The planned protest by hip hop singer, Innocent Idibia, better known by his stage name, 2Face, is one of the most topical issues of the past week. It is also one that has generated considerable controversy. The response from the Lagos Police Command banning the protest has kept Nigerians on both sides of the divide talking, especially on social media platforms.
Fatai Owoseni, Lagos commissioner of police, said intelligence showed hoodlums might hijack the protest. Rather than dousing tension, the statement inflamed it. The gainer, it seems, is 2Face, whose approval ratings, even from hitherto indifferent watchers, shot up to a far high.
The complexion of the debate on the social media mirrors the feelings of Nigerians on the streets. It is a mixed one, as Newsbreak.Ng inquiry showed.
Tejiri Ogun, a graduate, told this media his willingness to join the protest. To him, it is “a public message to the government to review their (sic) policies”.
Emmanuel Olowojoba, another respondent, faulted police interference with the protest.
“Protest is a fundamental human right and must therefore be allowed without any obstruction,” said Olowojoba. Defiantly.
Kanani Stanley couldn’t agree more with the Olowojoba. “The police shouldn’t get involved unless they are out to protect the protesters,” Stanley opined.
Moreso, some respondents believe the government’s ‘change’ mantra is stuck in the mud.
One of such believers is John Isioma, who averred the “protest must take place for change to happen”.
Ola Salami, a businessman, thumbed up the protest, but not without taking a dig at organised labour movements in the country. ‘They (organised labour) have been bought over’ he said. Salami’s caveat for supporting 2Face’s protest is only if it is “a peaceful one”.
However, some other citizens differed in their opinions about the protest.
Moses Aigbe says “the protest is ill-advised and meaningless”.
“2Face should do something better with his time”, said Aigbe. Condescendingly.
Maryam Ajagbe, says she “supports freedom of speech”, and I also think we don’t need protest because everyone knows why we are where we are”.
An office clerk, Samuel Shonabuka, thinks “2face might lose his influence if he goes ahead with the protest”. Toja Badmos, a young entrepreneur, simply sees the protest as “not an ideal thing to do”.
— Bola Kougbe
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