#RevolutionNOW: Bankrupt Government’s Blackmail of AI Shows Its Weakness

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The APC government is resorting to the same shameless tactics of hiring crowds to try shout down the truth, just like its predecessor PDP and the Abacha governments, which did same and failed. Not content with putting Amnesty International (AI) on a watch list due to the International NGO’s supposed support for the #RevolutionNow movement, it mobilised a handful of hired miscreants to “protest” at the AI office on 2 August. This is a demonstration of a drowning government; whose failure is so loud even the deaf can hear it loud and clear.

5 August is the first of the #DaysOfRage called by the Coalition for Revolution (CORE), which is championing the #RevolutionNow movement. Tens of thousands of young working-class people have taken to twitter and other social media this past week, calling for #RevolutionNow and committing to join the mass movement’s #DayOfRage on 5 August. Their impact has been so massive that #RevolutionNow has been trending on the top spot of the Nigeria Twittersphere.

Amnesty International has been a nemesis of the APC. It has repeatedly revealed the ruling party’s utter disregard for the rule of law, in several theatres of conflict, including the northeast where the military has killed about as many people as the Boko Haram insurgents. Instead of addressing AI’s well documented allegations, the federal government has time and again threatened to shut it down.

It is not only Amnesty International that the lying government has attacked. It issued a “three months suspension” (sic) of Unicef in December last year but had to lift this insidious ban after just a few days due to the global outcry against such despicable nonsense. The contrived excuse for the ban was that UNICEF staff and volunteers who were vaccinating children in the northeast were training Boko Haram spies!

The truth is of course simpler and more damning of the government. The real reason was because UNICEF debunked the government’s lies about the state of affairs in the war torn zone, when it issued a report in the second quarter of 2018 which showed that over 1,000 children had been abducted by the insurgents since 2013.

Like those whom the gods want to kill and first make mad, the federal government has kept wobbling and fumbling on dictatorial feet made of clay. It raided Daily Trust newspapers in January and detained two journalists. This was following a pattern of repression entailing regular clampdown on free speech.

It has equally repressed the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria. After refusing to release its leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky after a court ruling demanding the cleric be released three years ago, the federal government: massacred not less than 39 members of the IMN in November; infiltrated the group’s peaceful protests in Abuja over the last two months, creating a pretext to ban the group last week.

Noting this infamous track record of the regime’s crass insensitivity, AI merely tweeted that the Nigerian government must respect the rights of the people as they protest on 5 August, intending to dissuade the government from intimidating the movement. In its characteristic manner of targeting the messenger instead of heeding the message, the federal government immediately put the international human rights body on a security watch list, claiming AI is getting “involved in national politics”.

This illegitimate government is playing smart but not being clever. What is being challenged is a government of fraud which clings to power based on sham elections earlier in the year. As Omoyele Sowore, the National Chair of the African Action Congress and a leading light of the #RevolutionNow movement, pointed out:

“Election was an opportunity to carry out a revolution of ballot box, but they stole the ballot box. They hijacked materials that were meant for free and fair election and as a result they did not organise any election that was credible”.

International and domestic observers alike confirmed Sowore’s position. Their final reports show that the electoral process was fundamentally lacking in integrity. The supposed “victory” of General Muhammadu Buhari and the APC is thus nothing but a farcical dancing of the Emperor with no clothes. Rebellion against an illegitimate government is a sacred duty.

Power is supposed to belong to the people. But a handful of brigands in the APC-PDP party have appropriated our sovereignty. To take it back, we must have #RevolutionNow. Blackmailing Amnesty International will not save the government from its day of judgment.

The working masses and youth are justifiably enraged. We will no longer be the slaves of the bosses. Revolution is the festival of the oppressed. We are determined to break the chains of the APC-PDP cabal of thieving, incompetent and heartless oppressors.

Join the struggle NOW! Join #RevolutionNow. Together we will march, we will fight, we will win. Onward forward to reclaiming our future and rebuilding society. 5 August beckons!

by Baba AYE

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