Former governor of Ekiti state,Kayode Fayemihas claimed that democracy in the country is failing despite the end of the military administration in 1999.
According to Fayemi,this is because the protest that accompanied the removal of fuel subsidies during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in 2012 was motivated by political interests.
He made the remarks on Tuesday in Abuja while delivering the keynote address at a national dialogue commemorating the 60th birthday of Prof Udenta Udenta, the founding national secretary of the Alliance for Democracy (AD).
President Goodluck Jonathan announced the removal of fuel subsidies in January 2012, resulting in a significant increase in the price of petrol at the pump, from N65 per litre to N141.
This decision sparked widespread protests in Nigeria’s major cities, dubbed ‘Occupy Nigeria.’
After more than a week of protests, the government raised the price of gasoline to N97 before lowering it to N87.
Speaking at the event, the ex-governor criticized Nigeria’s democracy’s “winner-takes-all” nature, claiming that the country’s current challenges could not be effectively addressed without the adoption of proportional representation, in which election rewards are distributed among contestants based on their share of the vote.
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, he said.
He also acknowledged that the removal of subsidies had previously been included in the manifestos of all major political parties in Nigeria, including the PDP, APC, and Labour Party.
He did, however, emphasize that the policy’s actual implementation in 2012 was driven by political considerations rather than a genuine commitment to the policy itself.
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.
Among those at the event were Jonathan, former Minister of Education Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, and former Minister of Aviation Osita Chidoka.