Increasing #RevolutionNow protests hurting Obaseki reelection

Increasing #RevolutionNow protests hurting Obaseki reelection

In a massive crackdown on #RevolutionNow protesters across Nigeria on Wednesday, security operatives arrested some protesters. Among them were Agba Jalingo and Olawale Bakare, who had in the past years been held against court orders. The SSS later released some of the detained protesters.

But presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, justified the clampdown, calling the protest “mere child’s play… and an irritation” and describing the protesters as a “sprinkle of people trying to be funny.”

Prior to the protests, another presidential aide, Garba Shehu, had said the plan was “ill-advised.”

Some Nigerians charged back at Mr Adesina, saying he was insensitive to the yearnings of Nigerians. “There is life after 2023,” a commentator wrote on Twitter.

On the heel of the controversy around the sovereignty clause in the Chinese Railway loan to Nigeria, transportation minister, Rotimi Ameachi, said the clause was only an assurance to allow China sue in case Nigeria defaults in repayment, not to cede the nation’s sovereignty to the Asian creditor.

Also, to douse the tension over the suspicions around quest for Chinese loans, the Debt Management Office (DMO) also said Chinese loans constitute “only 3.9 per cent of Nigeria’s public debt stock.”

Meanwhile, social rights group, SERAP, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to publish the details of loans taken by the country since he assumed office in 2015.

In a matter of days, after the Edo State deputy speaker was impeached for declaring support to Osagie Ize-Iyamu, the APC governorship candidate who later received public backing of President Muhammadu Buhari, 17 lawmakers believed to be loyal to Mr Ize-Iyamu’s political godfather, Adams Oshiomhole, controversially impeached the speaker, Francis Okiye. Victor Edoror was sworn in as the new speaker.

A national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, accused Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, of fuelling the crisis in the state assembly. He likened the governor to a dictator who has no regard for the rule of law.

In his reaction, a former vice-president and PDP presidential candidate in 2019, Atiku Abubakar, said “the political development in Edo is a threat to constitutional order.” The U.S. also expressed worries. The electoral umpire INEC also threatened to cancel both Ondo and Edo polls in the event of electoral violence.

To ensure transparency, the electoral umpire, INEC, said it would publish results from polling units during both governorship elections in Edo and Ondo in real time.

Jude Ogbonna

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