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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid