Kayode Fayemi, former governor of Ekiti, says the protest against the removal of petrol subsidy during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was mere politics.
Fayemi spoke in Abuja on Tuesday while delivering a keynote address at a national dialogue organised to celebrate the 60th birthday of Udenta Udenta, the founding national secretary of Alliance for Democracy (AD).
On January 1, 2012, Jonathan announced the removal of the petrol subsidy, leading to the increment in the pump price of the product from N65 per litre to N141.
The announcement sparked a mass protest tagged “Occupy Nigeria” across the country. Nigerians abroad also joined in the mass action.
After days of protest and negotiations between organised labour and the government, the Jonathan administration reinstated the subsidy with the petrol pump price reduced to N97 per litre.
In a recent interview with TheCable, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said Nigeria needs to rethink its democracy.
The former president said the liberal type of democracy practised in the West would not work for the country.
Aligning with Obasanjo’s view, Fayemi noted that what Nigeria needs is alternative politics where proportional representation is employed.
“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,” Fayemi said.
“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 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 percent 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. 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.”