Atlanta-based World Bank consultant Thumbs up Tuface’s Public Demonstration. See his reasons


Efio-Ita Nyok|3 February 2017 Cross River-born development economist, social entrepreneur, World Bank consultant and social commentator, Mr Princewill Odidi, has nodded in favour of the planned public protest billed for 6th February by Nigeria's leading hip hop artiste Innocent Idibia popularly called 2Baba and Tuface NegroidHaven can report. Mr Odidi did this yesterday in a 16 paragraphed virtual publication titled, 'It's Courageous to say No! I stand with 2face!' which was published on his social media account yesterday. Odidi's endorsement of the hip hop artiste's intention stemmed from, according to him, courage and the after effect of the action on the government. Mr Odidi who frowned against the 'sell out mentality' by a section of the Nigerian public notably youths queried how possible it could for 2Baba to be bought into embarking on such an action especially considering the damaging effects such could have on his brand. '2face ability to rise up irrespective of the odds to call for public demonstration is an expression of courage and good spirit and it is an act worth endorsing', he said. 'The biggest problem in Nigeria today which is killing activism is "the sell out mentality". Once a celebrity decides to support a government or oppose the government we are quick to call him or her a "sellout". It is such a shame to our generation. 'The question is what amount of money will you give a man like 2face to embark on an action that if not properly managed can damage his brand and possibly his advertising endorsements? It is actually the same suffering youths some of whom have not eaten proper breakfast that would jump up to call 2face a sellout instead of commending his boldness to confront reality.' The Cross River-born social entrepreneur who observed that life is now unmanageable especially for the poor sought to know how a Nigerian living on a wage bill of N50, 000 or less could survive in the present economy? 'While some of us openly supported Buhari, the Truth is, for the rich and middle class they can actually manage to survive, but for the poor, life is unmanageable and actually unbearable. He said that when the poor Nigerian can't afford 'kerosene, palm oil, salt and the like then the line has been crossed. However, he further noted that poverty may be tolerated if it affects infrastructural development positively. He also noted how the rising and controversial exchange rate is even worsening the matter. 'Consider the price of kerosene, palm oil, salt, Maggie, and even bread and tell the poor man he should wait, there is God. Poverty may be tolerated if it affects infrastructure like bad roads, after all, the poor are used to that, but if it gets to the point that the poor cannot even manage to afford common two hundred Naira mama-put, then it has crossed the line. 'Dollar is selling at N500 our leaders are busy traveling and taking vacations, lodging in fanciful hotels, sending their children abroad at the detriment of poor Nigerians who can no more feed? 'You may say how does the rising price of the dollar affect the poor man?  Yes it does. It does because Nigeria imports almost everything including matches and safety pin. The government should be able to come out with a clear cut intervention plan and a sustainable timeline. It is no gainsaying that most governments programs I am privy to are what I will call "playing to the gallery " because they are built on structures that will fail. Two years into the current government it is unfortunate we still have this conversation.' Mr Odidi who incidentally is an international peace expert contended that if the present government can stoop so low as to beg China for loan why doesn't it beg the Niger Delta militants who are sabotaging our only economic life line —oil? While concluding his social media thread with an endorsement of Tuface's planned protest predicted that there's no end at sight for the nation's economy particularly outside political and economic dialogue. 'We cannot continue to beg foreign governments for loans and refuse to beg militants to stop blowing pipelines which is our only source of production economy. I am very seasoned in my academic training, I can comfortably predict the economic direction, I know there is no end in sight anytime soon without political and economic dialogue. Because of the dual exchange rate and low level production capacity we are going back to the fuel subsidy regime. 'So long as the government insist on a scaring tactics in the domestic local economy and financial markets, more people will stop patronizing our banks, low liquidity, absence of investor confidence in a regime with almost 4 different exchange range, the truth is, there is no end in sight. 'The immediate intervention today to bail out our economy and turn things around is not more borrowing from foreign governments, no, what can turn the economy around is a national dialogue with all political and economic stakeholders including the Niger delta militants who have held our economy hostage on the table. The truth is always uncomfortable, but that's the way out!. 'If we can humble ourselves and beg China for loan, why can't we humble ourselves and beg the militants to give way for our production lines to flow? 'You cannot fight a man in his own house and win. If my advice is still not taken, there maybe no poor man again in Nigeria in a few months from now, we will have just the rich and corporate beggars. 'Why rob the poor man of everything he has even his dignity and his small pride by turning him to a beggar? 'On this one, irrespective of the odds, I pray the demonstration is not destructive, I stand with 2face.' The Protest is scheduled to hold on February 6 at the National Stadium in Lagos, while some Nigerians have criticised this move as being politically motivated, others like Princewill Odidi have welcomed the development as a step to better democracy. Efio-Ita Nyok
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