A coalition of civil society organisations on Wednesday in Abuja staged a protest to demand the release of four activists, who have been in custody.

The detained activists are Omoyele Sowore, Dadiyata, Steven Kefas and Jones Abiri.

Before the protesters arrived the Unity Fountain, a detachment of armed security operatives had taken strategic positions at the place.

The joint security task force include the Police, Army, Navy, Air Force, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Fire Service, Department of State Services and Prison Service.

Over 30 vehicles, water canons and armoured tanks were deployed to the venue with the view to disrupting the protest. 

The security operatives also descended on some of the protesters and journalists, who tried to film them as they collected their phones and deleted the photographs

Convener of the protest, Deji Adeyanju, asked the government to release the activists as a matter of urgency, adding that they had not done anything bad in demanding for a better Nigeria.

Adeyanju said, “In this country, we are no longer safe, we are no longer free. In a country that practices democracy and people are not free, this is bad.

“If the freedom of one of us is taken away, then the freedom of all of us have been taken away.

“So, we must make it clear to tyrant Buhari and all his cronies that we the people of Nigeria will not be cowed.

“That the voices of the dissents in this country will not be subjugated. Our clamour for freedom will not wane.

“It will not matter whether they mobilise hundreds of people against us or they mobilise thousands of people against us.

“We will stand regardless of our number to say enough is enough and to condemn the tyranny of this government.

“This is a battle for liberation and so we must make it very clear to oppressors that it would never matter whether they mobilise the Army, Navy and Air Force.

“We the people of Nigeria will never back down. We will not back down until Sowore is free. We will not back down until Steven Kefas is free and we will not back until Jones Abiri is free.”

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