Nigerians around the world have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resign over what they described as mismanagement, tyranny, proverty and insecurity under his watch.
The protest organised by the Coalition for Revolution on Saturday had hundreds of participants and was viewed by thousands globally.
Speaking during the event, foremost rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, said while other nations were making life easy for their citizens, Nigeria was imposing heavy tariffs and taxes on its people due to incompetent managers of the economy.
He said, “This country has enormous resources, human and natural, that should make us one of the leading countries in the world but because our country is manned by incompetence, impunity and corruption, we are one of the most backward nations in Africa and the rest of the world. I have seen young men and women whose future are at stake and we therefore have the duty to save yourselves, to save our country and reclaim the destiny of our country that has been seized by political buccaneers and economic saboteurs.
“While other nations including African countries are giving palliates to their people through cash transfer, through payment of electricity bills, our government is unleashing economic violence on our people through all manner of levies and taxes. Just a few days ago, the price of petrol was once again increased to N161 in many parts of the country per litre. Electricity tariffs have been increased, VAT increased, stamp duties have been imposed, the naira has been devalued through dollarisation of the economy.
“While our country is piling up loans, both the executive and the legislature have refused to respond to some of the allegations we have made regarding the mismanagement of the economy.
“For instance,.in the last 10 years, the LNG where Nigeria’s majority share is 49 per cent, that company has paid to the federation account $18bn but the money was hijacked by the NNPC. The Supreme Court gave a judgment in October 2018 to recover from international oil majors royalties that where not collected for 18 years so the government sat down, got some consultants who came up with the actual figure which is $62bn, just from LNG and uncollected royalties we are talking of $80bn. This figure is higher than our external loan of $27bn which the Federal Government has acknowledged.”
Falana called on Nigerians to discard the notion that the country was and ask questions from government officials and elected representatives.
Rights activist, Chidi Anyanawu, who spoke at the protest from Canada, called on Nigerians to stop seeking messiahs to change their condition but take personal responsibility to get a better standard of living.
He said, “Nobody needs to tell you if you have lived in Nigeria and was born 40 years ago or 30 years ago, 20 years ago or 15 years ago nobody needs to cajole you to protest because of the things that are happening. I feel sometimes so frustrated when somebody is waiting for others to protest. You are the revolution, nobody needs to organise any revolution for us in Nigeria, they have brought this thing so close to us to the point where they have put their eyes in our finger, what else do you need?
“In Nigeria we have suffered arrested development. At 55 some people in Nigeria have not had their first jobs since they left school, some have not even bought their first car. Why shouldn’t you be angry? Why should anybody have to show you how to be angry? When was the last time you had steady power supply for a week? Nobody is holding us down, it is we who are holding ourselves down. You know your councillor, have you ever confronted your councillor or your local government chairman?”
At the end of the virtual protest, CORE announced that another global action will take place on October 1, 2020.