The Freedom Rally Movement: Freedom From What? Whose freedom? By Jaye Gaskia

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This title is not original, I literally borrowed it from the response of a certain diehard supporter of PMB, who had responded on my wall to one of my Freedom Rally posts with these questions.

Although as is usual for this category of Buhari supporters, it is not enough to ask questions, it is more important to abuse, to haul insults, almost as if they are trying to hide their inexplicable I contrived ignorance behind a wall of insults.

I took my late mother’s advice as I have always hitherto done. I ignored the insults – after all insults don’t kill, and has never led to progress anywhere.
Instead in dutiful obedience to my mother and the lessons of my own cumulative experience, I responded to the questions.

So which freedom? Whose freedom? And freedom from what?
According to the National Bureau of Statistics – NBS, as of the last releases data – composite unemployment – that is combined unemployment and underemployment rates has topped 40%,; while the same composite unemployment rate for Youths – 15 to 35 years of age has topped – 55%.
By government’s own account we have about 13.6 million out of school children.
According relevant UN agencies we are in the top 5 bracket for highest infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate, and under five mortality rate globally.
As for poverty rate, we are not the country with the largest concentration of poor people globally in quantitative terms, topping 90 million persons; poverty rate has also consistently topped 70% in recent years.

Let us add to this insecurity. The security situation in the country continues to deteriorate alarmingly, with more than 3 million people displaced nationwide due to conflict and insecurity, and more than 10 million in need of food aid as a result.
What is more? Banditry, kidnapping and yahoo yahoo have become the surerest alternative livelihoods pathway for countless numbers of youths.

Add to these the flagrant human rights abuses perpetrated by law enforcement and security agencies, with more than 70% of correctional facilities inmates being Awaiting Trial (many of whom have been locked up for much longer than their sentences would have been if they had been tried and convicted), in addition to hundreds in illegal detention being held in DSS facilities across the country – without charge, without notification to their families, without access to representation.

On top of these you have the scores killed extra judicially by security and law enforcement agencies.
The question is how can anyone who has access to these information, to these facts, to these data, entertain any doubts about the failure of governance, and the consequent dire straights that the country is in, or the consequent impact of all of these on the conditions of working, living and existence of citizens?

If you’re a diehard Buhari supporter and you want to help your principal, isn’t the most courageously, honest, and patriotic thing to do, that of asking questions? Asking the question why?
Why is it that inspire of all the investment in improving security,, the security situation is rather deteriorating?

Why is it in spite of all the Social Investment programs, poverty is increasing rather than abating?
Despite the programs of the government, including the Trillions of Naira in special intervention funds – to support state governments; to inject funds into the power sector; to revive the textile sector; to support the aviation sector; why is that in spite of all of these quantum of injection of public investment, unemployment continue to rise, and poverty has continued to deepen?
So, if you want to come at me, and to challenge us, come with facts, not insults.

Is there still anyone who questions why Freedom from poverty, from insecurity, from human rights abuse, from unemployment, from fear and want is necessary? With 19 million housing deficits?

Does anyone still wonder, whose freedom? Freedom for the hundreds in illegal detention, for the tens of thousands awaiting trial, for the more than 90 million living in poverty? For the millions unemployed? For everyone impacted by insecurity?
Need we say more?

The quest for Freedom cannot be defeated or shackled by insults or repression. Ultimately, the victims of failed governance will rise up in resistance; eventually, these resistances will become united under conscious and selfless collective leadership and coordination. And ultimately Freedom Comes to those who struggle courageously, and consciously.

There you have my response!

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