There are indications that the Department of State Security Service (DSS) has commenced covert moves to halt the planned protest by the Occupy Nigeria group in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The protest is expected to ground Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Thursday, April 14, 2016
Available reports indicate that the protest is aimed at driving a strong citizenship position against the inability of the federal government to address the burning perennial fuel scarcity, zero megawatts and total lack of electricity amidst increased tariff, incessant and fraudulent bank charges on poor Nigerians among other serious economic matters.
Livingstone Wechie, said to be the brain behind the project and believed to be ardent supporter of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, said the protest will serve as a platform to proffer a lasting solution to the untold hardship on Nigerians which has resulted to 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.
According to Wechie, the government has exhibited gross ineptitude in handling issues affecting the economy of the nation, saying Buhari has continued to blame former President Goodluck Jonathan for his administration’s consistent failure and inability to meet promises made during the electioneering campaigns.
The group said other reasons for the protest are to mount pressure on the government to find lasting solution to the lingering and biting fuel crisis in the country, press home the demand for quick review and investigation of the numerous fraudulent cases in the nation.
The protest, which is tagged Occupy Nigeria Season 2 will involve people from various civil society organizations including: Civil Liberties organization, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, market women groups, student unions, Labour, Social media activists and several other professional bodies and interest groups.
The protest is planned to be peaceful through the city of Port Harcourt but aimed at compelling the federal government to consider the plight of Nigerians and look for strategies to bring an end to the lingering challenges bedeviling the nation.
But as laudable as the objectives are, there are alleged moves by the DSS to frustrate the protest. This is especially so as pressure is already being mounted on affiliate union leaders, especially the Nigeria Labour Congress to opt out of the planned protest.
“The DSS is going around asking some of the unions not to participate, saying security cannot be guaranteed for the protest. We are saying that we have had enough of the suffering, and we need the change,” our source, who pleaded anonymity, said.
It was learnt that many groups, even not originally invited to participate in the protest are preparing to join the march. The organizers say they are working on Banners and T-shirts, and that distribution will commence by5am on Thursday.
There are 32 groups and unions participating in the planned protest and a press conference is billed for Wednesday, April 13th in Port Harcourt.