Nigerians would storm the heavily secure United Nations General Assembly in New York mid September for a massive protest against President Muhammadu Buhari to demand the release of political prisoners, including prominent Nigerian activist and New York-based publisher Omoyele Sowore, a former ally and now fierce critic said in a statement to TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA on Wednesday.
Loudmouthed and blunt Timi Frank, a political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of President Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress disclosed that plans by prominent Nigerians in the diaspora were afoot to stage a massive apolitical protest against Buhari at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slated for 17 September, 2019.
TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA would be covering the UN General Assembly which will be presided over for the first time by a Nigerian professor since his election months ago.
Frank said the protest is to demand the release of all political prisoners under the APC administration and seek freedom for the remaining Chibok girls, and another kidnapped Christian girl Leah Sharibu.
The Chibok girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram on 14 April 2014, and President Buhari vowed he would not sleep unless all of them were released.
But while some of the girls have been freed, many remain missing five years after they were kidnapped and taken to the dreaded Sambisa forest in Nigeria’s northeast along the border with Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The activists would also demand the release of other prominent detained figures, including Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, detained former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, and leader of Shi’ites in Nigeria Ibraheem El Zakzaky.
Sowore was arrested several weeks ago for calling for a social revolution in Nigeria while Dasuki was arrested for allegedly mismanaging security funds meant to combat Boko Haram. His supporters argue that it was a revenge mission by Buhari after he and others removed him from power in 1985. El-Zakzaky was arrested in December 2015 after the army killed many of his followers.
Amnesty International said hundreds of people were killed and buried in mass graves. They were killed by soldiers obeying the orders of the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai who claimed the protesters were obstructing the road, trespassing and trying to kill him.
The Shi’ites rejected those claims and said the government was trying to exterminate them. Tukur and Buhari practice a rival form of Islam and are both from northern Nigeria where religion is as powerful as the air we breathe.
The protesters would also call on Buhari to put a stop to killings by Fulani herdsmen, ensure the respect for the rule of law in Nigeria and provide adequate security for Nigerians.
They would also ask Mr Buhari to stop human rights abuses and ensure that government stops interfering, harassing and intimidating the Nigerian judiciary.
“Other objectives are to put a stop to nepotism in the country, and more importantly, to urge the United States of American to include the Chief of Army Staff and other Nigerian Service Chiefs in the Visa ban already proposed for those that aided the rigging and violence that characterized the 2019 general elections,” Frank said.
Frank said the current administration does not practice democracy and as such does not allow protest in Nigeria.
“We urge all Nigerians in diaspora to come out and protest and the UN General Assembly in New York to make General Buhari understand that Nigeria belongs to all of us. This apolitical protest is to save Nigeria from further destruction by General Buhari whose sole aim is to Islamise Nigeria.
“A protest date will be communicated later, however Nigerians in diaspora should brace up for this mother of all protests as this is an opportunity to let the world know about the plight of Nigeria and Nigerians.
“All regional groups including IPOB, Ohanaeze, Afenifere, etc, in diaspora should take part in this apolitical protest to bring to the knowledge of the world, the sufferings, human right abuses and oppression being meted out to Nigerians by Gen. Buhari.”
The statement also called on the International Community to take note that Gen. Buhari has a pending case in the Presidential Election Petition Court where the legitimacy of his mandate is being challenged and until the judgment is given by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the President should not be addressed as President but as former Military General.
“No world leader will accept or perpetrate the kind of killings, impunity and lawlessness being meted out to Nigerians in Nigeria by General Buhari’s government which does not allow freedom of expression – one of the fundamental human rights of a citizen in any democracy.
“Finally we appeal to Nigerians in diaspora, especially those in USA to come out en-masse and join this forthcoming Save Our Soul protest. Let us show love to our brothers and sisters back home who have been caged and are not allowed to express their views freely.
“Henceforth, Nigerians in diaspora should come out en mass and protest against Gen Buhari and his lackey Yemi Osibanjo in any country they may visit as there is no peace for the wicked.
“#FreeNigeriaprotest is the beginning of rescuing Nigeria from tyranny under General Buhari,” he said.
He further called on Nigerians resident in other parts of the world and who can afford it to make their way to New York during the UNGA to join the protest as no sacrifice is too great to pay for the rescue the country from, tyranny, wickedness and anti-democratic elements now in the saddle of governance.