Following wide criticisms on the planned nationwide protest pioneered 2Face Idibia, the hip-hop star has opened up on reasons behind the protest, as well as reasons for postponing the date.
Some quarters have alleged that 2face was being used as a stooge to drive the protest aimed at smearing the Buhari-led Federal Government. He has been asked to come out clean and tell Nigerians the real reason behind the protest rather than hiding under the guise of clamoring for good governance.
In reaction, 2face has released a statement on Tuesday, defending his actions as well as disclosing that the protest scheduled for February 5, has now been moved to February 6, 2017, in order to coincide with the date President Buhari will return to the country to resume work.
See Also: Nationwide Protest – Group Plans Counter Rally to Support President Buhari
“Since the idea of a nationwide march was first mentioned, the need for urgent solutions to the challenges facing Nigerians has become very clear. The people have hoped for a better Nigeria since 1999 but things are not getting any better for the majority. We are still where we are – poor and desperate. I will be no longer be quiet.
“I want to thank EiE, The 2face Foundation, numerous colleagues and countless fellow Nigerians for stepping up to partner with me. I am just a musician with a point of view and the ear of my fans.
“I have dedicated my time and resources to peace building, voter education towards peaceful elections and youth engagement in governance in Nigeria. This time around, my partners, colleagues and I have come together to present a platform for real Nigerians to communicate their real pains to the government at all levels in a peaceful and articulate manner with a view to getting lasting solutions to our problems.
“This march is about demanding that all saboteurs of good government policies should hands off. This march is about encouraging positive minded Nigerians to continue to work without intimidation. We have a system that is clearly designed not to work for the majority. What is this match not about?
“It is not a platform for politicians of any party to manipulate. I know you will still spin it but for one second, leave your battles aside and just listen to people without trying to score cheap political points against one another.
“It is not a point scoring exercise. It is certainly not personal. It is not an organized labour platform. With all due respect to our comrades who have done much for Nigeria, this march is for the unrepresented. It is not a ‘my religion or tribe is better than yours’ matter. All our blood is red.
I, Innocent Idibia, am a living example of a Nigerian who owes their success to Nigerians of every tribe and religion. None ask what religion or tribe I am before supporting me. I am grateful. Therefore, it is with every sense of humility that I say that with this march, I want:
All Nigerians lives MUST matter. My religion, ethnicity or what part of the country I live shouldn’t determine the type of protection I get from my government. According to the Constitution, “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”
To develop beyond oil, we have to invest in our human capital. Every child must have access to quality education. If our teachers are not paid, how will we raise the next generation to lead the country and run our businesses?
Health is wealth. People die daily from lack of basic, affordable health care. We can definitely do better.
The government needs to make it easier to generate power at the state and local government level so everything is not tied to the centre. We need electricity to be productive. The cost of generating our own power is crippling.
Poor education plus a struggling economy means a lot of people are unemployed. Unemployed people are hungry and angry.
6) High cost of living
Food, transportation, medicine, everything is 3 times, 4 times more expensive but our salaries haven’t increased. What do we do???
7) Social Justice
According to the Constitution, “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice.” There cannot be one set of rules for the poor and another set for the rich.
The best way to kill corruption is to increase transparency. Government finances and contracts must be open and available to all. Who got the money, to do what and by when?
9) Cost of government
Our governance is TOO expensive – federal, state, local – cars, housing, allowances. We must reduce the cost of maintaining our public officials
I stand with Nigeria. There is enough in Nigeria for all of us to “chopbelleful”. Enough is enough. We must put Nigeria first and keep all the greedy & selfish people away from leadership.
Call to Action:
“Between now and Monday, February 6, I ask you to share via videos, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, SMS to 0902-355-5335. How are these issues affecting you? What are your daily struggles? How is it doing you? No matter what part of the world you are, I encourage you to share your stories. And join me on Monday in Surulere or online. Use any of the hashtags #IStandWith2Baba #IStandWithNigeria #OneVoiceNigeria on social media.
“We will take all the reports and send them to our elected representatives as ONE VOICE of Nigerians across party, ethnic and religious lines – as they hear real people talk about real issues.
“On Monday, February 6th, meet me at the National Stadium at 8am and we’ll walk to the National Theatre – 2 national icons that epitomise our decline – as we state clearly and peacefully that #IStandWithNigeria and Nigeria must work for all of us and all of us must work for Nigeria.
“Thank you! God bless Nigeria!!!”
Since 2face first announced plans for the protest, other celebrities like Charly Boy, I Go Dye, Daddy Showkey, Olamide, Davido, Burna Boy and many others have joined forces with him.
Also Read: Nationwide Protest – “You Are A Bloody Illiterate” – Nigerian Professor Fires 2face
On the other hand, an indistinct group is currently brewing plans to stage a counter rally against the planned protest.