Removal of subsidies: Fayemi acknowledges that the 2012 “Occupy Nigeria” rally was politicised

Sep 7, 2023 | Politics | 0 comments

Former Ekiti State Governor and APC chieftain Kayode Fayemi admitted that the Action Congress of Nigeria (now the All Progressives Party) played politics when it organized the 2012 ‘Occupy Nigeria’ rallies to oppose President Goodluck Jonathan’s fuel subsidy reduction.

The Former Governor said this during a national conversation in Abuja on Tuesday to celebrate the 60th birthday of Professor Udenta Udenta, the founding National Secretary of Alliance for Democracy and Fellow of the Abuja School of Social and Political Thought.

In response to Jonathan’s gasoline subsidy removal scandal, Fayemi remarked, “All political parties in the nation agreed, and they even included in their platform that subsidy must be abolished.

“We all demanded subsidy removal. Yet, in 2012, ACN knew the truth about Jonathan, but it was all politics.”

Fayemi criticized Nigeria’s “winners take all” politics but emphasized that proportional representation is necessary to overcome current difficulties.

He stated that depending on performance, contenders across party lines share political posts or create a unity government after electioneering.

He stated that we must look at proportional representation so that the party with 21% of the votes has 21% of the government. Adversary politics divide and enrage.”

He also admitted that Nigeria’s last economic growth was under Jonathan.

Fayemi remarked, “Today, I read former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s interview in The Cable claiming our liberal democracy is not functioning, and we need to reassess it, and I agree. We must abandon political choices. We’re nearly done.

We need alternative politics, and my idea is that you can only take up to 100% with 35% of the vote. That won’t work, he said.

Disruptions occurred in banking and electricity supplies due to the NLC strike.

Similarly, Tuesday’s Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) national strike disrupted power supplies nationwide.

Niger, Benue, Taraba, Rivers, Anambra, Nasarawa, Abia, Edo, Kaduna, Osun, and Kano thoroughly complained about the NLC strike, whereas Kwara, Ogun, Lagos, Ekiti, Delta, Kebbi, and Enugu partially complained.

Electricity workers joined the NLC’s two-day strike on Tuesday, prompted by the hardship caused by President Tinubu’s fuel subsidy elimination and organized labour’s settlement demands for palliatives substantial enough to mitigate the policy’s effects.

On Tuesday, electricity distribution firms (DisCos) notified users of a supply decrease.

In its customer notice, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) blamed the strike for the general power outage across its franchise area, saying, “We are aware of the general power outage being experienced across our franchise due to enforcement by NLC of the 2-day warning strike embarked upon by the labour union.

We apologize for any disruption this may cause while we work with key stakeholders to minimize the strike’s effect on our consumers.

We suggest taking steps to handle the interruption in the interim. Please disconnect critical electronics until electricity is restored.

“We will continue to offer updates on the effect of the strike action on our operations via our official social media handles.”

Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company’s Chief Corporate Communications, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, said staff turned off feeders.

“We regret to report that the interruption experienced in our franchise states is due to the Nigerian Labour Congress and its associate unions’ warning strike.

The striking employees have shut off all 33KV feeds. We hope the federal government-NLC issue is addressed quickly so electricity may be restored.”

The National Union of Electricity Workers in Osun joined the warning strike after reports of Osogbo Area Transmission Company employees being locked out and the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company head office being shut down.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) did not join the strike once the national leadership withdrew. Hence, certain states’ NLC demonstrations only partially comply.

Government employees in Lagos somewhat complied, although Apapa and Tin-Can Island port operations were halted.

Other ports throughout the country, such as Port Harcourt, Onne, Warri, and Calabar, followed the NLC direction.

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) President-General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, verified full compliance with the NLC instruction.

No cargo evacuation procedure is going place at any port in the country, according to NLC Vice President Adeyanju.

VP Shettima regrets subsidy beneficiaries opposing Tinubu’s policy.

According to Vice President Kashim Shettima, subsidy recipients who lost out are motivated to disrupt President Tinubu’s objectives and initiatives.

The VP told the 16th Annual Banking and Finance Conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) that the Bola Ahmed Tinubu government is dedicated to its choices, policies, and programmes and that subsidy removal is irreversible.

Vice President Shettima told the gathering, “We know the implications of uncovering a disguise. We know the gasoline fraud sector is immensely loaded, and they will attempt to sabotage us. However, as mentioned previously, fuel subsidy elimination is irreversible, and we are in serious straits.”

In response to recent government policies and programmes, notably the subsidy withdrawal, Sen. Shettima remarked, “I must report with delight that our actions are now generating real benefits, with both state and federal governments now enjoying more significant appropriations.

“These revenues will directly benefit our residents. We may donate our funds to better causes without serially unexplained gasoline subsidies.”

He urged banks to work with the government to revive the economy.

“We must now do what pessimists think is impossible: turn the economy around quickly. Please help us finish this. Not taking your support for granted.”

“This economic revitalization path is not alone. Nigeria may become a powerful, internationally competitive partner by establishing solid connections with critical states and multilateral organizations.

We’ll prioritize food security and eradicating poverty. We prioritize economic development and employment creation. He stated we prioritize capital access and safety.

FG meets TUC and gives Labour two weeks to settle demands.

The Federal Government met with the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), which gave it two weeks to resolve some of its issues.

Remember that the Trade Union withdrew from the Nigeria Labour Congress protest.

On Tuesday, Olajide Oshundun, Director of Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, stated, “The Minister arranged the meeting to discuss TUC and Nigeria Labour Congress’ disagreements with government and avoid the approaching warning strike by organized labour.

According to Lalong, a two-week deadline was set to resolve problems, including pay awards for federal government officials to offset increasing poverty and tax exemptions for certain public and private sector workers.

“The other problems on the two-week agenda are to put mechanisms in place to enable successful execution of the Federal Government’s palliatives for the states and FCT and to spell out the processes for accessing the N70 billion suggested for MSME support, among others.”

The Minister said the meeting would resume in two weeks and that the parties realized that some urgent matters would take time to settle.

Lalong said the parties agreed not to strike during the two-week peace period “while we are undertaking debates and also working towards attaining some of these objectives.”

The TUC President, Comrade Festus Osifo, said the two-week deadline was appropriate since it would allow the government time to resolve the concerns.

He said, “We also need to be pragmatic.” At the start of the discussion, TUC leadership was pressing for a one-week schedule for conflict settlement but had to rethink due to government restrictions.

Osifo stated that their demands, as stated in a Congress communique, include resolving the impasse between the Lagos State Government and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), increasing the palliative amount because N5billion per state is insufficient to alleviate Nigerians’ sufferings.

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