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BN Photo Stories: The Finale – From the ‘Frying Pan’ to Fuel Protest

BellaNaija.com

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As Christmas Day 2011 approached, most Nigerians who had been belaboured by harsh economic conditions all year long, resolved to hold on to the slightest hint of excuse reason to celebrate the festive season. Famously referred to as the happiest nation on earth, Sub-Saharan Africa’s darlings wore their well-plastered smiles on their faces. The noise at the popular Lagos markets in Oshodi, Idumota, Mile 12, Yaba, and environs rose to a new height, even though most people would say, “There is no money in town!” Some kids were lucky to get their Christmas toys as usual. Against all odds, families shared the joy of surviving another treacherous year, whilst peeping into the next. “As long as there is life, there is hope,” so goes the popular Yoruba maxim. Many families still had their special meals, not knowing what the New Year held in its tight, lukewarm hands.

The intensity of fireworks heralding the New Year had dwindled over the last decade, not just because state security forces threatened indiscriminate celebrants, but because many had become wise enough to purchase and gulp litres of yoghurt down their throat rather than jump around on empty stomach and make too much noise with fireworks bought with hard-earned money.

In the early hours of January 1st, 2012, just as some families rose from their first breakfast of the year, the news broke. Turkey bones held sway, half-crushed in carelessly open mouths. Fuel subsidy had been totally removed by the federal government in a move to safeguard the economy, check corruption in the oil & gas industry, and save the common man from oil smugglers who often benefitted doubly to the detriment of the masses. So, said the government. Many citizens would not agree with the idea of removing fuel subsidy, not even the manner in which the government had implemented it – total and sudden – three months ahead of initial announcement. More than half of the month was spent battling the government of the day. Fuel price was finally fixed at 97NGN per litre, after some lives had been lost to the nationwide protest, but the people had made a salient point – that we can stand and speak up as one against ill-conceived government policies.

It’s February 2012, and life continues. We draw the curtain on this season of the BN Photo Series. It has been a wonderful journey, despite the delay experienced in getting this last episode up, since the last post in December 2011. Here’s wishing you all a beautiful year, full of gains and exploits, where only the courageous and proactive will carry the day. God bless you. God bless Nigeria!

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CREDITS:

Bayo Omoboriowo is a freelance photographer and photo artiste. A double-finalist (Still Life & Lifestyle) at the maiden edition of the Nigeria Photography Awards in July 2011, his works have appeared on BellaNaija.com, YNaija.com, and in Y! Magazine. He loves documentary photography, though he also dabbles into events and portrait.
Twitter: @BayoOmoboriowo | Blog: www.bayoomoboriowo.com | Facebook Page: Bayo Omoboriowo

Jide Odukoya, a graphic designer and (front-end) web designer, decided to build a career in photography barely a year ago after purchasing a Canon 550D with which he had experimented for a while. A Photoshop faithful, he dabbles into several kinds of photography, the top three being documentary, street, and wedding photography, in that order.
Twitter: @jideodukoya | Blog: www.jideodukoya.com/blog | Facebook Page: Jide Odukoya Photography

Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./BellaNaija.com. When he is not reading or writing, Gbenga is listening to good music or playing the piano. He believes in the inspirational power of words and pictures, which he explores in helping to make the world a better place. He writes from Makurdi, Benue State, where he is presently on the national youth service programme.

Twitter: @gbengaawomodu | Blog: www.gbengaawomodu.com | Facebook Page: Gbenga Awomodu

39 Comments

  1. CK

    February 16, 2012 at 9:51 am

    powerful

  2. frivolities

    February 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Awesome article. The quality and chronology of the pictures tells the story to anyone who may have been unaware of the crisis. Nigeria Shall Overcome!! So Help Us God.

  3. kehinde

    February 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

    wow!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. TJ

    February 16, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Wow! Brilliant! simply brilliant. Our struggle in pictures. God bless us all!

  5. pp

    February 16, 2012 at 10:01 am

    which way Nigeria?

  6. H.A.W

    February 16, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Beautiful photography….

  7. Bolanle

    February 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

    love it!

  8. Deiz

    February 16, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Those pictures speak volumes! I love 9ja

  9. skelly

    February 16, 2012 at 10:40 am

    wow..ive got goose bumps all over me….God bless you Bella naija..very very nice pictures..

  10. bb

    February 16, 2012 at 10:57 am

    beautiful photography…great to see nneka,sound sultan,jimmy jatt and co supporting d masses.fela durotoye is such a great model to young nigerians….these pictures speak a million words!

  11. Theodora

    February 16, 2012 at 11:05 am

    What more can i say, lovely pictures…I LOVE NIGERIA….Good People Great Nation

  12. UsaveOne

    February 16, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Classic Bella, this is a master piece. Wonderful, interesting, Sooooooo funny. Some of the pictures cracked me up like crazy. Please Bella i pray God to give you more strength. I hope this not gonna be the last photo news! One word…Brilliant!
    Plz checck..
    http://usaveone.blogspot.com/

  13. Dahlia Voka

    February 16, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Nice pictures

  14. Hadassah

    February 16, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Awesome talents, guys. Absolutely beautiful shots

  15. Triangle

    February 16, 2012 at 11:39 am

    See the woman with the baby under the bench. chai. We are resilient people o. Even in the midst of protest, pple are making brisk business, pure water, recharge card etc.
    It’s usually the elite that complain, the poor have known nothing else, so they always find a means to cope. God bless their hustle.
    btw, i’m in no way detracting from the seriousness of the situation, kudos to those that protested

  16. stellamwindsor

    February 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

    DEAR Queen Elizabeth,
    im writing this with tears,pain and shame.your majesty,your former beloved colony ia now a hot mess.please come to our aid before its too late.our leaders hv failed us.with your parliamentary sovereignty u can rule us again like u once did.maybe things will be better if you do.nigeria was better in the colonial era than it is now.we’ve gone from grace to grass.help us please.
    yours sincerely
    beloved nigerians

    • LindsayLohan

      February 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      You’ve got to be effing kidding me!!!

      OMG!!!!!!

      *faints*

      OMG!!!!

      I thought I had seen it all on BN. (Bella PLEASE, do not moderate my comment. Thank you).

    • Beverly

      February 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      O_O This is like saying dear rapist, come and save me from my sexually abusive husband. Really? Really Really?

    • omo 2 sexy!!

      February 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm

      I Agree 100%

  17. na2

    February 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    creatve picture story, keep d good work bellanaija

  18. Ndidi

    February 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I am so in love with Nigeria. In the midst of tears, pain, dismay and confusion, there is hope. We were, are and will forever be, a people destined for great things. It will come to be! Thank you Bella Naija for this visual testimony of the hope and promise that reside within Nigeria.

  19. Lue

    February 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    those are some funny looking xmas pictures
    http://lucianochinwe.blogspot.com/

  20. Tiki

    February 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Now I feel like I was part of the strike. These are some brilliant pictures, well worth the wait. These pictures indeed speak a thousand words each, and I hope the sound resonates in the heart of everybody who loves democracy and fairness in general, and Nigeria in particular

  21. omo

    February 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    wonderful photos..wonderful people

  22. Couture By Makioba

    February 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    interesting story….. most of d pics got me laughing out loud….

  23. NMBW

    February 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Well told stories; clear and sharp images. You can feel the energy, emotions etc as if one was there.
    well done guys.

  24. Crystal

    February 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I was laughing & crying at the same time. For lack of better words, This was BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  25. Nomy

    February 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Very impressive story telling. Wonderful pictures. This is so nice! The transition from joy, fun and laughter to protests, strife and rioting.

  26. Joey

    February 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    See that baby under the bench sleeping peacefully btw who is that guy wearing just panties? smh.

  27. babycute

    February 16, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    beautiful depiction of these events

  28. funmi

    February 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    need i say more? a picture worths a thousand words! good work bayo omoboriowo and BN

  29. @_Iyore

    February 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I love Jide and Bayo photos!

  30. keri

    February 16, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Nigerians are beautiful…..
    Happy people
    Powerful pictures 🙂

  31. Awolalu Chrysolite Ayodele

    February 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

    JideBayo, hmm outstanding combination…outstanding composition!

  32. ify

    February 17, 2012 at 11:17 am

    lovely images,…..immortalises the struggle.
    is that temitope oshofisan (QC ’05) in photo 111?

  33. Hahaha!

    February 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

    9ja is d place 2 b jor! c groove.

  34. Quadri Idris Abiodun

    February 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Jide, Bayo i love ur pics. i was with Jide during this work, the guy is just fantastic.

  35. Sequoyah

    February 17, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Awesome photography! Just Awesome! Totally evokes the mood doing those heady days. And now I’m sad that I missed it all 🙁

  36. DANIA DAMILOLA

    April 26, 2012 at 8:35 am

    looking @ this pictures i just have tears rolling down my eyes when will this country be better extreme opulence and poverty existing @ the same time i think the hope and faith that religion gives is the only thing that holds our body and soul together 🙁 God help us

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