NLC RALLY: OCCUPY NIGERIA: BENUE STATE – DAY FOUR

Generally, the protest rally on Day Four was not dissimilar from those of the previous days. The major difference was that the people converged at High Level Roundabout (the convergence points for the rally have been shifting from day to day). The numbers kept increasing as the movements continued. True vehicles and bikes kept moving and some other people were seen on the roads. However, it was evident that the number of people moving about town had reduced greatly. Also noticeable in the protests on Day Four was the presence of far more youths and women. It seemed they had thought everything was child’s play but noting the seriousness had come out to join. Several other people who had relied on News Channels (but were disappointed) and the social media (especially Facebook) got tired of the reportage which they eagerly looked to. They decided come out to the march instead of post comments of encouragement. Several Federal Government staff absent from the previous days were seen. Some confessed that they had thought the rallies would be over in a few days. Noting that it might not if the numbers were few, they had decided to come join the march.
It turned out to be a day of publicity for the state as for the first time, the rallies were seen on AIT. Also, selected people stayed at home to post feeds to various media outlets. The presence of more youth also meant more live feeds to Facebook. It wasn’t long before the full impact of the rallies was seen. Noting the seriousness, a lot of people came out from their houses to join the protests. Those who couldn’t for one reason or the other promised to join. Day Four turned to be a turning point for Benue as it seemed most people came to notice the importance of the march for the first time.
The convergence was by 7am at the High Level roundabout, Makurdi. The people came in their numbers. The number though as much as on previous days was looked at as not being impressive enough. The NLC leaders gave their charge and told the protesters the course that the day’s events would take. As usual, the movement was of the police taking the lead, the NLC vehicles with music, accompanied by okada (commercial motorcycle) riders, then the banners and the main protesters. The march started in earnest with lots of excitement shining in the faces of the people and songs on their lips.
The march moved along the Old Oturkpo road all the way to Aliade Road and unto Kanshio. They seemed determined to reach a new side of town and make their impact felt. There was a stop and some addresses made. The addresses largely centred on the need for good governance, better leadership, and a call for the reversal of pump prices of PMS to their original price.
Next, a u-turn was made and the protesters soon found their way to Abu King Shuluwa road. They marched on through different routes notably Akpehe, till they arrived Wurukum passing the market side before terminating at the Wurukum roundabout where there were many more charges.
It was announced that the rally would start by 7am with the convergence point being the High Level roundabout.
While there was every spark of determination in the eyes and personage of the people, it was several of the protesters expressed sadness and disappointment that the government had allowed the protests to stay this long.
Most of the young people who joined the protests for the first time expressed their joy at joining the protests and promised to bring far more people the next day. Meanwhile, most of the protesters from the previous days said they prayed that the government would heed the Nigerian call and answer the demands of Nigerians. They said they hoped that the protests would be the last one. They however swore that if the Federal Government didn’t reduce the price of Petrol or answer to their demands for better governance, they would keep coming out to the streets. Hopefully, there would be no need for that.

Note the numbers...


At the event

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