Abuja – A coalition of civil society organisations on Wednesday in Abuja staged protest march tagged #FreeSowore, #FreeDadiyata, #FreeStevenKefas, #FreeJonesAbiri to demand the release of four activists who have been arrested and detained by federal authorities.
The detained activists include Omoyele Sowore, Steven Kefason, Jones Abiri, and Abubakar Dadiyata.
The protest was held at the Unity Fountain as protesters were surrounded by heavily armed security operatives.
The Joint Security Task Force included the Nigeria Police, Army, Navy, Airforce, Civil Defence Corps, Prison Service, and Fire Fighters.
Water cannons and armoured tanks were also deployed to the venue to disrupt the protest.
Convener of the protest, Deji Adeyanju, asked the Federal Government to release the activists as a matter of urgency, saying that they had not violated any law in demanding a better Nigeria.
He lamented the draconian manner in which the Muhammadu Buhari administration has clamped down on dissenting voices who have challenged the government.
According to Adeyanju, “In this country, we are no longer safe, we are no longer free, and any country that practises democracy where one of us is not free, then all of us are not free.
“If the freedom of one of us is taken away, then the freedom of all of us has been taken away.
“So, we must make it clear to tyrant Buhari and all his cronies that we, the people of Nigeria, will not be cowed, that the voices of the dissents in this country will not be subjugated.
“Our clamour for freedom will not wane, it will not matter whether they mobilise hundreds of people against us or they mobilise thousands of people against us.
“We will stand regardless of our number to say enough is enough, and to condemn the tyranny of this government.”
He maintained that no matter how much government tried to suppress the voice of reasoning, they could not win the battle.
He stated that thousands of people inculcated with the ideology of revolution would rise and would not stop from demanding a better Nigeria.
He noted that the battle was for the soul of the nation and survival of every Nigerian, but not for individual purpose.
“This is a battle for liberation, and so we must make it very clear to the oppressors that it would never matter whether they mobilise the army, navy, and air force.
“Even if they want, let them go and resurrect Hitler from his grave. We, the people of Nigeria, will never back down. We will not back down until Sowore is free. We will not back down until Steven Kefas is free, and we will not back down until Jones Abiri is free,” Adeyanju stated.
He urged people not to be silent in the face of intimidation and harassment, adding that when the people were not free, there would never be justice and peace in the land.
The group vowed to sustain the protest until government sets the four human rights crusaders free.