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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

OCCUPY NIGERIA - DAY 2

Happy New Year Everyone.
On 1st January 2012, the Federal Government of Nigeria removed the fuel subsidy. Personally, I thought that was that about that! When labour started making the usual noises, I thought that it wouldn't last.
I stayed at home on Monday in compliance with the stay at home order. Although it felt like a public holiday, I kept on following the demonstration at the Gani Fawehinmi park on Channels and my spirit was stirred. I perceived in my spirit that Nigeria has indeed changed.
It has taken the removal of the fuel subsidy to wake us up. As one of my friends said, "it has launched us into a level of national consciousness it would have taken years to achieve".
On day 2 of the strike, my sisters and I decided to join the peaceful march. We met the group at Tinubu's house on Bourdillon, and then from there marched to Lagos State Government House with Prof Pat Utomi.
We marched from Bourdillon down Awolowo Road. When we got to Race Course, the area boys joined us, and we were out numbered. For a few moments, I was very uneasy as we could have easily lost control. However, the organisers addressed the area boys and got them to agree that this was a peaceful protest and would remain so. We sang the National Anthem, and proceeded to State House.
At State House, the area boys got restive again, but we were addressed by Pat Utomi and Fola Adeola. They insisted on being addressed in yoruba, and Fola spoke yoruba. When Fashola came out to address us, the area boys insisted on him speaking yoruba and he complied. Their angst however wasn't fuel subsidy; but school fees. I spoke to a few of them, and found out that some of them were LASU students who were feeling the pinch of the recent hike in school fees. I was amazed that some of these rough looking young men were actually university students, but that's a discourse for another day.
From State House, we walked back to Falomo roundabout with Fela blaring from the loudspeakers.
In conclusion, the demonstration has gone beyond fuel subsidy removal. Nigerians are demanding good governance and accountability.
I will be joining the march again today at Falomo roundabout. I leave you with sights and sounds of my participation in yesterday's march.

 Setting out on Bourdillon
 Approaching Falomo Roundabout
 On Awolowo Road
 My Sisters enjoying the exercise
 I think I look too well fed to be a protester!
 Pat Utomi marching with us...still on Awolowo Road
 Approaching Onikan. The area boys waiting to join us.
 At Onikan
 Psyching ourselves to join the area boys!
 We are one!
 Approaching State House
 At State House
 Waiting for Gov. Fashola
 Listening to Pat Utomi and Fola Adeola at State House
 Faces - young, old, elite, area boys
 Fashola addressing us
 Fashola telling us that they are talking to the Federal Govt
  After this we walked back to Falomo via 3rd Mainland Bridge, to Awolowo Road....
God bless Nigeria

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