The Coalition for Revolution, a political movement, has demanded the immediate freedom of a group of young Nigerians arrested by the Department of State Services during a peaceful protest organised under the banner of #RevolutionNow Movement.
CORE in a statement by its Co-conveners, Baba Aye and Gbenga Komolafe, said Olawale “Mandate” Bakare and Abiodun Sanusi, were arrested at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Osun State Chapel in Osogbo, during the 5th August peaceful protest, and Oyedele Olatokun, a passer-by arrested by DSS operatives.
The statement reads, “And we also unequivocally condemn the brutalisation of activists who were beaten up during their period of incarceration since Wednesday, by men of the State Security Services at Osogbo. We have been able to secure the release of over 70 CORE activists arrested during the #Augsut5thProtest commemorating the 1st anniversary of the launch of the CORE #RevolutionNow campaign at Abeokuta, Abuja, Lagos and Osogbo.
“We are using this opportunity to thank the array of lawyers who were on hand to support CORE in our collective struggle for a better society, by providing legal aid which made this possible. These include members of the Revolutionary Lawyers Forum (RLF), Radical Mandate Agenda for the Nigeria Bar Association (RAMIMBA) and lawyers of the African Action Congress (AAC) party and the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN).
“In some of the thirteen states where the #RevolutionNow protests took place, the security agencies showed the necessary respect for our democratic rights as citizens to protest. The #August5thProtest took place in 13 states across the federation. While the police and state security services (SSS) personnel did their best to scuttle the protests taking place everywhere. Seeing the determination of our members, in most of these states, they eventually respected our right of way and “provided security to prevent miscreants taking over” as they said, in at least four of these states.
“However, in not less than 6 six states and the Federal Capital Territory, the security agencies acted with brutality in a manner reminiscent of the era of military dictatorship in Nigeria. The SSS command in Osun state is most culpable of this high-handed and brazen contempt for our constitutionally enshrined rights.”
CORE further called on trade unions, civic organisations and all well-meaning Nigerians and people across the world to join in demanding the immediate release of Bakare and Sanusi, whom the group gathered have now been moved to the DSS headquarters in Abuja.