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Adams Unaji

Adams Unaji, Youth Activist And Force In “Occupy Nigeria” Protests, Dead
By SaharaReporters, New York

Adams Kennedy Unaji, a Nigerian activist whose life touched many and who was instrumental in mobilizing participants in the 2012 “Occupy Nigeria” protests, has died.

Mr. Unaji died on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 while waiting to go on a radio talk show at Vision FM in Abuja. Sources at the station said he died of an apparent heart attack, but there is no medical corroboration of the source of death as this report was filed.

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The #Occupynigeria Protests: A Failed Revolution

January 2012! A watershed in our annals. On a personal level, it was the year I finally got a job (Believe me its BIG news in these parts). After four years of waking up daily at 9am, sauntering into the living room for a customary breakfast of tea and bread; while watching Newstrack on Channelstv, and going straight back to bed after to snooze away my unemployment blues, I secured a job.

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OccupyNigeria Protesters shut down Town Hall meeting with Minister of State at the Grand Hyatt hotel, New York, NY.

Nigerian activists from the Nigeria Liberty Democratic Forum (NDLF) last night protested at the Town Hall meeting called by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Professor Viola Adaku Onwuliri, shutting down the event until the New York Police Department was called in an hour later.

The meeting, which was scheduled to start at 6: 00 p.m., did not start until 7:45p.m, as the minister came late. 

Prof. Onwuliri is one of three Ministers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a top-heavy, free-spending government.  About 10 days ago, in one of his broadcasts on the oil subsidy crisis, President Goodluck Jonathan said he would drastically cut down on foreign travel; Mrs. Onwuliri’s tour of the United States, like the lavish tour of South Africa of Mr. Jonathan’s team to the ANC 100th anniversary, is evidence of the emptiness of that pledge.

The activists led by Bukola Oreofe of the NDLF waited patiently in the hall as officials of the Nigerian consulate in New York and organizers of the event started with opening prayers and the Nigerian national anthem. As soon as the anthem ended and the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York moved towards the podium to deliver a prepared speech, NDLF activists took over the microphone on the aisle which was set aside for those who wished to ask questions.

They announced that the Minister was late, and pointing out that it was another sign of disrespect and contempt for Nigerians. 

Occupy Nigeria Activists In New York Shut Down Minister's Wasteful Town Hall Meeting

Nigerian activists from the Nigeria Liberty Democratic Forum (NDLF) last night protested at the Town Hall meeting called by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Professor Viola Adaku Onwuliri, shutting down the event until the New York Police Department was called in an hour later. The meeting, which was scheduled to start at 6: 00 p.m., did not start until 7:45p.m, as the minister came late. 

Prof. Onwuliri is one of three Ministers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of a top-heavy, free-spending government.  About 10 days ago, in one of his broadcasts on the oil subsidy crisis, President Goodluck Jonathan said he would drastically cut down on foreign travel; Mrs. Onwuliri’s tour of the United States, like the lavish tour of South Africa of Mr. Jonathan’s team to the ANC 100th anniversary, is evidence of the emptiness of that pledge.

The activists led by Bukola Oreofe of the NDLF waited patiently in the hall as officials of the Nigerian consulate in New York and organizers of the event started with opening prayers and the Nigerian national anthem. As soon as the anthem ended and the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York moved towards the podium to deliver a prepared speech, NDLF activists took over the microphone on the aisle which was set aside for those who wished to ask questions.

They announced that the Minister was late, and pointing out that it was another sign of disrespect and contempt for Nigerians. 

The activists were upset that a federal minister would be late to the very meeting for which she had travelled all the way from Nigeria at great public expense, noting that Nigeria continued to be governed and mismanaged so sloppily.

The activists also explained why the downhill meeting would not hold in view of the killing of peaceful protesters during last week’s OccupyNigeria movement rallies.

As soon as the first speaker stated the mission of the protest, another speaker stepped up and announced that the meeting was over.

Apparently, Nigerian officials who had anticipated such disruption had also mobilized and paid some Nigerians in the New York area to attack the protesters, as pandemonium and fights started in the hall.

It started with a certain Carl Ummuna and Bukola Shonuga who began shoving and verbally abusing protesters, claiming they were there to “protect the minister”. But an unrelenting and sustained protest shut down the proceedings.

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Labour Compromised, Say Nigerian Activists, But We Won’t

Nigerian civil society groups and other stakeholders on have strongly dissociated themselves from the country’s major labour unions for calling off their nationwide strike.

At a press briefing at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, the activists, led by Mr. Dino Melaye, a one-time federal lawmaker, accused the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of orchestrating a “charade” with the intention of deceiving Nigerians they were fighting in the interest of the masses.

 “We dissociate ourselves from the leadership of organised labour,” Melaye said. “We cannot forget that every day they vowed and promised Nigerians in all languages and chanting songs that they will not cave in to pressure from the government until the price of fuel is returned to N65 per litre.”
Melaye, along with several other professional, religious, youth and labour leaders across all sectors of the economy who had condemned the government’s sudden removal of fuel subsidies on January 1 remained resolute in insisting the federal government reverse to N65 per litre of petrol.

After a week of nationwide demonstrations called by labour since January 9, which led to the death of numerous protesters and a freeze in economic activity across the country, Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan went into negotiations with the leadership of organised labour headed by NLC President Abdulwaheed Omar and TUC President-General, Peter Esele. The outcome saw President Jonathan pegging the fuel price at N97, and labour backpedaling on their promises to millions of Nigeria.

“It is our firm belief that someday these men and women who chose to ignore the cries of the common people of this land and the promise they made to the trusting people but rather aligned with the conquering class will answer to the people of Nigeria,” Melaye added.

The social change activists, including Ezenwa Nwagwu (the Joint Action Front), Dr. Yunusa Tanko and Roz Ben-Okagbue (the Save Nigeria Group), Azeenarh Mohammed, Olaonikpekun Ademyemi, Kate Pam (Occupy Nigeria), Hon. Oyetakin Ebenezer (the Nigeria Advance Party), Pastor Sarah Omakwu (the Family Worship Centre), Dino Melaye (the Anti Corruption League) and Willy Ezugwu (CNPP), thereafter jointly presented a signed petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission calling for a probe of the petroleum sector. They also submitted to the anti-corruption agency a copy of the 2010 forensic report of KPMG, the international audit firm, which exposed the gross corruption in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The coalition of the civil society groups also called on Nigeria’s petroleum minister and managers of key petroleum agencies to resign their positions pending investigations into alleged fraudulent payments on subsidy to fuel suppliers. Should they refuse, they said Nigerians expect President Jonathan to order them to “proceed on indefinite leave”, as an assurance of his genuine desire to fight corruption.

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Occupy Nigeria Protesters Take A Stand In South Africa

Nigerians in South Africa on January 16th stormed the Nigerian embassy in Pretoria. According to the PRO of Nigerian Union in Gauteng, Niyi Da Voice Abodedele, some 300 Nigerians in South Africa attended the protests in solidarity with Nigerians protesting against mismanagement and corruption in cities across Nigeria.

The demonstration also featured Biafran separatist activists campaigning against islamist miliatnats, Boko Haram, killing of Igbos. They marched alongside side others demanding a Biafran homeland.

AfriCurrent with Chika Oduah January 14, 2012

AfriCurrent, hosted by Chika Oduah, is the weekly broadcast that airs on SaharaTV.

AfriCurrent gives viewers a snapshot of what’s happening in Africa, and highlights stories not covered in Western mainstream media.

For this week’s episode, Chika reports on the growing Occupy Nigeria movement against the removal of a gas subsidy by the Nigerian federal government, the banning of a popular narcotic used in East Africa and the Middle East, a bungee jumping accident that happened to a tourist visiting Zambia and more.

Labour Movement, CSOs Commend Protesters, Urge Continued Action

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have commended workers and the Nigerian people for their overwhelming support and commitment to the fight against the sudden astronomical increase in the price of petrol. 

In a statement this evening, Chris Uyot, Head of Information of NLC, declared that today’s general strike and mass protests were very successful, with a large number of Nigerians coming out to show their feelings against the insensitivity and callousness of the Federal Government in increasing petrol prices from N65 per litre to N141 and N250.

He expressed sadness that despite the resolve of workers and the Nigerian people to keep the protest peaceful, the Federal Government unleashed its security machinery against the people, leading to reported deaths and injuries in Kano and Lagos.

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