The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has condemned security clampdown on the Revolution Now protesters in Abuja, Lagos and Osun.
The nonprofit, in a statement signed by its director Idayat Hassan, said the protesters were exercising their fundamental right.
“The CDD notes that these street-protesters were exercising their fundamental human rights as enshrined in Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended,” the NGO stated.
CDD observed that the protesters were subjected to various inhuman treatments by various security operatives in the states they conducted the peaceful protest.
“Photographs, videos, and reports from the field corroborate that on 5th August 2020, unarmed protesters in Osun, Abuja, and Lagos were accosted by security operatives, and subsequently subjected to inhumane treatment by these operatives.
“The security personnel were primarily from the Nigerian Military, the Nigerian Police Force, and the Department of State Security (DSS).
“In the case of Osogbo, Osun state, the protesters were arrested at the chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists while addressing the members of the press – an action that can only be described as an abuse of power by these operatives.
“In Abuja, protesters at the Unity Fountain, Shehu Shagari Way, Maitama were either dispersed or arrested; and the surrounding streets were cordoned off by soldiers, thereby restricting citizens’ mobility.
“In Lagos, protesters who gathered at the Ikeja, under-bridge were also dispersed or arrested by security operatives.”
The nonprofit warned the Federal Government against the manipulating Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to stop people from exercising their civic rights.
“The CDD also warns the Federal Government against using the Coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to shrink the civic space.
“This repression of citizens is an objectionable trend which has become more prevalent across the globe, as governments restrict civic freedoms under the shield of the pandemic.”
The NGO has however commended the release of some of the protesters in Abuja and Lagos and urged for the remaining to be released.
“While we commend the release of protesters in Abuja and Lagos, the CDD calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria, and the heads of the security agencies which have toed the path of this inhumanity to redress their steps and unconditionally release all others arrested during the course of the protest, with assurance and commitment that this sort of action will never be repeated.”
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