We understand your grievances, Nigerian govt tells protesters

The #iStandwithNigeria protesters protesting against bad governance in Nigeria's Capital, Abuja
The #iStandwithNigeria protesters protesting against bad governance in Nigeria's Capital, Abuja

The federal government said on Monday that it understands the grievances of Nigerians who took part in the protests held in major Nigerian cities on Monday .

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said in a chain of reactions on his Twitter page that the yearnings of the protesters have been heard and the administration will implement policies that will address all issues raised.

“To those who are on the streets protesting the economic situation & those who are not, but feel the pain of economic hardship, we hear you,” Mr. Osinbajo said.

Mr. Osinbajo’s reaction was also restated in a statement by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande.

The comment came hours after hundreds of Nigerians took to the streets in Lagos and Abuja to condemn and seek a timely solution to worsening economic crisis in the country.

The protesters lampooned the administration for failing to address inflation that has seen food prices increase in the last few months.

“Your salaries are not commensurate with the kind of work you do,” Fidelis Elihabor, one of the protesters who converged in Abuja Monday morning, told PREMIUM TIMES.

Other topical issues such as corruption, insecurity and alleged impunity of the Buhari administration were also raised by the demonstrators.

“Corruption be like ladder, na those wey dey down na dem hold the ladder make e no fall,“ said entertainer, Seyi Law, in Lagos. “We have to make transparency the key for this government.”

#IstandwithNigeria protesters
#IstandwithNigeria protesters
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#IstandwithNigeria protesters

For Chidi Odinkalu, a human rights advocate and legal expert, President Buhari’s absence from office for nearly three weeks is a matter of critical concern to Nigerians.

“On this Monday morning, we don’t know where our president is. We want to know because we care,” Mr. Odinkalu, who participated in the walk in Abuja, said. “On 18 January, we were told that our president was going for a 10-day vacation.”

IMG_20170206_110203
#IstandwithNigeria protesters
A Pro-Buhari protester
A Pro-Buhari protester

But in his reaction Monday afternoon, Mr. Osinbajo said the administration recognised Nigerians deserved better living conditions and will strive to improve on the current situation.

“You deserve a decent life and we are working night and day to make life easier,” Mr. Osinbajo said.

In the statement by Mr. Akande, the Acting President also quoted an earlier statement by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I know that uppermost in your minds today is the economic crisis, the recession for many individuals and families is real. For some it means not being able to pay school fees, for others it is not being able to afford the high cost of rice, millet, or of local or international travel. And for many of our young people the recession means joblessness, sometimes after graduating from university or polytechnic.

IMG_20170206_105425
#IstandwithNigeria protesters
IstandwithNigeria protesters
#IstandwithNigeria protesters
Protesters protesting
Protesters protesting
Vehicular traffic along the Ikorodu Road has ground to a standstill as protesters are approaching the National Theatre
Vehicular traffic along the Ikorodu Road has ground to a standstill as protesters are approaching the National Theatre

“I know how difficult things are, and how rough business is. All my adult life I have always earned a salary, and I know what it is like when your salary simply is not enough. In every part of our nation people are making incredible sacrifices,” Mr. Osinbajo quoted the president as saying.

Monday’s protest is the first major one against the Buhari administration, which came to power in May 2015.

He used his campaign to champion the cause for a new way of doing things in Nigeria, promising to root out endemic corruption, eliminate waste in public service while improving on security and economy.


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  • Bilisi2000

    Premium Times Editor,

    Muhamadu Buhari Must Not Die

    IF the man should die now how will we remember him since he didn’t
    achieve anything in office? What sort of thing is this for God sake? Are we
    going to say here lies the worst president Nigeria has ever had? Or are we
    going to say here lies the remnants of a man who promised change and made his
    country worse than he met it? This thing is too painful for me to bear. I just
    wish it could be different. Look at all the people that have already died
    because of this man!

    See Femi Falana stammering all over the place – no confidence again. See
    Wole Soyinka doing Wolexit out of his own country at age 84. What sort of this
    thing for God sake? Can he not struggle not to die and achieve at least one
    good thing? Economic recession is not an achievement now – it is a disgrace!
    Even if he dies now the people that will carry him to the grave could be the
    very corrupt people in society. So, will that mean corruption killed him too,
    since he could not kill corruption?

  • Arewa Speaks

    “If performance is to be the judge, not some tribal, ethnic or religious sentiment, if Buhari stands

    for elections, he will lose. And if he attempts to use the power of incumbency and rigs the elections

    to come back, there will be violence. My reasons are simple; he has not performed”.

    …………Dr. Junaid Muhamed

    (Kano state ex Legislator)

    January 29th 2017

    • Point Blank

      NIGERIA WILL BE A BETTER PLACE IF BUHARI IS REPEALED AND REPLACED.

      • Erelu Aderogba

        @disqus_4uyRT4wRt5:disqus

        Yemi Osinbajo is as blank as a brand new blackboard unwrapped for installation.

        He is not fit for purpose and adds no value or has any impact on worsening Nigeria.

        Yemi Osinbajo would be better off at home in Ogun state, than as a burden on Nigeria.

        • Julius

          I guess we should all ‘appoint’ you as the president then. As suspected, anybody that doesn’t come from your hole is fit to be the president. Pity u !

          • Dele O. Dina

            @Aroma Steven SWN:disqus & @Julius11:disqus ,

            Let us wish the best for our country and for our children, please! Buhari is not the best choice,
            or the best option for Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo is not a good option too. Let us seek the very best
            amongst 180 million people. Let us use this Buhari sickness to reset Nigeria. Let us move away
            from all ethnic and religious sentiments. Let us start the reconstruction of Nigeria with far better
            and competent people imbued with morals, honesty and knowledge. That is how we should think.

        • Aroma Steven SWN

          Unfortunately, for u. God forbid if Mr president die today Osinbajo would be the President. And nothing u can do about it. Looser!!!!!!
          Meanwhile, I’m in support of the protest I’m not a politician like u òle

        • Otile

          By all means, give me the VP Osinbajo and take away your Imam. The comparison between the two men is like good and evil.

      • Aroma Steven SWN

        So all you want is Buhari to resign. Definitely, u are an hijacker. The protest is not just about Buhari. It’s about of them past and present political leaders.

      • CeeCee1818

        I’m sure it’s more complicated than that.

  • kusanagi

    Osinbajo is currently president. And will continue being president until June it seems.

    • ?????????

      @disqus_4uyRT4wRt5:disqus

      DOES YEMI OSINBAJO LOOK TO YOU LIKE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA, JOKES ASIDE NOW, DOES HE?

      HE LOOKS LOST, FORLORN, AND, WRETCHED; LIKE A MAN TOO AFRAID TO RESIGN ALL BY HIMSELF.

      • CeeCee1818

        Lol, he doesn’t look confident at all, he looks overwhelmed.

        • Mike A. Elliot

          @ceecee1818:disqus,

          It is not true that Yemi Osinbajo is afraid to resign by himself. You just give him few weeks.

          He will take A4 paper and write his resignation by himself. Stop underrating his courage!!

  • Uncle Bee

    DEAR EDITOR SIR,

    The way I see this thing, the team of Buhari and Osinbajo have no single idea.
    They don’t know what to do. That is the simple truth. It is like Pilot and co-pilot that are dead drunk.
    The aeroplane is at 30,000 feet above sea level. Pilot has no training in flying aeroplane. Co-pilot too,
    no training in flying, therefore all the passengers inside the plane (i.e Nigerians) are on Sosoliso flight.

    That is the way I see this thing. This Yemi Osinbajo wants to copy President Donald Trump of America.
    Yemi Osinbajo too is doing tweeter. Nonsense! You only do tweeter to people that have eaten breakfast.
    Nigerians could not eat any dinner before this protest today and you are doing tweeter to hungry people.
    The best thing is for Muhamadu Buhari and Yemi Osinbajo to resign or join their ancestors at the same time.

  • Toughie Man

    Today is Monday, if these youths were gainfully employed, do you think they would have left their offices and business to engage in a protest for and against the government? No of course. This is what idleness can cause, this is what hunger can cause, this is exactly what frustration can cause from Lagos to Abuja, and from Abuja to Port Harcourt. Will this bring health and joy to Buhari, will this bring down the high cost of living, will the idle legislators who are earning fat salaries in a recession, make some concessions to the masses. Will there be a serious economic team, will the acting or incumbent president shake up his cabinet, will the president frequent trips abroad attract genuine business men and FDI which is badly need to the country? Protest should be over tangible and serious issues and not the presidents absence. He is not the first in recent times to be in such an unfortunate situation. Let’s focus on our focus, though the protest may continue as planned but what will be the outcome?

  • Julius

    Yay !!!. They are now doing what I suggested they should do ! Somebody was reading PT..lolz. It’s never too late to do the right thing. Forget the nonsense about counter demonstrations or stopping the protesters. Just acknowledge them, make a speech and promise to look into their concerns,grievances ,You do that, all will be quiet. No wahala.

    • Really

      You have still not revealed to them where your paymaster Buhari is. What about doing just that and everything will be quiet? No Wahala.

    • CeeCee1818

      The Vice President should at least reassure citizens that the President will be alright. Also be specific about what they’re doing to make like easier, just hearing complaints is not enough.

      • Julius

        Yes, I agree. He should be on tv, call a press conference and talk to the country as a whole. Hopefully somebody will suggest that to him. Yes, talk about the solutions.

      • Otile

        Do you want the VP to perjure himself, how can he assure the citizens that Imam will stand again? I am looking forward to VP taking over from this imbecile.

    • Otile

      In other words, after all is said and done nothing tangible will be achieved. What then is the difference between what you proffered and grand Taqiyya? The devil is a liar.

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  • Point Blank

    …..No tweet can make five million retrenched workers in Nigeria feel less angry and hungry…….
    ……..Repeal and and replace Muhamadu Buhari…..to give Nigeria a better chance of success………

  • Iconoclast

    ” I am not an alarmist but I must warn that Nigeria is a tragedy waiting to
    implode. For the avoidance of doubt, a tragedy is a dramatic or literary genre
    in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow,
    especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to
    cope with unfavorable circumstances. I think, in all honesty, that Muhamadu
    Buhari personifies all the foregoing attributes of tragedy; he has derailed
    irredeemably and should resign. We have become so enamoured with the
    phantom of “war on corruption” while everything in Nigeria has collapsed.
    Our economy, education, social cohesion, our institutions and our security have
    all collapsed at the altar of “war on corruption”.

    …………..Dr. Arthur Nwakwo

    (October 23, 2016)

    • Eko ti baje ju

      Never in the modern history of the Yoruba has this level of damage been done to the people.

      Alhaji Raji Babatunde Fashola produced 80% SCHOOL CERT FAILURE every year in Lagos state.

      It will take Lagosians 50 years to get over the ensuing generation of illiterates Fashola has produced.

      This is the the most enduring damage Raji Babatunde Fashola did to the Yoruba people in Lagos state.

    • Point Blank

      @Julius11:disqus,

      …..No tweet can make five million retrenched workers in Nigeria feel less angry and hungry…….
      ……..Repeal and and replace Muhamadu Buhari…..to give Nigeria a better chance of success………

      • Papa Ogihwriodo [Warri]

        MY CHILDREN,

        I am sorry for all of you. Your future has been destroyed by President Buhari. You cannot even sleep
        again because no electricity for fan to work. You have no water, no hope, no money, no job, nothing.
        This rumour that I am hearing has come to Warri too. The youths are dancing round that Buhari died.
        I don’t think Buhari has died. I think he’s just shedding leaves. Somebody that wants to die looks bad.

        Somebody that wants to die will start smelling bad too. I don’t think Buhari wants to die immediately.
        I think he’s just shedding leaves. What you people must do now is to think of another president.
        You must not let Tinubu, Obasanjo, Babangida, or anybody choose a president for you again.
        You people are old enough to choose a president by yourself and for yourself. You hear me?

        • S.B. Bade

          @ceecee1818:disqus

          NIGERIANS SHOULD EXPECT a lot of lies from now on. The desperate attempt to cover up
          the illness of President Muhamadu Buhari is going to take a maniac dimension and almost
          everything will be thrown at Nigerians, including the kitchen sink to enforce torrent of lies.
          Nigerians should be wary of what comes out of the presidential villa at this time; not only
          because the factions there will be jostling for influence and power, but also because the
          Acting president himself may soon be turned into a pawn on the chessboard for vested
          interests lining up as proxies of President Buhari – who will want to exercise the actual
          powers of President Buhari over the head of the Acting President (Yemi Osinbajo) who
          will likely be shoved aside as a ceremonial figure to be ignored. Be very wary, Nigerians.

        • Ufuoma

          Papa, for the first time your comments make a lot of sense. BUT the problem is that I suspect the many shouldren on this forum will not understand your parable when you said “Buhari is just shedding leaves” …You need to expalanation to the shouldren because you no say na different countries dey for Nigeria and one parable in one country may not exist elsewhere.

          • I just dey ask O!

            TO SHED LEAVES IS SAME THING AS TO DIE GRADUALLY IN SLOW MOTION, NO BE SO?

          • Emekus Etiti

            @Julius11:disqus

            Let us call a spade a spade.
            Muhamadu Buhari cannot fight any corruption. He simply does not have the
            moral credentials. He’s yet to show any Wasc/Gce certificate he swore on oath
            he has, despite news reports last year April that WAEC which organized that
            examination has disclaimed that anyone called Muhamadu Buhari ever sat for
            Wasc/Gce certificate in 1961 or anytime before or after

          • Julius

            Well maybe, we should all get behind him to move the country forward and solve some pf our problems. Let me tell you this, there is nobody alive that can do it on his or her own. Yes, we should criticize him when its called for but, help him instead of tearing him and the country down daily. The people yapping on the internet about how bad he is are the same folks that voted for FYOSE IN EKITI STATE..JUST USING HIM AS AN EXAMPLE. I didn’t vote for Trump but, I’m willing to help the country where ever I can. 4 years will be here sooner and another election will take place. That’s Democracy sir. That’s what I’m applying to Buhari..if in 4 years time, he didn’t perform well, the country will turn to somebody else. All these negativity is not helping anybody. That’s my take.

          • Otile

            At this rate who is going to survive Buharinomics before the next election? People want him to change cabinet, fill crucial positions with capable hands, avoid appearance of impropriety. The President may gain from nepotism but majority of Nigerian are hurting from the practice. It is unfortunate that he feels so much hurt whenever criticism comes, Nigeria should outgrow feudalism by now.

          • Julius

            Mr. Intellectual, I honestly expect you to be negative. What else is new with you ? That’s what you live for..I’m surprised you didn’t throw in religion. The people that are positive and has something to contribute will differ from you, I’m sure of that. What you do is not criticism, its an abuse. I know you do not understand that. Calling the president illiterate, uneducated even belittling his manner of speech . his word pronunciations and his religion is not constructive. I guess being an ‘Intellectual” gives you that pleasure. Right ?.I also guess that’s your contribution to the country. smdh !

  • Rommel

    Instead of Nigerians bending down and looking for what to do to survive,they are rather looking for whom to blame,lazy souls,150 million unproductive consumers living off proceeds of crude oil sales

    • Lancelot

      Like Mumu, Olodo and Brainlessly clueless President Buhari like citizens. Buhari kept blaming Jonathan. so the citizens have to emulate their president.

  • lemmoR

    How can the govt say it understands the grievances of Nigerians when the Salary and allowances of the T.H.I.E.V.S in the Senate and House of Reps remain the highest in the world (Even higher than the law makers performing similar roles in Europe & America) ?

    Buhari budgets billions of Niara for Aso Rock clinic but neither he nor his family receive treatment there. So where is the money budgeted for Aso Rock clinic? Is this the understanding? It is either something is wrong with Nigerians or the lying politicians or both.

  • Julius

    I can see a suicide Bomber at the extreme left of the pishure. Was there a bomb blast today?

    • Otile

      What are you talking about? You are lamenting that awon suicide bombers did not hit us today. Oluwa ma je. What are you going to gain from Islamic bombers hitting the crowd? Avaunt sira, your ways are not our ways.

  • thusspokez

    Just look at the size of the crowd. This is in a country of over 170 million people? I despair! It is the Nigerian nonchalant attitude again!

    If you house one family each from every nation in a large building and the building caught fire, the Nigerian family would be the last to leave the building. Fire? What fire?

  • Koffi

    Why did all this demonstration not start when Buhari was still alive? Why wait and demonstrate when there is no longer opportunity for him to make amends and govern well. Nigerians are really wicked people!

  • Mama Kay

    Majority of Nigerians understand that the looting of the treasury is the major cause of today’s hardship. No economy can survive on corruption. That is the reason why the masses didn’t turn up.

    People should learn to be productive. I pray that the era of stealing public funds will be gone forever.

    • Emenike

      “I pray that the era of stealing public funds will be gone forever.”

      …and this is the real problem with black man. Pray over and for everything but never action towards a solution. Prayer would never have invented Jet Engine. Albert Einstein was a Pastor. Abi yo never hear the story? Mumu!

      • Mama Kay

        You obviously have difficulties with comprehension. Go back to school.

        • Emenike

          You are still repeating the same mistake. How can you say “Go back to school”? Which or what school? Can’t you identify the school or category? There are schools everywhere. Which should I go to? Be scientific in your approach to solutions. This is what I teaching you here. Or do I have to pray to know the kind of school to go to?

  • Otile

    God is great. We thank God the protests took place today when Imam Buhari is not standing. If Imam was standing today there be a massacre, blood would flow, there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth in many homes of Buhari’s enemies.