The Buhari government has described the #RevolutionNow protests held in parts of Nigeria yesterday as a child’s play and an irritant.
This was addressed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in an interview with Sunrise Daily on Channels Television.
Describing the protests as a child’s play, Adesina pointed out that only a few youths of the 25 million Nigerian youths participated in the demonstrations.
Adesina said, “a revolution is always a mass thing, not a sprinkle of young boys and girls you saw yesterday in different parts of the country. I think it was just a funny thing to call it a revolution protest.”
Supporting the decision of the President of using members of the Nigerian Armed Forces against the protesters, Adeshina described the protest as a mere irritation.
“In a country of 200 million people and if you see a sprinkle of people saying they are doing a revolution, it was a child’s play,” he said.
“Revolution is something that turns the normal order. What happened yesterday, would you call it a revolution? It was just an irritation, just an irritation and some people want to cause irritation in the country, and what I will say is when things boil over, they boil over because you continue to heat them.”
Adesina also went on to point out that President Buhari recognises the problems faced by the country and is actively working towards resolving them. He also noted that the clampdown on the protests might continue as “the government will do whatever is right, whatever is required to maintain peace.”
In response to Adesina’s interview, Omoyele Sowore in a tweet likened him to the spokesperson of the Saddam era in Iraq Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, describing Adesina as a “Comical Ali.”
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The #RevolutionNow movement was formed in 2019 by former Presidential Candidate and Human Rights Activist Omoyele Sowore. Sowore began the #RevolutionNow movement as a citizen’s call for better governance by the Buhari administration.
In August 2019, Sowore had called for the first #RevolutionNow protest which the DSS perceived as an act of treason. The Department of State Security (DSS) had arrested Omoyele Sowore, claiming that his call for nationwide protests on August 5, called Revolution Now, was an insurrection aimed at a forceful takeover of the government.
Despite court orders instructing the DSS to release Sowore, the DSS had refused holding him in custody till the international community, and Human Rights Organisations mounted pressure for his release.
In commemoration of the first anniversary of the #RevolutionNow movement, protests were scheduled to hold in several states in Nigeria on August 5 2020.
The protesters had broken down their demands into three phases:
- First phase: End anti-people economic policies
- Second phase: End special privileges for the ruling class
- Third phase: Return political power and national wealth to the working people
However, the protest was truancated as the Nigerian Police and Army had prevented the protests, blocking off adjoining streets including Aguiyi Ironsi Street.
The police had also arrested over 40 #RevolutionNow protesters in Abuja, Lagos and Osun State. Among which include Olawale Bakare ‘IamMandate,’ Dunnex Samuel, Grace Martins to mention a few.