February 20, 2024

Hardship: We’re hungry, weak, Ibadan protesters tell Tinubu

Hardship: We’re hungry, weak, Ibadan protesters tell Tinubu

By Laolu Elijah, lbadan

Thousands of people, yesterday, thronged the major streets of Ibadan in Oyo State, to protest the hardship in the country.

The protesters, who are mainly youths, kept saying they were not out to cause trouble, but to call the attention of all the tiers of governments to the unbearable hardship in the country.

Though they didn’t use any objects to block the roads, they converged on accesses leading to the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, Sango, Dugbe and Eleyele, thereby blocking vehicular traffic.

They displayed several placards with inscriptions such as ‘Give us good health, End bad governance, End food hike, Open border, End hardship, ‘Is this the renewed hope you promised?’

At intervals, organisers of the protest kept updating the security agents who kept vigilance to arrest anyone who caused problem or hijacked the protest for selfish ends.

Schools, banks shut down

During the protest, some schools and banks shut their gates. The protest was convened through the social media. 

According to the message, “People should not pass through Mokola roundabout because there will be protest on Monday”. The message advised that motorists should take alternative routes to their destinations.

Sanitary pad now costs N4,000, lady laments

A ldy, who refused to disclose her name, caught the attention of many people displaying a placard that read: ‘Sanitary pad now costs N4,000; we can’t be using cloth, Please, help us’. Nothing should happen to me. All I’m asking for is my legitimate earning and ease of life.’

We’re dying of hunger—Protest leader 

A woman, who identified herself as Mobolaji Inaolaji, one of the coordinators, said: “We want to tell our leaders that things are not right, they should make things easier for us. We are not here to cause violence, things are too costly and people are dying.

“It is our right to protest whether we got permit or not. We have told the security agents that they should arrest whoever causes problem. We are peaceful and law abiding. All we want is to make government know our pains. We will go through most parts of the city.”

Other protesters, who were speaking with anger, said: “This problem is too much. Whoever wants to arrest me should come and do so. If we don’t die outside, we’ll die at home.”

Arguments among protesters

At a point, organizers of the protest argued amongst themselves about the next line of action. 

While some still wanted them to remain at Mokola and gathered more crowds before moving to other parts, others said if the crowd was too much, they could become uncontrollable. 

They, however, later agreed to move to Sango and University of Ibadan gate.

Protest was peaceful

The leader of the protest, Mr Solomon Ogunlola addressed the crowd before moving to Sango. 

He warned anyone who intends to steal saying they would beat him to stupor.

Ogunlola said: “This suffering and hardship is enough. We are not here to fight and if you observe, our security put on yellow reflective jackets.”

Security operatives were seen in their large numbers to ensure the protest was not hijacked.

The police, Department of State Security Services DSS, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps were standing by. While only few of them were armed, others stood watching the aggrieved crowd.

After about an hour at Mokola, the protesters headed towards Sango and other parts of the city.