Ganiat Fawehinmi, Fashina, Others Attacked By Security Operatives


Mrs. Ganiat, wife of the late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, was one of those who fainted after officials of the Nigeria Police attacked a peaceful rally in Lagos on Saturday.

The rally, which was sponsored by the Joint Action Front (JAF), the civil society body affiliated to the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), was primarily organised to remember citizens of the country who were killed by the police during the fuel subsidy protests across the country in January.

The peaceful procession had begun from the Labour House in Yaba area of Lagos and was intended to terminate at the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi Park at Ojota when the police disrupted it.

They were violently dispersed at Maryland with security agents shooting sporadically into the air.

The security agents drawn from the military and the police, sprayed tear gas at the participants of the rally and manhandled most of them resulting in some of them losing consciousness.

Mrs. Fawehinmi had to be revived after the attack while her two sons were arrested. Her son, Barr. Mohammed Fawehinmi, was dragged out of his wheelchair.

Others arrested included the Chairman of the JAF, Dr. Dipo Fashina, the group’s General Secretary, Comrade Abiodun Aremu, Comrade Wale Balogun, Comrade Ayodele Akele and Comrade Tunde Agunbiade.

They were taken to the Alausa Police station and freed after several hours in detention.

Condemning the action of the security operatives in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the United Action for Democracy (UAD), Olawale Salami, after the attack, the group described the disruption of the procession as barbaric and totally uncalled for in a so-called democratic order.

According to UAD, “the attempt by the administration to muffle the voice of the masses in a country already being shaken to its faulty foundations by its actions and in-actions will definitely fail!

“We call for the immediate and unconditional released of all those arrested. The freedom of expression, association and assembly are fundamental rights and infringing on these rights as witnessed today can only lead to calamity for the increasingly unpopular Jonathan administration.

“Let the administration know that this repression of legitimate processes will only strengthen the resolve of Nigerians to struggle against the cruel and inhuman policies of the present government.”

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By Eromosele Ebhomele

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