Nigeria Newspapers Online

Amnesty, Sultan demand Niger protesters’ release

Must Read

Civil society groups, including Amnesty International Nigeria, on Thursday, condemned the arrest of protesters in Minna, Niger State, who took the streets to protest the rising cost of living in the country.

Similarly, the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar lll, demanded the immediate release of the protesters to avoid further provocation of Nigerians.

reports that youths and women in Niger State on Monday took to the streets of Minna, the state capital, to protest what they described as the biting hardship and the rising cost of living in the country.

The protest began when a group of women blocked the Minna-Bida Road at the popular Kpakungu Roundabout, to lament the suffering under the Bola Tinubu government. They were later joined by men and youths stopping vehicles from moving.

However, the Niger State Police Command, on Wednesday, arrested 30-year-old Aisha Jibrin, who led women and youths in the mass protest, alongside 57-year-old Fatima Aliyu, and 43-year-old Fatima Isyaku, and 22 others.

In a statement announcing the arrest of Aisha and her colleagues, the Niger State Police Command’s spokesman, Abiodun Wasiu,   alleged that the protesters were violent protesters, adding that plans were underway to prosecute them.

In a statement on Thursday by its Secretary-General, Prof. Khalid Abubakar-Aliyu, the JNI warned President Bola Tinubu not to trivialise or dismiss the complaints of hunger and economic hardship by Nigerians.

“All those arrested during the protests should be released and future recurrence be avoided through synergy and prompt interventions. This call has become necessary such that citizens would not be further provoked,” the JNI declared.

It insisted that the government must urgently address the food crisis in the country.

The organisation said, “The current trying-time ordinary Nigerians are experiencing, occasioned by food insecurity, inflation, abject poverty and insecurity is distressing and calls for serious redress.

“The JNI, under the leadership of His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, with all sense of responsibility calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to urgently intervene over the difficulties Nigerians are passing through.

“This call is made over the exhilarating pains citizens are airing in both print and electronic media, inclusive of the social media, wherein Minna, Niger State and Lokoja, Kogi State protests and other dissenting concerns being raised.

“In light of the troubling impact of hoarding and inflation on the availability and affordability of essential goods and services, particularly food items, the JNI is therefore compelled to raise its voice on the matter.

“We have been inundated with reports and pleas from ordinary Nigerians, expressing their anguish over the soaring prices of basic necessities.”

Similarly, the Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Mr Isa Sanusi, described the arrest of the protesters by the police Command as “unfortunate, uncalled for, and unacceptable,” adding that citizens had a right to express dissatisfaction over government policies and that the government should rather channel its energy into the improvement of living conditions.

“The action of the government is unfortunate, uncalled for, and unacceptable because the Nigerian authorities have no right whatsoever to arrest anybody. We believe it is the right of the people to express their discontent with the government. And what happened in Niger State is nothing but a peaceful expression of discontent. So, the duty of the government is to make sure that people have the freedom, and the security to do their protest peacefully and to express themselves.

“Protest is not a crime, and instead of trying to harass the protesters, the government should use that energy they are using to harass the protesters, in making sure that the condition of the country improves, the economy is better, and living conditions are better. We believe they should focus more on the economy, instead of harassment of protesters,” Sanusi said.

Similarly, the Chairman of the Centre for Accountability and Open Leadership, Debo Adeniran, said the government should live above excuses, noting that citizens had the right to protest and complain about unfavourable policies of the government.

He added that those who had been arrested should be released unless the police had any evidence of violence or possession of illegal arms and ammunition.

“As long as our welfare is put in jeopardy by policies of the government that were implemented without the input of the majority of the people, then they should expect that people have the right to complain. It does not matter what explanation the government has as to why we are facing the hardship that is ravaging the life of an average Nigerian. They should live above excuses; there is no excuse that is good enough. They should expect that people will protest.”

Nigeria Newspapers Telelgram
Nigerian Gospel Radio
Nigerian Gospel Radio

You may 've missed...

Latest Updates

See More Stories Like This