Mixed reactions have followed late Saturday’s cancellation of the much anticipated protest march to be convened by hip hop musician, Innocent Idibia, aka 2Face.
The singer, up till late Friday, maintained there was no going back on the planned protest, despite warning by security agencies that the rally was capable of being hijacked by hoodlums.
However, in a video released on Saturday night, 2Face who eventually yielded security advice, said it was not wise to go on with the protest, as the rally is not worth the blood of any Nigerian.
He noted that consultations have shown clearly that the ‘One Voice’ protest scheduled to hold in Lagos and Abuja on Monday, February 6, is under serious threat of hijack by interests not aligned with the ideals of his group.
”The point I am making is that the intent is not worth the life of any Nigerian. It is motivated by the need to negotiate a better deal for the ordinary Nigerian.
”I therefore announce the cancellation of the planned protest.
“We would share further information in due course. We appreciate the massive support .
“I am convinced our voices have been heard.
May God bless you all, may God bless Nigeria,” said the singer, in the audio-visual message that has soon gone viral on the internet.
While critics of the protest continue to praise him for taking a wise step by desisting from an activity they thought was shifting his focus from his music career, his supporters have been divided in there reactions. To some, it was an act of cowardice to bow to pressure from security agencies while to others, the singer’s outcry in the last two weeks has created enough awareness on the grievances of the people against some of the unfavorable policies of government.
Meanwhile, indication emerged early Sunday that the protest may continue without 2Face, as a group called Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC) has vowed to continue with the protest, saying it was never about 2Face and his group alone in the first place.
In a press statement issued by one Ariyo-Dare Atoye, co-convener, CDNDC, “the cancellation of #IStandWithNigeria rally is not the consensus of Nigerians, majority of fellow planners and not a true reflection of the sincere plan to organize this rally in public interest.”
He said: “Let it be known that Mr. Idibia merely keyed into an ongoing public discourse over this protest to take a lead. It was never his singular idea but the concerns of the suffering masses.
“Therefore, we wish to inform concerned Nigerians and the international community that there is a national and public consensus for this protest to hold as scheduled in all venues. There are hundreds of groups and thousands of Nigerians who are leading this initiative and we will not back down.”
According to Atoye, “This is the time to separate real activists from emergency activists. Emergency activists seek mortality with the fear of man, while revolutionists and real activists seek immortality with the fear of God.
“Consequently, in the exact opposite of what our brother, 2Face said; “Dear Nigerians, due to stomach insecurity and bad governance consideration, we hereby announce the continuation of the march as scheduled – on Monday, February 6, 2017,” he said.