From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The National Association of Seadogs, Pyrates Confraternity has upbraided the Federal Government over the crackdown on the advocates of the #EndSARS campaign.
According to a statement titled ‘Clampdown On #EndSARS Advocates: The Descent Into Tyranny’ signed by the NAS Capoon, Mr Abiola Owoaje the organisation “condemned in its entirety the continued victimization and intimidation of the advocates of the #EndSARS protests by the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The group which decried the freezing of accounts of 20 supporters of the campaign as well as the harassment of others wondered why those whom the Federal government publicly acknowledged were peaceful protesters are being alleged of crimes bordering on terrorism and regime change.
It expressed worry that the Central Bank of Nigeria which should be bothered by the shaky status of the economy, rising food prices and looming famine “found it more salient to approach the Court to freeze the accounts of peaceful protesters”
The group while noting that “the hounding and persecution of people connected with the #EndSARS protests have depicted this government as hostile to dissent, unconcerned by the suffering of the people and opposed to the calls for good governance” added that the government has abandoned its fight against terrorists and bandits to go after peaceful protesters.
According to the organisation, the government which wants Nigerian youths to trust it with the establishment of the judicial panels of inquiry has at the same time adopted surreptitious plots capable of eroding trust to “lend credence to allegations by Nigerians that this government thrives on misinformation, lack of transparency and propaganda.”
NAS reiterated its condemnation of the actions of hoodlums who resorted to arson, killing and looting stressing however that attempts by the government to “push false narratives of ethnic colouration, religious inclination and sinister motives in the bid to deny the existential realities of the agitation of the Nigerian youths are desperation taken too far.”
The statement read in part “This latest sequence of vindictiveness measures being unleashed by institutions of government against perceived enemies of this regime threatens to take us back to the military days. There is no justifiable reason under a democracy, especially one where the rule of law persists, for the recent actions of the government of Nigeria. We call on principal officers of different government institutions to resist being party to the harassment and intimidation of innocent Nigerians.
We call on the Federal Government to immediately direct CBN to unfreeze the accounts of the #EndSARS supporters. It should also direct its agencies and institutions to stop forthwith the harassment of partakers in the #EndSARS protests. No amount of intimidation can silence the voice of Nigerians. Nigerians fought with their sweat and blood for this democracy and are prepared to defend their right to protest against impunity.”