Last Wednesday (August 5) was the remembrance day of the #RevolutionNow national demonstrations initiated by the charismatic Publisher of SaharaReporters, Comrade Omoyele Sowore. Last year August Sowore had returned from New York to lead the mass action demanding better governance from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Upon his return from the US, however, and hours to the D-Day, the Department of State Services security operatives swooped on his hotel in Lagos arresting him and taking him away.
For months running Comrade Sowore languished in the DSS gulag as national and international campaign for his freedom built up. He was later reluctantly charged to court laughably accused of ‘treason’! The judicial drama that followed (including the invasion of the court by the DSS operatives to re-arrest Sowore) demonstrated the creeping tyrany in our polity, in our hunger and terror-devastated land.
Now Sowore is relatively ‘free’ though confined to Abuja where he had no ‘right’ to speak to the press or move out of the FCT as his stringent bail condition stipulated. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is now the added politics to his appearances in court.
Comrade Sowore stands today as a glorified hostage to an oppressive system masquerading as a democracy. If demanding for a better society is a crime for which one is liable for imprisonment then we are all guilty as charged! But let it be known that no one could lay any claim to patriotism more than those at the frontlines campaigning for change for the benefit of the majority. The fewer we are the greater the share of honour!
One year on ‘Revolution’ is back in our national political consciousness as concerned citizens organized yet another day of national rage over the failures in the socio-economic political systems Nigeriana. This time it was tagged: #RevolutionNow! #OccupyNaija!! Folks poured out on the streets to manifest their frustrations and anger over the prevailing discomforting situation in the country.
The voluble Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had minimised the protest on Channels TV live programme describing the protesters as ‘misguided’ and dismissing same as a national “irritation”. He said the issues the protesters were demonstrating about and against such as insecurity, corruption, poverty and human rights abuse were not peculiar to Nigeria!