Revolution Now: Security Agents Disrupt Protests, Detain Several Protesters

Joint security task forces, on Wednesday, disrupted simultaneous ‘Revolution Now’ protests across the country and arrested several protesters.

According to witnesses, the multiple agency security task force including the Department of State Services, Naval Task Force, police and paramilitary agencies were reported to have whisked away protesters in their trucks.

They reported that over 60 people were arrested in the protests, which were described as “peaceful.”  

The conveners of the protest announced the convergence and rally planned in ten states including Niger, Oyo, Lagos and Abuja on Tuesday. 

Omoyele Sowore, an activist, is the convener of the #RevolutionNow protest which he birthed in 2019.

Sowore had called for the demonstration against “bad governance, corruption and insecurity in President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”

He, however, did not participate in the protests owing to a court order preventing him from joining mass gatherings.

This is a part of his bail condition after he had spent over 130 days in detention.

In Abuja, protesters were arrested around the Unity Fountain, a popular recreational area in the heart of the city used for civil protest and citizen action. 

Security agents have begun stop and search operations at some locations in the city to identify and arrest protesters.

Meanwhile, security forces reportedly fired teargas at ‘Revolution Now’ protesters in Lagos on Wednesday morning.

The protesters were gathered at Ikeja Under Bridge holding a peaceful protest.

Also, about seven members of the ‘Revolution Now’ movement were reportedly arrested by the operatives of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) in Osogbo, Osun state. 

Among the protesters arrested was the co-accused of Sowore, Olawale Bakare, reports say. 

Bakare and other protesters had gathered at the popular Olaiya junction where he was arrested in August 2019, in Osogbo. 

They appeared in their revolution-inscribed beret and scarf, waiting to begin the rally when the police arrived at the venue. 

They were said to be explaining to the police when the operatives of DSS arrived the venue and some of their members ran away. 

Eyewitnesses reported that the DSS were able to arrest Bakare and six others who stood to apparently explain their peaceful conduct to the police. 

HumAngle recalls that several protesters were arrested on August 5, 2019 at the National Stadium, Lagos after a crowd gathered to begin ‘Revolution Now’.

The Nigerian government also arrested and detained Omoyele Sowore, a key organiser of the protest and accused him and his co-defendant of committing conspiracy to commit a treasonable felony.

The government said it was in breach of section 516 of the Criminal Code Act by allegedly staging “a revolution campaign aimed at removing the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Sowore was also accused of committing the actual offence of reasonable felony in breach of section, 4(1)(c) of the Criminal Code Act, by using the platform of Coalition for Revolution, in August 2019 in Abuja, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, to stage the ‘Revolution Now’ protest allegedly aimed at removing the President.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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