Nigerians again took to the streets of Abuja on Wednesday to demand immediate release of
journalists and activists imprisoned by the Nigerian government. The protesters, led by Deji
Adeyanju, said authorities should immediately release Omoyele Sowore, Stephen Kefas, Jones
Abiri and other Nigerians held for exercising their rights to free speech and cease further
punitive actions against them.
The protest was disrupted by security forces near the Unity Fountain shortly after it began,
but the protesters said they were able to vent their displeasure.
Mr Sowore was arrested by the State Security Service on August 3 for planning a protest to
demand an end to growing insecurity and economic hardship in the country. Mr Kefas has
been in custody for his social media activism, while Mr Abiri has been on and off SSS custody
Adeyanju said at the rally Wednesday that President Muhammadu Buhari deceived Nigerians
that he had become a “converted democrat” to secure votes, but his activities since becoming
president have shown he has not departed from his brutal past as a military dictator.
Mr Adeyanju said those locked up in different jails by security forces represent the hardship of
Mr Buhari’s “maladministration.” He vowed to hold regular demonstration until all the
“political prisoners of conscience” are set free.
Other activists at the protest said they will not be intimidated by security forces, warning
authorities to brace for an upcoming rise in activism across the country as a way of showing
defiance towards government crackdown.