A civil society group, Centre for Advancement of Civil Liberties and Development, has launched an online nationwide balloon protest against harsh and unfavourable government policies
The protest titled “NotYetIndependence” is aimed at facilitating citizens’ action against the plethora of government’s policies and impunity.
Co-convener of the group, Raphael Adebayo, while addressing journalists on Thursday in Abuja said the intervention was to create an impression on how bad things had gotten for Nigerians economically.
Adebayo said the balloons will come in different colours with some in green representing Nigeria’s flag and the protest would be done in at least 10 different locations within Abuja and at least 20 different locations in other parts of the country.
The activist added that the protest would center around five core issues, which has generated public outrage such as fuel price hike, electricity tariff increase, Company and Allied Matter Act, hate speech bill and social media bill.
He said, “Our goal is to create a new and strong sense of awareness through the usage of balloons for this protest: that while the rest of the world are celebrating beautiful occurrences with balloons, Nigerians are in fact lamenting the state of the nation with their own balloons.
“Our strategy is to encourage citizens to form groups of 20 persons in at least 30 different locations across the country.
“Each of this group will have a distinct message on the state of the nation as highlighted, and will share these messages with CFL.
“Their videos will then be collated by CFL to create a single video of different balloon protesters across the country, aligned by their shared objective of suffering and hardship, and bounded by unpleasant experiences enforced on them by bad governance.”
He noted that increase in electricity tariff was ill-timed with devastating strains on Nigerians when they were still grappling with the recent imposition of stamp duty and Value Added Tax.
He therefore, called on Nigerians to rise up and resist the decision by government to increase petrol price as a matter of urgency.