On the Fuel Subsidy Removal Protests

To say I am appalled by the current events in Nigeria is an understatement. It is unfortunate that the government has remained insensitive to the feelings of the general population on the issue of the fuel subsidy removal. The press statement has gone out from the FEC meeting that the goverment decision put in effect on Jan 1, 2012 would not be rescinded. What a pity.

Even more upsetting is the police brutality recorded in several cities where spontaneous protests sprung up lamenting the subsidy removal. In Kano, 42 people were wounded, and a young man was shot in Ilorin some days ago. I understand that Nigerians are aggrieved, and with the memory of the Arabian Spring, a lot of youths are fired up. But remember that it is not one or the other, it is not death or success. We can have a peaceful boycott that achieves our goals.

What am I saying? This is to those in Nigeria, please stay safe and urge everyone to do the same. For those already protesting, let them do so in a peaceful manner. To those outside Nigeria who are influential via the social media and other means, exercise your influence with caution. Do not ask of others what you are not prepared to sacrifice. Even if the masses succeed, it won't bring back dead protesters. So if possible, let's wait for the NLC organized protests or industrial action starting on Monday Jan. 9th, 2012. They will likely be police approved with less chances of violence.

Aluta Continua, but safety first.

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