Occupy Nigeria is a series of protests that began in Nigeria on Monday, 2 January 2012 in response to the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government of President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria on Sunday, 1 January 2012.
#Occupynigeria (the twitter handle for Occupy Nigeria) is a new revolution of change in Nigeria by Nigerians home and abroad seeking for an end to corruption in Nigeria’s economy by occupying public spaces home and abroad while protesting and airing their views.
#Occupynigeria started as a result of Removal of subsidy on Petroleum products, 120% increase in the price of Petrol, Corruption in Government & public service, inhuman treatment of Nigerians by Government & Security agents and High rate of poverty.
It hopes to reverse the Removal of subsidy on petroleum product and a review of cost of governance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its 2012 budget review (Cut-backs on politician allowances).
I have moved around the environment, heard comments from Nigerians and watched them react to the remover of fuel subsidy…I have also read thousands of placards from protesters. The general message translates to:
‘’Jonathan, reverse fuel subsidy removal because that’s the only thing we enjoy from the government, we don’t want corruption, and we are ready to fight it with the last of what we have even as poor citizens’’
A good observer will quickly notice the high level of decadence, poverty and absence of government by merely walking across a typical Nigerian street. As a lover of Street Photography I read this on the faces of my subject every day.
About the issue of fuel subsidy removal, GEJ described the removal as an UNPOPULAR decision that has to be taken to ensure a better Nigeria 10years to come. I am not also a fan of popular opinion but I could reason with the masses, I know there is an element of truth in their opinion and going back to history, this same POPULAR OPINION voted Mr GEJ into government. It would only be unfair to allow the poor masses bear the brunt of our decaying government.
We all know that Corruption is everywhere, the Government, Executives, House and Senate, Judicial System, Government Contractors, private Sectors and the Populace. Then let’s fight corruption!
Over the years it’s true the government have tried to fight this social endemic. I want to believe they probably have not employed the right approach. It would be sentimental and egotistical to consider any Academic Jottings or even other Nations Law as a rule to fight this, it would not work! Because our problem is unique to Nigeria and Nigeria alone in all angles! As they say ‘’Different folks with different tales’’
I would suggest our government make STRICT laws to prosecute corrupt leaders be it the executives, house, senate and the judicial. By STRICT I mean laws that have no immunity of any form, it has no reversal of any form and it is powerful than any ‘’human Nigerian’’. If truly the government of today wants to change Nigeria this STRICT laws would fight corruption. I would also like to say corruption is corruption…it cannot be weighed meaning for example A secretary that embezzled N4 is same with a President that embezzled N40Million. This would help bring the rich to the level of the poor and the poor to the level of the rich making everybody conscious of what is at stake!
Now here is my resolution, I am not an Economist, so I really can’t give a detailed explanation of the economic consequences of my idea, I am not a Politician, I don’t know how games in high places are played neither am I a Pastor who sees visions, so I don’t know what the future looks like, but one general rule I know from my Elementary Science education is that ‘’Ardent problems are treated/solved from the root cause of such problems ’’
Before I end this note I would like to remember those that lost their life to the fight of this course. May their gentle soul rest in peace! I also want to commend all egalitarian Nigerians that left their comfortable and uncomfortable positions to protest…One thing I know for sure is that Nigeria would change if I and you fight for our rights.
The Labour Unions and Leaders (NLC -Nigeria Labour Congress, TUC-Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, Safe Nigeria Group and all others) have also done a tremendous job leading and keeping thousands of protesters under non-violence protest.
I have a lot of pictures here that shows our struggle at the protest…Use as much as you can and share it. Let our voices be heard and above all enjoy some of the funny placards!
Hungry Labour Workers
White Garment Christians Cleansing the Land
Street Guys barricading a major route in Akowonjo Area
Empty Computer Village Ikeja
Gani Fawemi Park, Welcome with Love to the Centre of Excellence, Lagos Freedom Square
Keep Lagos Clean
Veteran Film Producer, Tunde Kilani
Angry Protesters rain causes to the Patrol Police Helicopter perambulating the Freedom Park Environment
Prof. Pat Utomi
Pastor Tunde Bakare
Jerry Yang (Artist)
Pop Fashion Photographer, Kelechi Amadi Obi
Gbenga Salu and The Backyard Crew (Winner of D’Banj’s ‘Oliver Twist’ Dance Competition)
Our leader been reduced to a puppet!
Tremendous Crowd at Occupy Ojota
I hope GEJ would see this…This is absolutely unacceptable…I would rather wish he subsidize the health and future of this little child!
Safe Nigeria Leaders moderating the crowd while they extinguish a burnish piece set up by angry protesters on the highway
Reuters Photographer, Akintunde Akineye documenting the scene
Jonathan Must Go!
Fela Anikulapo Kuti Impersonator
She wants it moved back to N35