LEKKI TOLLGATE: RELEASE MOSHOOD OSHUNFUREWA, SANYAOLU JUWON, MR. MACARONI AND OTHER ARRESTED PROTESTERS IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY
PEACEFUL PROTEST IS RIGHT NOT PRIVILEGE!
The Youth Rights Campaign (YRC) condemns violent clampdown on Lekki tollgate protesters today Saturday 13 February 2021 while assembling to peacefully protest the decision of the Lagos State Judicial panel to reopen the tollgate where scores of protesters were shot and killed on October 20 last year before investigation into the shooting had been concluded.
One of the arrested peaceful protesters is comrade Moshood Oshunfurewa who is a leading member of the Youth Rights Campaign (YRC) and Ajegunle branch organizer of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM). Others are Sanyaolu Juwon of Take it Back, popular comedian Mr. Macaroni and so many others. We demand their immediate and unconditional release now.
We affirm that peaceful protest is a right not privilege. This right cannot be suppressed under the false pretext and specious argument of preventing the destruction of public and private properties. We note that this false hysteria over alleged threat “to burn Lagos” or “cause destruction” has become the default response of a supposedly democratic government and its hirelings each time citizens decide to exercise their freedom of speech and assembly. This in our opinion is a sign that the Buhari APC government has morphed into a special type of dictatorship – a civilian capitalist dictatorship which uses the power of the state and its private allies to suppress, dis-inform, sow tension and fear in order to keep the oppressed masses in a state of inertia and thereby unable to act to fight for their interests.
We know for a fact that the thugs and hoodlums who attacked EndSARS protesters last year and destroyed public and private properties did not act on their own. Rather they were sponsored and deployed by the state in order to put a break on the EndSARS protest and force protesters to abandon the streets which they had occupied for days. So in the final analysis, it was the Lagos state government and its hirelings that burned Lago, not peaceful EndSARS protesters.
Moreso, even if there were legitimate concerns about violence, this is not enough to suspend the right to protest. Arresting peaceful demonstrators has nothing at all to do with preventing violence and destruction.
Notwithstanding these dictatorial antics, we shall not relent in organizing and mobilizing, or supporting legitimate actions, against the anti-poor policies of the Buhari capitalist government and all the equally anti-poor state governments across the country. We hereby reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of Moshood Oshunfurewa and others now.