#OccupyNigeria: The birth of a neighbourhood protest

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Dayo Fadugba leads a handful of young men at the start of the protest in Ojodu

 I was privileged to be part of the beginning of a protest in my neigbourhood as the #OccupyNigeria protests against the removal of government subsidy on petroleum commenced today. Dayo Fadugba, former publicity officer of the Obafemi Awolowo University students union, called a group of young men together on Sunday night to sensitise them about the issues on ground. I got wind of it and attended. The stage was set for protests on Monday morning and I was duly woken up by Fadugba’s phone call at 7:16am informing me that they were about to commence.

Without as much as a shower, I jumped out onto the streets, camera in hand, to meet about seven young men, Fadugba inclusive, as they sang around the Ishaga Ojodu-Abiodun area denouncing the government position. We moved from house to house, street to street urging parents to release their young people to join in the protests that affects one and all.

Fadugba said: “You provide water for yourselves, you subsidise your own electricity, you send your children to private schools, they graduate but cannot get jobs and the government wants you to keep quiet, what has the government done for you? If you fight you may win but if you don’t fight you have definitely lost”.

From a handful of people, the crowd grew into almost a thousand signifying the anger of many Nigerians at their government’s anti-human policies. We moved towards the Ojodu-Abiodun Police Post where Emeka Nwonyi, the divisional police officer, asked the young men and women to protest peacefully even as he acknowledged the fact that policemen also feel the pinch of the policy.

The procession then moved to the Berger Roundabout where it occupied before moving on towards Omole and onwards to Ojota where the larger #OccupyNigeria party was being held.

From seven people to more than a thousand, there is power in the peoples’ anger.

A banner says: We no fit shout

Writing the signs

Protesting for his future

Bring an end to corruption

No to fuel subsidy removal

Fadugba addresses Emeka Nwonyi, divisional police officer of the Ojodu-Abiodun Police post

Young people are angry at their government

Emeka Nwonyi, DPO Ojodu-Abiodun Police post addresses the protesting crowd 

Nothing that goes up ever comes down in Nigeria

From a small beginning, the crowd grows into a mammoth and moves to Berger Roundabout

Clapping against government tyranny

Fuel price hike portends hell for many Nigerians

Source: photo