Labaran Maku Forced To Abandon Parade As Nigerians In New York Protest

If Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, thought he was going to have a smooth sail in America where he went for an event, he must have undermined the resolve of Nigerians in the diaspora to effectively mobilize and ridicule government officials in order to send a strong message of discontentment with the situation of things at home.

Members of the New York-based Nigeria Liberty Democratic Forum (NLDF) had earlier today staged a dramatic flash protest that forced Labaran Maku to abandon New York City Day Independence parade. The parade is an annual event organized by the Nigerian government and some Nigerian organizations in the US.


The NLDF protesters were led by Bukola Oreofe, an official of the group. The protesters had joined the colorful parade from 51st Street and 2nd Avenue when word spread that Mr. Maku was the “Parade Marshal” and led a troupe of Nigerian diplomats who waved the Nigerian flag at different groups as they danced the Nigeria House on 44th Street.

The NDLF members staged their traditional protest march past the Nigerian government officials. Shortly after, the protesters penetrated the area where the Nigerian minister and other officials were and began a flash protest. The protesters sang protest songs against the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Facing the minister, they shouted, “Go Home!” They also accused Nigerian officials of corruption and insensitivity to the plight of the vast majority of Nigerians.

One of the protesters told a correspondent of SaharaReporters that Mr. Maku “should return to Nigeria and sympathize with millions of Nigerians who are currently besieged by a massive flood disaster that has affected 22 states.” So far, the floods have claimed the lives of 148 Nigerians.

Other protesters demanded that the minister help to fix Nigeria’s myriad problems to ensure that Nigerians can celebrate their Independence Day in public without fear of terrorist attacks.

As the protests became charged, the Nigerian officials called in police officers from the New York Police Department to drive the protesters away. However, the NYPD officials showed no inclination to force out the protesters. Instead, the officers stood guard around the protesters to forestall any breakdown of law and order.

Once it became clear to the Nigerian delegates that NYPD officers would not force the protesters to leave, Mr. Maku and the diplomats left the stage and hurriedly retired inside the Nigeria House. Their disappearance brought the parade to an abrupt end.

The jubilant protesters continued to sing protest songs and addressed onlookers about the deplorable condition of their country. They warned that more protests against Nigerian officials visiting the US would be planned and staged.

-SaharaReporters

11 Comments

  • Oh what? They thought it was NPF that would collect cash and use tear-gas against people? smh…
    These officials should prioritize, and act like public servants helping the citizens they serve, not fly around the world acting like demi-gods.

  • Up up true 9jerians! Daz wat each & every gud citizen to b parading in where he is to show lov 2 our great nation & d peple in it. MAY D ALMIGHTY CHANGE OUR COUNTRY 2 B D REAL DEFENDANT STATE IN D WORLD.

  • Mmmm.Very Very amusing.

    While it is very tempting to add to the seemingly unending string of lashes against the Federal Government, I however choose to refrain for obviously unasked and unanswered questions.

    1. No one has ever questioned the various fora painstakingly organized by the Federal Government abroad to woo foreign investors and Nigerians in the diaspora to the numerous opportunities in the country which are already yielding results in several sectors of the economy. No one has seen that as being wasteful ooooo!

    2. They claimed that Mr. Maku led a troupe of Nigerian diplomats to the Parade. Haba from the pictures me I saw o those officials are New York Based o! (Nigerian ambassador to the United States, prof. Adefuye; Nigerian Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof Joy Ogwu and UN Assistant, Secretary General and Special Advisor to the UN on MDGs, Amina Azzubair and Nigeria’s Consul-General in New York City, Habib Baba Habu). Haba ‘Sahara’ Make we dey talk true ooo!

    3. The report said that “the protesters had joined the colorful parade from 51st Street and 2nd Avenue when word spread that Mr. Maku was the “Parade Marshal”. So they actually saw something good about Nigeria after all. So why did they plan to muddle a patriotic parade. Mmm trouble shooters at work.

    4. Sahara Reporters claimed that One of the protesters told their correspondent “that Mr. Maku should return to Nigeria and sympathize with millions of Nigerians who are currently besieged by a massive flood disaster that has affected 22 states.” MMM is Nigeria the first, current and last country to experience natural disaster? Besides is the Present Administration to blame for all the infrastructure challenges over the years. Has anyone cared to observe and commend ongoing work on the dualization of the Abuja-Lokoja Road as well as steps taken by the Government to build the 2nd Niger Bridge. Well how will the protesters know when they reside in New York and rely on the net for updates abeg make you na come see things for yourselves na.

    5. Mmmm. For the first time in the history of accountability and transparency in Nigeria, a the Federal Government created a platform on TV, Radio, especially the Social Media for all Nigerians and the world to see, commend or criticize what the Federal Government is doing to better the well being of its citizens and someone somewhere calls that a jamboree! NA WA OOOOOOOOO! Na so we fit talk before.

    6. Please, Please and Please! Let’s say the truth and defend it where and when we have too. For heaven’s sake, the Annual Parade is not organized by the Federal Government. Every Jack Robinson knows that noooow. The organiser is the Organization for the Advancement of Nigerians. It even met with the Information Minister where members sought the support of the Federal Government for the annual independence anniversary street parade in New York.

    7. Sahara na wa for you na.

  • @James Akanni,I’d say relax buddy,u try too hard! What’s bad is bad,no matter how much spin u try to wax into it. Nigerian government is a joke,a shame and sometimes even feel like an unfortunate charade! No?

  • It is unfortunate how people swallow everything saharareporters publish as the truth, I used to, now, I know better. Nigeria has been a victim of abuse and looting, but I must give this government kudos on sincere efforts to change and reposition this country in the right path. The National good governance tour being spearheaded by the information minister Labaran Maku and sanctioned by the FEC has opened our eyes to the various giant strides in construction, power projects, agriculture,education, public and private sector partnership and a host of other positives. I am documenting the tour and investigating the claims from the various states the team has visited, and I must say that so far,the whole thing has been true. If we cast our minds back to the level of decay and stealing in the past administrations, we will all truthfully appreciate what GEJ and the truthful people in his government has given us within this short time in office. On that note, I would urge Nigerians to verify things before jumping to conclusions.

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