BEING THE TEXT OF THE PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY THE LEADERSHIP OF THE COALITION FOR REVOLUTION (CORE) ALONGSIDE OTHER NOTABLE PRO-MASSES ORGANISATIONS, ON THE STATE OF THE NATION, REVIEW OF DEVELOPMENTS IN THE LAST 42 DAYS AND THE NEXT LINE OF ACTIONS, ON THIS DAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2019, AT THE CDHR NATIONAL SECRETARIAT, IKEJA, LAGOS.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,
You all are aware of events of the last 42 days, which has greatly undermined our democratic rights with the clamp down of dissenting voices as witnessed with the August 3rd midnight abduction of Comrade Omoyele Sowore, the state’s hostility, brutality and unwarranted detention, meted on peaceful protesters across the country, on 5th of August, attempt at aborting all forms of peaceful gatherings and civil discussions as seen on 19th of August, and the continued detention of Comrades Omoyele Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Abayomi Olawale –Mandate, on phantom charges of treason, by men of the D.S.S without trial.
No doubt, this administration is reverting to the days of siege, with the present re-branding of decree 2, using anti-terrorism act. The Mohammadu Buhari’s administration and the APC leadership have decided to take “our democracy” to an all time low, as it goes on in labeling all critics as terrorists, hanging on them phantom charges of treason, which they are never prepared to pursue but using it to silent opposition and to achieve unlawful detention without trial. This is nothing, but an act of tyranny.
However, the government has continued to display absolute ineptitude, to the myriads of problem confronting us as a nation, which necessitated our 5- basic demands at the beginning of our protest movement on August 5th, 2019.
State of the Nation
On the state of the nation, it must be stated that things are getting worse day by day, coupled with the government’s hard stance in not paying the N30,000 minimum wage. The living condition of an average Nigerian is constantly deteriorating, with total neglect of basic infrastructure, such as:
• Dilapidated roads that brings about man-hour wastages in traffic,
• Lack of electricity supply, which continues to put our domestic, commercial and industrial life on the usage of imported fossil fuel. Causing negative trade balance, reducing personal income of citizens and the ability of local industries to compete favorably.
• Our public education has collapsed, with state and local government not doing enough to ensure quality basic education at the primary and secondary level, while tertiary education is sinking into abysmal failure. As at today, Nigeria is having over 10.5million pupils of age 5-14, who are totally out of school. This is a path towards a future, laden with high crime rate, poverty and hopelessness.
• With the dearth of basic infrastructure, collapsing economy, causing unprecedented level of unemployment- less than 40% of our workforce have something doing, not to talk of being gainfully employed.
• Our youths are fleeing away to known and unknown destinations despite constant reports of harassments, rape, assaults, slavery and dehumanization in foreign lands
• As we can all see, with the xenophobic attacks on our nationals in South Africa, as well as hostilities in other countries of the world, including our West African neighbours, the realities of a failed system as being run by our ruling elites, is becoming clearer to all.
• That Nigeria is being referred to as the poverty capital of the world is no longer an issue, but that we are now being treated with disdain being a Nigerian is a present day reality. This is unfortunate knowing fully the enormous wealth and resources this nation is blessed with
• 90% of the nation’s resources are being squandered by non-working, ruling elite, not up to 1% of the entire population; they feast upon our common patrimony, unleashing cancerous imperialist policies that have continued to keep our citizens in endemic poverty.
• The state of insecurity, with killings and kidnappings across the length and breadth of the country, as well as the continued insurg
encies, are not just worrisome but have gradually eroded the confidence in government’s ability to secure lives and properties.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have all become victims of the vices orchestrated by our greedy ruling elite. We now see anger and anguish everywhere!
No doubt, we cannot continue to fold our arms and continue to do nothing. We cannot continue to stay divided and watch while our society slides deeper into barbarism.
This is why we developed within the past weeks, a much deeper bond with not just component members of the Coalition for Revolution, CORE, but also formed a much deeper bond with traditional human rights organizations, informal trade unions, and pro-masses and change seeking organizations and individuals.
Our Collective Next Line of Action
After due consultations, we all came to the conclusion that the struggle against our society sliding into a banana republic and barbarism is an historic task to be done under a united agenda and programs.
We all will not wait and watch this regime remove all the democratic rights that the Nigerian masses have fought and died for over the years.
On the grounds of this movement against the withdrawal of our fundamental human rights, framing up of activists speaking the truth and halting the slide to deeper chaos in Nigeria, we hereby wish to announce September 18th and October 1st as the next dates of peaceful protests to press home our 5 basic demands listed as follows:
• Ensuring an economy that works for all
• End to systemic corruption and system change
• Democratic end to insurgency and release of all political prisoners
• Actualisation of N30,000 minimum wage, as a starters towards a living wage for all.
• Free qualitative education at all levels and independent students unionism in our tertiary institutions
Also, we are demanding the unconditional release of our 3-comrades;
• Omoyele Sowore (arrested since 3rd of August )
• Agba Jalingo (arrested since 9th of August) and
• Abayomi Olawale aka Mandate (arrested since 5th of August)
They are being held under the newly designed APC and President Mohammed Buhari’s decree 2.
Globally, we are in support of the TakeItBack movement’s massive global protest holding in 5 cities internationally and the UN – Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome and New York.
Dear members of the press, we are stating emphatically that we will continue to protest until the government is ready to ensure better living conditions for the common people of this nation.
We will continue with our protests until government begins to respect the fundamental human rights of each and every one of us
No amount of repression shall cow us; if anything, it will only show the true face of General Muhammed Buhari and a confirmation of our positions.
Thank you all
Olaseni Ajai (Co-convener CORE)