Desmond Mgboh, Kano
The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has condemned the freezing of bank accounts of 20 persons and institutions allegedly linked to the EndSARS protests across Nigeria.
Executive Director, Ibrahim M. Zikirullahi in a statement described the move as yet another state-sanctioned attack aimed at silencing critical citizens’ voices, especially in the wake of the EndSARS protests adding that it is a brazen infringement on the rights of Nigerian citizens, as spelt out in the Nigerian Constitution.
According to CHRICED, “Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution gives the most fundamental legal approval to the peaceful #EndSARS protests……. It clearly states that every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons…”
“To deploy the institutions of the state, including the CBN, and the courts to issue half-baked orders to freeze the bank accounts of protest leaders, in such a brazen manner makes it clear that the government is not sincere about the ongoing efforts to ensure justice for victims of police brutality” they stated.
“ Also, the resort to repressive tactics by the government serves as an indicator that it will take no step to address the other wider concerns, which fueled the protests” they stated..
In their view, “There is no mistake in the fact that the #EndSARS protests represented a culmination of citizens’ decades-long demand for an end to human rights abuses, as represented by the brutal policing system which assails the dignity of the ordinary citizen”.
They restated its solidarity with the young people of Nigeria, who mobilised and galvanized millions of fellow citizens to demand that the Nigerian State live up to its responsibility as contained in the social contract.
“Any attempt to undermine the rights, and demonise the citizens, who refused to be silent in the face of injustice and oppression, makes it apparent that the government is not serious about the reforms it promised” they stated.
CHRICED called on the individuals affected by the freeze orders not to despair, but to remain steadfast, despite the tactics being employed by the state to harass and intimidate them.
They called for the support of all friends of Nigeria in the comity of nations, imploring the nation’s international partners not fall for the propaganda by the government while situating that the ongoing struggle by the youth is a patriotic movement by long-suffering citizens to ensure democratic and accountable governance in the country”.