Tinubu: Our protests have been issues based – Free Nigeria Movement

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A group, Free Nigeria Movement, FNM, has said it held 66-days protest against the outcome of the recent presidential election which produced the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC’s candidate, Bola Tinubu, as winner because of their firm believe in justice, equity and fairness.

FNM stated this in a statement signed by the Convener, Dr. Moses Paul, in Abuja, on Friday.

Dr. Paul said the group’s protests have been issues-based, stressing that all they are demanding for was “a better
country, a sustainable future for our children, and their children.”

He said the group has ended its protests, adding that it is now strategizing on other means of getting justice, noting that it can no longer guarantee the safety of members in the face daunting threats and intimidation.

The statement partly read, “When we called for fhe cancellation of the 2023 presidential election, it was not to curry benefits to any presidential candidate, political party, or region. It was to force accountability from the words that rode promises from
the lips of INEC through its chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu. For it is the duty of any responsible citizenry to do so.

“Democracy is not an assemblage of ambiguous rules and impracticable ideas by which society is run. It is a deliberate surrender of the machinery of choice to the people. A people that look away from
this responsibility at any given time, wake up to a world alien to reason and norms.
In the course of over 14 days, we held physical protests in the nation’s capital, Abuja, not as a sport but a proof of our commitment to ensuring that leaders emerge through credible processes. There are no back doors to this. It is either the way or it is not democracy.

“We have also held prayers, press conferences, and virtual protests, all of which form part of our submissions to the United Nations, US Embassy, British High
Commission, ECOWAS and the European Union Delegation. We have also taken our protests to these diplomatic enclaves including the Canadian High Commission Abuja. All while standing on the sands of
threats, intimidation, and an attempted stab attack on our convener. We are aware that one of our leaders lost her job as a result of standing up in defence of Nigeria. She has since taken it in good faith as we hope
and pray for brighter sunshine.

“Also, the recent brutalization of our flag man has raised further concern of
safety for our members. We did not embark on this journey hoping that it would be without scars. We went head in knowing that though scars may stamp out bodies, our hearts will be free of the burden of
silence and that each voice is a country drawn closer to redemption.

“So, yes, we will go again, and again, and again, until Nigeria is free. We will continue to call on the judiciary to stay committed to the idea that is Nigeria. This is the right thing to do. For to be a judge is not to hold a gavel alone. It is to be consistent in justice and in holding high the values of truth. The Presidential Election Petition Court currently sitting in Abuja, provides an opportunity
for the judiciary to redeem itself, to assure Nigerians that it is on their side as the last hope of the common man. And no matter who is pronounced as victor in the proceedings, may such decision come from a transparent process. We must never allow justice to be reduced to an item in a stall. For a society without justice is dead.

“We salute the courage of the media, especially sections of the media who reported our protest. However,
the ample media coverage of the activities of political thugs and hoodlums throughout our protest is disturbing. A healing nation need as fearless, professional, robust, and unbiased media to tell its stories.

It continued, “Our job is not done. However, our job on the streets must now retire as we prepare for next steps. We are not people bound to today, to its glories or follies. We are a people of motion. A people who seek more. Our focus is unshakably Nigerian. Our rules are written by justice. Consequently, the Free Nigeria Movement will no longer participate in any protests or gatherings to contest the outcome of the presidential election of February 25, 2023.

“This is in keeping with our commitment to ensure that no life is lost in our protest. Given the weight of threats and intimidation daily received by our leaders, we can no
longer guarantee the safety of members and therefore call for the cessation of public outings for protests.
We make this announcement today and will send copies to the police and DSS.

“Henceforth, our banners
or placards will not be used in any protests pertaining to the presidential election until further notice. Any sighting of our banner or the likeness of such at any protest, kindly note, is not us. We have done our bit
ensuring the safety of all our members and recording no incident or death.

“Finally, we thank all Nigerians for their support, guidance, courage and for staying within the ideology of our movement on all protest days. We also thank the security agencies especially the FCT Police Command and the Department of Security Services, for their exceptional display of professionalism without which
our talk of security would not be a thing. Your conduct embolden our belief that a new Nigeria is possible.
We implore all comrades to imbibe the new directive as we look forward to announcing new moves soon.”

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