Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

May Day Arrests: All DSM Members Released

Press Statement

May Day Arrests: All DSM Members Released

The last set of DSM members still in the detention of the State Security Service (SSS) in Kaduna, Northwest Nigeria, and Ibadan Oyo state, Southwest Nigeria, as of yesterday, has been released. They regained their freedom yesterday in the night of Thursday to Friday.

No doubt the local and international pressure mounted by comrades and supporters on the authority forced them to let off the comrades. For instance, the SSS in Kaduna were repeatedly pestering us to urgently send somebody to secure the bail of Dimeji Sadare and Sefiu Amusat and had to lessen the original condition for the bail. They had earlier requested a civil servant or landowner in Kaduna whom we could not provide. Hence, they did not have any choice but to allow a human right activist based in Kaduna to secure the bail but with proviso that he would provide them whenever needed.

However, Abiodun Bamigboye, Daniel Akande and Taiwo Adesokan have been asked to report again at the SSS office in Ibadan by 2.30pm today (May3). Besides, as against 7 comrades we had claimed it was actually the above mentioned trio that were detained yesterday after reporting at the SSS office, though 7 were arrested at the May Day rally in Ibadan.

In Anambra, the State Commissioner of Police, promised, in his response to protest phone calls and text messages, that the charges against Francis Nwapa would be withdrawn at the adjourned date. It should be recalled that Francis was yesterday arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Awka which granted him bail and adjourned the matter. The police chief was so overwhelmed with protest that he had to appeal to a comrade to help talk to us to stop the calls and messages.

It should be recalled that DSM members were arrested at May Day rallies in Abuja, Niger, Oyo, Kaduna and Anambra states for circulating of a leaflet issued by the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) on monumental corruption and pension fraud and selling of the paper of DSM, Socialist Democracy, with bold headline on pension fund scam.

It was indeed an atmosphere of siege at all the venues of May Day across the country with more vicious attacks on democratic rights than what obtained even under the military rule. Apart from the 5 states where we experienced arrest, comrades were also harassed at gun point and threatened with arrest in Lagos and Osun, and chased out of the venues in Delta and Imo states. The Jonathan government has employed strong arm approach and attacks on democratic rights as its response to the growing criticism of its anti-poor conducts and policies as well as monumental corruption.

We commend comrades and supporters locally and internationally for their prompt intervention with protest letters, calls and text messages as well as collaborators and lawyers who helped secure the bail of some of the comrades. We shall follow closely the situation in Ibadan and keep all posted.

Segun Sango
General Secretary, DSM