A protest to demand good governance and an urgent explanation for the country’s economic downturn kicks off today simultaneously in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and other major cities across the country.
The decision to stage the process has been met with stiff opposition by the police who, repeatedly, told the organizers to call off their planned action.
Popular musician, 2Face Idibia, who was billed to lead the protest in Lagos, opted out at the eleventh hour citing security concerns.
In Lagos, the protesters are expected to march from National Stadium in Surulere to the National Theatre, Iganmu, a distance of about four kilometers.
Yemi Adamolekun of the Enough is Enough Nigeria said the group was not discouraged by the decision of Tuface Idibia to back out of the protest.
Earlier, a heavy police presence at the entrance to the National Stadium, Surulere, blocked sports men and women from entering the stadium for their morning activities. The police officers had said the stadium would be closed because of the protest.
But at 7:40am the gate of the stadium was opened by the management of the stadium.
When Fatai Owoseni, the Lagos CP, arrived, he denied authorising the blockade at the stadium.
“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,” Mr. Owoseni said.
Also speaking, Human rights Activist, Chidi Odinkalu said, “We thumbed Buhari into office in 2015 because he promised to do a lot, then he got into power and he has never addressed us. When he wants to talk to us he gets into a plane travels abroad and starts gossiping about us.
“Are we so useless that our president cannot address us? Are we so idiotic that our president cannot tell us that things are hard? We don’t get answers, we don’t get empathy and we are told we cannot protest too? What kind of country is that? What kind of citizens are we?
“Who are we to be told we can only protest if police licensed us. We have the right to protest.
“On this Monday morning we don’t know where our president is. We want to know because we care. On 18 January we were told that our president was going for a 10-day vacation. Yesterday we were told he is waiting for his medical test before he will return. Last week, fake pictures of the president meeting people in London emerged.
“Last night, Femi Adesina said people can get sick; people can even die and Shehu Garba said he spoke with the president’s doctor and was told he is well. Now think about it, if the president is well, who is Shehu to speak to his doctor.
“If the president is not ill, why should people be circulating fake pictures. We don’t want the human rights of the president abused.
“This administration came into power to fight corruption and now, next to the president is the man now known as the grass cutter general of the federation.”
In conclusion, Mr. Odinkalu chanted, fire the SGF, fire the grass cutter!! And the crowd chorused in response.