Global human rights body, Amnesty International, on Wednesday called on the Nigerian security forces to end ongoing attack on protesters at Unity Fountain, Abuja and across the country.
Amnesty said that the Nigerian government must note that “protest is a human right and use of excessive force on protesters is unlawful.”
All across the country, the security forces, especially the Nigeria Police and the military has used force to stop the ongoing #RevolutionNow protest spearheaded by Omoyele Sowore, Publisher of Saharareports and former Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 elections.
Omoyele had organized the same protest last year and was arrested. He is under trial and is enjoying administrative bail which does not allow him to travel outside Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja.
Early on Wednesday morning, security agents had put Abuja under partial lockdown to stop the scheduled protest.
A combined team of Police, Army, Air Force and some paramilitary personnel was deployed to the streets of Abuja, thus, preventing the protesters from converging at the Unity Fountain at Maitama district in Abuja, opposite the Transcorp Hotel, to protest against ‘Bad Governance.’
Those who converged were dispersed while the security agents arrested those identified as “trouble makers.”
Pictures of the encounter at the Unity Fountain, which used to be the choice venue of protests that helped defeat former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, have since gone viral on the social media.
In some of the pictures, soldiers and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) were seen watching over the arrested protesters lying face down.
Reacting to the arrest and onslaught by security agents, Omoyele Sowore, the convener, tweeted @YeleSowore:
“They have no respect for the rights of Nigerian citizens; they abuse and denigrate our people. This is their reason impunity must be brought to an end! #RevolutionNow.”