…Buhari Applauds Millions of Nigerians for Spawning Protests The Police, on Tuesday, arraigned five activists and a lawyer for the #RevolutionNow protests, in an Ebute Metta Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos. This is coming just as the Presidency salutes millions of Nigerians for shunning the protests. They charged Ehis Omoshomio, 35; Gabriel Ojumah, 51, Juwon
…Buhari Applauds Millions of Nigerians for Spawning Protests
The Police, on Tuesday, arraigned five activists and a lawyer for the #RevolutionNow protests, in an Ebute Metta Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos. This is coming just as the Presidency salutes millions of Nigerians for shunning the protests.
They charged Ehis Omoshomio, 35; Gabriel Ojumah, 51, Juwon Sanyaolu, 22; Stanley Anobi, 28; Elias Ozikpu, 30 and Kenechukwu Ukachukwu, 25, with two counts of unlawful assembly and conduct likely to cause breach of the peace.
They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.
Mr Ibijoke Akinpelu, counsel from the State Criminal Intelligence and Information Department (SCIID) Panti, and the resident prosecutor, Inspector Kehinde Omisakin, said that the defendants committed the offence on August 5, at 10 a.m., at Surulere Stadium.
Akinpelu alleged that the six defendants assembled at the National Stadium Surulere to protest, adding that the gathering was unlawful and caused fear to the public.
The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of Sections 44 and 168(d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Chief Magistrate A.O. Komolafe admitted Ojumah, a lawyer, to bail based on self- recognition and the other five defendants N100, 000 each with two sureties each in like sum.
Komolafe adjourned the case until September 26 for mention.
The Coalition for Revolution CORE, galvanized by Mr Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 2019 general elections, had called for #RevolutionNow, in what he described as a protest against bad governance in the country.
He was arrested in the wee hours of Saturday by the Depatment of State Security Services (DSS) at a hotel in Lagos. The DSS said he was arrested because he crossed the red line by calling a revolution againt the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has fixed August 8 to rule on an application by the DSS seeking an order to detain the Sowore, also publisher of Sahara Reporters for 90 days pending the conclusion of its investigation.
Sowore was moved to Abuja on Sunday morning and is currently being detained in the DSS facility. The ex parte motion by the DSS marked FHC/ABJ/CS/ 915/19, is seeking the order of the court to detain Sowore beyond 48 hours of his arrest as required by law.
However, after listening to the motion which was moved by counsel for the DSS, Mr G. O. Abadua, Justice Taiwo Taiwo said he needed time to watch the video clips attached to the motion.
He, accordingly, adjourned ruling to Thursday, August 8.
Meanwhile President Buhari has thanked millions of Nigerians who ignored calls on social media to join a phantom ‘revolution’ but instead went about their businesses.
The President made his feelings known in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday.
Shehu stated that the President was humbled by the support, ”not for himself, or the governing party – but for the democratic values of modern-day Nigeria.”
He, however, acknowledged that there were few hundred persons, who for their own reasons, decided to engage on the protest march against national interest.
The statement read in parts: “Today, millions of Nigerians went about their businesses: work, seeking employment, attending school/college and caring for their families.
”By doing so, the millions defended our country’s hard-won democratic rights – by ignoring calls on social media to join a phantom ‘revolution’.
“There were a few hundred persons today who, for their own reasons, decided to act upon the demands of a group calling itself Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, which went on social media to ask everyday Nigerians to overthrow the government they only elected some six months ago.
“The President is humbled by the support – not for himself, or the governing party – but for the democratic values of modern-day Nigeria through the wisdom of those millions of citizens who preferred democracy and decided not to undermine an elected government.
“Today, joining those millions of Nigerians was not only the President and governing party at federal level, but many state governments from the opposition, trade unions, civil society organisations, media and NGOs with focus on freedom of speech.
”All have, rightly, united in protecting Nigeria’s young democracy and the rights of all to elect leaders and lawmakers.
“The Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria’s attempt to incite citizens into a revolution against their own democratic rights and interests has failed – as will all attempts to take away from the people their hard-won rights and freedom to choose who leads their country.’’
Also the Police on Tuesday in Lagos staged a show of force in some major roads in the state, with a view to check any form of protest.
The #RevolutionNow protesters were on Monday dispersed by security agents at various locations in Lagos.
Operatives of the Rapid Respond Squad, special Anti-Robbery Squad, Anti-Terrorism, Department of State Security, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Armoured Personnel Carrier were seen parading the roads with sirens.
Heavily armed security agents still maintained their presence at the venues of Monday’s protest.
At Gani Fawehinmi Park on Ikorodu road, Ojota about 11.20am, the presence of military Joint Taskforce operatives OP MESSA and other security agents with about 12 patrol vehicles and one APC was intimidating.
After about 20 minutes, nine of the patrol vehicles, including the APC van, left the park to continue the show of force, while the military Joint Taskforce operatives and some anti-riot policemen waited.
Responding to the claim of the Presidency that the protests failed, the AAC/TiB European Front said that Nigerians are just ‘testing microphone’ and the real work of RevolutionNow has not started at all.
“If the Buhari regime thinks that the fundamental issues raised by Nigerians organized in all spheres of life and under the banner of COALITION FOR REVOLUTION (CORE) is going to go away with the ‘distractions’ of arrests and tyrannical repressions, the Presidency would be making a huge mistake,” said Mr Bayo Aderibigbe on behalf of the group..
“The protest under the sloganeering #RevolutionNow is just starting and it would take several forms of civil disobedience.
“We want to salute the resoluteness and revolutionary astute of Nigerians both at home and abroad who participated in the protest yesterday, 5th August 2019. It is our candid view that the regime of the ruling class rests on chicken legs and would collapse if it failed to fulfill the fundamental demands raised by Nigerians. The people have risen!
He revealed that the next phase of the struggle especially from diasporans “is to storm the European Parliament, Downing Street l, UN General Assembly in New York and White House to draw the attention of international community to this monstrous regime, where Nigerians in their numbers die daily under Buhari’s watch either from hunger/starvation, suicide and insecurity. It’s our belief that if Buhari regime is given another 15 years like Biblical King Hezekiah, the regime will not add a single value to governance, not to talk of improving peoples’ welfare and livelihood.”
“We would also like to state that there is no fence to sit on at this revolutionary period. We call on all workers, unemployed and underemployed youths, students, market women, members of the civil society and journalists to brace up for the struggle for liberation.
Aderibigbe restated the demands of the group which include:
1. An economy that works for all and not a handful of individuals, banks and foreign multinationals.
2. An effective and democratic end to insecurity and insurgency.
3. An end to systemic corruption and for total system change in the interest of all.
4. The immediate implementation of the 30,000 naira minimum wage at all levels in the public service as agreed with the trade unions.
5. Education as an enforceable right and not a privilege.
“The struggle to liberate Nigerians from the shackles of civilian dictatorship, systemic corruption, bad governance, poverty, insecurity has now shifted from online conversation (Facebook and Twitter hash tag) to the STREETS where the next phase of struggle will be undertaken,” he said.