Nigerians across different parts of the country will again on Wednesday take to the streets to demand better governance from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
One year after the people took the same route in a peaceful protest tagged #RevolutionNow on August 5, 2019 to demand a better society from the same administration, nothing significant has changed – instead the people have had their rights grossly violated by a regime whose draconian and unfriendly policies continue to plunge millions of individuals and households deeper into poverty.
Convener of the protest movement, Omoyele Sowore, a human rights crusader known globally for speaking truth to power, was arrested on August 3, 2019 by Nigeria’s ruthless and lawless Department of State Services and was kept in jail from that period until December 24 when an international outrage forced Buhari’s government to release him after initially flouting two court orders sanctioning his freedom on bail.
Unable to prove its case of alleged treason against the activist, Buhari’s government has confined him to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, through one of the most insane bail conditions that also forbids him from speaking to the press in a bid to silence and keep him out of circulation.
But undeterred by government’s desperation to shrink the civic space and extinguish voices of dissent, Nigerians will on Wednesday again abandon fear to pour out to the streets in a bid to challenge a regime that has made life difficult and almost unbearable for them.
Apart from rising cases of killings by bandits and other armed groups across different parts of the country, unemployment rate neared alarming levels over the last one year especially with many companies and businesses closing shop in Nigeria as a result of a harsh economic climate.
Bothered by these anomalies, the Nigerian people have vowed to embark on a mass action to put the government in check.
The Coalition for Revolution while describing August 5 as a national day of action, in a statement said, “The situation in the country for poor people keeps getting worse. While poverty continues to increase for the many, the rate of stealing of monies that could be used to improve lives and livelihoods keeps accelerating, on a daily basis. Repression follows in tow, to stop questions being asked. And those who actually work, waged workers are underpaid and overworked.
“The masses are fed up. This is the time to rise up and fight to break our chains. On 5 August, 2020, Coalition for Revolution will organise a national day of action in commemoration and continuation of its #RevolutionNow campaign.
“Enough is enough. We cannot let this situation continue. We cannot allow a few persons to throw the 99 per cent of the population of the cliff into the abyss of starvation and destruction. We will fight until victory, starting with the national day of action on 5 August.”
Expressing his thoughts on the subject matter, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, said, “In President Buhari's hometown in Katsina, bandits have taken over. We all thought that in the first year of his government, activities of Boko Haram would have been a thing of the past. It is unfortunate to say this government has lost it, and he (Buhari) has not performed up to the expectation of Nigerians in terms of protecting lives and property.”
Other Nigerians also took to popular social networking platform, Twitter, to demand an end to poor governance, corruption and senseless killings in the country using the #RevolutionNow.
A Twitter user named Tunde Abass while sharing pictures of failed roads in the country, said, “If you're dissatisfied...with countless souls that have lost their lives through accidents, due to bad roads across the length and breadth of the country. Come out and join the RevolutionNow protest #August5thProtest #RevolutionNow.”
Another Twitter user, Ifeanyi Buche, wrote, “The #RevolutionNow that we need is one that will grow our economy, build our infrastructures, stamp out favouritism, tribalism, worship of religious leaders and make our laws and constitution to work. That's the revolution of my dream.”
Damiloju, another user of the social networking platform, said, “Not claiming one tried would do it better. There are Igbos in the Senate and as ministers what have been their impact on Nigerians.
“They play the religion and tribe card and we fall for it. Instead of fighting them, we begin to fight ourselves. #RevolutionNow #August5thProtest.”
Josh King wrote while adding his voice to the issue, said, “We must take action. #RevolutionNow #OccupyNaija, demand restructuring, demand electoral reforms. If we don't do these and find a way to keep our dissatisfaction heard, we would further slip away.”
A Twitter known as Prince Lahbash, wrote, “I fear for this country because every event taking place is heading us to total anarchy and destruction.
“I pray it does not happen. Imagine these old fools who cannot allow youths to be at the helm of affairs. #August5thProtest #RevolutionNow.”