From the Archives: WHY SHOULDN’T THERE BE A PEACEFUL PROTEST AGAINST THIS GOVERNMENT?




Come February 06, 2017, there shall be a peaceful protest against this government. Sad. Sad because this government came to power with so much goodwill that hasn’t been seen from the populace since Hope ’93 election which a certain self-ascribed evil genius (I wonder though if there is any ingenuity in evil) scuttled what would have seen Chief MKO emerge as the president. We, the people of Nigeria were so patient with this government for six rudderless months without ministers. The pump price of petrol was increased from eighty seven to one hundred and forty five naira yet because of our hope that this government would bring change, we accepted even without commensurate economic palliative. This administration has spent twenty one months and yet there is no clear cut economic policy, the naira is still falling with such a great determination to reach the end of the chasm. Prices of food stuff and common house hold items have skyrocketed and there is no end in sight to this economic chaos. The lives of Nigerians have become more ordinary, very inconsequential that mass killings are rewarded with terse statements from the government. On insecurity, shall we talk about the menace of the herdsmen or the ‘unintended’ bombing of an IDP camp by the Nigeria Air Force in Rann killing over two hundred vulnerable people or the upsurge in the rate of kidnappings? Kudos though with the progress in the war against Boko Haram.


An anti-government protest is not unusual, this is a privilege that democracy brings with it and the people can decide to use that privilege when it becomes apposite to do so. In 2012, there was an intense protest against the Goodluck Jonathan administration when he removed fuel subsidy. We, the same people then are still the same people now. The same way the people used their right to reject what was detrimental to their commonwealth is also the same way the people will use their right during this upcoming protest. Hunger and economic hardship do not recognize political affiliations, whether APC or PDP so it is pure mischief for the government to try and play the victim and read political meanings to this protest. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. The people are just sick and tired of the ineptitude of this government. This should be simple enough for the people at the helm of affairs to know but this is Nigeria, the giant of Africa does not reckon with simple things, after all, giants are made of tough stuffs.

I am not surprised that this government through the various spoke persons and other shallow thinking, politically biased individuals and groups have tried to discredit this protest and the leading figures spearheading it. The Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina wants us to believe that those who are calling for the protest are people who supported the last government and are still angry that they lost the last election. According to him, "…don’t forget the last election and how it went. Somebody scored 12.5 million votes, another scored about 15 million votes. There are some people who are still in that election mode. They have not gotten out of it and till today, they are still living and "rheumatisizing" about the past. What they don't know is that that past is gone and gone forever. Majority of those calling for the protest are still in election mode. Majority of them are people that have resolved not to see anything good in this administration simply because the man they wanted lost at the polls"

This line of thought is just very sad and he should know that there is a thin line between being a Man Friday and living in denial. It also shows that it is the president and his team who are still living in the past if they never let any opportunity pass them by to refer to the last administration as the cause of their present poor performance. Someone should please tell them that we were aware of the failings of the Jonathan government that was why we voted President Buhari to usher us to a glorious future and give us a clean break from a reckless past. This now seems like an impossible task for this government. For the records, I support the upcoming protest but I did not support Goodluck Jonathan in the last election. I won’t forget how a brother who rides with me to church on Sundays stopped following me because I just became repulsive to him, he couldn’t understand my love for Buhari. Thankfully, our relationship is better, now when he sees me he jokingly says ‘bro Yomi, I told you o, you didn’t listen’. 

President Buhari and his team would do themselves a greater good if they see this protest which is a combination of ‘wailing wailers’ and ‘collective children of anger’ as a wake up call, he is in the second year of a four-year term, that is half-time. He still has the opportunity to go to the dressing room with his team, assess the first half, make the right substitutions and necessary change in tactics and come out stronger, upturning the game to our admiration and relief in the second half.  We are watching and so also are our voters’ cards.  

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