Former President Goodluck Jonathan has revealed in his newly published book, ‘ My Transition Hours’ that the actions of anti fuel subsidy removal protesters in 2012 traumatized his mother after a public display of his mock coffin.
His aged mother who had lost eight children couldn’t hold it when she watched protesters carrying caskets with his picture and name written on them.
According to him, they watched in bewilderment as protests continued unabated across the country as prominent Nigerians including General-Overseer, Living Faith Mission (Winners Chapel) Bishop David Oyedepo; Primate of the Anglican Church, Rt.Rev Nichola Okoh and eight other clerics visited him to reverse the increment in pump price of petrol.
“Every day, she watched on television protesters carrying a casket with my picture on it and having the inscription ‘Rest In Peace.’
“I could imagine her trauma. This is a woman who had 10 live births with only my elder sister and I surviving.” he said
The former President added, “In Lagos State for instance, it was like a carnival. Musicians, comedians and other celebrities were engaged by opposition elements to join the protests.
Refreshments were served to protesters.
“Every morning Lagos State government workers cleaned up the Gani Fawehinmi Park and prepared it for the day’s protests.
It appeared as though the protesters were very special guests of the Lagos State Government. Similar scenarios played out in other opposition controlled states.”
Jonathan further stated that the House of Representatives, which was led by pro-opposition Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, decided to exploit the situation.
He said the House accused him of fleeing the country in a bid to exploit the situation for political gain.
The former President added, “The House of Representatives whose Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, was hobnobbing with the opposition (he eventually defected to the opposition) did not help matters.
“Thinking that I had left the country for South Africa to attend the centenary celebration of the African National Congress, Speaker Tambuwal convened the House to sit on a Sunday just to condemn the deregulation.
“That was the first and only time in Nigeria’s political history that the parliament sat on a Sunday. At that sitting, an opposition member of the House got up to allege that I had abandoned the nation at such a crucial time to join festivities in South Africa.
“Unknown to the House, on that same day while they were sitting, I was at Eagle Square to inaugurate mass transit vehicles my administration purchased to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.”