Saturday, December 17, 2005

"Concerned Mothers of Nigeria" Tear-gased

In reaction to the slow (and frankly half-assed) response by the government to the two recent plane crashes, a group of women calling themselves the Concerned Mothers of Nigeria, decided to stage a protest march yesterday (Friday). The march was to start around 9AM near the Ikeja Sheraton Hotel. My boss told me about it and planned on being there, but I could not go because Fridays are my CD days.

On getting back home, my mother told me that the march had not taken place, because the women had been tear-gased by the police. "Why?" was all I could ask. Why would anyone tear-gas a group of women? From all accounts, they were not being rowdy. I haven't seen any details online, but the main organisers were on TV this afternoon discussing the events of the morning.

If it turns out that the protesters had been tear-gased and made to disperse for no good reason, that would be a crying shame. Don't Nigerians have the right to air our concerns ? My boss complains all the time about how incredibly docile Nigerians can be. We complain about injustices constantly, but will ultimately do nothing to recify the situation.

Addition: It turned out that the march was peaceful afterwards. The group had applied for a permit, which was issued. However, the permit was cancelled about 2 days before the march and this was not communicated to the protesters. Anyway, long story short, the use of tear-gas was still unnecessary.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I always thought part of xteristics of democracy are: freedom of speech and expression of opinion (which can be in form of demostration) but the reported experience of "Concerned Mothers of Nigeria" has either proven me wrong or has indicated that Nigeria is not yet a democratic nation.

It's a shame people who have just been berieved cant express how sad they are with the government by having a peaceful demostration.

How long will this be for? When will something be done about the growing aviation sector in Nigeria? In my own view, business is not all about money. Part of a good customers' service in aviation sector is the guarantee of passengers' safety to a great deal. This is however not the case in Nigeria - the profit is more important ...