A former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday, described as “politically”, the 2012 Occupy Nigeria protest against petrol subsidy removal mulled by the then administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Fayemi spoke when he delivered a keynote address during the 60th birthday celebration of the founding National Secretary of Alliance for Democracy and Fellow, Abuja School of Social and Political Thought, Prof Udenta Udenta in Abuja.
In attendance at the programme were ex-President Jonathan, ex-Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili; former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka; among others.
Fayemi said, “Today, I read former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s interview in TheCable 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. We in ACN (Action Congress of Nigeria) 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.”
Jonathan had in January 2012 announced the removal of petrol subsidy and adjusted the pump price of petrol from N65 per litre to N141.
The move was resisted with a nationwide protest spearheaded by Fayemi and some then ACN leaders and the price was subsequently readjusted to N97.
The ACN later merged with other parties and was renamed the All Progressives Congress (APC) that produced President Bola Tinubu who removed petrol subsidy on May 29, 2023. Petrol per litre was N184 before the removal and the price of the essential commodity jumped to N600 after the removal.