Subsidy removal: Waiting for Stephanie, others

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Maureen Azuh

The protest is on in many cities. It is the agitation for the reversal of the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government. As expected, many prominent Nigerians have taken the lead roles in mobilising people to stand up against the removal.

In this national struggle, many Nigerian artistes have also taken sides with the masses in condemning the act. From musicians to actors and actresses, the struggle simply continues.

However, all eyes have been on those who ‘campaigned’ for President Goodluck Jonathan to speak their minds on the burning issue. Popular musician, Dapo Oyebanji, also known as D’banj – who was at the forefront of the campaign – has particularly been under pressure to act as others have done.

And finally, Dbanj tweets thus: “Ok so I haven’t said anything about the subsidy cos just like every Nigerian citizen I am as surprised as we all are and yes I supported GEJ openly and fully but I haven’t been made the special adviser to the president on youths. All I can say about the subsidy is the obvious truth that my fans, friends, family and we the masses are the ones feeling the pain now.”

Although many may argue that D’banj’s statement is a bit evasive, popular actress, Stephanie Okereke, has yet to air her view on the controversial issue.

In fact, since the protests began, her fans on Twitter have prompted her repeatedly but the actress has remained mute. Okereke is said to be close to the presidency. She is also said to have helped in mobilising other artistes who openly campaigned for President Goodluck Jonathan last year.

Similarly, some people are itching to hear from the likes of songbird Onyeka Onwenu, Francis Duru, Paul Obazele, Richard Mofe-Damijo, among others.

While the wait is on, more artistes have continued to condemn the removal of fuel subsidy. On Tuesday, the second day of the protest, Eedris Abdulkareem made a grand appearance at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, where others have been gathering in support of the nation-wide strike.

The rally offered Eedris the opportunity to revisit his grouse with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who had insulted him for singing about the state of the country at the time – in his Nigeria jagajaga song.

Eedris says, “The man wey say i dey craze because i sing Nigeria jaga jaga, where him dey now inside this hardship? Na 2002 I sing Nigeria JagaJaga, na 2012 we dey so o.”

Other artistes that have been at the park to show their support were gospel artiste, Atorise; Olu Maintain; Pasuma; Eldee; the Kutis, Femi and Seun; and Nollywood actor, Desmond Elliot.


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