by Seyi Lawal
Nigerians have witnessed a remarkable sense of unity of purpose, bound together by rage over the fuel subsidy removal policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria, across the country from Lokojo to Ilorin, Lagos to Ibadan.
And now, in Kano, the #OccupyNigeria protest, or the #HarmattanRevolution as some have called it, is in progress – continuing from where it stopped on Tuesday. For over ten hours today, according to eyewitness accounts, hundreds of protesters have peacefully occupied the Silver Jubilee Roundabout in the city centre in what some are calling an “unprecedented” protest.
It started in the day with solidarity as Muslims prayed to start off the protests, and Christians surrounded them to protect them. Soon the roads were blocked as the protesters found their way to the city centre – leaving behind deserted streets including the always-busy Zaria Road; as well as entreaties by the governor for dialogue. The roads were blocked as the city was brought to a standstill, after entreaties by the governor were rejected.
Protesters signed registers and kept themselves engaged by singing the National Anthem regularly, and – to avoid any confrontation – sitting down on the flow, even though the police visibly chose not to interfere. The protesters have vowed to pass the night on the streets and have begun to distribute mats, after the protesters had contributed money to keep the civil action going.
Some of the citizens claim lights were switched off to disrupt the process, but someone has donated 500 small rechargeable lights. People are sending in food items and cash, especially lots of ‘Gurasa’ the traditional Kano bread with three generators. Ignoring an alleged black out by local media and inspired by a stream of Fela songs, the protesters “march” on.
House of Representatives members also sent lots of bread, but the crowds responses “Bamaso” (We don’t want). Government officials tried to address the crowd and were rejected, perhaps because armed security officials had previously blocked the route to Government House.
The protest goes on at the moment and YNaija will bring you other updates.
See some of the photos below:
Pictures thanks to citizen reporter @Dawisu on Twitter.