By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A civil rights movement, Concerned Nigerians Group, CNG, Wednesday, condemned alleged government-sponsored protest at the office of Amnesty International, AI.
This was stated by the Convener, CNG, Prince Deji Adeyanju, while reacting to the protest carried out by some people at the headquarters of AI on Tuesday, demanding the rights organization to leave the country.
According to Adeyanju the continuous ‘show of shame’ by the alleged state-sponsored protesters was anytime Amnesty International calls for accountability and talks about the gross human right abuses, incessant killings and maiming of citizens in Nigeria, the government allegedly through their ‘hired protesters’ will promptly occupy AI’s office and start making demands for them to quit Nigeria.
He said: “We condemn in its entirety, the continuous show of shame called ‘protest’ by government-sponsored protesters that earlier besieged the Amnesty International Office in Nigeria today.
“It has become a reoccurring event that anytime Amnesty International calls for accountability and talks about the gross human rights abuses, incessant killings and maiming of citizens in Nigeria, the government through their hired protesters will promptly occupy their office and start making demands for them to quit Nigeria.
“The resources and energy being expended by people in government in hiring these paid protesters to harass, intimidate and clamp down on rights groups should be channeled into something meaningful that can help curb the insecurity in the country.
“We equally want to remind our compatriots that are being used for this hatchet job, that their lives matter and what Amnesty International stands for, it’s a just society that works for all.”
He (Adeyanju) stressed that Freedom of Speech remains a cardinal part of an individual’s freedom that gives him or her the right to express what he or she feels about a government and what can be done to tackle that problem or improve on issues that positively affects the citizenry.
“The Nigerian government should know that freedom of speech is a fundamental pillar of democratic governance and a key tool for shaping public policies and debates.
“Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The continuous harassment of Amnesty International must stop”, he stated.