Armed anti-riot policemen attacked members of the Coalition for Revolution (CORE) in several cities this morning, as they gathered for peaceful #RevolutionNow demonstrations. Teargas was fired to disperse peaceful protesters.
At least six persons have been arrested in Osogbo after being brutally beaten up at the NUJ Chapel where the protest was to kick-off.
Activists were also arrested in Abuja, where the police mounted stop and search checkpoints to prevent protesters entering the city centre venue of the protest, from the satellite towns where the masses live. Not less than forty CORE activists were made to undergo inhuman treatment in the hands of security agents before being whisked away.
Protesters in Kano were equally attacked, first by organized bands of thugs and then by the Mobile Police squad. The protesters were brutalized, arrested by the police and made to lie down in the blazing sun.
This is once again, a brazen demonstration of utter contempt for the country’s constitution and international covenants on human rights which Nigeria is signatory to.
The security apparatus of a decadent state which has no respect for its own laws must be reminded that Justice Maureen Onyetenu ruled in May that a similar crackdown on the 5 August 2019 #RevolutionNow protests was illegal and a wanton slap on the democratic rights of citizens to peaceful protest in the republic. And similarly, at its 129th session held on 23 July, the United Nations Human Rights asserted the right to peaceful assembly, including protest as essential to enjoying the freedom of association.
We thus condemn the draconian actions of the state in the clearest of terms and demand the immediate and unconditional release of all citizens arrested this morning for demonstrating their peaceful and fundamental right to protest.
We also seize this moment to reassure these retrogressive forces who think they can steal us blind as a country and gag us that we are NOT and will NEVER be deterred. The #August5thProtest of the #RevolutionNow movement of CORE continues. And indeed, this is just the first in a series of mass actions and civil disobedience we will be embarking upon until victory.
For the avoidance of doubt, our demands remain:
- An economy that works for the masses: No to an economy which throws 90 million people into poverty, while just five people own N11 trillion!
- An effective and democratic end to insecurity: Poverty, discrimination, repression by government and manipulation of ethnic differences by the rich elite are the roots of perpetual insecurity – we must end all these!
- An end to systemic corruption and for total system change: Continued excessive corruption at all levels of government is an irredeemable attribute of our rulers, diverting funds that could be used to ensure better lives for the masses into private pockets. This must be stopped!
- Payment of a living wage as minimum wage, an immediate stop to mass sacks of workers and payment of unemployment benefit to the unemployed poor: Workers deserve living wages. All salary cuts in wages must be immediately reversed. Politicians must be placed on civil service salary scale.
- Free and qualitative public healthcare and education for all: Full access to quality education and healthcare are human rights and not privileges. Massive investments must be made to develop public schools’ infrastructure. Adequate safety and health measures must be put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in pupils and students. Curriculum must be reviewed to promote critical thinking. Independent student unionism must be respected.
Onward forward to the masses’ liberation! A people united and determined cannot be defeated!!
Baba Aye Gbenga Komolafe