2Baba, the African Queen Crooner and one of Nigerians most successful artiste has announced a nationwide protest slated for February 6, 2017 tagged #IStandWithNigeria. The march is aimed at calling the attention of President Buhari’s change government to the untold sufferings plaguing the Citizenry. The planned protest is gaining traction with Hip hop artiste Olamide, Burna boy, TerryG and others throwing their weights behind the protest. Harmless and timely as this action seem, few questions needs to be answered before joining the march.
- IS THERE A BETTER WAY TO PROTEST?
In a press statement released by 2Baba, he headlined the reasons for the protest under the following subjects: Education, Health, Transparency, Cost of Government, Power, Unemployment etc. These are fundamental problems plaguing the Nigerian nation. Would the protest solve these problems? An insightful and honest answer is a resounding “No”. Would the protesters present problem statements and march them with proposed solutions? Will government officials and agencies be called out to give explanations on specific issues; why certain problems exist, persist and not remedied? Is there a plan for a post protest pressure group using Information Technology as its vehicle?
Will 2Baba get artistes to boycott government organized events and influence them to sing meaningful and thoughtful songs reflecting the times and calling on all Nigerians – leaders and followers alike to contribute to the future of our nation by shunning corruption and patronizing made in Nigeria products?
- IS THIS A WAY TO SURVIVE THE RECESSION?
Rumours have it that the planned rally has the blessings of top politicians of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Party extraction who have parted ways with the Buhari led government. If true, this may just be another ploy for our artiste to survive the economic recession.
With exception to 2Baba, which of Burna Boy, Olamide, TerryG and others have called government attention to the plight of the people through their songs? Will the protest not evolve into a musical show of sort; an avenue for musicians to shake off boredom and depression cast by the biting recession?
- DO THE ORGANISERS HAVE THE BLESSINGS OF GOVERNOR AMBODE?
By law, Nigerians have the right to organize peaceful protests without obtaining police permit. However, it is advised that they seek and have the consent of the Governor, who is vested with the power to issue licence or permit for holding public meetings, assemblies and processions. Do 2Baba & Friends have the blessings of Governor Ambode and other state governors in states where the protests are scheduled to hold?
- ARE YOU PREPARED TO DIE FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN?
The Nigerian constitution recognizes the right of Nigerians to hold and stage peaceful protests. We must not be in a hurry to forget the Nigeria Police and authorities’ tact at turning a peaceful protest on its head through pronouncements of civil disobedience, unlawful arrest, trial and detention and killings attributed to accidental discharge. Don’t forget that a hungry Nigerian police is a wounded lion on the prowl. Should a stray bullet come in your direction, are you willing to take it in for patriotism sake?
To cite few examples among thousands; on 13th November 2016, ten people were reportedly killed by the Nigerian Police during clashes with members of the shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), during a religious procession near the northern city of Kano.
“On 22nd November , a coalition of civil society organisations protested to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the retrospective approval of 100 million Naira (about 300,000 dollars) worth of housing pensions for former Edo State governor Adams Oshiomhole and his deputy Dr. Pius Odubu. Violence occurred when a group of pro-government supporters attacked the demonstration, leading to the injury of 10 protesters” – monitor.civilus.org
- IS THERE A PROTESTERS REGISTER?
If www.ekocitymagazine.com is to organize a protest against the present government, we would open an online portal for intending protesters to submit their names, qualification, address and their reason(s) for supporting the protest. The register will serve to ensure the safety of all intending protesters and to ensure that only people with good intentions turn out for the event. It will also serve as a trap for thugs who intend to cash on the protest for evil and negative intents.
- ARE YOU PREPARED TO ENGAGE THUGS?
During the 2012 Oil price hike protest under the Goodluck Jonathan administration, a protester shared his experience at Freedom Park where he was harassed by street urchins; he was saved by the ten thousand Naira notes he had on him. He flung it in the air to distract them and fled when they scrambled to pick the notes. In this biting recession, are you willing to part with your hard earned money and risk being mishandled by thugs and criminals?
Olamide, Burna boy and TerryG who are strong supporters of the protest have a history of attracting thugs to their concerts; the planned protest will not be different. In December 2016, at a concert held at the Eagles Club, Adeniran Ogunsanya Lagos, Olamide’s performance was underlined with broken bottles and flying fists. His presence will no doubt attract ‘street boys’.
- WHAT ARE YOU CONTRIBUTING TO NIGERIA’S DEVELOPMENT?
Charity begins at home. Before you march bearing placards, chanting songs and pointing accusing fingers, search your conscience and answer these questions, “Do I contribute to a prosperous Nigeria? Do I consciously go out of my way to patronize made in Nigeria goods and services? Do I make a living by being transparent, accountable and hardworking? If you answered Yes to these questions keep up the good and commendable work, otherwise, go and make penance, turn a new leaf and become a “born again” citizen.
A protest of this magnitude and intention will better be staged at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. You will agree that the Lagos State government under the leadership of Governor Ambode is delivering the dividends of Democracy. Lagos State is not the best location to stage a protest against a non-performing government given that the action will hamper economic activities.
As concerned Nigerians who are at the receiving end of President Buhari’s ineffectual leadership, we would only support a well-planned protest, one bearing problem statements, proffering realistic and actionable solutions and creates a follow up pressure group employing ICT solutions.
We are not convinced that 2Baba and friends have this level of organization in place.
Did 2Baba and friends pass the 7 Way test? We look forward to reading your comments and thoughts.