“Count me out!” National Youth Council president refutes reports that they support #FuelSubsidyRemoval

by ‘Ifreke Inyang

Wale Ajani is President of the National Youth Council, he recently spoke with YNaija on the reason his organisation is supporting the removal of fuel subsidy.

 “I am doing what my conscience asks me to do, so I ignore the abuses.”

Is it true that the National Youth Council supports the removal of fuel subsidy?

I don’t know where this came from. There was no meeting held to decide upon this. There is a procedure in the Youth Council. The Secretary General of the council must call for a meeting on the instance of the President and this didn’t happen. So I’m not aware of this stance. I would like to know where this decision was taken and who presided over the meeting. These are critical questions that must be answered.


What do you have to say about the Council’s stance on this issue?

There were meetings. At the last meeting, majority of the people present, which is not the total number of the members of the Council were in support of the removal of subsidy. Personally, I don’t believe in it, as I am yet to be convinced about the economic benefits. I need to know how the unemployed youth will survive. A lot of them have already sold their birthright to support the new price of N141, but what happens when they have to buy fuel at that price?


What is your personal stance?

I have always been part of it. I was there yesterday and I was there today again. I wasn’t at the back or on the side. I was at the forefront of the protests.


Where do you think all of this will end?

Obviously the voice of the people will prevail.


What do you have to say about the President and his actions?

President Goodluck Jonathan is like a father to me. I have a very good relationship with him. I have spoken with him one on one several times on some of the challenges that young people are facing. I told him to focus more on job creation, but then this January 1 announcement came..


Is he handling the situation well?

Some of these palliatives like the buses that were launched will not bring any solution. They will be plying major roads. What about the suburbs? Okadas? Keke napep?


Is a revolution imminent in Nigeria?

To the best of my knowledge, with what I have seen, it doesn’t look like that will happen. We don’t trust each other as young people – there is no spirit of revolution. And revolution involves a lot more. It breaks through religious and ethnic divides.


There has been comments against you and the Council on Twitter. What do you have to say?

Some people don’t even know what the Youth Council is about. They just come on Twitter and insult my person but that has not discouraged me. I am doing what my conscience asks me to do, so I ignore the abuses.

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