By Lawrence Olaoye
The Presidency has said that those wishing to change government should do so through elections instead of embarking on inciting people for revolution.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday counseled an organization called the “Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria” which planned a “revolution” march today with the aim of bringing “regime change” in Nigeria without recourse to a nationwide vote.
He stated that the President 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 stressing that it is the inalienable right of all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do so.
He however cautioned that there must be a difference between peaceful call to protest and incitement for a revolution.
He stated “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.”