Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Some Nigerians have chosen this day, March 16th, to march in protest in Abuja, Nigeria. They march to demand the things many in other parts of the world take for granted. Like, a President, for instance. Don't get me wrong, Nigeria has a President and his name is Umar Yar'Adua, but, in case you are unaware, he has not been seen since November 23rd, 2009.

In almost any other country that alleges itself a democracy, the disappearance of a President would never occur. Not only that, but if it dared happen, a remedy would be swiftly applied so as to prevent political uncertainty and public alarm. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, a nation used to the incredible, this very thing happened. While most well-meaning Nigerians wish President Yar'Adua and his family the best, it is unconscionable to expect that their patience will not wear thin after the President has been absent for 16 weeks. Especially considering that Nigerians have been waiting for decades to reap the benefits of the promise Nigeria entails - a nation large in cultural diversity, intellectual capacity, natural resources, and ingenuity.

I am personally concerned about Nigeria - the political tension and competition that leads to murders, the depravity of criminals that would bring death to innocent and defenseless victims, the massacre of neighbors whose senseless death is forever cemented in the images of burnt babies and broken bodies. I fear for a country I love desperately that appears to be run by individuals and interests that cannot be held accountable via the normal processes that should ensure democracy and progress not for a few, but for all, and particularly those who need these the most.

For these and many reasons, I stand in solidarity with those marching in peaceful protest. The demands are simple -
  1. Yar'Adua should either "resume, resign, or be removed by the end of this month."
  2. The public presentation of "a plan to end the electricity problem ...before the end of this month."
  3. "The federal government must ensure that within two weeks, the fuel scarcity is ended and ended for good."
Will any of these demands be fulfilled by the end of March? A reasonable thinking person familiar with Nigeria would be foolish to say yes. There were promises made to my grandparents generation that are yet to be fulfilled by the Nigerian federal government. And for that reason, I personally would be seeking more than a plan when it comes to the second demand concerning electricity. Despite this, I feel that this protest is a step in the right direction for Nigerian democracy, as it is crucial for citizens to express themselves even when the consequences could be dire. Only when they send a collective message will governments learn to no longer ignore the needs of the people. Hence, even if things do not immediately change, I support the effort to try and make things better for Nigerians. This is one of many ways to do so.

And, since I cannot attend the march in person, I use my blog as a way to say that I expect and demand better from the federal government and also, from Nigerians themselves.


 Pictures taken by Gbenga Sesan

For more information, please visit or (Thanks to @baroka for providing the links). Those participating in the march will gather at Eagles Square, Abuja and march right to the National Assembly.

Please take a look at the links below for others talking about the march -
For The Love Of Me's "When Is It Enough?"
Tejumola's "Enough"
Ore's "Enough Is Enough"
OluNiyi's "Finally Young Nigerians Get Angry"
Webtrend's "Nigerian Youths Take Over Twitter To Save The Country"
Olamild Entertainment's "Enough Is Enough"
Bella Naija "Nigerian Youth Say Enough Is Enough"
BBB's "#Enoughisenough"
Waffarian's "Enough Is Enough"
Sokari Ekine's "Enough Is Enough: Where Is Yar'Adua?"
Akin's "Enough Is Enough! The March"

UPDATE: #ENOUGHISENOUGH is now a top 3 trending topic on Twitter, though some users of the hashtag are unaware that it speaks specifically to a Nigerian issue. But no matter.

13 Curiosities. Add Yours.:

Azazel said...

Solomon keep hope alive o

Beauty said...

Nigerians .. think of the generations of the past with horror, generations of the present with interest, and future generations without fear. #Enoughisenough #Enoughisenough #Enoughisenough

Anonymous said...

its about time...its about damn time we demand our rights and fight for justice

Jennifer A. said...

I support the cause too. #EnoughisEnough, really. I also agree that until people start to show a "collective" concern, there will be no change. Great post. Thanks for the updates.

CodLiverOil said...

Their requests are modest, that being the case I'm 100% confident the government will not deliver.

If it was as simple as that, why would the people wait until now?

I think it is a good thing that they are marching. I hope that Nigerians from throughout the country not just the vociferous south will be take part.

It should not stop there, people in all states, should protest in the various state houses to jolt their no-good governors into life (there are few exceptions like Akwa-Ibom, Kwara and Lagos states).

People can't sit back, like in the last 49 years and proclaim it's the "fault of the leaders". We have seen the results of such a hands-off policy. We can see in Nigeria, that passivity yields negative results (or no results at best). That is why I support them for taking back the initiative.

joicee said...

Enough is enough indeed....It is about time!

Baroka said...

I woke up at 4am to follow the rally on twitter. At about a quarter to five (US Central Time), it started streaming video so I caught much of the beginning before the video went off. I was/am impressed both by the turnout and by the purpose of the rally itself. The mob anger was palpable.

I lost visuals from the online stream when the protesters eventually got to the gate of the National Assembly complex so I didn't know how the rest went down, but I remember expressing reservations in the stream chatroom that the crowd - including Omotola and a few others - spent too much time begging the policemen to allow them inside the national assembly complex when they could either have taken it into their hands, or else sat down there at the gate and made the best of the situation. This they eventually did.

It is inevitable to want to compare this to the US March on Washington of 1963, because of the similarity in purpose if not in scope. A group of people were fed up by the way they were treated by a system and they gathered to challenge the authority. The difference however is glaring. In 1963, even though they were in their hundreds of thousands, the crowd did not head to the White House or the Capitol Hill which were just a stone throw from where they gathered. They could have done that, demanding to see the president or the senators, breaking down gates and demanding to be addressed by the elected officials, but that would have distracted from the purpose of the march. It would have defeated it. Instead, they gathered at the foot of the statue of Lincoln and listened to an impassioned speech by leaders after leaders until Martin Luther King Jnr came and sealed the deal.

That was what I half-expected today, and in the end, this LOOKED like just another aluta outing that would not get the desired respect of the target of the protest. I hope I'm wrong. To me, there is absolutely no point in requesting for the Senators to come out and address you. It is YOUR rally. It is YOUR idea. It is YOUR country. What could the discredited target of your angry protest possibly tell you that will validate your cause? Nothing.

But at least for a start, this was a pointer to new directions and what we can do as youths if we apply ourselves to it with dedication and courage. I salute those who came out, and those who made it possible for me here in Illinois to be able to follow the protest.

Anonymous said...

ABOUT TIME!!!!!!!!!!!! for goodness sake!! i was actually surprised when i found out Nigeria was a 3rd world country....and with this we might actually get 1st world like we deserve and know my fellow people can do!! #enoughisenough

Anonymous said...

I am glad this march was organised and that it went off without incident. As others have said, seeing youth take the initiative like this is inspiring. Whether the demands are fulfilled or not, i think it is important to see people making their voices heard on our behalf. Isn't it interesting that whenever a protest is organised, the legislators somehow always manage to be absent or stay hidden? They don't even have the decency to come out and address their fellow citizens in public.

Tai -Osagbemi Boma said...

young nigerians get angry ...their fathers are happy chopping the national cake!!!
....and em we don't have a president ! ! !

Anonymous said...

Effective action calls fpr targeted objective. If we don't pick and support a preferred candidate, then all we will be making is noise. Our noise should be tied with getting a new face with new ideas into the office for a New Nigeria. Yes we have a new face from the USA who is exploring the your seriuosness. His Platform is clear and targeted to addressing Nigerian Problems. At least in principles right now and we can make him accountable for this platform. Let's go at this guy and make him our own for the change we want. If we put him in there, then we can ask of him to build up Nigeria. I have been following his comments in facebook (Ishola Balogun) for the past few weeks and I believe he is looking at Nigeria for the right reasons. Check him out

Chin Implant Side Effects said...

Bravo, your views are well articulated and eloquently presented. It is hoped that you are sincere and you are really genuinely concerned about the state of the nation. One can only wish you the best in the assignment you have decided to undertake. Let us hope that our present leaders will listen to you.

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