ENOUGHISENOUGH Nigeria disappointed in Lagos state government attitude.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

At a youth protest in Lagos, young Nigerians gathered at the Archbishop Church. The event was led by former Campaign for Democracy leader, Joe Odumakin. Various prominent young people were also present, including Audu Maikori, Ali Baba, Tolu Ogunlesi, Banky W, Timi DFakolo, Rita Dominic, Sound Sultan, Denrele Edun, GT, Kola Osinowo, Djinee, Segun Demuren, and others. Students came from OAU, UI, LASU, UNILAG and LASPOTECH. A sizable group of international press was also present - AFP, Reuters, IRI, BBC, Financial Times, and more. To be sure, the local media was also on hand - NTA, TVC, LTV, Radio Nigeria, NEXT, etc.

The police remained respectful and cooperative throughout the day, as did the protestors. When traffic began to build-up on the Awolowo Way, the police helped disentangle the cars and crowd, and restored proper flow of traffic.

 However, when the protesters arrived at Fashola's office, no representative was sent out to greet them. Although the Governor was in the United States, a letter informing him about the march had been sent three weeks prior, and the youth leaders had been led to expect a representative of the Governor to welcome them that day. The youth leaders presented to the media a letter signed by the Chief of Staff to the governor acknowledging receipt of the leaders’ letter.

After more than an hour of singing and speeches, the Secretary to the State government, thanks to Mrs. Odumakin, promised to come; however, after some 10 minutes the youth had had enough. Shortly thereafter, a Special Adviser was sent, but nevertheless, the youth interpreted Governor Fashola’s failure to send a representative in the first place as a discourteous dismissal of the event and the cause. The speaker invited the protesters over to his office - he was quite polite and engaged - but after consultation, the protesters decided after all that carrying out the initial intention of the event was more important than meeting someone at the governor's office. So the group of youths sang the national anthem, read the open letter to the governor, and left. In total, the event lasted about 3 hours.

The youth seemed to be highly disappointed in Fashola. They noted that all sorts of political groups with 50 - 70 people come there and are received. Yet this group of young people, who are not affiliated with any organization or particular politician, were not granted the same respect. By the end, Fashola’s deputy began to do damage control, but by the time she chose to come over and calm everything down, the protesters had begun to disassemble for the day.

Source: http://www.saharareporters.com/

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