Videos + Notes: #OccupyNigeria
Fela spoke out against widespread government corruption and police brutality in 1970s Nigeria. In the immediate present, Fela’s message of resistance can be heard ringing through the OccupyNigeria movement: protestors in Lagos have resurrected their national political hero by playing tracks like “Zombie” and “Gentleman” at demonstrations, while decrying President Jonathan Goodyear’s recent removal of the national fuel subsidy — the only tangible benefit Nigerians (who often live on less than $2 a day) receive from the government.
The removal of the subsidy took effect from Sunday, 1 January 2012 as announced by the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA Reginald Stanley. In response, demonstrations have cropped up not only in Nigeria, but also abroad in London, New York, and Washington D.C.
Al Jazeera‘s The Stream featured an entire program on the #OccupyNigeria movement. Among others, they feature guests like Fela’s son, Seun Kuti, and Nigerian activist and founder of Sahara Reporters Omoyele Sowore.
“I’d like to add that we reached out to numerous Nigerian government officials, but all declined to appear on the program.”
Footage of protests in New York and London:
1. New York: (Note the car honking!)
2. London: “We’re signing this petition to tell the government that not only Nigerians in Nigeria are angry about the subsidy.”