16th January, 2012
MURIC CONDEMNS CRACKDOWN ON PROTESTERS
The epicentres of the anti-subsidy protests were unceremoniously invaded by soldiers today (Monday 12th January, 2012). Lagos, Kaduna, Kano and some other cities where the protest against the fuel price hike are most palpable witnessed heavy presence of soldiers on the streets as well as the protest grounds. In an attempt to frustrate protesters from attending anti-subsidy rallies, fierce-looking and heavily armed police and soldiers mounted roadblocks and disallowed protesters from passing through. Soldiers also reportedly fired live ammunition at protesters in some places although reports of casualties are still unconfirmed.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) denounces this naked show of power. Drafting armed soldiers to confront civilians who are merely expressing their displeasure is, to say the least, symptomatic of a dictatorial regime. Protest is a legitimate weapon freely employed in democratic dispensations. Drafting the army out on the streets exposes the ideological poverty of the Jonathan regime. Resorting to the use of brute force against unarmed and peaceful protesters is a bad omen. It moves the Nigerian president close to the pedestal of erstwhile Russian dictator Joseph Stalin to whom "one death is a tragedy, one million a statistic". Whoever drafts out armed soldiers knowing fully well the past atrocities of the Nigerian military is not different from the Sha of Iran, Augustino Pinochet of Chile, Benito Musolini in Italy and, of course, Adolf Hitler of Germany.
MURIC demands the immediate withdrawal of soldiers from the streets. In particular, the military must withdraw from the Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota, Lagos. The occupation of such a monumental place shows how desperate the Jonathan regime has become. This is an assault on the collective freedom of the Nigerian people and wanton display of contempt for the memory of the late human rights activist, Gani Fawehinmi, whom the present president is reaping from the fruits of his struggles.
Dr. Is-haq Akintola,
Is-haq Akintola (Ph.D),
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),
Yahoo Group: groups.yahoo.com/group/muslimrights
Be just Justice is the soul of peace
No one can deny one and have the other
Neither can violence or naked force bring lasting peace