By Benjamin Omoike
Members of the #RevolutionNow Movement of Coalition for Revolution, CORE, had a raw deal with men of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, in Lagos, on Wednesday as the security agency violently put down the peaceful protest by the group.
The protesters were clad in their signature orange berets and carried various placards with inscriptions such as ‘Stop Corruption Now’, ‘We want End to Bad Governance’, ‘Insecurity Must Stop’, etc.
Numbering about 1000, they gathered by the popular Computer Village under the bridge at Ikeja roundabout, the state capital, at about 10 am, to protest, according to them, repression by the government, corruption, insecurity, and bad governance, among other complaints, in the country.
According to a spokesperson for the group, “We are here to demand an economy which works for the masses. We want an effective end to Insecurity, we also ask for a stop to corruption in high places. As a group, we equally demand an implementation of the new minimum wage and free, qualitative healthcare for all.”
According to him, many of the group members had suffered untold harassment in the past from security agencies, in the course of carrying out their peaceful protest.
“Many of us were beaten, harassed, hounded and unjustly arrested. But we know that freedom comes only through struggle. Our movement is here to stay because our demands are those of the masses., and in the face of injustice, there must be resistance.
” One year after we were born on August 5, last year, the need for a revolution is even more obvious. The masses continue to suffer severe repression. Incapable of improving the lives of the masses, the ruling elites loot with abandon and inflict more hardship on us. They recycle themselves during elections, leaving no room for real change.”
The group asked Nigerians to step up and stop corruption, repression and exploitation in the country. They claim that their struggle is for ‘system change’, calling on the masses and youths to take action and demand that there should be no increase in electricity tariff and fuel price.
They say Nigerians should fight against increasing cost of living, issues s relating to VAT increment, job cuts and losses; demand end to huge salaries and allowances of public and government officials; cry out for end to Insecurity across the land, among other sundry issues.
The police, who had been on standby at the location, after calling on the peaceful protesters to disperse, without any success, and seeing the crowd that was building up, soon resorted to firing of tear gas, which caused some pandemonium with protesters, journalists and onlookers, scampering for safety, and bringing the protest to an abrupt end.