The branding of the nationwide protest which took place across the country yesterday as a mere irritation and child’s play by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, is unschooled and unfortunate.

What happened yesterday in Nigeria was a historical remembrance of a day with history. In a desperate bid to kill the build-up of national mood and frustrate the planned nationwide protest called by Omoyele Sowore to demonstrate the rejection of the bad governance, national insecurity, wanton killings ongoing on a daily basis and other serial mispolicies that were suffocating meaning out of the lives of Nigerians and slated for August 5 2019, the convener was arrested on Saturday, August 3, 2019, by men of Department of State Services. This was to begin a long schedule of programmed repressive machinations by this government which started with the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, who was only released on December 24, 2019, after spending months in illegal incarceration of the government.

Now today in our history August 5 has evolved and has become a date with history for the masses of this country to mark a day they appointed to shout out that they could not breath under their government and what took place yesterday was a commemoration of the day of rage, a cementation of covenant with history that every August 5 will be the Masses’ Day in this country, an affirmation of the correctness of the mission and vision behind the August 5 2019 protest agenda and a correspondence to this government that the killings have not stopped, the insecurity has not stopped, the unemployment has even skyrocketed, the hunger has not stopped and that bad governance, coloured in unbridled corruption, is still on throne here with us. 

Femi Adesina

For the mouthpiece of the government of the day to come to the open to say the protest is a mere irritation, a protest that cuts across states of the country yesterday where angry youths, save for the hungry ones who are either dying in silence or who are already feeling the sense of hopelessness, which is even more dangerous than open protest, dared the bullets in their hundreds and marched on the streets, is so shameful. It portrays the maker of the statement as insensitive and inhuman.

First and foremost, a father who has twenty children will be foolish to claim the children are not hungry or needy just because only or two have the courage to cry out. If a government does not see the cries of agonies of tens of its citizens as a sign that all is not well just because there are no millions in the street, then the government has lost all moral sense and it has become a calamity to its people.

It is only in Nigeria where protest is confronted with bullets and bayonets from the government that the seriousness and sensitivity of agitations are measured in the quantity of crowd who are ready to face the bullets. In saner societies, one man’s march through the street may move the government to sit tight or review its policy.

But here, once the number of bullets outnumber the number of protesters then it is just an irritation and not a revolution!

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