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Fayemi admits protest against fuel subsidy removal in 2012 was mere politics

The ‘Occupy Nigeria’ protests in 2012 forced Jonathan’s government to reverse its decision on fuel subsidy removal.Kayode Fayemi, former Governor of Ekiti State, has admitted that the protest that followed the removal of fuel subsidy in 2012 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan was political.

Fayemi said this in his keynote address at the 60th birthday celebration of Professor Udenta Udenta, the founding National Secretary of Alliance for Democracy in Abuja on Tuesday, September 5, 2023.

It would be recalled that Jonathan faced serious backlash from opposition leaders in 2012 when he announced the removal of fuel subsidy and adjusted the price of petroleum from ₦65 to ₦141.

The ‘Occupy Nigeria’ protests that followed the decision forced his government to re-adjust the pump price to ₦97 per litre, which was subsequently reduced to ₦87 per litre in 2015 ahead of a general election.

Speaking on the need for Nigeria to have alternative politics, the former governor called for a system of government that is representative of all political parties.

On fuel subsidy removal, Fayemi said all the main political parties in the last general election agreed to remove it, but in 2012, opposition leaders in the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria played politics with Jonathan’s decision.

He said, “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.”

He said he agreed with former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s position that Nigeria’s liberal democracy is no longer working.

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


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