RevolutionNow protesters have demanded the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged bad governance.
They spoke during a peaceful protest led by a former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore in Abuja.
Sowore said the protest is against poor governance in the country.
The protesters marched through Area 1 roundabout, before proceeding to the US Embassy, chanting different anti-government songs and bearing placards with different inscriptions like ‘Buhari has failed’; ‘Failed leadership has made Nigeria the capital of the world.’
Buhari, they said, should resign
over increasing insecurity, hunger and corruption in the country.
The protesters who also included #BringBackOurGirls activist, Aisha Yesufu, Ariyo Dare-Atoye, Henry Shield, Adebayo Raphael, Deji Adeyanju of Concerned Nigerians, among others, criticized what they described as the oppression in the country.
The protest, according to Sowore, is to demand reversal of: “anti-people policies implemented by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
“These harsh policies that have burnt a burdensome hole into the pockets of the Nigerian people are coming at a time when citizens are recovering from the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global health crisis that was also mismanaged by the Buhari’s government further plunging already struggling citizens into deeper financial problems.
“It also comes at a time when there is an unprecedented dictatorial-style crackdown on free speech, dissent, activism, journalism and the right to associate and congregate peacefully and protest.
Amongst its demands, CORE clamoured for reversal of the hike in the price of petrol from N148 to N151, an end to: “state-supervised and approved impunity under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari” and the sacking of all service chiefs in the country due to their: “proven incompetence in finding a lasting solution to the Boko Haram insurgency which has claimed and is still claiming the life of Nigerians daily”.
Yesufu said Nigerians must make the nation work, stating things were becoming unbearable.
She advised Buhari to always listen to the yearnings of Nigerians especially the masses.
Raphael said Nigerians have passed a vote of no confidence on the political leadership, adding that “under Buhari, our economy is in shambles; under him, hardship has been redefined.”
Dare-Atoye stated: “In the last 48 hours, a good number of soldiers have been slaughtered and injured. We are not better than those who have died, so why can’t we come out and protest? The only people enjoying Nigeria is the president and his family. A policeman cannot afford to cater for his family.
“Today, we have passed a vote of no confidence on the president and we want to tell them that this is just the beginning. The revolution of the common man is coming.”
Adeyanju said Nigerians were dissatisfied with the security and economic conditions in the country, stressing that “Nigeria is not working.”
He observed that soldiers, policemen and other security agents have taken over the Unity Fountain, Maitama, where a rally was supposed to hold.
The activist appealed to the US to place a visa ban on the Director-General of the Department of State Services for clamping down on protesters in Osogbo.
His words: “We call on the US, UK and the EU to issue visa ban against the Inspector General of Police, Director General of SSS, Chief of Army Staff, other heads or security agencies or any State Commissioner of Police, Director of SSS or Army Commandant at the state levels who oversees the clampdown on protesters.
“It is no longer news that Nigeria is increasingly becoming a repressive state, and the security agencies have surrendered their constitutional responsibility and made themselves a tool in the hands of the government. These security agencies have criminalized the act of protest, an otherwise constitutional right, in an attempt to shield the government of the day from criticism.
“Sadly, the Nigerian judiciary has not been able to stand up and be counted. The citizens are, therefore, left at the mercy of state actors who have developed the penchant for indiscriminately arresting protesters.
“As members of the civil societies get ready to lead a citizen movement against bad governance in Nigeria. It is imperative to call on the United States of America, United Kingdom and the European Union to place visa ban on any member of the security agency who makes himself available to the government of the day for the purpose of suppressing the protesters. This visa ban should equally be extended to their family members.
“This call is made with deep sense of responsibility, as it appears that the only wedge between state actors in Nigeria and totally authoritarianism is visa ban”.
THE NATION gathered that the protest also held at Life Camp, Jabi, Kuje, Kwali, Kubwa, Gwagwalada and Lugbe.