Against the backdrop of the #IStandWithNigeria national protest slated to hold today, February 6th in some major cities of Nigeria, citizens have reportedly come out as planned to make a demand for good governance and an urgent explanation for the nation’s economic decline.
From the time the time information about the protest was made public, the decision has been met with severe opposition by the Nigerian police who on different occasions, told the conveners to call off their planned demonstration.
Popular singer, 2Face Idibia, who was supposed to lead the march in Lagos, developed cold feet and pulled out at the eleventh hour citing security concerns, although investigations by Daily Post revealed that his mother, Mrs. Rose Idibia, was behind his cancellation of the peaceful demonstration.
As the national protest led by Enough is Enough (EIE) Nigeria kicks off in Lagos, it is expected that the protesters will march from National Stadium in Surulere to the National Theatre, Iganmu, covering a distance of about four kilometres.
There is a heavy presence of soldiers and policemen outside the National Stadium, with at least half a dozen police patrol vans and more than 20 armed police officers while inside the stadium, over 200 protesters (as at the time of filing this report) carrying placards, as well as more armed police officers are present.
Also, present on the ground are Executive Director (EIE), Yemi Adamolekun; Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria and Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni.
Police officers have also been spotted at the Gani Fawehinmi park Ojota, Lagos. But so far, everything has been peaceful.
According to Yemi Adamolekun, the group was not discouraged by the decision of Tuface Idibia to back out of the protest.
Sportsmen and women were earlier blocked from entering the stadium for their morning activities by a strong police presence at the entrance to the National Stadium, Surulere. Although the police officers had said the stadium would not be opened because of the protest, it was eventually opened at 7:40am by the management.
At the arrival of Fatai Owoseni, the Lagos CP, he denied giving an official permission for the blockade at the stadium. He said:
“If you look towards the gate you will see that the gates have been opened and our men are just controlling the flow of traffic and people, and my men are all stationed to douse any kind of fear from the minds of the protesters.”
I love this guy TBH pic.twitter.com/neiUDzta9l
— Eka (@Lionezz__) February 6, 2017
See pictures below:
Meanwhile, as a result of the disappointment caused by the cancellation of the planned national protest by 2Face Idibia late Saturday night, the musician’s foundation has released a statement explaining why the march was called off. Part of the statement read:
“The risk of hijack by various political and sundry interests intent on using the platform to drive agendas that we as The 2face Foundation are not aligned with and therefore exposing protesters to high levels of danger is the main reason why 2baba regretfully had to withdraw himself from the march. He has refused to inadvertently present a platform for mischief makers to exploit.”
2baba as he is fondly called, had announced that he would be leading a national protest, decrying the anti-people policies of the present government led by President Muhammadu Buhari but later made a u-turn.