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#IStandWithNigeria: Lagosians storm Surulere in demand for good governance, transparency and clampdown on corrupt practices

Lagosians as well as other Nigerians stormed the iconic National Stadium, Surulere, today to be part of the #IStandWithNigeria march in protest against the form of governance in the country.

The protest had earlier witnessed a major setback after its convener, Tuface Idibia announced the cancellation in the early hours of yesterday, February 5, 2017. The development however didn’t deter Nigerians who seized the opportunity to go ahead with the protest in the absence of the legendary music act.

Originally scheduled to commence at 8:00am, the gathering of the protesters earlier witnessed a low turnout with residents, protesters, NGOs alongside other civil societies converging late at the venue. This almost led to a turnoff for protesters who arrived the scene early enough to meet heavy Police presence across different strategic positions at the venue.

Moments afterwards, the procession increased in numbers with the protest march witnessing a spike in protesters who joined the train.

The protest march took the participants from National Stadium, Surulere through Ojuelegba under bridge before the procession headed to National Theatre, Iganmu. During the march, the protesters chanted solidarity songs while also airing their thoughts on the present administration and making demands for a ‘change’ they all voted for.

The demands by Nigerians during the protest march include; total clampdown on corrupt practices in government, transparency, equity and fairness, security, conformity in rule of law among others.

Speaking during the protest march, Reverend Olu Martins who prefer to be tagged as ‘the Hungry Nigerian’ said the protest was “needed to address the ongoing wrongs in governance in Nigeria. The government is not reflective on the lives of the masses. Nigerians are hungry and we demand the present administration to address their campaign promises because that was why Nigerians voted them into power.”

Another concerned Nigerian who is the President, Coalition of Middle Belters in Nigeria, Mr. Bako Benjamin said, “the country deserves equity and fairness across board. Aside all the mentions of tackling corruption and transparency, we should not forget about the number of lives lost daily due to the ongoing genocide in Sounthern Kaduna. The government should not act like they don’t know or hear of what’s happening back there. Our people are dying daily and if care is not taken, it might spiral into another case of communal war.”

Yemi Adamolekun, the Executive Director, EiE Nigeria, on her part said “the coalition was not discouraged by the last minute cancellation of the protest by Tuface. The protest was not about Tuface Idibia, but about Nigeria. Tuface had called for nationwide protest against what he claimed as the worst economic crisis in the country which saw the costs of goods and services skyrocketing, with many families struggling to survive. There is more to that which is why we all came to air our views today.”

The Lagos Police Chief, CP Fatai Owoseni in his remarks said the Nigeria Police Force was part of the protest to “give protection and ensure safety of lives and properties.”

“It is their day and there is no need to stop anyone from expressing their views via a peaceful protest,” he added.

The protest had popular personalities such as Charles Oputa better known as Charly Boy, comic act, Seyi Law, Nollywood actors, Baaj Adebule and Yomi Fabiyi, Jhybo, and Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore.

Other attendees include the Executive Director of EiE Nigeria, Yemi Adamolekun, Chude Jideonwo, Olu Martins,Bako Benjamin, Oluwaseun Aboderin, amongst a host of others.

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Idris Aina
Idris is a media and communications professional with keen attention to details. An entertainment enthusiast, he is an ardent fan of the team from the Red Side of Manchester with love for football banters. He tweets with the handle @arlomah.
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