Former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement that, ‘there is the possibility of having the Arab Spring in Nigeria if similar conditions, hardship and unemployment which gave birth to it are not addressed’ is highly commendable.

Whereas Chief Obasanjo as a former president who presided over the affairs of the country in the midst of unprecedented oil revenue, cannot absolve himself of the disconnect between economic growth and employment generation, the slide of Nigeria into Arab Spring and manifestation of a poor country of few rich people; however his statement is a challenge and cannot be swept under the carpet by President Jonathan.

Accordingly, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties {CNPP} ‘s commendation of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s statement is predicated on the fact that it is coming at a time when President Goodluck Jonathan and his economic team are hell bent on removal of fuel subsidy; despite subsisting national consensus against the removal.

The Nigeria Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress, the National Assembly, the Clergy, opposition political parties and all patriots have in no uncertain terms said emphatic no to Removal of Fuel Subsidy; yet President Jonathan and his cohorts are glossing over the danger and the consequences of an Arab Spring.

Now that his mentor has spoken, ‘it doesn’t matter which way you look at it today, people are now talking of Arab Spring.’ we hope President Jonathan will listen to wise counsel and come to terms with the hard realities that the goodwill he had before the April elections had evaporated and Nigerians are cynical and skeptical over his capacity to prudently manage the monies which will accrue from the withdrawal.

For the avoidance of doubt, with the list of beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy unveiled by the Senate Committee on Fuel Subsidy and the billions lost on privatization listed by the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Privatization; Nigerians expect Mr President to prosecute the culprits. Failure to do so will further erode the confidence on him or whomsoever he appoints to chair the palliative committee, hence trust is central to the opposition to the removal of fuel subsidy.

How on earth can anybody expect alienated citizenry who had been severally raped, severally disappointed and severally disconnected belief a government which squandered over $20 billion excess crude account in the last five years?

Finally, it is the considered view of the CNPP that the surest route to avoid Arab Spring and raise funds for the vital infrastructure which President Jonathan intends to source from fuel subsidy removal is the renewal of war against corruption. Jonathan should muster the political will to recover looted funds invested locally and harvest the window offered by the international community to recover looted funds starched abroad.

Osita Okechukwu

National Publicity Secretary

CNPP
 

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