By David O Royal & Gabriel Ewepu
Following the detention of Omoyele Sowore and other activists, a coalition of over 200 civil society organizations have given President Muhammadu Buhari a 14-day ultimatum to show commitment to the rule of law or face mass action and civil disobedience.
According to organizations on Monday, mass action was inevitable if the government failed to accede to their demands.
This was disclosed in a statement titled “Nigeria’s Troubling State of Affairs” issued on Monday, Dec 9, 2019 by the organizations.
Below is the full statement
Tomorrow, December 10th, the world will celebrate Human Rights Day. It will also be marked in Nigeria as we review the crackdown on the freedom of the press; proposed bills to curb dissent and a general environment of shrinking civic space of which the recent actions of our security agencies are just an example.
We represent a cross-section of Nigerian civil society actors that have played various roles in Nigeria’s journey to civil rule.
Two key issues are of concern to us, namely:
1) Attack on Our Judiciary
2) Attack on Free Speech & Pattern of Silencing Dissent
In closing, we demand the following:
1) President Muhammadu Buhari to show accountability as President and Commander-in-Chief and address the nation on his commitment to the rule of law and human rights.
2) The release of all illegally detained persons by the DSS as revealed by Amnesty, Premium Times & Punch Newspapers in recent months.
3) That the government obey all outstanding court orders.
4) An investigation of the officers who violated protocol and the circumstances leading to Omoyele Sowore’s 2nd arrest.
5) The unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore per his bail terms.
If these four demands are not honored within 14 days – we call on patriots to join us as we occupy the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) offices across the country, as it is legally mandated to protect rights and it reports to the Presidency.
For more information, please reach out to ‘Yemi Adamolekun – firstname.lastname@example.org.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
“May I remind this government that disobedience calls to disobedience and that disobedience of the orders of the constitutional repository of the moral authority of arbitration – the judiciary – can only lead eventually to a people’s disregard of the authority of other arms of civil society, a state of desperation that is known, recognized and accepted as– civil disobedience.
It is so obvious – state disobedience leads eventually to civil disobedience, piecemeal or through a collective withdrawal of recognition of other structures of authority. That way leads to chaos but – who set it in motion? As is often the case, the state, unquestionably. Such a state bears full responsibility for the ensuing social condition known as anomie.”
– Wole Soyinka
Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International (Nigeria)
Idayat Hassan, Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD)
Auwal Musa, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Deji Adeyanju, Concerned Nigerians
‘Yemi Adamolekun, Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria)
Lanre Suraj, (HEDA) & People’s Alternative Front
Kola Ogundare, Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project (SERAP)
Jaye Gaskia, Take Back Nigeria (TBN)
Biola Akiode-Afolabi, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) & Transition Monitoring Group (TMG)