(A look at the events surrounding the protests of August 5.)
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So quick question: Where are we going as a country?
What did a great man once say?
A great man once said, “Hell is empty, and all the devils are in Nigeria.” No, it wasn’t you, Shakespeare. That great man, whoever he is, was however correct.
Let’s take a look at what he was talking about:
President Bubucakes insists he respects the rights of citizens to protest, but described organisers of the #RevolutionNow protests “as individuals merely seeking to attain power by violent and undemocratic means”. He insisted that the era of coups and “revolutions” were over. Could he be afraid of something? Could he be having a serious case of PTSD? I mean, it was in this same August in 1985 that he was overthrown in a coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida and other members of the ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC).
A look at the backstory:
Sowore, a human rights activist, who ran against President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 elections declared a protest on August 5. The point of the protest was to demand a better Nigeria. Incase Bubucakes was unsure, protests are an action declaring disapproval. We helped him check
Then the Department of State then arrested him and said (and you’re not reading this wrongly), that his call for protest was “threatening public safety, peaceful co-existence and social harmony in the country.” The public relations officer of the DSS, Mr. Peter Afunanya then went ahead to define what a revolution was and assured citizens that there’ll be no revolution on August 5.
Jokes on him: While there was no revolution — revolutions tend to happen over time — there were protests which went ahead despite Sowore’s arrest.
Here’s what happened during the protest:
They arrested protesters in Osun and brutalised a woman and a journalist.
Under the sun and in the rain…
Despite heavy rain, protesters in Abuja weathered the storm and went ahead to protest. And if the rain couldn’t stop them, surely the police taking over their original venue the Unity Fountain, did not stop them. All they had to do was change locations. If the NYSC anthem was the theme for their protest, there would be a consistent emphasis on this part of the lyrics: “under the sun and in the rain.”
In Ibadan, the police laid siege at the main gate of the University of Ibadan to prevent the protest. They were successful in doing this but also succeeded in creating fear in the students and University occupants. Counteractive if you asked me.
In Kaduna, the story is quite different. It is suspected that residents of Kaduna State may have shunned the protest because of the court ruling on the foreign medical trip request of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky. Do you know who was excited all this time? Bubucakes of course. A report has it that that President Buhari was elated that Nigerians “ignored” calls to join the #RevolutionNow protests.
Is this time any different from Occupy Nigeria of 2012? Not really. According to the National Secretary of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Olayinka Folarin,“The word revolution is a predated statement that was even used by the people in government today, including President Muhammadu Buhari. In 2012, Goodluck Jonathan did not stop our nationwide protest at Ojota, and the people in the present government participated. They have become tyrannical and have started unleashing mayhem and terror on the good people of Nigeria after they took office.”
What’s that you said? Gbas-gbos.
As of today, a court has ordered the detainment of Sowore for 45 days while the police investigates the allegation of instigating the public and seeking a change of the present administration order than the provided constitutional means of doing so. against him.
Meanwhile, while Buhari is claiming that the Era of coup is over and that the ballot box was the only constitutional means of changing government and a president in Nigeria, the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams has pleaded with Buhari to not take us back to the military era.
What’s it gonna be Nigeria?