- A procession tagged #NotYetIndependent was held across the nation on Thursday, October 1
- The protest was organised by the Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberties and Development, also known as Centre for Liberty
- The protesters took to the streets in places like Yola, Benue, Bauchi, Benin, Auchi, Iseyin, Lagos, among others
A group of social change agents, Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberties and Development, also known as Centre for Liberty (CFL), on Thursday, October 1, staged a protest against the increase in electricity tariff and the pump price of petrol.
Tagged #NotYetIndependent protest, the procession was held in several locations across the six geographical zones in the country, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Legit.ng gathered that the protesters took to the streets in places like Yola, Benue, Bauchi, Benin, Auchi, Iseyin, Lagos, among others.
In a statement jointly signed by the co-coveners of the group; Adebayo Raphael, Ariyo-Dare Atoye and Deji Adeyanju, they lamented that things have gotten really bad for Nigerians economically, adding that Nigeria’s democracy is being battered and her civic space is shrinking.
Part of the statement read:
“We recall that between March 19, 2020, and now, the price of petrol being sold to ordinary Nigerians has gone from N121.50 to N162 or more in some places.
“In the same vein, the tariff for electricity was increased by 100%, taking effect from September 1, 2020, and adding salt to the injury of economic hardship of Nigerians.
“And as if that weren’t enough, the government hurriedly passed a bill that will ensure the disappearance of the Third Sector in Nigeria into law; The Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020, was passed by the National Assembly and became law upon President Buhari’s assent on August 7, 2020.
“These unpleasant developments followed the lingering legislative consideration of the social media bill and hate speech bill seeking to criminalize freedom of expression and punish citizens for freely expressing themselves.”
On the use of ballons for its protest, the group said:
“Balloons are often used to celebrate happy moments across the world. Our goal is to create a new and strong sense of awareness through the usage of balloons for this nationwide protest: that while the rest of the world may be celebrating beautiful occurrences with balloons, Nigerians are in fact lamenting the state of the nation with their own balloons.”
The protesters urged the federal government to completely reverse the fuel price hike, electricity tariff increase, and suspend the CAMA ACT, just as it urged the Nigerian Senate to kill the hate speech bill and social media bill.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) on Wednesday, September 30 warned that the country is at the verge of collapsing.
The CBCN in an address to mark Nigeria's 60th independence anniversary wondered how Nigerians can conveniently celebrate the occasion amidst huge borrowings with colossal interest to be paid back.
In an address by Most Rev. Augustine O. Akubeze, Archbishop of Benin city and president of the CBCN, the Catholic Bishops said the rate of unemployment is growing and there seems to be no clear plan to fix the economy as well as help the private sector to grow so youths can be employed.
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