There are indications that the presidency is already jittery over calls, that now appear popular, for a revolutionary change in Nigeria going by the sequence of Aso Rock directed actions that have followed.
There are reports of heavy turnout of citizens at the protest grounds in the Lagos megalopolis, amidst heavy downpour. There is also a correspondingly large security deployment, including troops by the presidency with the sole aim of quelling and smashing the #RevolutionNow uprising.
But, the peaceful protesters are braving all odds and defying the coercive effort of the troops and policemen deployed by Aso Rock to undermine their democratic right to rebel against a government that has obviously abdicated its primary duty of ensuring the welfare and security of citizens.
The Atlantic Post reported that Omoyele Sowore, founder/publisher of popular online publication and blog, Sahara Reporters, was picked up from his residence two days ago by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), allegedly, in connection with the ongoing #RevolutionNow protests.
According to the DSS spokesperson, Peter Afunanya, while addressing reporters in Abuja Sunday afternoon, the DSS was “aware” of information that Sowore had been in touch with foreign actors to destabilise Nigeria.
The question, however, on the lips of citizens is, “if Sowore is already in detention and the alleged foreign actors are not in Nigeria, why did President Buhari deploy troops; is it to club and possibly kill and maim innocent and unarmed protesters?”
Read President Buhari’s justification, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, below.
“Following calls circulating on social and digital media, an organisation that calls itself the “Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria” plans a “revolution” march tomorrow, Monday 5th August, with the aim of bringing “regime change” in Nigeria without recourse to a nationwide vote.
“The President of Nigeria and his administration respect and uphold the right of every Nigerian to peaceful protest and civil campaign – whether to raise awareness on issues, and even oppose the government. It is the inalienable right of all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do so.
“There is, however, a difference between peaceful call to protest and incitement for a revolution.
“The organisation championing this planned action is not fronted by any serious public faces. We call on the sponsors and organisers to have the decency to come forward and make their identity known – out of respect to all Nigerians – so that Nigerians can be fully aware in whose name this “revolution” is being proposed and who the beneficiaries may be.
“Less than six months ago, Nigeria held simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections. Both contests were won resoundingly by President Muhammadu Buhari and his All-Progressives Congress party. The campaign was observed, and results were confirmed by international election monitoring groups and observers. The result was even contested by the losing presidential candidate and his party in Court.
“The ballot box is the only constitutional means of changing government and a president in Nigeria. The days of coups and revolutions are over.
“Those making the “revolution’’ call hide behind the veil of social media modernity. But without revealing the identity of their sponsors this shadowy campaign is no better, and no more democratic, than the days of old.
“The President calls on all those who seek to use and hide behind everyday citizens to attain power through undemocratic and violent means, which has been alluded, to come out clearly and be identified. They should lead their march in person. Only then will they begin to have the right to call themselves leaders before the people of Nigeria,” the presidential spokesman stated.