesperson, called on Buhari to quit as minister of petroleum resources and appoint a qualified professional to head the ministry in order to restore sanity to the system.
“Nigerians were shocked when the news broke out over the weekend that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company is seeking an estimated N201 billion to clean up the adulterated fuel,” the statement reads.
“It is clear that this is another ploy by officials of APC administration to continue to pilfer the national treasury to fund APC’s rigging plans ahead of the 2023 elections as well as to finance the wasteful lifestyles of its leaders at the detriment of other Nigerians.
“Such move by the APC to further fleece the nation amounts to pushing the already exasperated citizens to the wall. The APC government would have nobody but itself to blame over the possible consequences of its continued impunity, insensitivity and disregard to the feelings of Nigerians.
“It is instructive to note that the APC has remained unyielding since our Party demanded an investigation into allegations that APC leaders connived with some foreign interests to import very cheap heavily contaminated fuel-laden with methanol in their desperation to corruptly raise billions of naira to fund APC’s plots to rig the 2023 general elections.
“Nigerians can recall that our Party, well-meaning Nigerians and organizations had exposed and challenged APC’s plot to siphon N2.557 trillion padded as fuel subsidy for 2022. Having been so exposed, the APC resorted to fleecing Nigerians through the importation of toxic fuel and now seeks to fritter N201 billion under the guise of cleaning up the adulterated fuel.
“The failure by the APC administration to set up an Independent Commission of Enquiry on the “APC Toxic Fuel ImportGate”, especially to ascertain the individuals involved in the deal, who undertook the pre-inspection and how much was paid for very cheap contaminated fuel, is fast putting the nation on edge.
“The only way to douse the tension is for the APC administration to heed to demands by Nigerians and expose APC leaders allegedly involved in the importation of the toxic fuel; get them to pay compensation particularly to those whose vehicles and equipment were damaged by the bad fuel as well as bear the cost of the said cleanup.
”The PDP, therefore, calls for the immediate sack of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva for misleading Nigerians and concealing critical information at the onset of this “APC Toxic Fuel ImportGate” saga, having refused and failed as a public official with duty to Nigerians when he said on national TV that he cannot name persons involved in the fraud.
“The PDP also demands that having woefully failed, President Buhari should hands-off responsibilities as Minister of Petroleum Resources and allow competent professionals to man the ministry in order to restore sanity in the system.”
The PDP added that the petroleum ministry as presently constituted is “peopled with persons with no relevant education, experience and expertise to manage this critical sector that accounts for over 90 percent of the revenue of the nation”.