Despite a clampdown on the #RevolutionNow demonstration in Abuja on Monday by Nigeria’s security operatives, protesters took to the streets to air their grievances against bad governance.
The protesters, who defied early morning downpour converged on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) office chanting anti-government songs and calling for a ‘revolution’ in Nigeria.
Addressing the protesters, one of the leaders of the group, Adebayo Raphael said the country was in danger, pointing out that there is a need for all Nigerians to be part of the revolutionary process.
He said there must be freedom for people to voice their opinions and let the government know when things are not going well for them.
“We are here solely for #RevolutionNow protest, we have decided to begin the process. We know very well that this process will begin a revolutionary process in Nigeria that will liberate every suffering people in this country.
“Today marks the beginning of a series of demonstrations of civil resistance against oppression and bad governance in this country. We are here at the human rights commission and our purpose here is to awake a sleeping public institution, that Nigeria is a gun powder waiting to explode.
“We shall never again tolerate the aggregation of our national treasury by a few who are only hell-bent on milking this country dry. Our desire here is that we want a Nigeria that will work for everyone. We don’t want a Nigeria that only works for only a select few criminals,” Adebayo stated.
He said they wanted a Nigeria where fundamental human rights would be respected. He berated the government for not tolerant and clamping down on dissenting voices.
Adebayo added that the arrest of Sowore would only worsen the situation and that President Muhammadu Buhari government could only inflict injury on their bodies but could never kill the idea behind the ‘revolution’.
He, therefore, called for the immediate release of Sowore noting that he has not killed anybody on the street to warrant the arrest and victimization.
“Leave Omoyele Sowore. Sowore has not killed anybody on the street. Sowore is not Fulani herdsmen. Sowore is not Boko Haram. Even Boko Haram are planning public parade in Borno. They want to do ten years’ anniversary and you are arresting a man that is calling for sanity in this country. We make it very clear that incarceration of Omoyele Sowore should be brought to and end,” Adebayo said.
Another protester, Dare Ariyo Atoye, said, “This revolution is an idea which time has come and we warn the government if they fail to allow us constructively engage our nation and to speak, the masses will rise up and it will be too late for them (the federal government).
“The reason we are here today is to bring frustration of our people for the government to know that we’re tired of what is going on. Our people are tired of the killings and kidnapping where herdsmen are unleashing terror. Our people are tired. The revolution we are talking about is already happening.”
SOURCE: SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK