In the Jonathan days i had cause to explain to people how to spot a sponsored protest. I will try again. And this works in every occasion - especially in Nigeria. No matter what someone tells you, in Nigeria, a sponsored protest will:
1. Usually sport very expensive banners. The people's protests are usually haphazard, spontaneous and... cheap.
2. Letterings on banners will usually be monotone, big, clear and ready for cameras/tv. The people's protest will be scrawled by different people and written in bad english and illegible writings.
3. Sponsored protests will be well-arranged and choreographed. They would have received briefings on how to act and what to do. The only issue is that you can see the poverty among those who are fighting for the big men/women. The people's protest are usually done by people looking rather average - not too poor, not rich as well.
4. For sponsored protests, professionals are hired to design graphics that will sell with the people.
I It is deliberate, calculated and aimed at your emotions. They put in time and efforts. Spontaneous people's protests are all over the place.
Now spot the sponsored vs the real protest among these pictures, and ask yourself the motive behind each. When sponsored, there is usually money to be made, money made in the past, or attempts to cover up tracks. That is why such protests involve breaking the bank and shelling out.
Wherever we stand on issues, we must look out for these things else our emotions can be hijacked. Use your emotions for better things - improve your life, improve the world etc. Your emotions are your greatest asset.