Nigerians have continued to react to the announcement by hip-hop artiste, Innocent Idibia, that the planned anti-government protest scheduled for Monday has been cancelled.
Mr. Idibia, better known as Tuface, who had been at the vanguard of the much-publicised anti-government protest, cancelled the plan on Saturday, citing “security challenges”.
“Dear Nigerians, after due consultations, it has become clear that the #OneNigeria protest scheduled to hold in Lagos and Abuja on Monday the 6th of February is under serious threat of hijack by interests not aligned with our ideals,” the multiple award winning musician said late on Saturday.
Mixed reactions have since continued to trail the announcement with some of them expressing their views in a PREMIUM TIMES comments section underneath the story.
Anasieze Donatus, who was opposed to the planned protest, said, “All evil wish against P.M.B government is crumbling right in (their) faces and it is leading to frustration, which will end up in heart attack and Nigeria will still be. NLC protest failed, Tuface Indian-hemp inspired protest died on arrival.”
Mr. Donatus, apparently speaking in support of the government, added that, “A man who did not protest against Music Piracy that is affecting his business and did not protest against the massive corruption in his home state did not look to me as a man will balls to lead any other form of protest. He was given the go ahead by the Vice President and the Police but you can’t protest over nothing.”
Another commenter, Elabor Otaru, decried the non-intervention of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in the protest.
He said, “Dont start what you can’t finish…Please where is NLC that is supposed to be fighting for the masses? What kind of country is this?”
Tayo Ayano, on his part said, “The end result of this mayhem would be accidental discharges by law enforcement officers and loss of lives, massive disruption of civil lives and looting of shops by hooligans.”
He added that “Tuface should start from his wife’s state, Akwa Ibom where the ‘uncommon governor’ practically stole his people blind and then move to Delta state where they celebrate thieves and common criminals.”
Olanrewaju Raphael, on his part, admonished Nigerians not to judge the pop artiste, adding that no one wants to die.
“Nobody wants (to) die especially those who are rich; even the poor don’t want to die. Only God can help us. They know what they are doing. They are only playing us. Let’s wait for the right time and do not judge,” he wrote.
A contributor who goes with the moniker ‘Time Stoey’, berated the government for not allowing the protest, adding that it could have boosted the sales of traders at the protest ground.
“Government should have allowed the protest at least pure water vendors and gala could have made market that day. I was so amazed by some of Nigerian that relied on man with two faces to save them.”
For Paul Irumundomon, Tuface is a coward who chickened out when the expectations had become high.
Mr. Irumundomon also blamed the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, for not taking any notable stance on the issue, unlike how the then opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, did during the fuel subsidy protest in 2012.
“2face is a coward, to speak the least. An African American, against all odds, gave blacks freedom in America. Where did the opposition party went? I saw and witnessed how APC as a party and majority of their supporters, spent millions at Ojota in Lagos to stop (former President) Jonathan from increasing the price of petrol,” he said.
Adémólá Adélékè, another commenter, however, commended the pop artiste for his decisions, adding that if the protest goes violent, many Nigerians criticizing the artiste would desert him.
“If Tuface goes ahead with the protest and desperate politicians/corrupt men create a mayhem, all the clowns and mischief makers criticising him would take to their heels and desert him,” he said.
Before Tuface announced the cancellation on Saturday, the planned protest had gained traction with several public figures and civil society groups pledging to be part of it on Monday.
Tuface had disclosed that the rally was to protest Nigeria’s worsening economic crisis that has seen costs of goods and services skyrocket, with many families struggling to survive.
The Police, however, warned against the protest after initially promising to provide security. Police authorities, Friday, said they had “credible intelligence” that other groups were planning a counter protests on the same day and at the same venues saying the event could be hijacked.
Meanwhile, a civil society group, Enough is Enough Nigeria, has vowed to go ahead with the protest despite Tuface’s withdrawal.