Pastor Tunde Bakare
By Omololu Ogunmade and Gboyega Akinsanmi
Convener of Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare, Thursday expressed anger over insinuations that protesters of fuel subsidy removal in Ojota, Lagos were being sponsored by some individuals with the intention of forcing President Goodluck Jonathan to rescind his decision.
However, a multitude of protesters still gathered to demand the reversal of the fuel pump price of petrol back to N65 per litre.
Bakare who described the allegation as misplaced propaganda, said it was not the first time that SNG would lead protests against unjust acts in the nation, recalling that when the group staged mass action to protest the denial of Jonathan the opportunity to act as President in 2010, they didn’t collect any money from the president.
He said if SNG did not collect any money from Jonathan when it opted to stake its neck for him, it would now be mischievous to imagine that it would collect money from anybody while pursuing the interests of the masses of Nigeria.
According to him, hundreds of thousands of protesters who daily flood Gani Fawehinmi Park to protest the arbitrary increase in the pump price of petrol were not mobilised but rather came on their own in expression of their rejection of Jonathan’s deregulation regime.
Meanwhile, THISDAY witnessed the unlawful manner some groups of hoodlums barricaded the Ajayi Farm, Dopemu and Abule-Egba portions of Lagos-Abeokuta expressway in the broad daylight, stopping and compelling some motorists to tip them or they risk their vehicles being damaged or smashed.
THISDAY also noticed the same scenario at the Cement Bus Stop portion of Lagos-Abeokuta road and along Shasha-Akowonjo as well as Dopemu-Agege roads where the hoodlums converged in scores, brandishing cudgels and truncheons before the coming vehicles.
In those areas, it appeared security operatives had lost control of the environments to the hoodlums, who flooded the streets primarily to extort those found driving during the protest; either such motorists were going about duties journalists or civil society practitioners.