The Nigerian Government has warned citizens to drop plans for a protest on the country’s Democracy Day celebration slated for June 12.
Plans are currently underway by Nigerians including activists and civil society organisations to stage a mass rally on the day slated for Democracy Day to protest the state of the nation, especially the growing insecurity in the country.
But in a statement on Thursday, June 10, 2021, Rauf Aregbesola, Nigeria’s Minister for Interior, announced that the government has declared Monday, June 14 as a public holiday to mark the year’s Democracy Day celebration, and warned that planned agitation may jeopardise the country’s unity .
“As we mark another Democracy Day in the history of our dear country, let us reflect on the efforts of our founding fathers and ensure that Nigeria remains one united and indivisible entity,” Aregbesola said.
“No development can take place in an acrimonious environment,” he said.
Nigerian Government has come under knocks since it announced the suspension of Twitter operations in the country, with Nigerians calling for a mass action against the decision.
The ban came just two days after Twitter had deleted a tweet by Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, considered to be ‘genocidal’ against the Igbo, the dominant ethnic group in the southeast.
In the now-deleted tweet, President Buhari had said his government would deal with suspected separatists attacking government institutions and security formations in “the language they understand,” citing his role as Brigadier-general in the 1967 civil war that claimed two million lives including the breakaway Biafra citizens.
Irked by the statement, Nigerian users reported it to Twitter which said the post violated its rules against inciting violence.
Nigerians have vowed to hold rallies to protest the development.
But the Minister said Nigerians must not engage in “any agitation for the good of all,” saying the country would be a haven of peace, unity and progress if all citizens embrace the spirit of brotherliness.
“With the challenges we face in Nigeria today, I see an opportunity for us not to break up or break down but to break open; open up to ourselves in truth so that we may appreciate each other, understand each other, honour each other and live together in peace and prosperity,” Aregbesola said.
He reiterated the administration’s promise to secure the lives and property of Nigerians and stabilise the economy.
However, over time, the Buhari government has come under fire for bad governance, high-level corruption, and ethnic bigotry, raising calls for secession in the southwest and southeast regions.
Since its transition to a democratic rule in 1999, Nigeria has had to battle with a scourge of corruption and bad governance.
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