Jonathan says subsidy protest was stage managed Reviewed by Momizat on . President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the January nationwide protest over the total removal of subsidy from petroleum was stage managed by a class of Nigeri President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the January nationwide protest over the total removal of subsidy from petroleum was stage managed by a class of Nigeri Rating:
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Jonathan says subsidy protest was stage managed

President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the January nationwide protest over the total removal of subsidy from petroleum was stage managed by a class of Nigerians who wanted the status quo of corruption in that sector to remain.

He said it was not carried out by ordinary Nigerians who wanted to communicate their grievances to their government.

Mr Jonathan, who disclosed this at the 52nd Independence anniversary lecture with the title, Nigeria: Security, Development and National Transformation, said it was the responsibility of Government to provide the enabling environment for development but it was left for the citizens to ensure enforcement.

Responding to the issue of the January protest raised by one of the discussants and the Director of Centre for Democracy and Development, Jibril Ibrahim, President Jonathan said, “Let me touch on what Prof. Ibrahim said about the January subsidy protest, yes you said the citizens were right, in a way they may be right, in a way they were also misinformed. If you had followed the last Earth Summit in Brazil, about two countries came out to condemn the issue of subsidizing hydro carbon all over the world. They stated that subsiding hydro carbon does not bring development.

“Look at the demonstrations back home, look at the areas this demonstrations are coming from, you begin to ask, are these the ordinary citizens that are demonstrating? Or are people pushing them to demonstrate.

“Take the case of Lagos, Lagos is the critical state in the nation’s economy, it controls about 53 per cent of the economy and all tribes are there. The demonstration in Lagos, people were given bottled water that people in my village don’t have access to, people were given expensive food that the ordinary people in Lagos cannot eat. So, even going to eat free alone attracts people. They go and hire the best musician to come and play and the best comedian to come and entertain; is that demonstration? Are you telling me that that is a demonstration from ordinary masses in Nigeria who want to communicate something to government?

“For me, if I see somebody is manipulating anything, I don’t listen to you, but when I see people genuinely talking about issues, I listen. I am hardly intimidated by anybody who wants to push any issue he has. I believe that that protest in Lagos was manipulated by a class in Lagos and was not from the ordinary people.

“Government everywhere must create environment for development and transformation, so I agree the lead must be the government but the people must be the implementator if we must transform our country”.

Mr Jonathan also alleged that because of interest in 2015 election, the media were being used to abuse the privileges of the Freedom of Information Act to the point of overheating the system.

“The key issue we are discussing is about peace and development and of course we all know that there is no way you can talk about development when you have a lot of crisis. In fact some people make more money when there is crisis and when there are crises it’s like a country in a state of emergency, anything goes.

“Crisis is one aspect but generally if there is no peace is extremely difficult for the ordinary people to survive though big players in economy may survive. Ordinary citizens having small and medium enterprises cannot come out to do business during crisis and of course it affects the economy. So you must have peace to develop.

“Peace is one of the cardinal marks of a leader. In the monarchy in the olden days, the king had maximum power, but for your kingdom to be stable, you must have the military strength. So without stability of any state we cannot develop.

“I agree totally with President Kufour who really gave us the breakdown of the kind of security situation that we have.

“When you talk of insecurity of using bombs and guns to kill people, what has been described as physical security, but in terms of social security, food security, health and the justice system all have to do with the security of individual.

“But I believe what we face in Nigeria though not peculiar to us; one of our greatest problems is what I described as political security.
Government can continue to provide physical security but also very important is the political security. When you have unending political conflicts in Nigeria, the country cannot develop.

“I believe political security is a big issue. There is this axiom that the pen is mightier than the sword. The sword is used to kill and destroy, but what we use the pen to do is also very critical. When you have society with these unending political conflicts, it is there on the media whether print, electronic or social media, it brings a lot of insecurity to the system and sometimes people begin to doubt your government.

“For example, when we were contesting election, we promised it will be free and fair, I was convinced I must do that even if I will lose the election. After our election in 2007, even the presidents in our neighbouring West African states were finding it difficult to congratulate us because the observers felt the election was not properly done. That hounded us even when we travelled out and I promised myself that if I have the opportunity to preside over election, I will do something different even at my expense at least for the sake of the country. And we did that but unfortunately, even though there were crisis in some parts of the country, observers felt the election was reasonably free and fair compared to others. But immediately after that election, not quite six months, the kind of media hype that started hitting us made us to stop and ask where this coming from?

“I said, I did not just come out from the blues to contest the election, I was deputy governor for six and half years, I was a governor for one and half years, I was a vice president, and before election, I was the president up to April when the elections were conducted, people knew me. So, within this period, including when I even acted, if I was that bad, will people have voted for me? So for Nigerians to have voted for me overwhelmingly, that means there must have been something they were expecting and definitely six months would have been too short to pass any valid judgement. But the media condemned me.

“And I believe is not just the media, like when we talk about the Boko Haram, we have political Boko Haram, religious Boko Haram and criminal Boko Haram. So also in the media, you have the professional media and the political media. That is why I talk about the political media, because of the interest of 2015, whatever you do is immaterial, the government must be brought down. And that mentality cuts across most African countries and even outside Africa.

“So addressing insecurity is critical in developing African state. When you have this ending political conflict especially in a country like Nigeria that is highly religious and with high ethno-tribal sentiments, it becomes very potent to even create a lot of problems for government.

“So I will plead with us as Nigerians that whenever we elect government into power at whatever level, at least for the sake of the country, allow the government to work before going into unnecessary overheating the system.

“When you talk of providing infrastructure, whether power, water, there is nothing you can use the magic wand to provide for the people, it takes time. To build your personal house, there must take a good number of days not to talk of infrastructure like power in a country like Nigeria and with the challenges we have and so on and so forth.

“I believe our great problem is political conflict, for a typical politician, the day you win election is the day you start the next election.

“So as government, we are committed to creating the environment. I’m quite pleased with the way President Kufour spoke on the issue of transformation. I agree that the leader must be the key actor for transformation, but those who will implement are the citizens. For instance, during the election, we advocated one man one vote, we were totally committed and I said it that nobody should rig election for me. But Nigerians believed that we were sincere and because they knew we were sincere, that took the life of its own. No, I don’t need to go and preach again. We have monitored elections in Edo and other places, nobody wants to compromise with his vote. It’s government that created that environment, but it’s not government that will enforce it, it is the citizen.

“That is why we are a bit worried that sometimes when government create the environment, whether economic, social or even the media, but how the citizens use those privileges matters so much.

“Take the media environment for instance, we signed the Freedom of Information Bill into law, it became the Freedom of Information Act, but are we using it in the way we are suppose to use it? Are some of us not abusing the privileges? The media environment that should have helped our transformation agenda are being used negatively, these are some of the issues we need to address.

“The way Nigerians challenge and abuse me, yes the President has enormous power, but if you use that enormous power to some extent, you will look like a dictator. In a democratic setting, you want to create an environment where people can create their opinion and that is why people are allowed to talk freely and demonstrate. But are we doing so properly”.

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  • Anthony Akinwale

    Who was the lecturer?

  • http://www.facebook.com/phemmily Phemmy Adegoke

    if see someone talking like a fool you definitely know where is coming from, this man has no shame at all, he doesn’t think before word come out from his mouth, he just open his mouth wide,

    look at what he saying the masses where misinformed, how? are we not reading newspaper, are we not listen to news on radio and tv? if not because of the rally can we now see the so called probe that is now bring out all the skeleton in their cupboard. how about anti rally match in abuja and his state how about anti rally prayer in his home town that media has to go there please who is sponsored those one. let mr president come out and say he has no hand in that…

    if ordinary nigeria where to stage a rally and protest there right can mr president listen.. this government is a shams and has no clue how to manage this country they should go and sleep

    • NURSELYN15

      phemmy u are such an idiot to be referring to be address ya presido this way.was the protest not stage managed.?wot fools like u dont undastand is that the country was destroyed frm the days of abacha,ibb.so if ya military rulers left the country in shambles during their total of abt 15 year rule,wld jonathan mend it in two years?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EMPWMAX2HNFYDLFRTS6VG2Z6SE Plasma

    Of course it was stage managed. People were manipulated because they did not have the information. The Finance Minister and CBN governor knew the money was being stolen that was why they supported the removal. The masses didn’t know. Information is power.

  • https://me.yahoo.com/a/X.tE8q4Ctvs59EF_sF34CGAHjuPmnanI#6c695 Dr. J. Hope

    Nigerians at home must and should do something to end this PDP ruling nightmare.

    • http://twitter.com/Smith0195 same same

       Enough is enough since 1999, that is so far thirteen years of corruption, bad governance, mess and disaster.

  • tolufasakin

    Dear Mr President,
    It is rather disheartening that such a comment as this is being made. For the benefit of doubt, I went to the protest daily, not because I was paid but because I fear that the future of my unborn children will once again be destroyed further by a regime that is oblivious of the sufferings of the common man.

    While I may not be rich yet, I have a roof over my head and I manage to pay my bills. But, I see several others on a daily basis who do not know where the next meal will come from. I see disabled individuals who have resolved to sweeping pedestrian bridges on a daily basis, just in case we able-bodies who pass by will have mercy on them, and there is one of such hard-working men on the pedestrian bridge @ Ikeja along, if you care to verify. It is because of such hopeless individuals that I trekked for about one hour to and fro the protest venue daily to register my displeasure about your inability to discipline the so called “cabal” rather than punish innocent Nigerians, many of whom has no shoes, like you once claimed not to have.

    It is an irony that a man who was once shoe-less will even attempt, talk less deprive others of their shoes by making life unbearable. And if you still believe in the fact that the protest was stage-managed, please kindly make an attempt to increase the pump price of petrol once again. We shall always be ready to march against all forms of tyranny!

  • tolufasakin

    Dear Mr President,
    It is rather disheartening that such a comment as this is being made. For the benefit of doubt, I went to the protest daily, not because I was paid but because I fear that the future of my unborn children will once again be destroyed further by a regime that is oblivious of the sufferings of the common man.

    While I may not be rich yet, I have a roof over my head and I manage to pay my bills. But, I see several others on a daily basis who do not know where the next meal will come from. I see disabled individuals who have resolved to sweeping pedestrian bridges on a daily basis, just in case we able-bodies who pass by will have mercy on them, and there is one of such hard-working men on the pedestrian bridge @ Ikeja along, if you care to verify. It is because of such hopeless individuals that I trekked for about one hour to and fro the protest venue daily to register my displeasure about your inability to discipline the so called “cabal” rather than punish innocent Nigerians, many of whom has no shoes, like you once claimed not to have.

    It is an irony that a man who was once shoe-less will even attempt, talk less deprive others of their shoes by making life unbearable. And if you still believe in the fact that the protest was stage-managed, please kindly make an attempt to increase the pump price of petrol once again. We shall always be ready to march against all forms of tyranny!

  • Gbenga Ogunsanmi

    I felt so bad hearing Mr. GEJ saying this…How could he say that was stage managed? I am sure what he meant is that NIgerians should have took it to another level just as it is in Arab spring, where people are carrying guns or may be he would have listened if people were burning houses, government properties and destroying amenities?. I feel so ashamed with his words. Millions of Nigerians took the best approach in making their grievances known peacefully, the president now says they weren’t informed. Mr. President, I think you need to know that Nigerians are now well informed and they will never take to street destroying properties again. We will keep on looking and watch the man with the biggest information and lets see where he leads us. 

  • Gbenga Ogunsanmi

    Dear Mr President,
    I am so sad to hear such a comment from you sir. Its saddened my heart that you have not realized how much Nigerians are suffering and how much they deserve this change. I was at the protest throughout the whole days and No body, nor any of my friends was offered a penny. I saw Men of valour and women of virtue asking for their right rather and that of their children. Rather for you to examine your system and probe  the gluttons in your government that eaten up all our money you are making such ridiculous comments. Mr President, you need to learn more about Nigerians and get ready to do what is right. God bless Naija.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/U7THGBQHWFJRZEH62HXCPXDMEY Yinka Anu

    mr ceremonial president please always think before you talk. sometimes i do wonder if truly you are Phd Holder. may you go back to ur zoo

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/O43P65L3VNKZEOGZAOTCQKWLWY baabbah

    if President GEJ is a northerner,
     

  • funshy40

    MR president,
                    I don’t think this statement should be coming from someone like you  considering your educational background,if it is our daddy from Ota,one can still over loook his statement because of his way of reasoning.anyway Mr GEJ it is better you start giving a damm cause for your info,Nigerians came out well informed and are ready to come out even more determined next time you try fraustrating the masses again.NA MY OWN I TELL YOU SO.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.jegede2 Joseph Jegede

    YES THE PRESIDENT WAS RIGHT. OF COURSE WE HEARD PEOPLE SAYING IT WAS NO LONGER FUEL SUBSIDY, BUT THAT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SHOULD COMMENCE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE PRESIDENT. THEY LOST AT THE ELECTIONS AND IN THE COURTS BUT LOOKING FOR ILLEGAL MEANS TO THE REIGNS OF GOVERNENANCE.

    • http://twitter.com/Cruise4real Niyi Cruise

       Jossy Jegede,
      I never knew some people like you could still be caught in train with GEJ, Abati and some blind leaders who failed to realize that Nigerians are now wiser and much enlightened than ever before.
      In my own hood, nobody needed to instigate anyone before we could take to the street, cause government never thought is possible for people to unanimously agreed on a course. having taken into cognizance the hardship that would follow the imposed subsidy removal then.
      If you are closer to the grassroots, u definitely would support our course. Nigerians are indeed ready to take their destinies into their hands.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joseph.agbakagba Joseph Agbakagba

    Mr CBN Governor,
    On Bad Economist and N5,000.00 notes. Our notes are 5,10,20,50,100,200,500,1000. check the sequence. You jumped from 1000 to 5000 (by 5). Baba was doing it gradually so masses dont fill it and as you said inflation was going down during baba’s time.

    Pesoka J.

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