Change govt via elections not ‘revolution’ – Presidency - THE LIVING GUIDE

Change govt via elections not ‘revolution’ – Presidency

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The Presidency Sunday condemned agitations for revolution by the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, sayingelections were more appropriate for change of government. 

In a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu, the presidency said the days of coups and revolutions in the country were over. 

The statement said ballot box is the only constitutional means of changing government and a president in the country. 

The statement reads: “Following calls circulating on social and digital media, an organisation that calls itself the “Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria” plans a “revolution” march tomorrow, Monday 5th August, with the aim of bringing “regime change” in Nigeria without recourse to a nationwide vote.

“The president of Nigeria and his administration respect and uphold the right of every Nigerian to peaceful protest and civil campaign– whether to raise awareness on issues, and even oppose the government. It is the inalienable right of all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do so.

“There is, however, a difference between peaceful call to protest and incitement for a revolution. The organisation championing this planned action is not fronted by any serious public faces. We call on the sponsors and organisers to have the decency to come forward and make their identity known – out of respect to all Nigerians – so that Nigerians can be fully aware in whose name this “revolution” is being proposed and who the beneficiaries may be.

“Less than six months ago, Nigeria held simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections. Both contests were won resoundingly by President Muhammadu Buhari and his All-Progressives Congress party. The campaign was observed, and results were confirmed by international election monitoring groups and observers. The result was even contested by the losing presidential candidate and his party in Court.

“The ballot box is the only constitutional means of changing government and a president in Nigeria. The days of coups and revolutions are over.

“Those making the “revolution’’ call hide behind the veil of social media modernity. But without revealing the identity of their sponsors this shadowy campaign is no better, and no more democratic, than the days of old.

“The President calls on all those who seek to use and hide behind everyday citizens to attain power through undemocratic and violent means, which has been alluded, to come out clearly and be identified. They should lead their march in person. Only then will they begin to have the right to call themselves leaders before the people of Nigeria.”

DSS speaks

 Meanwhile, the Department of the State Services (DSS) has  said  its operatives arrested  Sowore for crossing the line when he called for revolution against a democratically elected government.
DSS spokesman Peter Afunanya, who confirmed the arrest to journalists Sunday in Abuja, said: “This is to confirm that Omoyele Sowore is with us here at DSS. I want to start by saying that the Service is a responsible organisation operating in a democratic setting and we adhere strictly to the fundamentals, of democracy.

“The DSS as you are aware has the responsibility of protecting and defending the Federal Republic of Nigeria against domestic threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of Nigeria, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to both federal and state law-enforcement organs.
“Our job also involves detection and prevention of crimes against the internal security of Nigeria. The service is also charged with the managing, containing, curtailing and eliminating threats against the national security of Nigeria. These threats include, threats of sabotage, subversion, terrorism and threats against espionage and others.”

On Sowore’s arrest, Afunanya said: “If we are operating as responsible organisation and someone is calling for revolution in Nigeria, there is a problem. Revolution is primarily a revolt, insurgency, forceful takeover of government. In Nigeria, we operate a democracy. Nigeria is not a banana republic and not suddenly be made one. Nigeria is respected in the committee of national, Nigeria is not just the giant of Africa but the pride of Africa.
“The DSS will not just sit down and watch someone with his group of cohorts raise to destabilize Nigeria’s unity, peace, constitutionalism. Whether Sowore is with the DSS or not is not an issue as the answer is in affirmative and emphatic yes and why is he with us? He has crossed the line!

“He has threatened public safety. Sowore has as a matter of fact, threatened the coexistence, social harmony of Nigeria. There is apprehension and anxiety as citizens are worried as to what would happen next.
“The question is, are we supposed to take Sowore in? The answer is yes. Did we act within the confines of the law? The  answer is yes. Are we acting within our mandate? The answer is yes. Are we supposed to do what we did? the answer is yes. Sowore is with us.”
Speaking further he said: “Sowore himself said come tomorrow, there won’t be Nigeria, security services and institutions will cease to exist and all these threats are in public domain. We don’t need to wait for the threats to take place before going into action. We also believe that he is working with some people outside the country to cause confusion, anarchy.”
Afunanya, who called for calm, assured that there would be peace and no revolution in Nigeria.

“I want to use this opportunity to assure law abiding Nigeria, citizens and friends of Nigeria and indeed, people of the world that August 5, 2019; there would be absolute peace in Nigeria, nothing would happen, the government has been democratically elected and there would not be any forceful takeover of government.
“We are calling on all Nigerians and all persons with good conscience to disregard the call for revolution and support the state. We urge people to go about their normal businesses as we want to reiterate that there won’t be any thing like revolution and we will work with all stakeholders to ensure that peace is maintained in the country.
“The DSS would not stand by and watch self serving people take laws into their hands. We will do all in our power to ensure that there is peace in Nigeria tomorrow and beyond.
” If any person who has contested an election and didn’t succeed or feels otherwise, all you need do is to follow the normal process or go back rework your strategy and wait for another election. We will not shy away from our responsibility of protection and the Constitution has said this country is indivisible, indisolable and we all must support in it.”

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