Chairman, House Committee on Navy, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi, has described as mischievous and an act of blackmail of claims in some section of the media that he has called for a probe of President Bola Tinubu over subsidy removal savings.
On Saturday (not this newspaper) it was alleged that Gagdi in an interview with BBC Hausa Service said the president will be held to account for subsidy removal savings, a claim he has denied.
In a statement by his office on Sunday, the lawmaker urged the media to be thorough in its reportage and not lose its integrity especially when it involves translation.
Here is a text of his statement:
“The integrity of the media is very important, therefore should not be mortgaged or traded for anything. This seems the obvious in a misleading story in some section of the media quoting me to have allegedly said our President, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, will be probed over the subsidy removal.
“Nothing can be farther than the truth in that news report.
“I granted an interview with BBC Hausa Service wherein I made the point that it was imperative for the fuel subsidy to go as it was only enriching a few privileged and rich individuals to the exclusion of majority of Nigerians.
“In the said interview which was in Hausa, I applauded the courage of President Tinubu in removing the subsidy and not buckling under inspite of pressures from some quarters for the reversal of the fuel subsidy.
“I also acknowledged savings from the subsidy and reiterated the need for prudent spending so majority of Nigerians can enjoy the dividends of the subsidy removal.
“However, I was taken aback at the sensational headline in which the media, especially Daily Trust Newspapers decided to couch the news item just for the clicks and gain traction.
“It is most irresponsible, reckless and designed to pitch me against our hardworking, committed President and his Renewed Hope Agenda.
“For the avoidance of doubt, as a parliamentarian and one of the longest serving one at that, I have remained committed to my party, APC, its aspirations and most importantly the objective of President Tinubu to renew hope and make our country work again.
“Owing to the immense esteem in which I hold the president, I voluntarily stepped down from the Speakership race when I was directed to.
“Therefore, it is not in my character to use certain words or impute any motive concerning this administration that is working to elevate Nigerians out of poverty and make things work better for majority of our people.
“For the avoidance of doubt, here is the translation of my interview with the BBC Hausa Service:
“I am one of many Nigerians who support the removal of fuel subsidy because I believe it is a form of theft. I swear that the subsidy is not doing any good for poor people of Nigeria.
“In the committee that I chair in the House of Representatives, I have learned a great deal about fuel subsidy. I know who is really benefiting from this subsidy, and it is not the Nigerian people. It is a small number of elites who are using the subsidy to amass wealth for themselves.
“I urge all and sundry to ignore the mischievous and blackmailing headline and urge media houses to be more circumspect while casting their headlines for the news.”