Call for revolution not new, Falana says
•Nigerians won’t allow dictatorship again, he adds
HUMAN rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, on Monday, said call for revolution in the country was not new, adding that all the rights of the Nigerian people already fought for and won would never be taken over by any administration again.
This is as he said President Muhammadu Buhari knew those who were disrupting the peace of the country, adding that people complaining against maladministration, mismanagement and injustice could not be taken to be breaching the peace.
Among those disrupting the peace of the country, Falana named Boko Haram terrorists, killer herdsmen, armed robbers, kidnappers, oil thieves.
He also said Nigerians would not allow dictatorship in any form to rear its head in the country again.
Falana disclosed this in a keynote address at a one-day summit organised by the Coalition for Revolution (CORE), in Lagos.
Earlier, the police had stormed the 46, Ibijoke Street venue of the summit and laid siege to it.
With a heavy police presence, even right from the entrance to the street, residents gathered in clusters, watching and discussing the development.
About a dozen police personnel practically screened every person allowed in to the venue, including journalists.
Falana, spaeking after the summit reconvened, said the country would not allow dictatorship again,
Arguing that the call for revolution was not new in the country, he cited the call by young Nigerians under the umbrella of Zikists at Glover Hall in Lagos in 1914.
The Nigerians, according to the human rights campainer, were not charged with treason, but sedition.
“The course for revolution is not new. Political leaders in this country have been calling for revolution, so if there is a mistake now, that mistake must be corrected.
“As far as I am concerned, this country belongs to all of us. They said we shouldn’t go on the streets and now, we are trying to gather in a hall, yet they won’t allow us.
“Revolution is not a dinner party, it is a rigorous contest for the soul of the country. The struggle is going to take time and there is no going back.
“We do not have the revolution yet but there are revolution pressures. It will come sooner than we think. This country occupies a prominent place in history. If we don’t get it right today, the black nation is doomed,” he added.
The senior advocate, however, assured that he would secure the release of the three persons arrested over the summit and also promised to defend those arrested in connection with the recent #RevolutionNow protest across the country.
“I understand that about three persons have been arrested earlier today. I want to assure you that I will ask for their unconditional release as soon as I leave here. All those arrested and already charged in Osogbo, Calabar and Lagos here will be defended, I assure you,” he said.
Falana, who charged members of the coalition to mobilise and educate Nigerians for the real revolution, said a revolution was not a dinner party, but a serious, rigorous and consistent struggle for the soul of a country, adding that it was going to be intense and would take some time.
Chairman of Movement for Fundamental Change, Martins Onovo, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign forthwith and vacate the nation’s leadership.
Onovo said the president’s resignation remained the only solution to the myriad of problems confronting the country since his government had failed the nation.
“The solution is to follow the example of our colonial masters…this government has failed and should resign the same way Theresa May did in Britain,” he declared.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in the country, the activist observed that Nigeria had the worst police the world over, adding that “herdsmen are everywhere; we are all unsafe and we are afraid to travel.”
The country, he lamented, was already in debt trap and had become the world capital of poverty with ruined economy.
Speaking at the event, Comrade Gbenga Komolafe charged Nigerians to claim the country back from those who had held it for long.
Calling for the release of the convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, Komolafe said that work had just started, while urging members to take the struggle to the streets and mobilise the people.
In his contribution, Comrade Femi Borisade wondered whether it was terrorism to ask the president to stop medical tourism; ask for free education and free health.
He demanded the release of Sowore and other political prisoners, including soldiers.
Aborisade, a lawyer, pointed out that Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution allowed for revolt against any government policy that was against the interest of the people, adding that such revolts had to be peaceful though.
The fufu seller arrested in Osogbo during the #RevolutionNow protest, Madam Sariyu Abake Akanmu, who was also at the event, called on the Federal Government to find solutions to the problems in the country, saying the common man was suffering and there was hunger in the land.
Seun, son of the late Afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo, urged members to share the idea with the people, while he charged the coalition to stand firm and ensure the release of Sowore.