Subsidy Removal:How artistes joined forces with labour


...some of the Nollywood artistes at the protest

BY BENJAMIN NJOKU
Stakeholders in the Nigerian entertainment industry who overwhelmingly threw their weight behind the organized labour in the on-going nationwide strike against the fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government have vowed not to rest until the policy is reversed.

Prominent names and faces that have been involved in the Mass Protest since Monday include the president of the Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP), Comrade Alex Eyengho, Mr. Lanre Falana, Dickson Iroegbu, Tunde Kelani, Kate Henshaw, Jide Kosoko, Bimbo Akintola, Leo Mazie, Donatus Chikezie, and Tai Emeka Obasi.

Others are; Vivian Metche, Chris Ubani Roberts, Ebele L. Ebele, Barr. Phillip Ifechukwu, Alhaji Toyin Usman (Chairman of Yoruba Film Marketers Association) and a host of other film producers, directors, script writers, cinematographers, editors, make-up artistes who gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota, Lagos.

Addressing newsmen on the protest, ANCOP president, Alex Eyengho, stated that this was the first time in the history of Nollywood that practitioners would in such an organized form join forces with the organized labour to fight an anti-masses government policy.

“I am happy today that despite the purported endorsement of the fuel subsidy removal by Nollywood, the true position of the industry has now been crystallized. We will not rest until the policy is reversed.”

“Nollywood say a resounding no to fuel subsidy removal. Let those who went to Abuja to collect money hide their filthy faces in shame or if they have the balls, come out and protest on the streets of Lagos in support of fuel subsidy removal”, Eyengho stated.

Expectedly, while the protest continued on the first day, more celebs and dignitaries took turns to either sing or encourage the crowd not to give up the struggle despite the odds.

‘I never thought Nigerians can stand up against insensitive decisions. We trusted you, that’s why we voted for you, don’t betray our trust Goodluck’, Babtunde Omidina a.k.a Baba Suwe told the crowd.

Meanwhile , actors like Kunle Afolayan, Yomi Blaq, Ufuoma Ejenobor, Toyin Aihmaku, Afrobeat acts Femi and Seun Kuti, Sir Shina Peters, pop singers AY.com, YQ, Skuki, Djinee, Bimb Akintola, Fuji acts Saheed Osupa, Obesere, comedians Klint da drunk, Seyi Law and Princess were some of the entertainers who showed up at the protest ground on the third day.

Interestingly, from the first day through yestreday, Nigerian entertainers were not found missing in action as they were trooping out in their tens of thousands to lend support to the strike action.

If anybody thought the attendance at the Gani Fawehinmi park was probably the highest on the second day, they were surprised to see the number tripled overtime.

Also, in some parts of Lagos, especially at the Tafawa Balewa Square, and at Falomo on Lagos island, Occupy Nigeria protesters gathered in their numbers, all sending out same message to the Jonathan led civilian administration; revert the pump price of PMS to N65, cut excessive government spending, and eliminate corruption from the system.

Until yesterday, the mass protest remain endless across the country, including the seat of power in Abuja.

Entertainers vowed to continue the protest this weekend, even as a meeting between labour and government ended without any resolutions on Thursday night. The federal government is still insisting there’s no going back on the fuel subsidy removal.
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