Occupy Nigeria subsidy protest 2012 is politically driven – Fayemi

The former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has admitted that the protest that trailed the fuel subsidy removal during the administration of Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2012 was due to political interests.

Fayemi, who served as Minister of Solid Minerals during President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term, made this remarks in his keynote address at a national dialogue held in Abuja to commemorate the 60th birthday of Professor Udenta Udenta, the founding National Secretary of the Alliance for Democracy and Fellow of the Abuja School of Social and Political Thought.

The programme was attended by Jonathan, former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili; former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, among others.

Condemning what he described as the “winners take all” style of Nigeria’s democracy, Fayemi said the challenges facing the nation today cannot be solved unless the country embraced proportional representation, where the spoils of elections are shared between contestants.

According to him, the last time Nigeria experienced economic development was during Jonathan’s administration

Fayemi said, “Today, I read former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s interview in The Cable saying our liberal democracy is not working and we need to revisit it, and I agree with him. We must move from the political alternatives. I think we are almost on a dead end of that.

“What we need is alternative politics and my own notion of alternative politics is that you can’t have 35 per cent of the vote and take 100 per cent. It won’t work! We must look at proportional representation so that the party that is said to have won 21 per cent of the votes will have 21 per cent of the government. Adversary politics bring division and enmity.

“All political parties in the country agreed and they even put in their manifesto that subsidy must be removed. We all said subsidy must be removed. But we in ACN at the time, in 2012, we know the truth Sir, but it is all politics.

“That is why we must ensure that everybody is a crucial stakeholder by stopping all these. Let the manifesto of PDP, APC and Labour Party, be put on the table and select all those who will pilot the programme from all parties.”

Recall that former President Goodluck announced the end of fuel subsidies on January 1, 2012, and changed the price of fuel at the pump from N65 per litre to N141.

The decision sparked mass protests, tagged ‘Occupy Nigeria’ across major cities of the country.

The price was later re-adjusted to N97, after more than a week of protests.

Petrol price was later reduced to N87 in 2015.

Jonathan faced harsh criticism for the fuel price increase, particularly from leaders of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Congress for Progressives Congress, All Nigeria Peoples Party, and All Progressive Grand Alliance.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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