The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has described the #RevolutionNow protest which was held in different parts of the country as an ‘irritation.’
It will be recalled that the Department of State Services arrested Olawale Bakare and some co-protesters wearing orange-coloured caps around Olaiya area of Osogbo, Osun State on Wednesday and several others were arrested by the police and the Nigerian Army in Abuja.
Speaking on the incident, Adesina in an interview with Channels TV Sunrise Daily programme on Thursday, said it was funny to call such protest a revolution.
According to him, revolution protests by their nature are meant to turn the normal order.
”What happened yesterday was just an irritation. They are just a sprinkle of people trying to be funny. As far as I am concerned it is nothing to worry abut. When you talk of revolution protests, they are by their very nature, spontaneous things, mass things. These ones were just a sprinkle of people trying to be funny. I think it is just funny to call those sprinkle of young boys and girls we saw in different parts of the country a revolution protest.
”I stand by my statement that what we saw was child’s play. In a country of 200 million people, if you see that sprinkle of people saying they are doing a revolution match then it was like a child’s play,” he said.
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When asked if it was right for the Presidency to talk down on young Nigerians for protesting, Adesina remained adamant, insisting that the protests were nothing but irritation and he had a right to his opinion.
He added, ”Revolution are points well known. it is something that turns the normal order. What happened yesterday was just an irritation.” Furthermore, when he was asked if the government determines how it reacts to protests by the size of people involved, Adesina affirmed, and said the size of the protesters will always matter.
In his words, “Well, it will always matter because if you said it was a revolution, revolutions by definition are quite well known.
“Revolution is something that turns the normal order. What happened yesterday, would you call it a revolution? It was just an irritation, and some people want to cause irritation in the country. What I will say is when things boil over, they boil over because you continue to heat them.
“When you see pockets of heating up in the country, eventually they culminate in a boiling over. So, Nigerians need to know that the country we get is what we use our hands to build.”
According to the spokesman of the President, the issues the protesters were demonstrating about such as insecurity, corruption, poverty, and rights abuse were not peculiar to Nigeria and the protests were therefore misguided.
He said the N-Power programme, which gives unemployed youths temporary jobs and monthly stipends was one of the ways the government was addressing joblessness. Adesina added that the President recognises the problems of the nation but they cannot all be addressed in one fell swoop.
When asked if the clampdown on protests would continue, Adesina said, “The government will do whatever is right, whatever is required to maintain peace.”
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