Thursday, 1 November 2012

Jonathan: Subsidy Protesters Almost Took Over My Government

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said he would have ceased to be the president of Nigeria during the protests that greeted the initial removal of fuel subsidy by his administration in January this year.

The President said but for some factors that was considered by aggrieved Nigerians, he would have been sacked him from office while the protest lasted.

He said the only thing that saved him from removal during the impasse was because he emerged President in a free and fair election through the genuine mandate of the voters.

Jonathan spoke in Freetown, Sierra Leone, when he met with the chairman of that country’s National Electoral Commission, Mrs. Christiana Thorpe, and chairmen as well as presidential candidates of political parties contesting the country’s general elections on November 17.

He therefore advised stakeholders in Sierra Leone to work towards ensuring a free and fair election devoid of manipulation. “In Nigeria, I remember the fuel subsidy crisis all over the country, I could have been removed but I was confident of my mandate.

“When some people started talking of regime change, majority of the people who voted for me insisted that they elected me and what they were asking for was change of policy, not regime change; and that calmed down the situation.

“Credible elections give you the mandate of the people and confidence too. It is difficult to calm people down when elections are manipulated.”

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