EnoughisEnough (EiE) Nigeria, the coalition behind the "I Stand With Nigeria/One Voice Nigeria" rallies to protest corruption and worsening standard of living under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, has announced that the rallies will go ahead in Lagos and Abuja on Monday.
This was announced in a statement it issued on Sunday. In Abuja, the rally will hold at the Unity Fountain, beginning at 9 am, while the National Stadium will be the Lagos venue, where they rally will start at 8 am.
EiE described the rallies as the platform for Nigerians to communicate their pains to the government at all levels, in a peaceful and articulate manner, with a view to getting enduring solutions to the problems.
“This march is about demanding that all saboteurs of good government policies should hands off.
This march is about encouraging positive minded Nigerians to continue to work without intimidation. We have a system that is clearly designed not to work for the majority,” said EiE.
Yemi Adamolekun, the group's Executive Director, explained that 2face Idibia (2Baba), the famous musician who initially agreed to headline the rallies, informed EiE late last on Saturday night that he was not convinced that the rallies will not lead to a breakdown of public order and thus pulled out of physical participation.
“We thanked him for inviting us when he first decided on these protests and informed him that we believe it is important, despite the risks, to continue with the demands, for the sake of the Nigerians who have put their trust in this movement. We will hold the Lagos Commissioner of Police and the Presidency to their words that citizens have the right to protest and that it is the responsibility of security agencies to ensure the safety to all citizens,” said EiE.
The coalition claimed to have a solid track record of galvanizing popular participation in holding governments accountable. Its resume, it claimed, include the EnoughisEnough protests in 2010 that led to the handover of power to Mr. Goodluck Jonathan as acting president; 2012 OccupyNigeria protests that forced the government to scale back on plans to increase fuel pump prices; 2013 OurNASS protests that demanded accountability in the National Assembly.
"We have also continued to demand that Mr. President delivers on his promise to #BringBackOurGirls movement. It is important we continue to hold governments accountable and to vocalize the aspirations of a frustrated and disappointed people. This call has gone beyond 2Baba. It is now a Nigerian demand," the group said.
It frowned at the barely disguised attempt by security agencies to stop the rallies from holding.
The group said its rallies would demand better security, education, investment in human capital, better health care, improvement in the power supply sector and devolution of powers, transparency, and reduction in the cost of government. The rallies will also demand an end to unemployment, massive decrease in the cost of living and social justice. "Poor education plus a struggling economy means a lot of people are unemployed. Unemployed people are hungry and angry.
Food, transportation, medicine, everything is three times, four times more expensive but our salaries haven’t increased. What do we do? There cannot be one set of rules for the poor and another set for the rich," said EiE.
It argued that the best way to end corruption is to increase transparency.
"Government finances and contracts must be open and available to all. Who got the money, to do what and by when? Our governance is too expensive – federal, state, local – cars, housing, allowances. We must reduce the cost of maintaining our public officials," it added.
The group called on Nigerians to be patriotic by ensuring that between Sunday and Monday, they share via videos, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, SMS to 0902-355-5335 to provide information on how they are being affected by the country's economic situation.
"Use any of the hashtags #IStandWithNigeria #OneVoiceNigeria on social media.
We will take all the reports and send them to our elected representatives as ONE VOICE of Nigerians across party, ethnic and religious lines – as they hear real people talk about real issues," said EiE.