Security agencies attack, disrupt gathering of Soyinka, others in Lagos

#RevolutionNow Protesters
#RevolutionNow Protesters

An event that was scheduled to draw an urgent attention to Nigeria’s growing social and security crises has been disrupted by security forces, reports said Monday.

The event was planned by the Coalition for Revolution, a political movement led by the detained Nigerian activist, Omoyele Sowore.

Organisers had invited public figures like Wole Soyinka and Femi Falana to help add their voices to the worsening insecurity and a general crackdown on critics of the Buhari government.

But shortly before the event was billed to commence at 11:00 a.m., security agents reportedly stormed the venue and attacked participants and reporters indiscriminately.

A BBC reporter was reportedly taken into custody and made to delete footage in his camera and other multimedia equipment.

Read also: Photos: Pro-govt protesters mobilise to disrupt #RevolutionNow demonstration

The security operatives were reportedly from the police, the State Security Service and the Nigerian military.

Spokespersons for all the agencies did not return requests for comments from PREMIUM TIMES about the development.

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“This is the response of a so-called civilian government to a symposium,” the CORE said in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES. “No wonder the country is sinking deeper into crises.”

The group said any acts of intimidation by security agencies will be resisted and the event would go on as planned at the same venue, The Logos Centre, 46 Ibijoke Street, Oluyole Bus Stop, Oregun, Lagos.

It was unclear whether Mr Soyinka and other major headliners have arrived for the event before the security agencies moved in to frustrate it.

Anthony Kila, a Cambridge professor, was amongst those scheduled to speak at the event. He condemned the disruption in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES.

“I was prepared to speak on insecurity and increasing intolerance towards critics by this regime,” Mr Kila said. “Disrupting such a peaceful gathering of eminent Nigerians means the country is even in a bigger trouble than many preciously realised.”

It comes two weeks after SSS agents violently breached an apartment used by Mr Sowore in Lagos and took him into custody. The Sahara Reporters publisher has remained in custody after theBuhari government claimed his call for a nationwide protest against hardship amounted to terrorism.

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The government has continued to ignore public outcry over Mr Sowore and kept him in custody in an unknown location.

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