News / Africa

Occupy Nigeria Movement Says it Won’t Stop Fighting Government Corruption

The protests have seen massive support as they call for government reforms

A protester holds a banner during a demonstration against a fuel subsidy removal in Lagos, Nigeria, January 9, 2012.
A protester holds a banner during a demonstration against a fuel subsidy removal in Lagos, Nigeria, January 9, 2012.

Multimedia

Audio
Ricci Shryock

Executive Director of Nigeria’s ‘Enough is Enough’ coalition, Yemi Adamolekun was on her way home from an Occupy Nigeria protest in Lagos Tuesday when she offered  two fellow protestors a ride home.

“People are walking two hours to get to protest sites because they are that passionate about what is going on," said Adamolekun. "I gave two gentlemen a ride today on my way back home, and they told me it took them almost two hours to get to the site this morning and they’re coming back tomorrow.”

Enough is Enough has been calling on the youth of Nigeria, where 75% of the population is under the age of 30, to provoke change for almost two years.

But President Goodluck Jonathan’s New Year’s decision to remove a fuel subsidy – an act that doubled the price of fuel for Nigerians overnight – catapulted the movement, which has dubbed itself, Occupy Nigeria. "Really from our perspective it was just a trigger," said Adamolekun of the end of the fuel subsidy. "Nigerians have been very quiet for so long. The corruption in the system is known at home and abroad.  Lack of infrastructure, rising costs of goods and services.”

Though recent protests and nationwide strikes in Nigeria have adopted the West’s rallying “Occupy” cry, they have very specific demands for their own country, including reinstating the fuel subsidy, reducing the overall cost of government and addressing corruption in the oil sector, said Adamolekun. “We’re going to continue to take over public spaces, we’re going to continue to take over public discourse until the government realizes that it’s not about subsidy removal but it’s about their waste and the corruption in the system,” she added.

Adamolekun said the Occupy Nigeria movement is also serving as a unifying factor for the country's Muslim and Christian groups. Increasing attacks on Christian and government targets by the loosely organized group Boko Haram, who claim to be Islamic militants, have caused alarm in the West Africa country and even reprisal attacks. Assailants set fire to a Koranic school in Southern Nigeria Tuesday.

But Adamolekun said the Occupy protests have seen moments of solidarity among the religions. “We’ve had places from Kano and various places around the country – even in Lagos – where Muslim brothers would be praying and Christians would stand guard," said Adamolekun. "In Niger State two days ago Muslim brothers went around the church to protect the worshippers while they were there.”

The Nigerian government has said it will save an estimated $6 billion through the removal of the fuel subsidy – money it says will go to infrastructure and social programs

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid