Since the return to democratic rule in 1999, Nigeria’s civil society has continued to grow in leaps and bounds and have sustained a vigorous engagement with the Nigerian government on a range of governance challenges, especially on the twin issues of corruption and impunity. This was demonstrated during the Late Umaru Yar’Adua saga and the January 2012 fuel subsidy removal protests that was orchestrated by a mix of civil society elements. Civil society coordinated nationwide protests and campaigns that compelled, amongst others, the doctrine of necessity, a government reversal of the earlier announced new fuel (PMS) price; a series of probes (by the executive and legislature) into the subsidy payments and lack of transparency and accountability in the country’s oil and gas sector; and prosecution of some indicted oil marketers by government.
Despite citizens demand for accountability and transparency, corruption and impunity continues to blossom. Political leadership in Nigeria has, on a consistent basis, failed to address and combat corruption. There is an apparent disinterest in dealing with high level corruption. This lack of interest in dealing with corruption came to a boil with the announcement of Presidential Pardon for Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and six others. The grant of pardon generated public outcry and wide condemnations which birthed the Say No Campaign Nigeria.