Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Revolution protest called by civil rights activist and former presidential candidate, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, did not hold in any part of Delta State on Monday.
Although the presence of security operatives was scanty, Commissioner of Police in the state, Adeyinka Adeleke, said the command was very ready to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
But residents in Asaba and its environs where Daily Sun monitored, went about their normal duties unhindered.
Speaking in Asaba, South-South chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisations (CLO), Mr. Chinedu Uchegu, said CLO was not consulted, hence could not mobilise to be part of it.
“We cannot be part of what we were not consulted,” he said, insisting that there should be adequate consultation if anyone is fighting for the cause of Nigerians
He, however, agreed that the protest was necessary given the state of insecurity and other issues affecting the nation, and condemned the arrest and detention of Mr. Sowore, even as he called for his immediate release.
Uchegu described the arrest as unconstitutional and uncalled, maintaining that it was a violation of the constitutional right of Sowore’s freedom of speech, assembly and association.
“You cannot arrest him for speaking out what he believes in. We condemn his arrest and call for his immediate release,” he stated.
Meanwhile, socio-political pressure group based in Delta State, Anioma Youth Mandate (AYM) also dissociated itself from the protest, and advised all Anioma sons and daughters not to be tempted or dragged into what it described as a dangerous venture and illegality.
In a statement signed by its national president, Nnamdi Ofonye, the group expressed its total opposition to any form of action that has the potential to destabilise, heighten insecurity and lead to a total breakdown of law and order.
NYM noted that while it is the right of any group or individual to stage a peaceful protest against any policy deemed to be anti-people, the statement credited to Sowore that Nigerians should end the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari like what happened in Egypt, Somalia, and Tunisia through revolution is a call too many and quite unfortunate.
“His threat to burn himself to death to instigate the forceful eviction of the government of the day is also treasonable among other threats even against the existence of DSS after Tuesday the 6th of August, 2019,” it stated.
The group, therefore, advised that the geographical area of Anioma must not be encroached or enlisted for such action, stressing that there is no room presently for such, “considering the high rate of insecurity currently bedeviling the nation and as such, certain words and actions should be avoided for now in the general interest of the citizenry.”
The statement read in part: “As major stakeholders in the Nigerian project, the well-being, and safety of all Nigerians is of great concern to us as a group and people. While it is the right of the citizens of any country to express their dissatisfaction over government actions and inaction through peaceful protests, the timing and the motive behind this is unacceptable.”
While berating Sowore who contested against President Buhari in the just concluded general election for allowing himself to be used, the group advised him to channel his energy into other projects that would help solve the myriad of insecurity across the country, stressing that security of lives and properties is the collective effort of all and sundry.
While calling on Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to ban such lawlessness taking place in any part of the state, Ofonye maintained that such illegality could be hijacked or taken advantage of by hoodlums, bandits and terrorists who are lurking around and looking for any leeway to wreak havoc on the citizens.
The youth group commended the DSS for acting swiftly by arresting Sowore early enough as no government worth its salt will fold its hands and watch groups or individuals destabilise the country or plot a forceful takeover.
It reminded Sowore that instead of fomenting trouble after losing woefully in the presidential election, he should instead work hard in preparation for 2023 general elections where he will have the legitimate means to push for a change of government rather than resorting to unconstitutional approach.