Over 90 protesters reported arrested in Nigeria

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More than 90 members of the #RevolutionNow movement, who protested on Wednesday in Lagos, Abuja and some other cities in the country were arrested by the police.

The protesters, who were demanding good governance in Nigeria and an end to mounting foreign loans, used the street protest to mark the first anniversary of the group’s founding.

The group also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the killings in the North-West and the North-East of the country.

Local media reports on Thursday recalled that a co-convener of the group, Omoyele Sowore, was arrested in August 2019 for planning the #RevolutionNow protest.

He was accused of attempting to overthrow the government of Buhari and swas ubsequently detained for over 100 days before he was released on 24 December 2019 on a condition that he should not join any mass gatherings or protests.

The reports added that despite Sowore’s absence, members of the movement protested in Lagos, Abuja, Abeokuta and Osogbo. 

Meanwhile, one of the #RevolutionNow protesters, Tope Akinyode, has accused the Nigerian government of failing to rise to the challenges of the people.

Akinyode, who is the National President of Revolutionary Lawyers’ Forum, called on the present administration in Nigeria to resign.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday, a day after #RevolutionNow protests held in Abuja, Lagos, and some parts of the country, Akinyode said: “A failing government has no reason to stay; there’s no point reinforcing failure.

“Nigerians have the right to demand the resignation of a government that has been underperforming.”

According to him, the protests involve a group of concerned youths who are exercising their fundamental rights by holding the government accountable.

The lawyer listed some of the demands of the protesters to include the creation of job employment, securing the lives and properties of the people, and improving the welfare of Nigerians.

He also decried the situation where youths in their number struggle to provide for their basic needs after graduating from various tertiary institutions.

“As it is today, there is a high level of poverty in the country. Nigeria is well-rated globally among the poorest countries of the world. There is a rise in insecurity all over the country, especially in the northern part of the country,” Channels Television report quoted Akinyode as saying.

“It is a natural reaction that Nigerians would naturally engage the government and criticise the government, and disagree with the government on the poor policies of the government. That’s why #RevolutionNow protest has continued. It is not too big to ask. … it is the fundamental rights of the citizens to make these demands,” he added.

Reacting to the action of security operatives during the protests, the lawyer believes the government is bereft of the fundamental workings of democracy and the rule of law.

“They don’t know what protest means, they can’t appreciate it,” he said.