Updated: February 26, 2021
WASHINGTON– Africa’s most populous country may be sliding back into a brutal dictatorship under the administration , a retired Major General who came to power in 2015 promising to crush Boko Haram, kill corruption and revive a dead economy, a human rights coalition warned in a terse statement on Sunday.
The Joint Action Front (JAF), a pro-labour civil society partner of organized Labor in the Labor and Civil Society Coalition (LASCO) was reacting to the arrest and continued detention of Omoyele Sowore, a New York-based activist, publisher and presidential candidate of the African Alliance Congress (AAC).
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The rights group called for the immediate and unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore, adding that opposition should be free to organize activities, including protests.
In a statement sent to TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA in Washington D.C. and signed by Dr. Oladipo Fashina andJAF Chairperson and Secretary respectively, the organization said it “strongly condemns the arrest and continuing detention of Omoyele Sowore and the ongoing systematic repression and decimation of the opposition, as well as the media, in the country by the President Buhari led APC ruling Government”.
It added: “JAF received the report of the brutal and dehumanising arrest of Omoyele Sowore, a frontline radical activist and Presidential Candidate of the African Alliance Congress (AAC) in the 2019 General Elections and the continuing denial by the security operatives, of access to his lawyers, family and comrades and he has remained unjustly and illegally detained.
“Rather than address the legitimate demands of the working people, students and youth as demanded by the Coalition for Revolution (CORE) in its clarion for street protests scheduled for August 5, 2019, the President Buhari led APC deceptive ruling party has intensified political and socio-economic attacks and violence against the poor masses of Nigeria.
“In the run up to the 2015 general elections, when the Buhari-APC appealed to the Nigerian people, with its alleged change-mantra, JAF at a press Conference held on March 9, 2015 cautioned that: “Irrespective of the party that wins the presidential election, the crisis in the economy is bound to continue because the economic agenda of the two major parties (PDP and APC) remains dependent on oil and capitalist policies of privatisation and deregulation. These policies are operated and championed by servants of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose main business is to steal our national wealth for the use of the exploiters in Europe, United States of America, Japan, Asia, etc. These agents cannot defend the working people, the poor and the oppressed anywhere”.
“On the eve of the 2019 General elections, JAF equally stated: “With close to four years of the APC-Buhari Government, what are the prevalences in the polity? The crises in the economy are deepening, manifesting in hike in fuel prices, destruction of the value of the Naira, inflation and high prices of goods and services, rising unemployment and job losses, excruciating poverty, poor power supply and super exploitation of consumers through estimated billing, auctioning of public infrastructure and national assets, arrears of unpaid workers’ salaries, violence and insecurity of life across country, etc. Beyond organizing resistance against all these anti-people policies and impunity in Governance, there is the fundamental issue of what should be done to truly transform the country socio-economically and politically. For us in JAF, we have resolved to continue the mobilisation of all organizations of the working people and the poor masses in Nigeria to join forces towards putting forward A POLITICAL ALTERNATIVE to the Nigerian People”.
“We hereby demand on the anti-people and repressive President Buhari Government to end all forms of repressive measures, illegal and unjust arrest and detention, intolerance and executive recklessness and attacks against dissenting voices, activists and the opposition”.