Fuel subsidy: Nigerians descend on Jonathan’s supporters | Kwam-1, Femi Kuti, Eldee, Sultan, Omoni, Desmond, others join protest

•Genevieve, D’Banj top list
By Samuel Olatunji
As the pain and protest against the contentious fuel subsidy removal continue to rage, entertainers across the music and movie industries have taken their stand as gladiators or villains in the people’s battle against government.

 On Sunday, January 1, 2012, the Federal Government announced removal of fuel subsidy, which led to a sharp increase in the price of fuel from N65 to N141. Protest ensued and the people took to the social media to lambast President Goodluck Jonathan and his supporters in the entertainment industry during the election campaign that brought him to office.

 Top on the list of entertainers receiving knocks are Genevieve Nnaji, D’Banj and Stephanie Okereke. The trio and a host of other music and movie stars openly campaigned for President Jonathan with songs and videos, urging Nigerians to vote for him. Talk was rife then that they got millions of naira, and Stephanie Okereke and Francis Duru were the arrowheads of the campaign.

 Genevieve used to be well-loved in the social media circle. But she received a barrage of attacks when she re-tweeted a handle on Twitter that supported the removal of subsidy, saying it is good but the timing was wrong.
 People just went for her jugular. Many didn’t even reason with those who argued that she was entitled to her opinion, and that she merely re-tweeted. A commentator said: “This is why most Nigerians don’t take these Nollywood people seriously. Reality is very far from them.”

More comments:
 “Abeg Genny, shut your mouth if you have nothing tangible to say. Nobody asked you to comment, as it is obvious you are one of them.” “Genevieve is a selfish rich woman with little to show for it. She is only protecting the millions she got with her MFR title or whatever. When you have a selfish opinion like that, it is better to shut up or freeze your fingers than tweet rubbish. Any stupid Nigerian who believes that subsidy removal is good has allowed Aso Rock to brainwash him or her. Oil subsidy is a fraud. Who should we listen to, a PhD zoologist president, or a professor of virology, Tam David-West, a former minister of petroleum and energy?

 “I wasn’t going to comment, but this chic needs to sit down. Just because in Nigeria there’s no basis for what people define as celeb, she feels important. I just think on political issues these wannabe celebrities should shut up. This is such a sensitive topic affecting the lives of the average people and she talks (yan). No government abroad works like this. She needs to educate herself and stop being a puppet. Like her opinion even counts. Why do people make these celebs feel so important, please I beg?

 Next, she’ll be commenting on economic affairs. It’s patronizing and annoying. Since she stated there are benefits and is so smart, why not educate the public? She has no argument and she isn’t articulate. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but make a smart case. Not just when people ask you educated questions you can’t answer. Please, did she go to school? She needs to represent something more than showing her face at every party in Lagos. Nigerians are hungry and she is talking instead. Why not go back to school so that you can take a stand people will respect. I personally hate puppets, especially if you are a celeb so you can stand for something more than Gucci shoes and ‘Loubs’.”

 But Genevieve was not without supporters. An angry fan blasted a commentator that threatened to kill Genny. “Get a life, dumbass. You are either stupid or have completely lost control of your senses. Why the personal attack? Genevieve owes you money or took your man? What’s with the envy? You are unbelievably ignorant, brainwashed and mad. You are jealous of Genevieve. The Linda Ikeji Award for this week’s Moronic Commenter goes to you. There are no runner-ups. I hope you are tracked down, prosecuted and jailed for life for threatening to grievously harm/kill Genevieve Nnaji. You will regret your stupid threat. May God have mercy on your rotten and evil soul!”

 Kemikal said...
 Genevieve Nnaji did NOT say the things she re-tweeted. Re-tweets are not endorsements. Every sensible person on Twitter knows that. If I re-tweeted someone’s tweet, “Boko Haram rejoices at killing 20 Christians”, it doesn’t mean I approve or agree with Boko Haram, their activities or killing anyone. It means I forwarded and brought the tweet/news/bad news to the attention of my followers (or/and) wider audience, so that they’re aware of what’s going on/or just happened. Genevieve Nnaji did nothing wrong and said nothing wrong.

 “As Genevieve rightly pointed out, the masses were not educated/properly informed (on the subject). It was the fault of the government. It was deliberate. The government wanted it so. They knew it’s an unpopular policy.
 “Though it is wrong of government to deceive or wrong-foot the public; the press and the public too have to share in the blame. It’s not the job of government to educate the public on anything. The press and public are not paying attention at what the government is doing. The press and the public need to hold the government accountable for its actions and policies by NOT (being fooled into) voting for the wrong party or person or persons again.

 Most people use Twitter to get information, knowledge or create awareness, etc. As one of Genevieve’s followers, Segun, pointed out…
 “The problem with Nigerians is that we are often judges, jury and executioner. You don’t agree with the removal of subsidy, but she does (even if she never clearly stated that), and we all go crucifying her. Yet we speak of how dumb she is. “The earlier we start agreeing there’s always gonna be people who disagree with what we think is the agreeable term, the faster Nigeria would grow as a nation. “To all you retards going on and on about removal of fuel subsidy, maybe y’all should also educate yourselves and understand the merits it provides...

 Like the lady’s re-tweet, the only thing rather foolish about the subsidy removal is the timing and not putting more infrastructural amenities in place before it was done... For a developing nation, paying 25% of our budget into fuel subsidy is rather stupid and unsustainable. And here is hoping the money is put into better use for the betterment of Nigeria.”

 Musician, D’Banj was not spared as well, as he was insulted for remixing one of his songs for Jonathan’s campaign. His attempt to tweet and be seen on the side of the people failed as he was tagged selfish and anti-people. An avalanche of entertainment stars have however been trooping to the Gani Fawehinmi Park at Ojota, Lagos, singing and entertaining the huge crowd of protesters who want the Federal Government to revert to the old price of N65.

 Femi Kuti, K1, Pasuma, Kunle Afolayan, Omoni Oboli, Banky W, Seun Kuti, Desmond Elliot (who campaigned for Jonathan too), Atorise, Sound Sultan, Tee A, Okey Bakassi, Klint Da Drunk, Baba Suwe, Eedris Abdulkareem, AY.Com, Shina Peters, Ayo Balogun, Princess and many others have taking turns on the stage to voice their displeasure with songs that kept the crowd on their feet.
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