Nigerian activist and Convener of civil society organisation, Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, has hit back at President Muhammadu Buhari for accusing protesters of planning to remove him from office.
The president during a recent interview on Arise TV claimed that the #EndSARS protest in October 2020, organized by youths demanding an end to police brutality and extrajudicial killings, was specifically aimed to bring an end to his administration.
“This question was answered last year when there was the #EndSARS protest. You remember the young people that wanted to march here and remove me?” he told the interviewer.
However, Adeyanju disagreed with the president’s position during an interview on Friday morning on AIT ‘Kakaaki’ programme.
The activist argued that protesters and critics are not Bihari’s enemies but stated that the hypocrites that surround the president in the government are his real enemies.
Adeyanju stated that the June 12 protest by his group would go on as planned but clarified that the protest was not to overthrow the government, noting that only the National Assembly has the powers to remove the President from office.
According to report, Adeyanju urged Buhari, who was “a protester” and “an activist” to respect the fundamental rights of assembly and protest, adding that June 12 signifies a struggle for freedom.
Adeyanju said, “The issues we are protesting against are very germane, they are about insecurity, internet shutdown, we don’t want another increment in fuel price because that is what they are planning. Again, the prices of food in the market is unbelievable.
“If the President of a nation can be saying that people who are were protesting wanted to remove him from office, it calls the question as to the kinds of people advising the President. If you have someone like (the Minister of Justice Abubakar) Malami around, you should expect the worst, you should expect those kinds of things that the President was saying.
“Are we (protesters), parliamentarians? Only the National Assembly can remove the President from office. So, the President should disabuse his mind from that. These sycophants in government are his real enemies, critics are not his enemies.
“We are not criticising to mock the government. We are not protesting because we like to protest; we will like to be in our homes, or our offices…
“The reason why we are doing it (protesting) is because this is the language that Buhari understands.
“He does(referring to protest as the language Buhari understands); when he was speaking yesterday (Thursday), he was speaking from a position of anger. This (protest) is the language he understands, this is the language all politicians understand.
“June 12 signifies struggle for the emancipation of the country. It wasn’t just about the election of MKO Abiola and the struggles thereafter which led to the unfortunate death of Comrade Kudirat Abiola and several others. The essence of choosing June 12 is so that people can relate with the struggle, that the spirit of the struggle is not dead.”
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