Tuface planned protest…the many sides to the coin

Mixed feelings have continued to trail Nigeria pop singer, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as 2face, proposed nationwide protest against what he termed as ‘obnoxious policies’ implemented by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The African Queen crooner had taken to his Instagram page on Wednesday, January 25, to Nigerians to join his protest against bad governance and the need for government to the reason for the reckless economic downturn nationwide.

2face had in the post tagged: ‘official 2baba first massive nationwide protest on February 5, 2017’ wrote:  “A call for good governance. A call for urgent explanation by the incumbent Federal Government into the reckless economic downturn nationwide. A call for nationwide protests as we say no to the Executive, no to Legislatures, no to Judiciary… You have all failed us.

“We the people are tired; we can no longer continue with all of you, all your excuses and mistakes are not funny. We do not wish to continue with a system and government that is not working but afflicting the people.

“Where are the recovered looted funds? Why do we still have the executive arms and legislatures still enjoying their salaries and allowances while we hear there’s no money to pay workers? Why do we still see ceaseless power failures with no explanation and hope of getting out of it unlike before? Why do we keep seeing peace talks in Niger Delta, Fulani Herdsmen and IPOB without any solutions being reached, while the strategies keeps aggravating the people involved as political leaders stage forums to extort funds in the name of addressing their subjects? Why did we have petrol price rise to 145 for the sake of global oil price crash and removal of subsidy but such price is still being maintained despite significant re-awakening of the oil price from $30/barrel to $56/barrel?

“Who is to be held accountable for the sudden and continuous hike in price of commodities in the market, where for the first time in history, Nigeria is suddenly selling kerosene at 400 naira per litre as against 50 naira per litre, diesel at 300 naira per litre as against 100 naira per litre and petrol from 87 naira to 145 naira? Yet maintaining the same systems, environment and maybe a lesser money spending government. There’s need for Nigerians to rise against what is happening in this country having waited patiently for the legislatures that were elected to represent the people all to no avail.”

The first salvo dealt to the proposed protest by the singer was from a university don, Akindele Adetoye, a Professor at Obafemi Awolowo University (O.A.U) Ile-Ife, who took his Facebook on Tuesday, Januray 31, to openly slam and chastise the singer for calling people to join him with the protest.

However, after receiving several backlash from people, the Professor on Wednesday, February 1, took to the social media (Facebook) to apologise to singer for his action saying that his (2Face) passion for the country took the best of him.

Initially schedule to hold tomorrow, February 5, the protest has been moved to Monday, February 6. 2Face, while addressing issues surrounding the planned demonstration in a Facebook video message on Tuesday, January 31, stated that the planned protest was moved to Monday, February 6 because president Buhari, who is currently on a 10-day medical vacation in the United Kingdom, is expected back to the country on the day.

He said, “It is not a platform for politicians of any party to manipulate. I know you will still spin it but for one second leave your battles aside and just listen to people without trying to score cheap political points against one another. It is not a point scoring exercise. It is certainly not personal. It is not an organised labour platform. With all due respect to our comrades who have done much for Nigeria, this march is for the unrepresented. It is not a ‘my religion or tribe is better than yours’ matter. All our blood is red. I, Innocent Idibia, am a living example of a Nigerian who owes their success to Nigerians of every tribe and religion. None ask what religion or tribe I am before supporting me. I am grateful.”

“I have dedicated my time and resources to peace building, voter education towards peaceful elections and youth engagement in governance in Nigeria. This time around, my partners, colleagues and I have come together to present a platform for real Nigerians to communicate their real pains to government at all levels in a peaceful and articulate manner with a view to getting lasting solutions to our problems. This march is about demanding that all saboteurs of good government policies should hands off. This march is about encouraging positive minded Nigerians to continue to work without intimidation,” he added.

The Benue born singer and peace ambassador had in the build up to the 2015 General Election launched a campaign called ‘Vote, not Fight’. He called on Nigerians to share via videos, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, SMS to 0902-355-5335 issues affecting them, their daily struggles on or before the protest day, February 6, using any of the hashtags #IStandWith2Baba #IStandWithNigeria #OneVoiceNigeria on social media.

“However, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State command, Fatai Owoseni, on Wednesday disclosed that the Command would not allow popular Implication crooner, embark on any protest in the metropolis.

According to Owoseni, the Command was not ready for such demonstration and as such, it would not be allowed to hold, adding that the Command received an intelligence report that criminals were planning to hijack the process to wreck havoc on Lagos.

He said, “No matter how good an intention is, hoodlums would always find a way to harass, rob and attack innocent members of the public who may wish to go about their Lawful duty. Information reaching us revealed that some hoodlums are planning to hijack the protest match. And as such we wont allow the protest to hold in Lagos. We know that Tuface do not have the capacity to contain such a crowd and we will not fold our hands and watch while things go out of hand.”

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