Jonathan in Denial on January Fuel Subsidy Protests
In a remarkable show of aloofness, President Jonathan has refused to accept the widely known fact that the January fuel subsidy protests were an independent and genuine reflection of the people’s anger towards his government for unilaterally hiking the price of petroleum products instead of fighting the corruption in the fuel subsidy process.
The President in a speech yesterday claimed that the presence of water, food, musicians and comedians at the fuel protests was an indication that the protests were politically motivated by his detractors and opponents. The president’s remarks are leading analysts to assume that the president is either building a cocoon in Aso Rock to insulate himself from the people or his advisers are not being totally honest with him.
He said, “Look at the demonstrations back home, look at the areas these 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 a 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 musicians 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?
“I believe that that protest in Lagos was manipulated by a class in Lagos and was not from the ordinary people.”