The immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi has revealed that the protest launched against the fuel subsidy removal during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2012 was mere politics.
Fayemi stated this while delivering his keynote address at a national dialogue organised to celebrate the 60th birthday of the founding National Secretary of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Professor Udenta Udenta, in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Udenta is also a Fellow of the Abuja School of Social and Political Thought.
The event was also graced by Jonathan; former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili; and former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, among others.
On January 1, 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan announced the removal of fuel subsidy, therefore, adjusting the pump price of petrol from N65 per litre to N141 in a move that sparked mass protests, known as ‘Occupy Nigeria’ across major cities of the country.
The price was later adjusted to N97 after more than a week of protests. It was further reduced to N87 in 2015.
Jonathan faced serious backlash from the adjustment in fuel price, especially from leaders of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), who are now mostly in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Other parties that antagonised Jonathan’s administration included the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). protested the plan.
Fayemi while speaking said the challenges confronting the nation today cannot be solved unless the country embraces proportional representation where the spoils of elections are shared between contestants.
The ex-governor added that the last time Nigeria experienced economic development was during Jonathan’s administration.
“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 political alternative, I think we are almost on a dead end of that,” Fayemi said.
The illogic of the ‘economics’ of fuel subsidy removal
“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 one 21 per cent of the vote will have 21 per cent of the government. Adversaries 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 stakeholders by stopping all these.
“Let the manifesto of PDP, APC, Labour Party be put on the table and select all those who will pilot the programme from all parties.”