The Stop Impunity Nigeria (S.I.N.) campaign notes with regret the descent into lawlessness and anarchy that has become an art of governance in recent times. We recall that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 guarantees the right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of movement to all Nigerians. We further recall that these rights are guaranteed in a multiplicity of domestic and international instruments binding on Nigeria.
In furtherance of these rights, the S.I.N. campaign, Citizens Wealth Platform and Say No Campaign mobilized Nigerians in Abuja for a peace walk against impunity in Public Finance Management. Contrary to civilized conduct and laid down rules of engagement for law enforcement officials, hundreds of Nigerians – with women in the majority – who gathered at the Millennium Park in Abuja were dispersed without warning with heavy teargas. In the process of dispersing the peaceful men and women, one Madam Tule Tatiana sustained serious injuries and has been hospitalized. The police led by a very senior officer claimed to be acting on orders from above to disperse the peace walk. The police tore the banners and posters and chased participants out of the park.
A walk against fiscal impunity has been met with aggravated physical impunity that threatens the lives and limbs of innocent citizens who have been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. A police [force] that turns its guns and arsenals on its employers is not a police [force] fit for a civilised nation, while an administration that fails to allow peaceful display of banners and placards cannot be described as democratic.
Nigerians demand to see the difference between the Jonathan Administration and that of the late dictator, General Sani Abacha. The other day, it was the ASUU demonstration and the Dino Melaye workshop that were dispersed and today, S.I.N. tastes its share of the impunity dose being prescribed by the Jonathan Administration.
S.I.N. therefore demands an unequivocal public apology, compensation and guarantees of non repetition. This is the minimum that reasonable men and women expect.
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Media Rights Agenda