Prepare for mass protest over subsidy scam, Soyinka tells Nigerians

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, on Monday urged Nigerians to get ready for another determined protest over the fuel subsidy scam.

Mr. Soyinka said in a press conference organised by the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) in Lagos that revelations from the subsidy probe dehumanises Nigerians.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that controversies continue to trail the report of the fuel subsidy probe which was submitted to the House of Representatives by the Farouk Lawan-led Committee last week.

“I have studied the figures revealed by the probe and I pinch myself to be sure that I am really living in the real world.

“Nigerians are being bludgeoned into sensitivity by sheer excessive corruption by public officials.

“We are being treated, not even as second class citizens, but excessively dehumanised,” Mr. Soyinka said.

He said that Nigerians must be ready to come out and demand an end to the insolence of corruption to which they have been subjected for long.

The Nobel Laureate said that further inquiries on the subsidy scam must be made public and televised live.

“An open examination of what is going on is what is needed now. Let us see those involved attempt to exonerate themselves from this guilt,” he said.

Mr. Soyinka urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), to immediately launch the prosecution of all those involved to prevent Nigeria from being a laughing stock in the world.

“So far, we have not heard any of the figures disputed by relevant government parastatals in the oil industry.

“The facts on ground are enough for the EFCC and ICPC to establish a prima facie case against those indicted,” he said.

Earlier in a written text of their stand on the issue, SNG Convener, Tunde Bakare, queried how Nigeria spent N3 trillion in 2011 above the N245 billion budgeted for subsidy the same year, as revealed by the probe.

Mr. Bakare commended the House of Representatives for its consideration and adoption of the subsidy probe report in a record time of two days.

“This shall go down in history as one act of redemption by a chamber of the National Assembly that has not done much since 1999, to endear itself to the people it represents,” he said.

He said that the time had come to save Nigeria from the grip of corruption, warning that the SNG would call the people out for massive protests if those indicted were not seen to be prosecuted speedily.

Also speaking, Okei Odumakin, the President of Women Arise, a non-governmental organisation, said that all those indicted by the probe must be prosecuted.

Mr. Odumakin said that institutionalised stealing must not be allowed to continue and the people must come out against corruption.

“The resources belong to all Nigerians. Nigerians, therefore, must be strong hearted and determined to take back what belongs to them,” she said.

NAN reports that representatives of several civil society groups were also at the briefing.


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