The artist announced the cancellation of the planned protests on Saturday night, citing security concerns.
Nigerian pop artist Innocent Idibia, also known as Tuface, has called off the nationwide marches he organised to protest against the government’s handling of the economy.
Tuface cited security concerns for the cancellation though he initially insisted on going ahead with the marches scheduled for Lagos and Abuja in spite of repeated warnings from the Lagos State Police Command and Nigeria Police High Command.
“After due consultations, it has become clear that the One Voice Nigeria protest scheduled to hold in Lagos and Abuja on Monday the 6th of February is under serious threat of hijack by interests not aligned with our ideals,” he said in a video post on his Instagram page.
Nigerian police spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, had cited same negative security implications of the protests for the reason the police advised Tuface and other groups not to proceed with their plans.
“The Nigeria Police Force is currently in possession of credible intelligence reports that other interest groups are equally planning to hold a counter protest/marches on the same days at the same places/cities as the Tuface group. Moshood said in a statement on Friday.
“If these various planned protests/demonstrations are held as scheduled, that there may be a breakdown of law and order, with attendant loss of lives and property.”
Tuface insisted his intentions for spearheading the plans to protest were noble and that it would be counterproductive for him to ignore the adverse security reports.
“The point I’m intent on making is not worth the life of any Nigerian. I mean, it is in fact motivated by the need to demand a better deal for the ordinary Nigerian,” he said.
The pop star has been an advocate for youth’s participation in politics with much of his activism devoted to campaigning against electoral violence. Through his “Vote Not Fight: Election No Be War” initiative, he sought to dissuade youths from engaging in political thuggery.
The cancelled protests, he said, were organised to promote good governance and to spur the government into formulating policies that would halt the rot in the Nigerian economy.
This is “a call for good governance,” he said. “A call for an urgent explanation into the reckless economic downturn nationwide. A call for nationwide protests as we say No to the Executive, No to legislatures, No to judiciary…. You have all failed us.”
He said there was a “need for Nigerians to rise against what is happening in this country having waited patiently for the legislatures that were elected to represent the people all to no avail.”