Friday 13th of January,2012 witnessed the first ever Nigerian rally in Finland. Nigerian communities in Finland usually reflect the quiet Scandinavian nature .Keeping mute about most Nigerian issues. However, recent fuel increases, corruption and cost of governance in Nigeria has ignited negative reactions among Nigerian diaspora in Finland.The rally tagged â€œOccupy Helsinkiâ€ was the first rally to be organized by Nigerians in Finland.The rally began at 14:00 EST and protestors marched to the Finnish parliament house. The aims of the rally were to address
-The issue of insecurity in Nigeria and the Boko Haram threats.
-Lack of basic and social amenities , provision of employment and security
-Request for immediate suspension of the subsidy removal.
-Reduce the cost of governance in all tiers of governance.
According to one of the frontiers of the rally ,Mr Mohammed Idris who initiated the facebook page said the rally was very successful with the Finnish police providing the necessary security. However,he expressed his disappointment at the conduct of one Mr Kelechi Obinna who was said to be organizing another faction of the protest with different slogans promoting religious and tribal sentiments.
Other Coordinators of the rally, one Mr Oladeji Ikuesan claimed that apart from the subsidy issue as rally points,the Finnish foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja has wrongly commended the Nigeria government during his last visit, he claimed that Finnish government representative commendation did not reflect the true situation in Nigeria and of Nigerians.He argued that a government highly accused of corruption, inability to secure Nigerians from a terrorist group and overblown cost of governance should not be praised.He described the rally as successful despite disruptions from one Obinna kelechi faction affiliated with the PDP party.
However, a small drama ensued at the the Finnish parliament house , when one of the protestors Mr Obinna Kelechi ,a staunch PDP member in Finland ,who claimed to lead a faction of the protest rally,suddenly interrupted the spokesman of the Occupy Helsinki rally and advocated that a genocide plan by northern Nigeria on the Igbo tribe should be the burning issue and not fuel subsidy.When we contacted Mr obinna Kelechi .He said,they should rally against terrorism,corruption and to become proactive against an imminent civil war in Nigeria. He said,he had to interrupt My Oladeji Ikuesan because he was making comments against an earlier peace pally which itemized what rally agendas should be voiced.
However,the Nigerian community agreed the rally was a success and there is need work more on a unifying voice amongst Nigerian community in Finland to condemn excesses of the Nigerian government.
Olalekan Oladepo Smart wrote in from Finland