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Sowore, others entitled only to legitimate protests, says Oshiomhole

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[FILES] Adams Oshiomhole, APC leader


•Demonstration, a wake-up call for govt, Martins warns
•Northern groups label ‘revolution’ foreign agenda to destabilise Nigeria

Following the arrest of the conveners of the anti-President Muhammadu Buhari protests on Monday under the umbrella of Global Coalition for Security and Democracy, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has affirmed that citizens have the right to protest but must properly articulate their grievances.

Specifically, leader of the group and candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 23, 2019 presidential election, Omoyele Sowore, was last weekend seized by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and is still being held over alleged calls for a nationwide protest against ‘bad governance’ in the country.

Briefing State House correspondents yesterday after the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) met with the president at the State, Abuja, Oshiomhole condemned the Sahara Reporters publisher for leading the demonstration after losing the presidential contest. He said: “Let’s be honest. I have led a series of protests even to this Villa. Whoever wants to protest should articulate his grievances and make specific demands about the solutions that he wants. So what exactly do you know as members of the fourth estate of the realm that Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, a presidential candidate, cleared by INEC to bid for power and asked Nigerians to vote for him want? Now Nigerians have voted, the votes have been counted and he was not a favoured candidate. What does he want now? That Nigerians must make him the president?”

However, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev Alfred Adewale Martins, has urged the Federal Government to see the agitation as a wake-up call for it to better the lives of Nigerians and tame the pervasive insecurity in the land.

In a statement by the Acting Director of Social Communications, Rev Fr Anthony Godonu, the archbishop implored the Buhari administration to see the demonstration as an opportunity to directly hear the complaints of Nigerians and redouble efforts towards fulfilling its constitutional role of securing the lives and property of the people.

Besides, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) yesterday described the Revolutionnow campaign as a foreign agenda to destabilise Nigeria and the African continent.Its spokesperson, Mr. Abdul-Azeez Suleiman in a statement, claimed that Sowore might have been engineered by “foreigners bent on causing unimaginable mayhem in the country.”

Acknowledging that the Buhari government had “failed to live up to the expectations” of the citizenry, the group maintained that every form of disagreement should be resolved through decent and civilised engagement rather than embracing an “archaic and violence-prone confrontation.”

The group stated that instead of just sitting back to thank Nigerians for not joining the demonstration, Buhari should rather sincerely apologise to the citizens and address the mounting national grievances.CNG warned that unless this was done, the angry mood that pervades the entire country poses the likelihood of a more serious dissent in the future.

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