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Monday, January 16, 2012

Occupy till I come....Week 2

We woke up on Monday 17th January 2012 to our President's speech. It was a wash out. A complete disappointment. I burst into tears and have been sad since.  The price of fuel was reduced to N97.00 and the Petroleum Industry Bill would be signed.
That was all. Nothing was said about the budget, corruption or the cost of governance.
Meanwhile, our 'Occupy headquarteres' at Falomo had been overtaken by soldiers.
I guess that wasn't labours mandate. By the time the labour unions called off the strike, I was numb.
However, in my opinion, our five day march wasn't in vain. We showed Government that we could protest peacefully and moving forward, it is time to strategise, get organised and face government with our demands.
We were called out to meet again at 1.00pm at Glover roundabout. Once there, we discussed what we wanted from government, and how it would be achieved. We also organised ourselves into groups.

While we were meeting at Glover, Fashola had made a speech on NTA condemning the occupation of Falomo by soldiers. The full text of all the speeches (President, Labour, Government) are on Sahara Reporters.
Once we had organised ourselves, we insisted on returning to Bourdillon to send the message to Government that we were still not satisfied. 
Once we got to Bourdillon, we found that the place had been barricaded, so we held our protest on Bourdillon. Some of our representatives approached the soldiers, and we were told that it was out of the Governor's control as they had been sent there by the Commander in Chief, and that they don't answer to the governor. Personally, I think Fashola should take the Federal Govt to court.
Policemen were then deployed to meet us and they told us that we were breaking the law. We told them that we were not; but by that time, we had decided to leave as we had made our point.
Getting Government to change is going to be a long haul. It's going to take resources, planning, strategising and marching.
In conclusion, we started the meeting sad, disgruntled and angry. One of the young men couldn't stop weeping; he was so disappointed. The important thing was that we were there. We showed up. We were not happy, and were ready to do something about it. As I type this I am reminded of parts of the poem 'Invictus' - "My head is bloody but unbowed". 
Kola put it more succinctly, when as we were about to move to Falomo he said "It is the courage of a few people that changes the lives of many".
Watch this space .........


Regrouping at Glover

Articulating our position

Falomo Barricaded


Standing on the pavement at Bourdillon stating our position

Soldiers defending their turf

The police arrive, talking to them

More soldiers - Is this a democracy

More soldiers

Kola and Tayo.... thinking

The police spokesman approaches

Kola explaining that we have rights as citizens

OCCUPY NIGERIA DAY 5 (PART 2)


I meant to do this over the weekend, but wasn't able to.
However, here are other pictures of day 5, and a recap of what happened during the week.
We are family, I got all my sisters with me!

Occupy Island!!! Falomo!!!


One minute silence for the victims of the protest

The original 10 that marched on Monday

Singing the National Anthem with representatives of Nigeria's tomorrow

Pat Utomi in closing


REACAP OF WEEK ONE EVENTS:
MONDAY - MET AT FALOMO WITH THE INTENTION OF JOINING THE OJOTA MARCH
                       BUT STAYED AT FALOMO

TUESDAY- MARCHED TO FEMI OTEDOLA'S HOUSE, AND ASIWAJU BOLA TINUBU'S HOUSE TO ASK ABOUT                HIS OPINION ON THE FUEL SUBSIDY. FROM THERE THE MARCH PROCEEDED TO STATE HOUSE MARINA TO SEND OUR GOVERNOR TO THE PRESIDENT WITH OUR GRIEVANCES. HE ADDRESSED US, BUT BEAT A FAST RETREAT WHEN HE WAS ASKED TO EXPLAIN THE HIKE IN LASU SCHOOL FEES.

WEDNESDAY - GATHERED AT FALOMO. MARCHED AROUND IKOYI.

THURSDAY - OCCUPIED NTA AHMADU BELLO. RETURNED TO FALOMO.

FRIDAY - MARCHED TO DEPUTY GOVERNOR'S RESIDENCE FOR OUR RESPONSE. SHE ATTENDED TO US BUT DID NOT HAVE ANY INFORMATION.

AND THAT WAS THE END OF WEEK ONE.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY WAS SPENT RESTOCKING ON FOOD SUPPLIES AND RESTING. I EVEN MANAGED TO DO SOME WORK ON SATURDAY.

AFTER THE SPEECHES ON FRIDAY, I WAS PROUDLY NIGERIAN. 
I LOVE MY COUNTRY, SOMETIMES I FORGET HOW MUCH!
STAY TUNED... WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED.

                                       

Saturday, January 14, 2012

OCCUPY NIGERIA - DAY 5 (PART 1)



Government and NLC meeting on Thursday Day 4 were deadlocked and reconvened for 10.00am on Saturday 14th January. Consequently, on Friday 13th we resumed at Falomo again. We had planned to return to State House Marina for a response from the Governor - on day 2,  we had presented our grievances to him  and asked him to deliver our message to the President. However, the Governor was still in Abuja, so we decided to call on the Deputy Governor for our response.
We marched to the Deputy Governor's residence, and she explained that since the Governor wasn't back, she didn't have a response for us; but she reassured us that a speedy resolution was being sought. She wasn't let off easily, as the youth in our midst asked her about the recent hike in school fees at LASU. Her response unsatisfactory as she asked us not to join issues, but that the fuel issue be resolved first.
We thanked her for attending to us and returned to base - Falomo.
Pastor Tony occupying the Deputy Gov's
residence after asking me why weeds have
occupied his lawn


Waiting for the Deputy Governor

Listening to the Dep. Gov.

Marching back to base


Zaccheus on the sycamore tree?
Back at Falomo, it was a round of speeches, speeches and more speeches.
Yesterday, when I got home, my husband asked me how it went. I told him all that happened at NTA et al and that when we returned to Falomo, that Femi Falana came from Ojota to address us. When he asked me what Femi Falana said, I gave him a blank stare and replied 'he spoke'! He gave me one of those looks and I immediately felt stupid. But for the life of me, whether due to tiredness or hunger, or maybe a 'senior moment', I just couldn't remember what Femi Falana had said. In fact, I didn't remember until today.
Anyway, because of that I had made up my mind, that I would make sure that I remembered one salient point from every speech. Something to go home with. I used to memo pad on my blackberry to take notes - just in case you're wondering how I could have managed a camera, a note pad and pencil.

After the organisers, Kola and Sleeves up gave us the line up of events, the speeches started.
Arriving at Falomo

Mrs Adetula speaking on behalf pensioners,
and explains how many pensioners are suffering
without a voice

Sisters United!
"A WASTEFUL GOVERNMENT CANNOT
MAKE PRUDENT INVESTMENT" FELA DUROTOYE

Pastor Tony looks on as Kola asks if
ou morale is high







MTN Staff watching the occupation from
their balconey

"A WASTEFUL GOVERNMENT CANNOT
MAKE PRUDENT INVESTMENT" FELA DUROTOYE
"NO PHARAOH WILL LET A NATION
GO WITHOUT A FIGHT" TONY RAPU
MRS ITSUELI DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY
"IT'S ALL ABOUT SOCIAL INJUSTICE.
ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE UP YOUR PRIVILEGES
"IT ISN'T ABOUT THE FUEL SUBSIDY.
ASO ROCK FEEDING ALLOWANCE N3bn.
GOVT HAS FAILED ON PAST PROMISES.
ONE MAN WAN GO PISS, 20 MOTO GO
FOLLOW AM" DEDE MABIAKU

"IT ISNT ABOUT FUEL SUBSIDY ANYMORE,
IT'S ABOUT CORRUPTION. THEY'RE THIEVES.
SAGAMU BENIN EXPRESSWAY HAS BEEN
FIXED IN EVERY BUDGET" KATE HENSHAW
"I WILL OCCUPY UNTIL MY CHANGE COMES.
THE BUDGET IS FRAUDULENT. THEY HAVE MADE
PROVISION FOR GENERATORS FOR ASO ROCK
IN THE BUDGET WHICH MEANS THAT THERE'S
NO INTENTION OF DOING ANYTHING ABOUT POWER!
IF YOU'RE NOT SATISFIED, CALL FOR EARLY ELECTIONS.
"WE SHALL OVERCOME TODAY!
JONATHAN SHOULD DO TO HIS CABINET
WHAT SANUSI DID TO THE BANKERS"
DR KOYINSOLA AJAYI (SAN)




UNCLE SUNMI SMART COLE SPOKE, I DARE NOT TAKE HIS PHOTOGRAPH. WE SAND THE FIRST VERSE OF THE OLD NATIONAL ANTHEM. IT MADE ME REMEMBER MY PRIMARY SCHOOL DAYS. THE MOST TOUCHING THING HE SAID WAS THAT MAY WE NEVER WITNESS A REVOLUTION IN NIGERIA. I SAY AMEN TO THAT. 

IN ALL THIS, THE MUSLIMS AMONG US WENT TO THE ZENON FILLING STATION FOR THEIR JUMAT PRAYER.

WE WERE SILENT WHILE THEY PRAYED.

WE OBSERVED ONE MINUTE SILENCE FOR THE TWO DEATHS IN THE STRUGGLE. MAY THEIR SOULS REST IN PEACE.

THE ORIGINAL TEN WHO STARTED THE MARCH WERE RECOGNISED. I JOINED ON TUESDAY.

PAT UTOMI ADDRESSED US.

THE CHILDREN JOINED THE CONVENERS ON STAGE FOR THE RENDITION OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM.

MORE PHOTOS TOMORROW.

TODAY, I WAS PROUD TO BE A NIGERIAN. REALLY PROUD. I GET A LOT OF THINGS WRONG, AND SOMETIMES I JUST DON'T GET IT, BUT TODAY, I WAS DEFINITELY AT THE RIGHT PLACE, AT THE RIGHT TIME, IN THE RIGHT MOMENT.

GOD BLESS NIGERIA. VICTORIA ASCERTA!!!!




THE SURPRISE OF THE DAY!
ELOQUENCE. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

OCCUPY NIGERIA - DAY 4 - BACK AT FALOMO

When we returned to Falomo, Femi Falana came from Ojota and again reiterated that it had gone beyond fuel subsidy; but was about accountability and good governance. He referred to the 2012 budget which has been presented to the house. In the budget feeding allowance for Aso Rock is N3b, which amounts to N3m daily. This means that Aso Rock intend to use N1m for breakfast; N1m for lunch and N1m for dinner.
He also said that Nigeria produces 2.4million barrels daily. At an international price of $113 per barrel, Nigeria therefore earns $271.2m multiplied by N160 Naira, and this is daily from crude, not to mention the income from taxes and other sources. He concluded that Nigeria is not broke; but that mismanagement is our problem.
That's enough talk. Enjoy the photos.
Looking down Ozumba Mbadiwe from
Falomo Bridge. 
In all my years of living in Lagos
I have never walked on Falomo Bridge!


Oyinkan and Ivana - Up Bodyworks!!!
Love the Tshirt - Beaded Coat of Arms

Listening to Femi Falana



Femi Falana speaking - serious mathematics


Met some new friends - occupying together

Loved his Tshirt. Had the National Anthem on the
front and back

The future - watching us.
We mustn't fail them

Check out the sandals!


Yes oh!!!

Sisters occupying!!!

The end of Day 4 - Heading Home.