I have been constrained to comment on the planned 6th of February, 2017, protest of Mr Innocent Idibia, a famous Nigerian musician popularly called “Tuface Idibia”, because, as a tradition, I hold all my in-laws in very high esteem. Mr Idibia is married to an Akwa Ibom popular Nollywood Actress – Annie Idibia, and by extension my brother-in-law.

The popular musician took to his Instagram account some days ago to announce his intention to mobilise and lead a nationwide protest on Monday, 6th February, but after getting backlash from well-meaning Nigerians who linked the protest to some political gladiators, he released a 10-part video explaining reasons for the protest.

And part of his reasons was: “Since 1999, we are still where we are, poor and desperate. I am just a musician with a point of view and the ears of my fans. This march is about demanding that the government connect with all the people of Nigeria, it is not about partisan politics.”

As the planned protest against President Muhammadu Buhari and the nation continue to generate unnecessary heated debates. I am persuaded to add a voice against the protest, which I termed as a “Political Rally” apparently, instigated by politicians who feel disgruntled by the actions and inactions of the current administration.

I am not standing in for the Presidency whose most policies are anti-democratic and anti-civil. But, judging from the reasons advanced by Mr Idibia, which include; “since 1999, we are still where we are, poor and desperate…” I am left wondering when Mr Buhari’s government came on board; and if Buhari or his political party (APC) started governing this country from 1999 as stated by Tuface Idibia. For me, this will be a misplace protest aimed at the wrong individual at the wrong time.

It is, however, in doubt if Tuface Idibia was in Nigeria from 29th of May, 1999 to 28th of March 2015 (about 16years ago), which, according to him (Tuface); “…we are still where we are, poor and desperate…” because, his protest would have made meaning to Nigerians, like me, at that time, and not now.

I remember there were a lot of protests against Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (1999 to 2007), Late Mr Umaru Musa Yar’adua (2007 to 2010), Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (2010 to 2015) who had governed this country as presidents under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), but, most unfortunately, to say the least, I cannot recall Mr Idibia being part of any of these protest(s) against the misruled of this country by any of these politicians.

He never showed up in person, or in proxy, or release a song in solidarity of these struggles to liberate this country. So why now (just 18 months into Mr Buhari’s government)? Who are those behind him? And who will benefit from his protest?

We know that from 1999 to 2015, a particular crop of politicians had been around the corridors of power in the country. They looted and plundered our common patrimony as well as killed our economy and sowed the seeds of economic recession which Nigeria is now facing.

They ruled the country with impunity and disrespect for rule of law and due process. Are these crops of politicians the would-be beneficiaries of Tuface Idibia’s planned protest?

Nigerian youths are no fools. We are wiser than they thought. We know the real enemies. We know who to ask what question(s) when the time comes.

For now, I view the Tuface planned protest as politically motivated, uncalled for and unnecessary distraction, because it has a wrong target.

Let’s be guided by the larger interest of our Nation.


• Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator


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