RevolutionNow protests: Buhari, security agencies under fire

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned violent attacks on #RevolutionNow protesters in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria.

It warned the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to end the use of excessive force against protesters, and allow citizens exercise their human rights.

On Wednesday, the Department of State Service (DSS) arrested Olawale Bakare and some co-protesters wearing orange-coloured caps around Olaiya area of Osogbo, Osun State.

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Several others were arrested by the police and the Nigerian Army in Abuja.

SERAP deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said authorities have violated their obligations under the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

He noted that nobody should be arrested or subjected to ill-treatment simply for taking part in peaceful protests.

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“Rather than suppressing peaceful protests, the authorities ought to protect peaceful protesters and ensure a safe and enabling environment for people to exercise their constitutionally and internationally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

SERAP urged the government and security agencies to immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested.

The rights group demanded investigation of attacks on protesters and identification of culpable agents.

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“Nigerian authorities need to take seriously the protesters’ socio-economic grievances, including by immediately taking measures to genuinely fight grand corruption, and improve access of Nigerians to basic public goods and services”, it added.

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