April 14, 2024

Why protest against hardship failed in Delta – Activist

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Why protest against hardship failed in Delta – Activist

The arrest of a journalist by the army, disagreement among human rights activists, and the confusion that followed led to the cancellation of a planned protest against economic hardship in Warri, Delta State, on Friday.

The failed protest was scheduled to take place at the popular DSC roundabout in Effurun.

Apart from the arrest of Dele Fasan, the South-South Bureau Chief of Galaxy Television, for recording video clips during the planned labour protest, soldiers also whisked away one of the human rights activists to a nearby military barracks.

Some members of the civil society organisations agreed to hold the protest, while others disagreed. Israel Joe led those in favour of the protest, while Kelvin Ejumudo, the National Secretary of the Human Rights Protection Congress, HRPC, led the opposing group.

According to Ejumudo: “While we were at the protest venue, the proponent of the protest, Israel Joe, came here, and we had a one-on-one rift, and he had been taken away by security operatives. His protest is for selfish reasons.

“We don’t want any protest at all because when it happens, people will lose their properties. People will lose their money. I will not condone any idea of protest in this state because, at the moment, Nigeria is volatile.

“Nigerians don’t want food. We want employment. We want our refineries to be functional. We want to produce what we can sell.”

He urged President Bola Tinubu and all 36 state governors, as well as the local government chairmen, to, as a matter of urgency, tackle the hunger in the land.

There was a further twist to the event when soldiers from the Nigerian Army 3 Battalion in Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area, arrested the South-South Bureau Chief of Galaxy Television, Dele Fasan, for recording video clips during a planned labour protest at the popular DSC roundabout in Effurun.

He was reportedly arrested by the soldiers in the presence of a security team comprising the police, led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, DC Operations, Aina Adesola, and operatives of the Navy, DSS, and NSCDC.

Recounting his ordeal, Fasan said: “l was trying to get video clips of the protest scene which was already taken over by security operatives when the overzealous soldiers accosted me.

“The military were not civil at all during the protest. But the police, Navy, DSS, and NSCDC operatives were civil as they all intervened, and I was released.”

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