by Adesina Tosin Nathaniel
This time Monday, February 6 2017, the first major protest in 2017 will be shaking the four walls of Nigeria, from Lagos to Benue to Onitsha to Abuja. Nigerians will be united under one cause to call for redirection of this country, and what we are asking for is not much. According to the organizers Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE) and their major supporter Innocent Ujah Idibia popularly known as 2face Idibia “It’s a call for good governance, a call for urgent explanation into the reckless economic downturn nationwide, a call for nationwide protests as we say no to the Executive, no to Legislature, no to Judiciary…you have all failed us .We the people are tired. We can no longer continue with all of you. All your excuses and mistakes are not funny. We do not wish to continue with a system and government that is not working but afflicting the people. We the people of this country not living under the privileges of government allowances and remuneration have now accepted to take the bull by the horns to come out and protest these obnoxious and baseless policies and excuses of the government of the day. There’s need for Nigerians to rise against what is happening in this country, having waited patiently for the legislators that were elected to represent the people, all to no avail”
Since January 25th, 2017 when the information was made public, there have been lots of opinions for and against the planned protest. Some say it’s necessary while others think otherwise. In the words of the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, those calling for the protest as those still suffering from the defeat of the 2015 Presidential election. I would like to remind Femi that the protest against this government started long ago from the Presidential villa by no other person than the wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari when she declared that this hardship and other ills of the Buhari led Government was not what her husband promised Nigerians and she wouldn’t be supporting Buhari come 2019, to which the President a few days later replied, saying she belonged to “the kitchen, the living room and the Other room”. That was the first call for a protest that wasn’t honoured but this time around we are honouring the call for this protest. Martin Luther King said “our lives begins to end the day we become silent on things that matter” this protest is not about Buhari it’s about Nigeria. Some individuals have resorted to attacking the personality of Mr Innocent Idibia concerning his interest in the protest; they’ve forgotten how he was at the forefront of the Vote Not Fight campaign, one of the volunteer activities that birthed the Buhari Presidency. This Protest is about Nigeria.
This protest is about Shola a 400L Nigerian Medical student in the United Kingdom that dropped out of University due to the ban on forex for Nigerians studying abroad, this protest is about Oluchi, a Queen’s college student that can’t afford an Always sanitary pad due to over 200% price increment, this is about the thousands of Nigerians that lost their jobs due to the current economic recession, this protest is about the thousands of souls lost to Fulani Herdsmen attacks across Nigeria, this protest is about the failure of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary put together. This protest is about Nigeria!
As expected the Government and its contractors have also launched a counter Protest to support the Policies of the Buhari government but it’s evident that it’s dead on arrival. Their actions, however, call for concern about the state of morality in our society. The suffering Nigerians are experiencing under this government is one that nobody is immune to. As a result, any effort to block the will of millions of Nigerians that are suffering will not stand as our voices must be heard from the North to the South to the East to the West.
The APC Government came to power on the heels of protests. When the party’s registration was to be declined by INEC, Nigerians protested. When an attempt was made to prevent Buhari from contesting on the WAEC certificate saga Nigerians, protested for him; when the election was to be shifted Nigerians also protested to protect their mandate, so why is the government averse to seeing us protest?
In the words of Pastor Tunde Bakare, a core Buharist “We are propelled by love for our nation, motivated by deep concern for the sufferings of our people, and driven by a desire to see this government succeed.” That’s the major reason why we are Protesting!
Adesina Tosin Nathaniel is a forward looking Nigerian youth. He tweets @Donteewrites
For more of his writings visit www.donteewrites.blogspot.com