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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Adams Oshiomhole has finally lent his voice to the controversial arrest of a Nigerian protest.
Oshiomhole said the activist, Omoyele Sowore should not have contested for Presidency if he planned to call for revolution.
Sowore was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) during the election.
The activist was arrested in the early hour of Saturday by the Department of State Service (DSS) after planning a nationwide protest which he tagged #RevolutionNow.
The Nigeria authority, the police and the DSS described the prove as treasonable, warned protesters against the match and arrested over 50 defiant who disobeyed the order.
Reacting on Wednesday in Abuja after a brief meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Oshiomhole said Oshiomhole should never have contested for the last presidential election if he had plans to call for a revolution.
The APC Chairman said he believes in the rights to protest but not a plan to overthrow a democratically elected government.
“What was the reason for the protest? Let’s be honest. I have led a series of protests, even to this villa. Whoever wants to protest should articulate the particulars of his grievances and make specific demands about the solutions that he wants,” he said.
“So what exactly as far as you know as members of the fourth estate of the realm, that Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, a presidential candidate, cleared by INEC to bid for power, who had the opportunity to ask Nigerians to vote for him. Now Nigerians have voted, the votes have been counted and he was not a favoured candidate, what does he want now? That Nigerians must make him the president?
“Because we all have to be careful, nobody should talk as if we have another country. We have challenges but somehow we have all resolved as a people that the way and route to power in the ballot box. Our task as a people is to continue to work to clean up the system so that only Nigerians alone shall determine who governs them at all levels. That I believe is a legitimate thing to fight for. But if you want to overthrow, you want a revolution then he should have spared us the INEC putting him on the ballot paper.
“I don’t want to talk about this but I believe Nigerians have a right to protest, I believe people have a right to contest issues, people have the right to disagree. I have often said the government doesn’t have the right to dictate to people how to protest, but you must state exactly what you want. I ask you to name any country in the world where somebody stands up and say after the election that I contested and lost, now, therefore, I want a revolution.”
The chairman of the ruling party said as a former leader of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), he was also involved in organising protests against the government, and their purpose was to defeat a set of anti-people policies and not to remove the president from office.
Oshiomhole differentiate hist type of protest from the one Sowore planned
“So you can go and contest the election and when you lose you say you want to do revolution. It is not about this president, it is not about APC, it is recognising that we have challenges. Are we prepared to allow non-democratic means to effect a change?” he added.
The DSS asked the court to grant it permission to delay Sowore for three months to enable it enough time to investigate him.