Nigerians protest against Buhari's govt despite 'cancellation'

It came like a piercing anticlimax as millions of Nigerians already geared up for the much-publicized February 6 anti-government protest, woke up in rude shock yesterday to read that award-winning hip-hop musician, Innocent "Tuface Idibia", who was leading the protest, has canceled the march.

Yesterday's protest was put together by civil rights organisations: OneVoiceNigeria and United Action for Democracy (UAD).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the protesters started their peaceful march at about 10.20am from the National Stadium, Surulere through Ojuelegba to the National Theatre Complex, Iganmu.

Traffic ‎along the axis was grounded for several hours during the protest.

"Government of the rich, for the rich, making rules for the poor", protesters chanted against a backbeat of anthems by Afrobeat superstar Fela Kuti, a fearless critic of Nigeria's often brutal and corrupt military rule until his death in 1997. "Again it has to be said that it's our business, it's our duty to ensure that we put the Nigerian economy on the track of recovery".

In Abuja, two opposing groups protested.

Already, Songhai Advisory notes, northern Muslims like Buhari are rallying opposition to the possibility that the current Christian vice president would assume Buhari's powers.

The 74-year-old has been in Britain since mid-January for unspecified medical checks and with no indication of when he might return, many Nigerians suspect his health is worse than officials admit.

They are gathered under the aegis of the #I Stand With Nigeria group.

They also urged the government to take the fight against corruption serious by stepping on the toes of his town close allies who have been accused of different corrupt practices.

Another leader of the group, Aisha Yesufu noted that the office of the citizen is the highest office in the land and should not be intimidated by security operatives.

"The fate of the protest is never tied to any individual, no matter how great or popular", the groups maintained.

"What we are going through now would be resolved. There is a leadership in the land and you have to live with that for now, protest won't solve the problems, will it?" he said.

Meanwhile, the Police Assistance Committee (PAC) of Nigeria has kicked against the planned protest.

Yemi Adamolekun, the Executive Director, OneVoiceNigeria, told while speaking with newsmen at the venue said that the coalition was not discouraged by the last minute cancellation of the protest by Tuface. Many of our people are saying the same thing that things are hard, things are difficult. "But I would like to say to every Nigerian that we hear you loud and clear", he said.

The acting president assured the protesters that the Federal Government was determined to give the ordinary man a fair deal.

Osinbajo, however, stressed that "years of deterioration and corruption can not be remedied over night".

He also promised to reduce the country's dependency oil.

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