Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Anger trails troops’ deployment in Lagos

17 January 2012

• Fashola, ACN, CNPP demand withdrawal

• Soyinka condemns action

• ‘Why crisis was resolved quickly’

“EVERY one of us, or at least majority of us who hold public office danced and sang before these same people when we were seeking their votes. Why should we feel irritated when they sing and dance in protest against what we have done?  For me this is not a matter for the military. The sooner we rethink and rescind this decision the better and stronger our democracy will be.”

With these words yesterday, Governor Babatunde Fashola openly condemned the Federal Government’s deployment of soldiers in Lagos to disrupt the popular protest against removal of petrol subsidy. He called for immediate withdrawal of the troops from the streets.

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, also condemned the deal reached by the government and Labour and the deployment soldiers in Lagos. He said the action was to intimidate the populace.

According to Soyinka, the action is a “gross violation of the rights of citizens to congregate and give expression to whatever grievances bedevil their existence. “We demand the immediate and unconditional removal of these soldiers. Until they are removed, Nigerians as a whole should understand that the present civic action is not over and prepare to mobilise and defend their liberty,” Soyinka said last night in a statement titled “Gross betrayal.”

Others that condemned the deployment of soldiers, which they described as an aberration in a democratic setting, include the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and Campaign for Democracy (CD).

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