Students protest fuel subsidy removal in Ibadan

Ola Ajayi

05 January 2012, Sweetcrude, Ibadan –  THE protest over fuel subsidy became more intense yesterday as students of the Polytechnic Ibadan and University of Ibadan took to major streets in Ibadan chanting anti government songs.

The protest started at Sango end of the city as they marched saying they would fight to a logical conclusion.

They made bonfires at many crossroads within Ibadan metropolis and many vehicles were turned back but they did not beat anyone.

The security agents which comprised men of the Nigerian police, army, and Civil Defence Corps were going behind them without molesting anybody.

This came as members of the Joint Action Front (JAF), Voters Assembly, Nigeria Labour Congress and other civil organizations/Labour, warned President Goodluck Jonathan to remember the civil revolution in Egypt.

The groups led by the former Chairman of the University of Ibadan chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Ademola Aremu, Mashood Erubami(Voters Assembly, Dr. Segun Ajiboye, incumbent chairman of ASUU, UI chapter, Dr. Femi Aborisade said artisans, market women, workers and the private sector had been mobilized to participate in the mass rally slated for Monday.

They threatened that what had happened since the removal of the fuel subsidy would be a child’s play when compared with the rally on Monday.

According to them, the removal of the oil subsidy was a declaration of war on the Nigerian masses by President Jonathan and they would stop at nothing to reject it.

The Oyo state chapter of JAF, Committee On Popular Education (COPED); Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM); United Action for Democracy (UAD); Socialist Workers League (SWL); Voters Assembly; Youth For a Better Nigeria (YFBN); Civil Liberty Organisation(CLO); Academic Staff of University Union (ASUU); College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) vowed that unless the president reverts to the old price of N65, the protest would continue.

Aremu said, “it was height of insensitivity by the Federal Government to inflict pains on its citizens by deceit that the oil subsidy removal would not be effected before March 31st, 2012 since the life of the 2011 budget elapses that day”.

“President Jonathan had two options: stop corruption in the oil sector and nip the activities of the high profile oil cabal among the ruling elite or, two, download the effect of the elite corruption on the masses of Nigerians through the hike in the prices of oil”.

“Against his electoral promises and the stark reality on ground, the Jonathan administration has chosen the latter option to increase the price of fuel and make the masses of Nigerians suffer for the corruption of the elite and political class”, the JAF leader said.

“We stand for the trial and confiscation of the properties of all those who have stolen and mismanaged public funds by panels made up of the working class; for the payment of all outstanding arrears of pensions and gratuities to all workers nationwide and the abolition of all bureaucratic bottlenecks aimed at frustrating pensioners; and the abolition of all reformed pension schemes aimed at shortchanging workers, “ he said.

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