Detained Nigeria

FLASH | Right to Speech, Protest No More Guaranteed — CORE

The co-convener of the Coalition for Revolution, Olaseni Ajayi, has said that citizens’ right to freedom of speech and protest are no longer guaranteed in Nigeria.

Ajayi while lamenting the detention of Omoyele Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Abayomi Olawale, among others, said personnel of the Lagos State Police Command had been deployed to frustrate the organisation’s plan to peacefully protest against the detention of the activists.

Speaking to our correspondent, Ajayi said the police had allegedly besieged the SaharaReporters‘ office.

Ajayi added that the command’s personnel were also spotted at the national office of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights at Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, and at the Gani Fawehimi Park, among other locations.

He said, “This morning, the police and other security forces invaded the national office of the CDHR and SaharaReporters offices, in another desperate attempt to forcefully stop planned peaceful agitation against the detention of activists without trial scheduled to start by 11:00 a.m. this morning.

“The right to speech, associate, protest and even to think are no more guaranteed under this neo- regime.

“However, our agitation for the immediate release of Omoyele Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Abayomi Olawale (Mandate) and all others currently being held in Buhari detention centres, and for the revolutionary transformation of the country continues.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, who confirmed the presence of the security agents, said the personnel deployment was a crime-prevention strategy so that there won’t be a breakdown of law in the state.

Elkana said, “Our deployment is a normal crime-prevention strategy to prevent the break down of law and order in the state. We did not shut any office.”

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