Austin Agada, a former student activist and North Central Coordinator of National Frontier, a Civil Society Organisation said that President Goodluck Jonathan is a product of masses who went to the streets to ensure he got into power. He noted with regret that the President had allowed the masses to go to the street once more for a policy that was largely against them. He continued that the President was inflicting the pains of the celebrated ‘cabal’ on the masses which wasn’t meant to be the case and if he wasn’t capable of ruling the country or dealing with such groups, the President should give way for someone else to.
Fabian Atese Gbatoon, a lecturer with the Benue State University, Makurdi said that the fuel subsidy was a conduit pipe for misappropriation of funds. He averred that if the government doesn’t have any vested interests, it should investigate claims by several people including Davidi Silver. He emphasized that if the government was more transparent in its dealings, it would realize that the issue of petroleum subsidy would become a thing of the past and the masses would leave the streets.
Mr. Ternenge Torough, a social commentator and finance expert has also called for proper management of the people’s trust. He however said that the way to solving problems is not by insulting anyone and seriously frowned at the stance of several people in insulting leaders. Torough argues that it is illiteracy and a lack of maturity that would cause people not to attack issues alone but target individuals too and called for more tact when talking about issues.
Mrs. Josephine Habba and Lady Grace Shahu, key members of the Civil Society Organisations in Benue state argued that the main stress of the fuel subsidy policy is on women and children. They called for the government to seriously look into the case and work out a favourable plan.
All through, more youths have kept taking to the streets especially in Makurdi, the state capital. They all emphasise that their protests is not just about fuel subsidy removal but is a call for better governance and transparency in leadership by leaders both at the National and local level. They noted that their future was at stake and they had decided to march in protest since they were the key people affected. They promised to keep to the streets as long as their hopes and requests weren’t answered by the government.
It hasn’t been a street fight alone though. On various media and the social network particularly Facebook and Twitter, Benue citizens like other Nigerians devoid of party affiliation, have called for the needs of the youth as expressed above to be met. From Doowuese Akegh (@dreamygiorgi), @renay_212, @sueddieagema on Twitter to the comedian, Sever Ayede, Tuleh Spanix Terhile, Nathaniel Gesa and Ukan Kurugh and others on the Benue Family Network on Facebook, FEDVOSA everywhere (Kator Adaaku, Mbafan Aondokaa), there has been a continued interest in the happenings of the fuel subsidy saga and a call for better governance all over. There have also been a great number of people gaining interest in governance issues and reading more finance and political documents while watching more News…It’s no dull moment.
There has been disappointment expressed by several people over government’s seeming deafness to the cries of the people. More insulting most of them have said is President Goodluck Jonathan’s failure to address the people.
The Benue people hope things get better and are willing to come out to the streets, talk everywhere, argue and even write everyday till that hope is made concrete.
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