In what may not be acceptable to President Bola Tinubu and his camp, a former Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has condemned the 2012 protest organised by Occupy Nigeria against the administration of Goodluck Jonathan following his fuel subsidy removal policy.
Tinubu was a prominent member of the group, the Occupy Nigeria.
His predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari alongside notable persons like a one-time running mate to Buhari, Pastor Tunde Buhari, marched against the subsidy, which forced the masses to join in stiff opposition to the policy.
The Jonathan administration had adjusted the pump price of petrol from N65 per litre to N141 on January 1, 2012, and later re-adjusted it to N97, following almost two weeks of protests that grounded both public and private institutions.
The Occupy Nigeria group denied the existence of the subsidy, describing it as fraud. The group maintained that position until Buhari became president in 2015.
But Fayemi who was the keynote speaker at a national dialogue organised to celebrate the 60th birthday celebration of the founding National Secretary of Alliance for Democracy and Fellow, Abuja School of Social and Political Thought, Professor Udenta Udenta, Abuja, described it as all politics.
The former presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, who stepped down for Tinubu during the 2022 primary also condemned the winners-take-all-all nature of the country’s politics.
Speaking at the event which had Jonathan, former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili; and former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, among others in attendance, Fayemi said the democratic system needed to be tinkered with, agreeing with former president, Olusegun Obasanjo that liberal democracy was not working for Africa.
“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 at 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 percent of the vote and take 100 percent. It won’t work!
“We must look at proportional representation so that the party that is said to have won 21 percent 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 the subsidy must be removed. We all said the 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.