Seven Days and Seven Nights – The #Occupy Nigeria Timeline (Part 2)

By Eromo Egbejule

SUNDAY, January 8

Emergency session at the House of Representatives is called on Sunday afternoon; the outcome is a proposed suspension of removal of fuel subsidy.

The National Assembly management website is hacked and defaced.

In Niger State, Muslim brothers circle a church to protect the worshippers while they have a service; an exact reverse of the situation at the Silver Jubilee Square, Kano a few days earlier.

Students give artiste D’banj ultimatum to join protests or be stoned off stage during performances.

Chinua  Achebe writes a protest letter along with 37 others to President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso reportedly hires 30 buses of thugs from Hotoro to beat up protesters around the city.

Police beats up protesters at 3am in Abuja.

 

MONDAY, JANUARY 9

Striking again, Nigerian hacktivists deface the websites of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Dangote Sugar company.

Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota is packed full with teeming supporters of the strike action, both celebrities and the ordinary masses. Eldee, Sound Sultan, Bez, Christine, Vector, Ade Piper, Rooftop MCs, Toni Payne, 9ice, Ruggedman and others “occupy”.

Government spokesman, Reuben Abati describes NASS statements as inciting.

Protesters and soldiers fight in Auchi.

Kano protesters burn police vehicle for attacking peaceful protesters.

NLC President, Abdulwaheed Omar announces that policemen killed 3 in Lagos, 6 in Maiduguri. Governor Raji Fashola of Lagos announces arrest of killer cop (a DPO Segun Fabunmi) later in the day for shooting and killing one Ademola Aderinde at Yaya Abatan, Ogba.

Former Osun state governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola drives into protesters in Oshogbo, the state capital, injuring about 30 people.

American rapper, MC Hammer tweets about #OccupyNigeria, encouraging the people to “be strong”.

Protesters breach security at the Kano Govt house. Curfew in Kano, 6-8pm.

Asides Lagos, Abuja and Kano, protests are organised in several other parts of the country. Arch-bishop leads protest in Ado-Ekiti and Sam Dede in PH.

 

TUESDAY, JANUARY 10

Protests continue, mostly peacefully in Benin, Ibadan, Oshogbo, Warri, Owerri and Kaduna.

At Ojota, Lagos, Nollywood stars and musicians along with other prominent Lagosians address the crowd and show solidarity with the action, from Femi Kuti, eLDee, Olu Maintain, Pasuma, Bimbo Akintola, Nigga Raw and Foluke Daramola to Jide Kosoko and others. Leading legal luminary and social crusader, Femi Falana also comes up on stage for the second consecutive day.

 

WEDNESDAY, January 11

Governor Sullivan Chime arrests Comrade Festus Ozoeze, Vice Chairman of Amalgamated Workers Union of Enugu State Water Corporation for flouting the ban on mass actions in the state, sets up a kangaroo court which tries him instantly and remands him in prison.

Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala tweets that the state governors are to blame, not GEJ, since they initiated subsidy removal.

Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi introduces local fuel subsidy of  N4.

Senate asks President GEJ to wait till April before implementing the fuel subsidy removal.

Pastor Tunde Bakare and Alhaji Abdulramon Amodu, Chief Imam, Lagos go on stage together at the Ojota protests, encouraging protesters to remain peaceful and shun religion-centric uprisings.

At the Falomo protests, an excited young lady walks up to superstar, Banky W to take a picture and hands her new Blackberry Bold 5 to a male bystander, with polite instructions to take a good one. The onlooker, acting on personal instructions, disappears with the phone.

The FG says it will stick to a no-work, no-pay situation, reminding labour of the existing court order, adding that the unions should instead dialogue with it. Information Minister, Labaran Maku says GEJ deserves to be praised rather than vilified for removing fuel subsidy.

Ghana protest at Naija High Commission, Ghana and drop off letter for President Jonathan with the High Commissioner, Musliu Obanikoro.

Anambra Sate’s Governor Peter Obi applauds protests in Nnewi and Onitsha.

One killed, several injured in Obalende.

Ijaw Youth C members in Bayelsa take to streets, asking for NLC to end the strike.

Sardauna Magazine publisher and convener of Sardauna Awards, Hassan Rilwan is held by the SSS for questioning. He is later released same day.

 

THURSDAY, January 12

UN warns Boko Haram it could be guilty of crimes against humanity if they carried out systematic attacks on religious targets.

Social entrepreneur, Toyosi Akerele is attacked by hoodlums while driving on the 3rd Mainland Bridge, Lagos and both her laptop and 25, 000 naira cash are taken from her before she’s allowed to go. A gang of thieves who steal an iPad and 20, 000 naira just outside the Gani Fwehinmin Park, Ojota while the main protest rally is on, are not so lucky and are beaten to pulp as videos on CNN iReport show. One is handed over to the police by some of the mob while another section chases journalists away and nothing is known about what happens to the rest of the gang.

Video surfaces on YouTube in which controversial preacher, TB Joshua claims to have predicted the current economic crisis and strike as far back as October 2011.

Conscious rapper, Talib Kweli endorses #OccupyNigeria via Twitter and urges the Nigerian people to keep up with the peaceful protests.

Violence happens on the 3rd Mainland Bridge and in Fagba/Iju areas of Lagos as touts go head-to-head in a free-for-all fight.

Civil servants in Abia refuse to obey government order to return to work and almost lynch the state NLC chairman, Comrade Sylvanus Eneh for calling off a rally against subsidy removal.

Resignation statement from Group General Manager, Corporate Affairs, NNPC, Levi Ajonuma circulates, a document debunked as a forgery by the signee himself who speaks to popular online youth magazine, YNaija in a phone interview later in the day.

President GEJ leads Governors Oshiomhole, Amaechi, Fashola, Imoke and Obi into crucial meeting with labour leaders. Talks are inconclusive with rumours of the labour unions leaders being bribed and fuel price. Meeting adjourned to Sat, 14th.

The office of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island is, in the parlance of the day, “occupied” by hundreds of protesters for allegedly broadcasting “state propaganda”.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu and three others have their convoy halted by about 10, 000 protesting youths in Ibadan on their way to Abuja by road. The parliamentarians have to cancel their journey already hampered by shutdown of activities at airports.

Eleven civil society groups make a case against President Goodluck Jonathan to the International Criminal Court for human rights violations and the killings during the course of the protests against subsidy removal.

Music producer, tha Suspekt releases a comic video, “Subsidy” which garners over eleven thousand views in less than 48 hours.

Amnesty International calls on the Nigerian police to stop shooting innocent protesters.

 

FRIDAY, January 13

Hacktivists announce they will attack the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) website that morning. EFCC posts news of arrest of certain members of “the oil cabal”. Later in the day, the agency claims its site was hacked and that the official who purportedly signed the press release, Femi Babafemi as “Head, Media & Publicity Unit of EFCC” is no longer with the commission.

OccupyNigeria South Africa kicks off at the Nigerian High Commission, Pretoria with quite an impressive turnout.

Airlines including Arik Air cancel and reschedule flights between Nigeria and London and some other destinations due to logistics arising from the nationwide strike action.

The NLC and TUC meet with the FG in the morning, suspending the strike over the weekend to enable citizens prepare for the upper week when the mass action resumes.

SEVEN DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS, a diary on the #OccupyNigeria series of protests continues next week.

 

Eromo Egbejule, is a freelance journalist. When he is not blogging or tweeting as @Helvetika_EE, he is trying to justify his engineering degree.

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