Kayode Fayemi, a former governor of the state of Ekiti, claims that after the end of the military regime in 1999, democracy is still not functioning in the nation.
This is consistent with Fayemi’s assertion that political interests were to blame for the protest that followed the termination of gasoline subsidies in 2012 during President Goodluck Jonathan’s government.
He gave a keynote speech on Tuesday in Abuja at a national debate held to honor Prof. Udenta Udenta, the founding national secretary of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), who turned 60.
The withdrawal of fuel subsidies, announced by President Goodluck Jonathan in January 2012, led to a considerable increase in the price of gasoline at the pump, from N65 per liter to N141.
This choice sparked significant “Occupy Nigeria” protests in all of Nigeria’s major cities.
The government raised the price of petrol to N97 after more than a week of demonstrations before lowering it to N87.
Speaking at the event, the ex-governor criticized the “winner-takes-all” nature of Nigeria’s democracy and claimed that proportional representation, in which election rewards are given to candidates based on their share of the vote, was necessary to effectively address the nation’s current problems.
“Today I read former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s interview in TheCable, and I concur with him that our liberal democracy needs to be reviewed. From the political choices, we must depart. I believe that’s where we’re practically at a dead end.
“Alternative politics is what we need, and by my definition of alternative politics, you can’t win with 35% of the vote and take 100%. It won’t function! We need to consider proportional representation so that the party that supposedly received 21% of the vote will control 21% of the government. Adversary politics cause strife and animosity, he claimed.
He also admitted that the elimination of subsidies has previously been included in the manifestos of all of Nigeria’s main political parties, including the PDP, APC, and Labour Party.
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He emphasized that political factors, not a sincere dedication to the program itself, were what led to the policy’s actual adoption in 2012, nevertheless.
“All of the nation’s major parties concurred, and they even stated in their manifestos that subsidies must be eliminated. Subsidies must be eliminated, we all agreed. However, in 2012, we at ACN knew the truth, sir, and that everything was all politics.
“As a result, we must put an end to all of them to make sure that everyone is an important stakeholder. Put the PDP, APC, and Labour Party manifestos on the table, and choose representatives from each party to serve as the program’s pilots.
Jonathan, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, a former minister of education, and Osita Chidoka, a former minister of aviation, were all present.