Rights groups in Rivers state have issued a warning that they would take to the streets in Port Harcourt, the state capital to pressurize the government of President Mohammadu Buhari to drastically address the biting economic situation in the country.
“This is to inform the general public that the will be a peaceful and peoples organized protest in the city of Port Harcourt next week Thursday April 14, 2016”, the group said in a statement signed by its co-facilitator, Livingstone Wechie on Friday.
Wechie said that the protest would be aimed at driving a strong citizenship position against the inability of the Federal government to address the burning perennial fuel scarcity, zero MGW/total lack of electricity amidst increased tariff, incessant/fraudulent bank charges on poor Nigerians among other serious economic matters.
“In furtherance to these areas, the protest will serve as a platform to proffer a lasting solution to this untold hardship by Nigerians which has resulted in incalculable losses, shutting down of businesses, increase in crime and criminality, mass job losses, lack of any economic policy direction by the Federal government, lack of projects among others.
“We believe the government has exhibited gross ineptitude and incapacity in its dealings. Thus, it has continued to play the blame game on the past Goodluck Jonathan administration as a coverup to its failures which is a betrayal of its promises to Nigerians during the campaigns and elections that brought it to power”.
He said that the attitude of a travelling President in a travailing country can no longer be acceptable. “Therefore we want to use this mass protest to creatively challenge and engage the government on what Nigerians want and how they want their future to be like”.
Some of the objectives of the planned protest include: to pressure government to solve the biting petroleum and power problems without any further delays or excuses, press home the demand for a quick review and investigation of the fraudulent/incessant bank charges made against the banking public.
It will further demand for a practical/ working economic policy direction by the Federal government as a way of reviving this current economy that is almost brought to a halt, exercise citizenship rights towards ensuring that government binds itself to do the bidding of the people and put government on check and challenge it legally, lawfully, peacefully, creatively and pro-actively in its program for the masses, particularly in line with the promises it made on party platform on its way to power.
It will equally drive and motivate an active and conscious citizenship participation in governance. Hence, to give the citizens a VOICE and SAY in the activities of government,
According to the statement, the protest which is tagged OCCUPY NIGERIA SEASON 2 will involve people from various civil society organizations including Civil Liberties organization, NANS, market women groups, student unions, Labour, Social media activists and several other professional bodies and interest groups.