FREE SOWORE AND FOUR OTHER ARRESTED ACTIVISTS NOW!
THEIR ARREST AND DETENTION SHOW THAT PRESIDENT BUHARI’S NEW YEAR VOW TO “LISTEN” TO THE YOUTH IS A MERE DECEIT
The Youth Rights Campaign (YRC) condemns in strong terms the brutal arrest of Omoyele Sowore, Juwon Sanyaolu, Damilare Adenola, Peter and Kimrere who were seized on the eve of the New Year for staging a peaceful protest to register their grievances against the maladministration of Buhari-led Government.
As far as we are concerned, this repressive action shows President Buhari’s New Year speech lacks sincerity. It must be recalled that President Buhari in his New Year speech took note of the EndSARS protest last year as an “understandable protest” which “served notice to the demand for police reforms and accountability” and pledged to “listen” to the youth. With this development, there can be no doubt that the Buhari government is not about to change its dictatorial tendencies, rather it intends to sustain its attacks on democratic rights and state repression in 2021.
The YRC condemns any form of continuous repression and attacks on democratic rights by the Buhari-led government and demands the immediate and unconditional release of Sowore and other arrested “crossover” protesters. We also call on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and all pro-working people organizations to condemn the arrest and demand their release. We call on the youths and the working people to wage relentless mass struggle against capitalist exploitation, coruption and attacks on democratic rights in the New Year.
It is our belief in YRC that Omoyele Sowore’s earlier call on Nigerians to register their grievances against the Buhari-led Government in what he tagged #CrossOverProtest does not warrant the arrest and the level of brutalization he and others were made to suffer. Protest, alongside rights to freedom of speech and assembly, is an inalienable fundamental human right. The YRC reliably gathered that they were almost done with the procession before being rounded up by men of the Nigeria Police Force at Gudu junction, who brutalized and injured them before whisking them away to Abattoir Police Station in Abuja.
We have also gathered that the police authorities are planning to arraign them in court on trumped up charges. This is the same style on November 17th 2020 when the regime through the Nigeria Police cordoned off the African Shrine and stopped the planned public meeting called by Seun Kuti to discuss lessons and task ahead after the #Endsars Protest. The aim of this mounting repression and attacks is to ensure that the brutal exploitation and looting of the Buhari regime go on unchallenged.
These heavy strong-arm tactics adopted by the Buhari regime to suppress freedom of assembly and dissent voices against the regime are a sign of a jittery regime which has lost its social base and can only keep itself in office through repression. YRC reiterates its opposition towards the Buhari-led government style of repressing activists and demands an immediate and unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore, Juwon Sanyaolu, Michael Adenola and the others arrested now!