I HAVE LEARNT THAT ALL ROADS TO EAGLE SQUARE HAVE BEEN BLOCKED. DO NOT FALTER. WE ARE NOW IN FRON (HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISION) MAITAMA
People have asked me if Nigeria is ready to do what it takes to make it better and I have in turn asked for your positions in ‘WILL YOU MARCH?’ The answer I got was a resounding YES! Nigerians all over; young and old started getting back to me to tell me they were ready. Seeing that we were fired up, I took the liberty of finding out the best way to protest and giving the information back to you.
The feedback you sent said
- That you agreed with a PEACEFUL PROTEST/DEMONSTRATION
- You are not afraid to sit it out until the government does what is right and listens to you.
I gave out my email to ask for your input and contributions about #occupynigeria, but due to the amount of information flooding in, I could no longer keep up. The data you kept sending in became so bulky that I could barely keep up with #occupynigeria. I became exhausted, and with fingers swollen from typing, I decided to tweet my number and ask anyone who wanted to, to call my number instead.
Predictably, not everyone who agreed with me was calling. I started receiving prank calls, vile sms’, hate mail, threats and general personal attacks. I have been called a ‘terrorist, stupid and greedy, boko haram sponsor, a *****, a *****, and those are not even the colourful insults.
Nigerians from every state, every tribe, every religion, living at home and abroad started calling me to ask WHAT they could do to help.
We got a large office space and extra hands where a few of us could plan and coordinate from and when information kept growing, I started asking for more volunteers and help kept being offered by students, civil servants, group, clubs and associations. A now have a revolving 100 or so people who help in all manner of things like retrieving numbers and passing it on, replying emails, making and returning calls to volunteers in each state, others come to write messages on placards, some design logos and banners, many others follow #occupynigeria #eyesANDears tweets and pass the information out as soon as possible, some coordinate states and geo-political zones, and every manner of jobs which come up.
People on twitter have helped secure the use of photocopiers for us, others turned up came with a trunk full of papers, more came with hundreds of cardboard papers, others came over with food and drinks, and more people have volunteered to come with water, blankets, lanterns, literature, food and all manner of things when we start protesting on Friday.
In the space of four days, I have watched with sadness as we lost a protester in Illorin, I have followed the courage of the Lagosians who came out on the 2nd of January in the first protest, applauded the resilience of the people of Osun who got Governor Aregbesola to sign their protest register, and celebrated with the people of Bauchi who peacefully coordinated themselves and convinced their emir to join them in their protest against the removal of fuel subsidy. My real moment of joy remains though the audacity of the people of Kano. They set an example for us and showed us that protests can be conducted and they can be executed PEACEFULLY!!!
My point is this: where I thought I was alone, I have found millions of other ordinary Nigerians with the same zeal and patriotism willing to put in the time and effort that it’ll take to fight for a better Nigeria and for every hour I have invested into #occupynigeria, some of them have put in 2 or 3 times more.
As much as we are coping, we can still use more help. We need people who can process ideas fast, people can coordinate with the media, IT savvy individuals, lawyers, doctors, statisticians, able bodied people who can just distribute water and pamphlets, others to snap and record and document police activities with their phones, laptops, cameras, and other gadgets, and more to just walk around to ensure that we remain peaceful at all times. We also need more people making and answering calls, gather the new phone numbers that are coming in, others simply to follow all the activities on twitter, some on facebook, some on the internet, and many other unforeseen jobs that might come up. It doesn’t matter where you are or where you live as long as you are ready to help. I know there are hundreds of you out there wanting to help, I simply have to find you!
I will be on the streets of Abuja, engaging the public and asking for a peaceful protest to help make things right. I urge you all to do the same, BUT if you find that you cannot, please allow those who can and stop detracting us. I have taken a stand on the web and on the streets and I am asking you to take a stand with me and show yourselves as the leaders of tomorrow. My tomorrow is here. Is yours?
Nigeria needs you, are you ready to answer her call?