#RevolutionNow: Sowore wrong to demand for protests after losing election ― Oshiomhole
Following the arrest, detention of Omoyele Sowore, the convener of the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy, and the clampdown of anti-government protesters last Monday, the National Chairman of governing All Progress Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has affirmed that Nigerians have the right to protest but must properly articulate their grievances.
Briefing State House correspondents after a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Wednesday, he condemned the Sahara Reporters publisher for leading the protest after failing to win the February 2019 presidential election.
When asked to comment on the clampdown by government on the “Revolution Now” protesters, he said: “What was the reason for protest? Let’s be honest! I have led a series of protest 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.
“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 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.
“Go and check the dictionary and political meaning of a revolution. If it comes it will be like the Christmas turkey, nobody knows which one will be first slaughtered on Christmas.
“I think we do need to take things seriously, we have serious issues in this country, I have my own reservations about many things but we have submitted to this process and we must work hard to make it work.”
The APC boss said the leadership was with the President to discuss the challenges facing the country.
He added: “Nigeria must deliver to the poor, APC government must deliver. That is why I told you that the only thing we came here to discuss today is, the easiest part is congratulations.
“The challenge is now with the mandate, how do you recreate the middle class so that Nigeria can be stable, all other things will then fall in line.
“All that is required is clear thinking, determination and to ensure that the ministers that are coming are not coming to implement what they think, but that they are coming to implement programmes that the party has agreed to.
“And that is why they are going to have a retreat before the president assigns ministerial position to them. “
Oshiomhole said the NWC presented the party’s financial report to the President but failed to give details on it.
Receiving the party leaders, President Buhari assured them he would be more conscious of the interests of the party in taking key decisions.
He pledged to uphold party supremacy and other members for their sacrifices and overall success in the last general elections in the country.
A statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), quoted him as saying: “It is obvious that the success of the party was more paramount in your hearts. You could have deployed the times and energy you deployed for the party for your own personal use.
‘‘I respect the sacrifices you are making; you can only derive satisfaction if you are working for your country and all our people because, materially, nobody can pay you for the sacrifices.”
President Buhari used the occasion to appeal to NWC members to abide by the constitution of the party, adding: “It is not enough to just criticise certain decisions of the party without first understanding what the constitution says.”
The President assured the NWC that competent members with the requisite experience will be invited to contribute their quota to nation-building as heads and chairmen of boards of governmental parastatals and agencies.