Despite the arrest of activist and the convener of the planned #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore is slated to hold on August 5, 2019, many Nigerians have begun to voice their concern about the government's move to silence critics.
Celebrities and notable activists, including opposition members have called the arrest of the former presidential candidate and the publisher of Sahara Reporters as oppressive. They have also indicated that there's no going back on the protest.
Sowore was picked up by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in the early hours of Saturday, August 3, 2019.
The #RevolutionNow convener had tweeted to confirm his arrest. “DSS invades Sowore’s,” he shared.
Popular Hip hop musician, Eedris Abdulkareem who is one of the front liners of the planned protest has blasted the Federal Government as he described the arrest of Sowore as “out-rightly cowardly and defeatist” while emphasizing that the planned protest will still hold.
On his Instagram page, the music legend said, “the news of the ignoble arrest of the Revolution Now project convener Mr Femi Sowore is to say the least very regrettable and equally ludicrous."
Algeria, Sudan and Egypt had witnessed mass protests in recent past. In April, Omar Al-bashir of Sudan was ousted after violent protests.
Amnesty International has called for the release of the publisher, saying that standing up to call for good governance is a right of the citizenry.
“Arresting Mr. Sowore and trying to intimidate the citizenry is outright cowardly and defeatist. Nigerians are truly tired of the status quo and desire, or rather demand a true change. And no amount of intimidation or harassment is ever going to change this.
“Revolutionnow is for every Nigerian, irrespective of class, creed or tongue. Indeed and truly, the future of our land is in our hands," Abdulkareem stated.
Meanwhile, police authorities say the scheduled protest will be regarded as an act of felony and terrorism.
Authorities fear it could be a turning point in Nigeria's democratic experience.
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