Members of the ‘Revolution Now’ movement, on Monday, stormed the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, headquarters in protest against the purported silence in the face of alleged human rights abuses by agents of the government.
According to them, the silence of the Commission following the Department of State Services’ (DSS) arrest of Omoyele Sowore, one of the conveners of the movement, is a case in point.
While noting that other recent developments in the country are indicative of a departure from democratic practices, they called on the NHRC to rise to its responsibility of protecting Nigeria’s civic space and the rights of citizens.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Mr. Ariyo Atoye, said: “We are even more displeased by your silence in the face of the alarming human rights abuses considering the consistency of such anomaly under the present regime.
“The arrest of Sowore comes after a statement by the IGP of police delimiting all actions of protest by citizens in Abuja to the Unity Fountain only, and additionally restricting the rights of citizens to demonstrate their remonstrances by criminalizing the RevolutionNow protest.
“We believe that these events are not only undemocratic but they are also disgraceful for a country like Nigeria that practices constitutional democracy.
“However, we are completely dissatisfied by the eerie silence of the National Human Rights Commission in the face of these undemocratic developments.
“Our dissatisfaction is further aggravated by the fact that the role of the NHRC in defending the constitutionally guaranteed rights of Nigerians is well-revered and dearly treasured by Nigerians.
“It is, therefore, our hope that the NHRC would wake up from its slumber and rise to its responsibility of defending Nigeria’s civic spaces and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the citizens.”
Withinnigeria reports that members of the revolutionary movement were neither attacked nor harassed by security personnel in the course of their nearly four hours protest at the NHRC headquarters in Abuja.