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Will You ‘Occupy Nigeria’ Again? Wole Soyinka, Tunde Bakare, Save Nigeria Group to Organise Mass Protests over Fuel Subsidy Scam

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Early this year, when the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan announced a removal of the fuel subsidy, increasing the price from N65 to N141 per litre, Nigerians came out to the street in large numbers, protesting the increase until the price was reduced to N97. From North to South to East to West, the streets were taken over by citizens protesting the hike and for once in a long time, we spoke with one voice.

Now, few months later, reports by the Farouk Lawan led House of Representatives’ Ad -Hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy probe has revealed that over N1.7trn was looted by fuel marketers and government agencies.

The news has come as a shock to Nigerians who feel sorely cheated. While the Federal Government was giving excuses that it could no longer fund subsidies on the price of fuel and wanted to use the money for other developmental projects in the country, the money has actually been there all along but was looted by some agencies including the the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency(PPPRA), Department of Petroleum Resources, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and other petroleum marketing companies.

To protest this, convener of Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare, and others recently served notice to the Federal Government of another round of mass protest in Lagos and other towns in the country, following the House of Representatives’ report on how over N1.7trn was looted by fuel marketers’and government agencies.

Similarly, Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, another leader of the group at a press conference urged Nigerians to get ready for another determined protest over the fuel subsidy scam adding that the Farouk-Lawan report shows that Nigerians have been dehumanized.

“I have studied the figures revealed by the probe and I pinch myself to be sure that I am really living in the real world. Nigerians are being bludgeoned into sensitivity by sheer excessive corruption by public officials. We are being treated, not even as second class citizens, but excessively dehumanized,” Mr. Soyinka said.

Mr. Bakare queried how Nigeria spent N3 trillion in 2011 above the N245 billion budgeted for subsidy the same year, as revealed by the probe. He commended the House of Representatives for its consideration and adoption of the subsidy probe report in a record time of two days.

“In 2011, the report reveals that we spent almost N3tn on subsidy, and the ones (subsidies) paid for the previous years were lower than that. Do they think we are idiots? This shall go down in history as one act of redemption by a chamber of the National Assembly that has not done much since 1999, to endear itself to the people it represents,” he said.

He said that the time had come to save Nigeria from the grip of corruption, warning that the SNG would call the people out for massive protests if those indicted were not seen to be prosecuted speedily.

Mr. Soyinka on his part urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), to immediately launch the prosecution of all those involved to prevent Nigeria from being a laughing stock in the world.

“So far, we have not heard any of the figures disputed by relevant government parastatals in the oil industry. The facts on ground are enough for the EFCC and ICPC to establish a prima facie case against those indicted,” he said.

The SNG said that it had started dissecting the report, adding that another “Occupy Nigeria”, was imminent if government failed to act swiftly in prosecuting the culprits.

If these protests go on as planned, it would be the second time this year Nigerians are protesting over Fuel Subsidies.

So, are you in support of the protests? Do you think massive protests is what we need to push the Federal Government into action on prosecuting the culprits? Will you join them to ‘Occupy Nigeria’ once again?

Please share your thoughts.

News Source: NAN | Punch News

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

38 Comments

  1. jane

    May 2, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Yes we shld continue the protest! And we shld also prootest against bokoharram!!

  2. meme

    May 2, 2012 at 7:18 am

    how come no one is talking of occupying Nigeria on this Boko Moron nosense

  3. yoma

    May 2, 2012 at 7:34 am

    i am ready and more than ready to occupy! what will we say to our kids? what excuse will i give to them? honestly, my parents do not have much to say when i complain and shout at home that we need a revolution and that is because they did nothing bwith the time they needed to set out…

    Im not going to blame them in future, i will be blaming me and my kids would too if i do not stand up to fight the steady, daily dehumanisation of Nigerians….

    WHAT MADNESS IS THIS? WHAT??????????

  4. Gidi

    May 2, 2012 at 7:35 am

    The last fuel subsidy protest was a wasted opportunity that will never be regained. the SNG should save their energy for other ventures. Nobody, i repeat nobody will come out on the streets again for any organized protest. They came out last time like Nigerians often do not and organized labour sold out.Both govt and Labour thought they won but the future will prove both to have been hopeless losers. The next move for change will be unorganized, labour will have no say in it, may even be consumed by it and the govt will have no one to negotiate with but they will wish they had. It will be spontaneous, violent and far reaching. We had an opportunity and blew it. There will be no second chance.

    • Iphy

      May 2, 2012 at 10:30 am

      @Gidi, you said it all. We blew away the Wind of Change that blew in January. I for one cannot come out again

  5. johnnylab

    May 2, 2012 at 7:48 am

    we gladly ready for the protest n my relative,my kolly’s,my friends and my entire family are ready to fight as one unity and i believe almighty God will help us to conquer them.ONE LOVE to our leader in this group some people like pastor tunde bakare, prof wole soyinka n others entire group……….let do it in one unity……..

  6. Tiki

    May 2, 2012 at 8:30 am

    If Nigeria needs to be Occupied in order to have basic amenities like regular electrical power, good roads, a functional health system and an acceptable level of transparency in the government, I say Occupy! Occupy! Occupy!

  7. LPS

    May 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

    • It is NOT well!

      May 2, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      This sums up the Nigerian problem, why nothing ever gets done. we sigh “It is well” even when our roofs are on fire and resign ourselves to the mindless debauchery our leaders subject us to.

      This is not an attack on you person LPS

  8. Boxicus

    May 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

    We should definatly protest against this..our problem as Nigerians is that we tolerate EVERYTHING!! Nobody ever complains about anything. Enough is enough..While we are at it we should also protest against Boko Haram! People should not be living their daily lives in constant fear of this menace..its not done anywhere else! ENOUGH!

  9. Dee

    May 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

    As we planned to occupy Nigeria once again, let us first of all ask Mr president to revert PMS price to 65 Naira or less. How come there was no such recommendation in the final subsidy report? Should we continue to suffer the high price having discovered that NNPC can actually supply what we consume?

  10. UsaveOne

    May 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I will occupy Nigeria till God comes.. let the show start!

    Check.. http://usaveone.blogspot.com

  11. wums

    May 2, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I totally agree with GIDI… Labour sold us out! The strike was really a wasted opportunity. God should just deliver us from greedy leaders in this country as corruption is the number one vice.

    • molarah

      May 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Well, apparently, labour is not involved in THIS strike, so I don’t really understand the reference to them. SNG and labour are two different groups, so why are we trying to mix them up?

  12. D

    May 2, 2012 at 10:55 am

    What about standing up to those useless cowards called Boko Haram? Isn’t that a bigger issue?

  13. heeba

    May 2, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Hell No! Labour sold out at the best opportunity for this country at the begining of the year beleive me no such peaceful opportunity will come again.Any protest will not be under anyone rather the people will gather and will protest against the government just as it is happening in other North African countries and it is either they listen to us once and for all or they send soldiers to kill us.

  14. sisi

    May 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    My only concern is that any organized protest could serve as an opportunity for BokoHaram to put up another show of madness – unimaginable catastrophe!

  15. JO!

    May 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    OMG, lwkm4h @Johnnylab, can’t stop laffing, as “you and your “kolly’s” (colleagues, i guess you mean:D) gladly ready to protest and fight in one unity,” you shall, by the special grace of God, be going there on your own. While I will continue to occupy my bedroom as I did in January.
    You are blessed 😀 hehehehehehe *yinmu* at all the people knocking their head on the wall for stuff that will not change whether you occupy from now till next year

  16. SAMUEL GEORGE

    May 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Tunde baker is member bko hm pastor that’s why he cannot openly come out and condemn there act. Every time his problem is on oil matter I am watching this type of occupiers.

  17. tee

    May 2, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    I say it will be dangerous. January 2012 a.k.a opportunity foregone was most timely, they will shoot at protesters now.

    As for those wondering y no protest has been held in reaction to Boko Haram, will u come out? Lol. Trust me they will visit d protest group with great explosions

    I have lost hope 4 Nija

  18. SAMUEL GEORGE

    May 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    These Yoruba guys have found them selves in wrong political parties and now the instigation protest and rallies to destabilise the ruling party with one stupid reason or the other. These S. N. G leaders are political comedians and entertainer who mislead there followers. Baba told them to vote for PDP the say they want CPC , AC were these there selfish leaders are found. Now every issue the take to protests while the nation have a major security treating issue to focus on. Bakare particularly who is always used to misdirect attention of the security people from focusing on boko haram to be focus on him. Boko haram pastor you think we don’t know ur games? The law will get you sir be sure of this and Nigerians will now know u well. PASTOR BAKARE TRY IT ONE DAY AND OPEN UR MOUTH AND CONDEM BOKO HARAM SIR who be ur mugu u know them But i no follow.

  19. abimbola

    May 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Dis is not wat we nid nw, we nid 2 get Boko haram abi na Jihad out of the way first

    • SAMUEL GEORGE

      May 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      @abimbola Please tell Boko pastor Tunde to stop distracting the attention of our security men he should allow this guys to concentrate on fighting this his boko hm members. How much is he paid for this only God knows S.N.G followers should know that our problem is boko haram they should open there mouth and condemn it not fuel subsidy probe that is already going on? Bakare be warned.

  20. SAMUEL GEORGE

    May 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    @abimbola Please tell Boko pastor Tunde to stop distracting the attention of our security men he should allow this guys to concentrate on fighting this his boko hm members. How much is he paid for this only God knows S.N.G followers should know that our problem is boko haram they should open there mouth and condemn it not fuel subsidy probe that is already going on. Bakare! Bakare!! Bakare!!! this fire will not miss to consume u in jesus name , u left ur children here in states and u are over there putting Nigeria on fire.

  21. Jibson

    May 2, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    @ SAMUEL GEORGE, it’s just unfortunate that you cannot say things the way it should be said, we are not talking about boko haram here my friend, the topic of discussion here is fuel subsidy probe report, and here you are condemning Tunde Bakare for trying to stand for justice, in fact i am beginning to suspect that you one of those benefiting from the fuel money and you should be arrested along with the others, look, it is better for you to keep quiet if you don’t have any reasonable comment to make. Fellow Compatriot, let’s all stand up for justice.

  22. lahips

    May 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I strongly support this move, too bad in Calabar we where all so relaxed and no action, i am hoping the action will come this way, and please its always good to try again so lets not give up because the first one did’nt work.

  23. Baby Dee

    May 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    If you fail once, you try again and again and again and again; don’t loose momentum. Eventually, there will be a positive result. Because the 1st occupy did not generate the result you think it should have does not mean it had no impact. That being said, No i will not occupy for Fuel Subsidy, but i will occupy against terrorism in Nigeria. That is the war we should be fighting right now.

  24. SAMUEL GEORGE

    May 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    @Jibson what kind of justice are U standing for? The probe is on going then what else do you want? Why calling for mass protest on subsidy there by distracting attention of the security men from hunting down bk hm vampires.

  25. RON

    May 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Can i sincerely ask y pple r pointing fingers @ Tunde Bakare for not saying anytin abt Boko Haram? Is he the only Pastor in Nigeria in the name of God? Y do we Nigerians lov the pull down syndrome? U can sit in ur homes and continue to wait for God to come down and save Nigeria. I am so amazed that pple call even a Wole Soyinka a political comedian. I dare all of you pointing accusing fingers to come out and speak openly against Boko Haram. Samuel George u say some pple r trying to destabilize the ruling party abi? i srsly smh and im really sorry 4all of us putting up dis siddon look attitude. Pls u can siddon look bcos u live d life of thr rich and famous and you are definitely ready to continue to live with this madness called corruption.

    But pls i beg u pple in the name of God no1 here shd come and start complaining when tins get worse. we all can fold our arms and sit back relax and decide to watch rather than react to this henious crime of corruption that has eaten deeply into our fabric as a nation.

    So much for the youth “leaders of tommorrow”. Rather that push the blame of not mentioning Boko Haram y not come out and start the movement. Alot of us jst sit in the comfort of our homes/offices and say things that r unimagineable. Is it becos u can afford the basic necesities of life? Have u eva sat down to tink of those that cannot even afford a third of what u have? Have you tot of those that the last increase in fuel price have sent back to thier villages? Have you tot of how many children that could not go back to school bcos of fuel price hike? or dose that cannot even afford a one Square meal? Lets be very reasonable pple and if certain pple r ready to fight for you and i to have a better tommorrow y not support them even if u can come out to join in the protest. It may not happen in one day but @ least let us set a precidence even for our unborn children. Enough of this lukewarm attitude as its time to fight for a change in this Country. God bless Nigeria and all those seeking for her good.

  26. SAMUEL GEORGE

    May 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    @RON Bakare is the only noise maker in Nigeria who can never be able to command 0.001% voters if he decides to stand as a front runner in Nigerian presidency so if you follow him you are bound to loose till U stop following him. Tell me if he is representing Justice. My friend justice is pure and clear if U stand for justice U will be able to command at least 25% support of the people U fight for.

  27. sunshine

    May 2, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Funny how everyone that mentions Boko Haram fails to acknowledge the underlying issue causing this madness: POVERTY! As far as i’m concerned for as long as we sit and wait for God to come down to deal with the handful of greedy animals stealing resources meant for the good of all, the more groups of disenfranchised and frustrated Nigerians will resort to violence and crime! Let us wake up and realise that lie Asa said there truly is fire on the mountain and for some reason nobody seems to be on the run, and the few who have the guts to speak up are being labelled as political comedians, I feel so sad for Nigeria…

  28. Wahl

    May 3, 2012 at 7:14 am

    OCCUPY NIGERIA FOR SOMETHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN FUEL PRICE! LIKE NO ELECTRICITY, NO EMPLOYMENT, THE DECAY OF OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM, NO SECURITY, POOR INFRASTRUCTURE, ZERO HEALTHCARE, PUBLIC ABUSE OF OFFICE BY THOSE THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO BE RULING US!!!

  29. faith

    May 3, 2012 at 8:09 am

    I will come out dis time around!

  30. Bawah

    May 5, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    i thing the time has come, we need a revolution, now or never.

  31. Bawah

    May 5, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    those of you insulting Pastor Bakare don’t even have pity for their future generation, alot of things are going wrong in this country and you people should not talk about it? We need the likes of Bakare in this country who can stand for the truth. This is not politics please this is the truth been unveil and we can not sit down and see some few set of people jeopardizing the future of over 140 million Nigerians, is time to stand up and no body will hold us back. “Arise oh compatriot Nigeria call obey” PLEASE OBEY.

  32. Mandy

    May 6, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Pls let’s not be a disgrace to our generation,

    during the first protest was there any bomb blast!

    The boko hm ar Nigerian, wht as the president don sofar 2 stop them,
    Even The president Nos the boko hm, if U̶̲̥̅̊ try once U̶̲̥̅̊ Fell an u Refuse
    To stand up an try again u will die there
    So Let’s Give a second chance

  33. Feyisan Lekan

    May 12, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Pls Naijans, let’s speak with one voice and βε̲̣̣̣̥ optimistic. I frown at people using this medium †• Insult one another. Pls ωε‎ α̲̅я̩̥̊ε̲̣̣̣̥ nt jst going †• Protest for these people †• Βε̲̣̣̣̥ dealt with cos dts nt enof, ωε‎ must also achieve something like making sure τ̣̣ђё fuel price comes down. Also pls Pastor Tunde, I need U̶̲̥̅̊ †• Also encourage other pastors i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ the pastors’ forum †• Use their influence i̶̲̥̅̊n̶̲̥̅̊ ds country †• Change things for τ̣̣ђё betterment of Naijans. Enof ȋ̝̊̅§ enof!!! Let’s Occupy Naija. God bless Naijans!!!

  34. abdulazeez babatunde

    July 8, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    The change we need is close God is not asleep but I always thank God for the life of pastor Tunde Bakara that he his an hero sent in our mist to stand up against this evil men who do not care about the poor but all they want is to use the power to make the poor weep to death. That time is near to make a change and ear the cry of the poor. Pastor may God keep on increasing your faith and make you laugh last. Nigeria will work in my time befor my eye’s Amen occupy Nigeria again and again for is ready to Answer the cry of his children

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