Professor Wole Soyinka has described as undemocratic attempt by the police to stop the 2face Idibia led demonstration against what the group had declared as the non-performance of the Federal Government.
Early yesterday 2face, giving security concerns, backed out of the planned protests scheduled for Abuja and Lagos simultaneously though the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, comedian, Olesiyetan Lawrence, aka, Seyilaw and a group, Enough is Enough, have vowed to continue with the protests.
The Nobel Laureate in his article published in Sahara Reporters said he had sent his views to the Inspector General of Police through Lagos State Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, stating that he was shocked to learn that the police could issue a statement banning the planned protests, which was a legitimate expression of the right of the people in a democracy.
He said: “The attempt by the police to reverse the hands of the democratic clock is even more appalling at a time when open demonstration is taking place all over the world against the policies of a recently elected President of the United States of America Donald Trump, whose democratic formula allegedly serves as a Nigeria’s adopted model.
“Across numerous state of that federated nation, ongoing at this moment is the public expression of the rejection of a president’s policy that has so pitted the executive against the judiciary. We have heard of no preventive action by the police or arrests of demonstrators.
“Again and again, efforts both under military and civilian orders have been made to stifle the rights to freedom of expression by Nigerian governments- Buhari, Babangida, Obasanjo, Abacha, Jonathan and now again Buhari. These efforts have been and will always be resisted… Nigeria cannot be an exception, not as long as her citizens refuse to accept the designation as second class even third rate citizens…”
He urged the police to respect the constitutional rights of the people and expressed the hope that even at this eleventh hour legality and democratic imperative will prevail…”