BY GBENGA OLARINOYE, OSHOGBO
The Osun state capital yesterday stood still for several hours as members of human rights groups, labour unions and Civil Liberty Organizations converged on the town to protest against the sudden removal of oil subsidy by the federal government, thereby halting commercial activities in the state capital.
The protest led by wife of the late human Rights Lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Alhaja Ganiyat also caused traffic upheaval in Osogbo, just as vehicular movements were restricted in some major parts of the town like Orita Olaiya, Ayetoro, Old Garage and Oke fia.
Convener of the protest and National Co-ordinator of the Committee for Democracy and Rights of the People (CDRP), Comrade Amitolu Shittu said students of tertiary institutions from across the state, labour leaders in the state and artisans were mobilized to protest peacefully against the subsidy removal which he said had caused undue hardship for Nigerians.
Addressing a crowd of people during the protest, Mrs Fawehinmi declared that President Goodluck Jonathan has failed in administering the country, saying Nigerians must rise to fight against the oil subsidy removal by the federal government.
She said “the masses are suffering. Majority of Nigerians only exist rather than living. We must not relent in this struggle. We must fight Jonathan to a standstill over this anti people policy. This President has failed. He does not depict his name ‘Goodluck’ but he is something else”.
“Jonathan could have listened to the voice of the people and reason along rather than imposing pains on the masses. This government does not care for the people and this is unacceptable. Jonathan must reverse his decision and ensure that the price of petrol is reversed to #65 per liter”, she added.
The aggrieved protestants marched who converged on Ayetoroto junction as early as 7.00 am marched to the busy Olaiya junction where they barricaded roads and caused traffic jam for several hours.
Security agents including mobile policemen and State Security Service (SSS) personnel moved round with the protestants to prevent breakdown of law and order during the.
According to Comrade Shittu “Since independent over 50 years ago, Nigerians have not had it worst like this period of Jonathan. Instead of fine tunes the strategy to solve economic problems facing the people of this country, the President has decided to inflict pains on the masses. This is not about fuel subsidy; it is about the ruling class waging war on the Nigerian masses”.
He said “Nigeria masses decry the removal of fuel subsidy as a cruel and anti-people policy designed by the ruling class to punish masses of Nigeria. The action of Jonathan is inhuman, illegal, barbaric, evil, astronomical, heartless, unreasonable and most insensitive. He did not consider the untold hardship it would bring on the lives of common masses of the country”.