Just like the Arab Springs protests which took North Africa and Middle East by storm and the Occupy Wall Street protests in the United States, Europe and Asia in 2011, Nigerians used the social media to bring demonstrators out on the streets to protest the removal of fuel subsidy.
Yesterday, social media engines and applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Nairaland.com, internet chat rooms and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and others were updating on the protests with developments and live twits and pictures as the protests went on.
Live updates monitored by LEADERSHIP showed that demonstrators started using social media sites and tools to organise the protests on Monday and earlier Tuesday morning. Live updates and picture images of demonstrations in different parts of Lagos, Ibadan, Lokoja, Jos, Ilorin and Abuja were posted through the social media as the events were unfolding.
Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger and Internet chat rooms were the heaviest galvanisers of the protests with Nigerians venting anger on the hardship the effects of the removal would bring on their lives. Updates came in stating that oil subsidy removal demonstrators blocked Lokoja Bridge.
In Lagos where the heaviest demonstrations took place, protests led by former ASUU President, Dipo Fashina, human rights activist, Femi Falana, NLC Vice President Issa Aremu, Segun Sango and students over along Ikorodu Expressway, Lagos causing a traffic jam. The protesters called for divine punishment for the proponents of the subsidy removal as they carried placards and chanted solidarity songs .