09 January 2012, Sweetcrude, Ibadan – FORMER National President, Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu(SAN), State Chairman of Trade Union Congress in Oyo State, Mr. Bayo Ajayi, Nigeria Labour Congress, Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Prof. Mrs. M. Obajinmi, were part of the mammoth crowd that trooped out in Ibadan to protest the removal of fuel subsidy.
The protest which started in some places in Ibadan as early as 5.45am paralysed all commercial and vehicular movements in the city.
Though, some commercial buses worked very early in the morning, they withdrew their services around 7.am and this created hindrance for some people who wanted to go out.
Many of them resorted to trekking a long distance. On Ibadan-Eruwa road, protesters as early as 5.45am had made bonfires in some places to force people to remain indoor.
Though the coalition by NLC and other civil societies, had promised on Thursday that it would embark on a peaceful protest with about 1.5million people, Vanguard gathered that some protesters who were not in the group of the coalition destroyed some iron railing and uprooted flowers used to beautify the road at Dugbe which were put in place by the Chairman of the North West Local Government, Mr. Wasiu Olatunbosun.
Also, the state Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party on Queen Elizabeth road was vandalized by some unknown protesters.
As earlier planned by the coalition which comprised the Nigeria Labour Congress, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Trade Union Congress, Nigerian Medical Association, commenced the protest at 8am chanting anti FG songs.
They displayed placards with inscriptions such as ‘We don’t want Badluck,’ ‘This is not the Nigeria of our dream,’ ‘Jonathan, you have failed the people, If you cannot do without fuel subsidy removal go”.
At Mapo Hall, Ibadan, while addressing the leaders of the protesters, former Chairman of the University of Ibadan chapter ASUU, Dr. Ademola Aremu, said the protest would continue until the old price of fuel was reverted to.
“We shall continue to protest until the Federal Government reviews the removal of oil subsidy. We are here to let the ‘looters’ know that we are against the so-called subsidy removal. If not the masses wouldn’t have been out to protest the unpopular move by President Goodluck Jonathan.”
“We elected him based on our trust. But, unfortunately, he has let us down. He once told us that he went to school without shoes. Now he has forgotten the experience. They told us that they would use the money to improve on infrastructures but we don’t trust them anymore. They should shut illegal refineries and hire the boys engaging in illegal refining to work at the refineries. Jonathan, David Mark and the Governors have failed us. It is either they reverse the price of petrol, resign or reverse the so-called subsidy.”
Chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Prof. Mrs. M. Obajinmi, said, “We contend with infrastructural deficit such as bad road network, poorly maintained hospitals, ill equipped schools and more. Everything is at the detriment of the Nigerian masses. Painfully our legislature and the executive continue to milk the nation dry with high cost of governance”.
In the words of the Former President, Nigeria Bar Association, Mr. Akeredolu, “Our leaders are indulged in taking us for granted. But this time we are saying ‘No.’ We must call the bluff of this government. President Jonathan is not a man of integrity. We want the government to do our bidding not us doing their bidding.”
The Chairman, Atayese Movement, Tokunbo Ajasin said the only thing that masses appeared to be enjoying from the government has been removed
The Convener, Nigeria Voters’ Assembly, Moshood Erubami, noted that FG had impoverished masses by forcing them to fuel the generator, providing security, water and local maintenance of roads and to worsen the matter, “They have devalued the naira, PHCN has increased the tariff and subsidy has been removed.”
In Ogbomoso town, bonfires were mounted on the major roads at Takie Square with people chanting anti FG songs.