CONTINUED ATTACKS ON CHARLEY BOY AND THE #RESUMEorRESIGN# MOVEMENT: THIS DEMOCRACY HAS COLLAPSED AND FEMI ADESINA SHOULD BE REMOVED AS PRESIDENTIAL SPOKESMAN
The continued violent attacks on Charley Boy, #ResumeOrResign# and the #OurMumuDonDo# movements have shown clearly that under the APC-controlled Federal Government, Nigeria’s so called democracy, which is intolerant of dissent, has collapsed.
On 15th August 2017, Charley Boy, #ResumeOrResign# and the #OurMumuDonDo# protesters, as well as journalists covering the protests were violently attacked at Wuse Market, Abuja. The attackers were alleged to be hoodlums and/or thugs. The protesters were reportedly stoned. Journalists and protesters were injured. Cars, including Charley Boy’s car were also reportedly damaged. So far, none of the violent attackers of a peaceful protest has been arrested.
However, on the second day of their protest at Unity Fountain, Maitama, Abuja on 8th August 2017, the #ResumeOrResign# and #OurMumuDonDo# protesters were also violently attacked by the police using police dogs, teargas and water cannons. Protesters and journalists (such as Amadin Uyi of the Silverbird TV) covering the protest were also wounded.
On the third day of the #ResumeOrResign# protests, pro-government groups and Non-Governmental Individuals (NGIs) trooped to the streets at the same venue of the #ResumeOrResign# protests at Unity Fountain, chanting pro-Buhari slogans. The sponsored pro-Buhari/pro government crowd threatened to attack the #ResumeOrResign# movement.
So, clearly, from the experiences of the Charley Boy’s-led protests, the attack on the #ResumeOrResign# movement on 15th August 2017 was not an isolated event. It has followed a trend started first, by forces in police uniform and later by forces without police uniform.
Femi Adesina, a Presidential spokesman, had also, in a public statement, threatened and warned that violent attacks on government critics would set in. He used stronger words suggesting that critics could begin to be assassinated. In his own words, he said but for the Democratic dispensation of Buhari, orders could have been given to “take off the heads of government critics”. Femi Adesina’s statement threatening assassination of government critics may be accessed at https://www.thecable.ng/femi-adesina-buhari-returns-people-will-hide-heads-shame
Therefore, there is a link between Femi Adesina’s threats suggesting the possibility of assassinating government critics and the violent attacks on peaceful protesters of the #ResumeOrResign# and #OurMumuDonDo# movements.
This is why pro-democracy forces and the labour movement, including human rights organizations and particularly organized trade unions must cry out and take actions in defence of basic civil liberties. The right of dissent must be protected. The #ResumeOrResign# and #OurMumuDonDo# movements have a universally recognized and constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful protest. Those who disagree with the #ResumeOrResign# and #OurMumuDonDo# movements have no discretion but let them exercise their right to the fullest.
This is why Femi Adesina must be removed as a Presidential spokesman. With the effrontery to issue a public statement threatening that but for the Democratic dispensation of Buhari, orders could have been given to “take off the heads of government critics”, Femi Adesina has become a threat to Nigeria’s democracy. Assuming but not conceding that the Federal Government has no intention to implement Femi Adesina’s warning of a tendency to begin assassination of government critics, that statement is sufficient encouragement for the pro-Buhari fanatics in and out of power, as well as thugs in uniform and thugs without uniform to unleash vicious infractions on democratic rights.
The right of dissent is a democratic right. Nigeria is in deep danger under the APC regime that has proven absolutely incapable of solving any of the problems compounded by the PDP’s 16 years of ruinous government. Rather than improving the living standards of ordinary people, the APC has plunged Nigeria into unprecedented levels of poverty. There is a relationship between economic instability and political repression. Any regime that is incapable of addressing economic hardship of its people would invariably be repressive. That is why we must not allow the APC to continue to suppress democratic rights. Only massive but peaceful actions led by the labour movement may prevent the implementation of the APC programme as announced by Femi Adesina, in terms of taking off the heads of government critics. The working class and its allies are always compelled to engage in mass actions to force concessions from the ruling class. Unless we resist the vicious physical repression being unleashed on the #ResumeOrResign# and #OurMumuDonDo# movements today, the labour movement and other democratic forces that may have cause to protest may suffer greater repression on a larger scale in the future.
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