WITNESS TO TERROR: The Freedom Rally – Matters Arising:  By Jaye Gaskia

Yesterday I wrote about our experience as we organised the Freedom Rally, and presented an analysis of the contradictory processes as they unfolded. Today, let us talk about the implications of what happened yesterday.

But the first place to start is to clarify the emerging narrative being unwittingly woven by the media – the live witnesses to the events, being unwittingly embraced by the populace, and now being dramatically utilised by the emergent neo-fascist elements claiming to be defending a sitting president (PMB) against individual citizens.

The FREEDOM RALLY held yesterday in Abuja Did Not Turn Violent; It Was Instead Violently Attacked by an unruly gang of hired thugs organised in Fascist Militia Formation.
This point is very important, because to report the rally as turning violent is to unwittingly blame the victims of becoming violent, and somehow attribute the violence to them.
It is this kind of narrative that then allows criminal elements, who attacked people on live broadcast, in the presence of security personnel, to continue to walk around and come out openly, again on live TV to announce that they were responsible for the criminal act, and they will continue to protect the President – (PMB) by attacking citizens who disagree with the policies of the government, and organise to voice their demands!

This is dangerous, this is what undermines National Security.
I am a professional – A governance and Development Strategist; A Peace And Security Expert; and I know for certain that dissent, and the organised airing of dissent is not what undermines security.
Instead what undermines security is the failure of governance, the inability of governance to meet the basic needs of citizens, compounded by the outsourcing of law enforcement and security operations to shadowy non state actor militias like the emergent one being led by this Kabiru Ibrahim Dallah, who even has the guts to go on national TV to proudly claim responsibility for the attacks of yesterday, and who then announced that there will be more attacks.
Someone with no inkling of the sacrifices we made to secure the return to democracy, comes out now as a hired gun to make threats capable of scuttling that democracy.
Our sacrifices cannot be in vain, and we shall not allow it be in vain.

If this government is not complicit in this effort to create and foist a fascist militia on our country, bypassing the regular security channels, if the security agencies are not complicit in this crime; then their job has been made easier for them. They can no longer say they do not know who led the thugs. Their leader has come out openly to claim responsibility. The government should do the needful, denounce him and distance itself from him, or leave us with the impression that indeed, he’s their hired gun.

The security agencies should do the needful, arrest those who led and visited mob action on a citizen, even if they claim they are unable to arrest those who violently attacked a peaceful rally!
Before I saw the boastful post of this element, I had intended to write this piece with a focus on identifying the violent militia that attacked the Freedom Rally, but now the self proclaimed leader has publicly announced himself to the world.
The Second narrative that requires clarification is the purpose of the Freedom Rally. We chose Freedom for a reason, it encapsulates and symbolises what we are yearning and struggling for;

Freedom for all those in illegal detention of security agencies – Punch & Premium Times in their investigative reports leave no room for doubt as to the wide spread nature of the practice of illegal detentions;
Freedom for all prisoners of conscience currently being held because of their beliefs;
Freedom from hunger, poverty, and fear for every Nigerian;

An end to the concerted efforts to shrink and conscript the civic space;
A commitment to end Human Rights Abuses, protect the human rights of citizens, and ensure redress for those whose rights have been violated;
And also The commitment to Uphold The Rule Of Law.

So, the Freedom Rally is the beginning of a phase of Freedom Struggles, it includes Freeing Sowore, Jalingo, and others as well.
To conclude let me end by endorsing the irony, paradox and sarcasm expressed in an opinion by my compatriot and comrade, Jiti Ogunye in response to the fascistic attack on the Freedom Rally in Abuja yesterday.

And like I said yesterday, We survived the military juntas of the late 20th century; we shall survive any new emergent despotisms in this early 21st century.

We Are Survivors! Period!

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