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Action Congress of Nigeria condemns President Jonathan's deployment of soldiers against protesters
| January 17, 2012
Reacting to the deployment of soldiers on the steets of Lagos and other states yesterday, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) released a statement condemning the deployment and called it anti-democratic. Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state also condemned the Federal Governmentâs deployment of soldiers in Lagos and called for the immediate withdrawal of the soldiers from the streets. In a speech to the people of Lagos, Governor Fashola said âEvery one of us, or at least majority of us who hold public office danced and sang before these same people when we were seeking their votes. Why should we feel irritated when they sing and dance in protest against what we have done? For me this is not a matter for the military. The sooner we rethink and rescind this decision the better and stronger our democracy will be.â âIrrespective of the fact that many people gathered in several parts of Lagos, they have largely conducted themselves peacefully, singing and dancing while they expressed their displeasure at the way that some decisions have been taken that affect them and this should not be a justification for sending our soldiers to a gathering of unarmed citizens.â Prof. Wole Soyinka, also condemned the deployment of soldiers in Lagos. In a statement titled âGross betrayal", where he also condemned the deal reached by the government and Nigeria Labour Congress, Soyinka said, "the action is a gross violation of the rights of citizens to congregate and give expression to whatever grievances bedevil their existence. We demand the immediate and unconditional removal of these soldiers. Until they are removed, Nigerians as a whole should understand that the present civic action is not over and prepare to mobilise and defend their liberty." The Action Congress of Nigeria's statement said, "whoever advised the President to take this path has done him a great disservice and ruined his democratic credentials, if ever he had any. Sending soldiers armed with assault rifles and backed by armoured tanks to intimidate and harass unarmed civilians has now exposed President Jonathan as a closet dictator. ââMr. President, as we said in our earlier intervention on this issue, the protests in Lagos these past few days have set a new standard in how the citizenry can engage in non-violent protest. It was so well organised and peaceful that people even came with their families, including young children. Ethnicity, religion and other divisive tendencies were jettisoned in an unprecedented show of unity, while music was used effectively to reduce tension and create a carnival-like atmosphere." ââEven the policemen who daily shadowed the Gani Fawehinmi Park did not need to fire a single canister of teargas because there was no violence. This is the setting that the President, alienated too soon from the people who elected him into office, decided to send battle-ready soldiers into. If the President was angered into taking a wrong action by the verbal jabs thrown at him by speakers at the park, then he needs a lesson in democratic governance. ââWe condemn the tactless and unnecessary show of force in Lagos, and will like to remind Mr. President that it is only a government that has run out of ideas on how to engage its people on issues, no matter how vexing, that will resort to the use of force to suppress them. A government that claims to exercise sovereignty on behalf of the people cannot treat the same people as enemies to be shooed off streets and parks by fierce-looking soldiers. ââPart of the reasons the issue of fuel subsidy spiraled out of hand was because the governed no longer have trust and confidence in those governing them. It remains to be seen how an unyielding Federal Government and the occupation of Lagos by the military, on the orders of elected President Jonathan, will restore that much-needed trust and confidence.ââ

(5) Comment


"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."
"Coming In From The Cold"    In California, USA    January 23, 2012
Dear CIBI Ike, Happy New Year to you too, and welcome back to the States. Thank you too, Omoepa. Happy New Year to all and sundry. Oh well, the year is still new.

I really did not kiss goodbye to; I love ngex. I just got tired of the situation in our country but I was still reading blogs from you guys and watching what to do with "the excess water wey don pass gariâ; I no fit drink am; my belle don full, and I no fit throw am away - I go die o.

There is a Yoruba proverb that translates literally as, âwhen a situation has gone beyond shedding tears, you just laughâ. But that kind of laughter is really not laughter but internal distress disguised as laughter. Na so life be o.

Nigeria is in trouble. But the trouble is we donât ever tackle our problems right. We did not build, and we donât have, the foundation to prepare us for tackling any impending crisis. How can you wait till the fire has started before starting to build a fire truck? Where is the police to tackle the crisis?

And we all know the basis for all of our problems â corruption. Until that is solved, we will only be chasing shadows. You canât leave the disease alone and be curing the symptoms. The NPF is too centralized, inadequate, inefficient, ineffective, and archaic. Itâs no rocket science that a central policing system will not work in this day and age as population continues to grow. At the least, each state should have its own police.

But the bottom line is that our rogue politicians know that the current police setup is inadequate, but it protects them from adequate prosecution. So, the status quo is alright for them.

The laws are there, in the books, but are not used effectively; the Judiciary is there but corrupt to the bone; the Legislature is there, corrupt as well, and not making new laws to tackle new problems; the Executive is there riding roughshod and disrupting the Judiciary and Legislature. Na wa for blackman o. How come systems that work somewhere else donât work with us black people? Itâs the same system that America and other civilized nations are using. What is wrong with us? I still donât know how a few people called politicians can hold all of us ransom.

Believe me, we all know the theoretical answers to these rhetorical questions. But what do we really have to do to get the real answers and get our problems solved? What is the pathway to take? The problem is human and I know the solution has to be human too. God is doing His own part of it which we donât understand; letâs do our own part too and hope God has directed us to do whatever we did.
CIBI Ike    Trenton, New Jersey,     January 20, 2012
Dear "Coming In From The Cold." Happy New Year! It was good to read from you again. I was away from States for a time and when your comments ebbed I thought you had kissed goodbye so what a pleasant surprise to see you are back. Welcome.

I posted a comment concerning the "Disposable Idiots" of Northern Nigerian Moslems called "Boko Haram/Islamic Fundamentalists" and placed the dastardly acts of wanton human destructions of none Moslems on the real culprits: The Arewa Consultative Forum the âelitesâ whose finger prints are all over the place. I digress.

Obasanjo's hand picked man Jonathan is everything that is to be expected coming from OBJ. Why you and I expected anything differently is hard to imagine. It is said that a servant is never greater than his master. Let me ask Nigerians this; does anyone believe president G E Jonathan is corrupt? Like you, I would have said a resounding NO but this strong subsidy wind that blew over the past few weeks made me saw things covered.

While he may be dumb, he isnât stupid. Among his Cabinet are hi-way mini gals that could serve as conduits to siphon treasures while flashing their looks knowing the men, Nigerian men would not mind accepting anything in skirts. The two women at the helm of the fuel subsidy could be Obasanjoâs plants, and they should be closely monitored.

Take it easy on GE Jonathan whose dumb moves were on display lately, he still a lot less dumb than majority of the Military Heads of state since Obasanjo. I hope you are following the scandalous account of events with NNPC and none of those in charge of Nigeria petroleum knows how much is consumed by the nation. Click the Newspapers and read the Nigeria Tribune and see for yourself. Ribadu would have been a better choice but Obasanjo is not suicidal to put in someone who would put him back in prison for all sorts of crime against Nigeria. It was same with denying Chief Awolowo the presidency he clearly won had Obasanjo followed the Electoral College dictates of the constitution in the 1979 election.

The Federal govt. withdrawal of the subsidy was a crime against humanity because that subsidy benefits all Nigerians. There are numerous things this govt. should be doing and still derive equal amount of savings which is address the mindless manner the wealth of the nation is controlled by few thugs. They claimed that withdrawal of the subsidy money would free up money for development. How I wish thatâs true but donât be surprised it was calculated to remove it from where it would serve everyone to where it would be shared by just a handful. What measures were put in place for accountability? Why does the Federal govt. under EFCC practice, bargain for a percentage of "loots" by those in authorities that abused their trusts and drained the public funds instead of confiscating all they stole and sentenced to life?

The first place to start in righting the crime against Nigerian Citizens is to put the politicians on salary commensurate with their counterparts in Ghana. Until then, their looting will continue. Even Labor leaders are corrupt. I wonder why some answer âcomradeâ in capitalist platform. Indeed there is a method to Nigeria's madness.
Omoepa    MV, California, USA    January 19, 2012
Thank you "Coming in From The Cold" In California, USA. I hope this President can read and understand and by now he should know he has lost his credibility if at he has any before.
"Coming In From The Cold"    In California, USA    January 18, 2012
This President is a coward. He is so fearful of the north and would do anything to avoid confronting them. Which kind "yeye" President be dis one. He is so scared of Boko Haram that he negotiated with them and even paid the family of their dead leader. And watch his actions, utterances, appointments, etc.

He sent the soldiers to Lagos to cause problems for the Yoruba people and invite chaos to their land. He may have been expecting the soldiers to shoot and kill some of these protesters. He wants to gain popularity on the back of mayhem in Yoruba land. I'll like to see him deploy soldiers to Portharcourt or the ijaw waterside he came from.

I was rooting for this man after he won the election, even though Ribadu was my man. I am so disappointed in GEJ now as he has shown that he has no leadership qualities at all. The man can't even express himself well in public. Who else can we blame but OBJ who helped him to get there. Jonathan will end up being the worst and dumbest President Nigeria has ever had. He is so dumb he hurts my feelings. He may have eaten too many periwinkles, so-tay, he can't even act or think right. That's what eating too much periwinkles does to your brain.

He has no guts and will never have any glory. Comot joh, make better person come be President, o jare.
Sam Ola    New York, U.S.A    January 17, 2012
Jonathan did not realize he has taken the fist dangerous step of returning the military to power. For the love of our dear country Nigeria this guy should think well before he takes unwarranted step/s like this in future. The military are probably looking for excuses to do what they do best in Africa
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