Mr Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress, gave reasons on Wednesday why he thought the protests of # RevolutionNow was inadequate.
Oshiomhole said that as much as he endorsed citizens ‘ right to protest under a democracy, such protests need to be well expressed and structured in line to have a direction.
He noted that the convener and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Mr Omoyele Sowore, got it wrong when he planned the protest, having contested in a general election with President Muhammadu Buhari on February 23 and lost. he went further to give the real reason for sowore’s arrest
The APC chairman spoke with reporters after the meeting of the National Working Committee of the party with Buhari ended at the State House in Abuja.
“What was the cause for protests?” Oshiomhole added. Let’s be frank. I’ve even brought a number of protests to this Villa. Anyone who desires to protest should convey the details of his complaints and make particular requirements regarding the alternatives he seeks.
“So, what exactly, as far as you know, members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, that Sowore, the publisher of SaharaReporters, a presidential candidate, cleared by the Independent National Electoral Commission to bid for power, who had the opportunity to ask Nigerians to vote for him, want? Now, Nigerians have voted, the votes have been counted and he was not a favoured candidate; what does he want now? That Nigerians must make him the President?
“Because we all have to be careful; nobody should talk as if we have another country. We have challenges but somehow we have all resolved as a people that the way to power is in the ballot box. Our task as a people is to continue to work to clean up the system so that only Nigerians alone shall determine who governs them at all levels. That, I believe, is a legitimate thing to fight for.
“But if you want to overthrow, you want a revolution, then he should have spared us INEC putting him on the ballot paper.
“I don’t want to speak about it, but I think Nigerians have the right to protest ; I think individuals have the right to challenge problems ; individuals have the right to disagree. I have said many times that government has no right to dictate to individuals how to protest, but you have to say precisely what you want.”
On the purpose of the NWC meeting with Buhari, Oshiomhole said it was to present the financial report of the 2019 polls to Buhari and to brief him fully on the outcome of the elections.
According to him, discussions also centred on the policies of the government for the next four years, especially on how to strengthen the economy and restore the middle class in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Buhari, at the meeting, promised the NWC members that he would be closer to the party this time round and be more conscious of the sacrifices the members made to ensure his re-election.
‘‘I respect the sacrifices you are making; you can only derive satisfaction if you are working for your country and all our people because, materially, nobody can pay you for the sacrifices,” a State House statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted the President as saying.
However, he told the members not to criticise party decisions for the sake of doing so, noting that they must first understand the provisions of the APC constitution.
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole also said the party would establish an institute of progressive studies to teach the members the principal aims and objectives of the APC.
He said, “We also promised our dedication to building the Progressive Studies Research group to the president. People belong to different political parties, they don’t even know the party’s ideology. Some don’t even know the manifestations and don’t have discussions about how suitable or inappropriate those manifestations are.
“And so, we advised the president that we would establish an Advisory committee for Democratic Studies so citizens could know what defines us.”