The Nigeria Police, Nigerian Army and Department of State Services (DSS) operatives on Monday sealed off the venue of a symposium where Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN, and other speakers were billed to speak on democracy ,state repression and insecurity in Nigeria.
Police vehicles were positioned around the venue located at 46 Ibijoke street, Oluyole bus-stop, Oregun, Lagos.
The programme tagged “Democracy, State Repression and the State of insecurity in Nigeria”, was organised by Coalition for Revolution (CORE).
CORE, a group led by the detained 2019 presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore, and its allies, recently vowed to resume protests demanding revolution in Nigeria.
Co-convener of the group, Mr. Olaseni Ajai, had disclosed that, Monday August 19, 2019 has been fixed for the continuation of the protest tagged #RevolutionNow.
Activists and journalists were encouraged to come closer to the venue of the event when Falana arrived and had a discussion with the police officers.
Falana told them that the Commissioner of Police did not have the right to stop a peaceful gathering anywhere in the state.
The leader of the police team, Sodiq Yusuf however told Falana that they were acting on the order of the police commissioner not to allow anyone into the venue in order to avoid violence.
Falana assured them that as long as he is around, there would not be violence, but Yusuf insisted that he must get clearance from his boss first and then after sometimes, he came back to say that the commissioner of police had now permitted them into the venue, but not until after thorough screening of those going inside the venue.
Speaking on the most recent development, a statement by Ajai and Baba Aye, another CORE leader, said, “In the early hours of this morning a combined team of Police, Military, DSS invaded and sealed up the venue of our meeting schedule to hold by 11am this morning being Monday August 19, 2019.
“The owner of the event centre was denied access to his property and his resident staff whereby remains unknown. Innocent bystanders are been harassed and arrested in a gestapo manner.
“This is the response of a so-called civilian government to a symposium. No wonder the country is sinking deeper into crises.
“We remain focused and determined not to let anyone take away our rights. We have paid for the venue and the program is scheduled to start by 11am.
“The whole world needs to see the true face of this government and see the reason why we demand that there must be change. We stand on our grounds.
“Venue of symposium remains ‘The Logos Centre, Ikeja, Lagos’. And we won’t move the venue so we can expose the true colour of this government to the whole world.”