On January 1st 2012, the Nigerian people at home and in the Diaspora awoke to the unitary imposition of Petroleum Taxes on the citizens of the United Nations of Nigeria. This precipitous decision by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration occurred on the same week that Nigerians were slaughtered in Niger State during a Christmas Day service by the regional northern Nigerian organization Boko Haram. In evoking the memories of the Nigerian and Biafra genocidal war the erstwhile organization also called on all Christians in the north to head back to the south irrespective of their years of residency and ethnic affiliations.
Boko Haram statements also encouraged northerners in the south to come back to the north. However President Jonathan and his officials decided to apply shock doctrine tactics on regular and poor Nigerians with the so-called removal of fuel subsidy in the height of these unresolved national chaos. These nonchalant actions have precipitated a people’s popular movement against the actions of the government which the labour unions came around to join and against the continued pogrom of Boko Haram.
Consequently Nigerians at home and abroad have been on the streets since January 9th in protest against said tax hikes. At the Washington DC Occupy Nigeria Movement the current developments in Nigeria on January 16, 2012 have not weakening our convictions to keep fighting for less privileged Nigerians. President Jonathan has pegged the taxes at 97 naira per liter and simultaneously ordered the Nigerian Army into the streets of Lagos to intimidate peaceful protesters. On the other hand the NLC and TUC have betrayed the Nigerian people that started the peaceful protest. The labour unions have conducted Nicodemus style negotiations with government officials who seem devoid of conscience and should have reduced their own bonuses, allowances, and salaries by 50% before inflicting more hardships on ordinary people. These so-called negotiations were missing members of the social and economic justice activism communities in Nigeria.
After throughout consultations and deliberations the Occupy Nigerian Movement in Washington DC calls on President Jonathan to immediately redeploy our troops from the streets of Lagos and into those enclaves of Boko Haram. The Lagos State governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola should immediately assign the police in Lagos to protect peaceful protesters and properties instead of offering non-denials. Nigerians have the right to assembly and petition their government and those inalienable rights should not be infringed upon. We call on fellow compatriots to go back to the streets in demonstrations against the fuel taxes and the Boko Haram menace.
Nigerians need to get back on the streets to force our government to actually rescind the price of fuel back to 65 naira per liter, stop the carnage of Boko Haram, and address officially sanctioned corruption. Nigerians in the Diaspora understand that the quandary for President Goodluck Jonathan is if he should support the people who voted for him or the people that sponsored his elections. We realize that the clever by a dime so-called elites and fund hedgers have also activated their trump card of Boko Haram to place our president on a tight leash just in case he has any cute ideas. These strategies can be juxtaposed against those of the Republicans and Wall Street executives in the United States.
After the so-called change elections and knowing that President Barack Obama might comply with the people’s desire for change, the conservatives came up with their game plan. Wall Street had funded our Community Organizer’s election but also knew that their financial crimes (mortgage fraud, credit swaps, hedging, derivatives etc.) were enormous. So that decided to cooperate with the Conservatives, the free market guys that provide subsidies to themselves and their business partners. They joined forces to use Astroturf groups to attack Mr. Obama. President Jonathan occupies a similar dilemma and needs to decide what constituencies to serve.
Thus, the Occupy Nigeria Movement Washington DC will be protesting at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC, from 12pm -2pm on Wednesday January 18, 2012. We pray on fellow Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to continue their peaceful protest until we eventually get a transformational and representative government that listens to the aspirations of the people with regards to fuel taxation on the poor, corruption, and effectively deals with the Boko Haram situation. We also call on protesters to remain peaceful and orderly during these demonstrations.
Date: Wednesday January 18th, 2012
Location: 3519 International Court NW Washington DC
Arrival Time: 11:30am
Rally Time: 12:00pm
Dispersal Time: 2:00pm
For More Information Contact:
Estella Ogbonna DC Activist
Harrison “Harry Baba” Nwozo, Executive Director, TribeX International
Emilia Jones Esq. Activist
Ifeanyi Nwoko, DMV Activist
Nkeiru Ogbuokiri-Ojo, Washington DC Activist
Seun Akinsanya, Activist
[email protected], www.theseunakinsanyaproject.com
Vera Ezimora, Writer, Blogger, Host
[email protected], www.verastic.com,
William Bikia Idoniboye
[email protected], www.djbixx.com
Oby Nwaogbe, Director, Producer
[email protected], www.oboneproductions.com
Chika Uwazie, Youth Activist
Nnamdi F. Akwada, Social Justice Activist
Executive Director, US African Cultural Festival/ African Diaspora Institute
Washington DC Coordinator: Let There Be Light In Nigeria- Nigerian Million March
[email protected], www.nigerianmillionmarch, www.usafricanculturalfestival.com