Published On: Mon, Aug 5th, 2019

RevolutionNow March: Buhari Hails Poor Turnout, Says Winner Is Democracy

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#RevolutionNow protesters in Lagos

By Sadiq Umar – The Presidency has expressed excitement over the low turnout of Nigerians for the protest convened by the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, describing it as “victory for democracy.”

Elated President Muhammadu Buhari thanked Nigerians, saying they deliberately ignored calls on social media to join a ‘phantom revolution’.

“The Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria’s attempt to incite citizens into a revolution against their own democratic rights and interests has failed – as will all attempts to take away from the people their hard-won rights and freedom to choose who leads their country,’’ the president said in a statement by spokesman, Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday.

The group had called for a nationwide mass protest against Mr. Buhari’s government, citing infidelity to minimum wage policy, poor governance among others.

Chief convener of the group and former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore was arrested at midnight eve of the mass protest by Nigeria’s secret police, the State Security Service

Mr. Shehu stated that Mr. Buhari “was humbled by the support, not for himself, or the governing party – but for the democratic values of modern-day Nigeria.”

He, however, acknowledged that there were few hundred persons, who for their own reasons, decided to engage on the protest march against national interest.

The statement read in parts: “Today, millions of Nigerians went about their businesses: work, seeking employment, attending school/college and caring for their families.

“By doing so, the millions defended our country’s hard-won democratic rights – by ignoring calls on social media to join a phantom ‘revolution’.

“There were a few hundred persons today who, for their own reasons, decided to act upon the demands of a group calling itself Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, which went on social media to ask everyday Nigerians to overthrow the government they only elected some six months ago.

“The President is humbled by the support – not for himself, or the governing party – but for the democratic values of modern-day Nigeria through the wisdom of those millions of citizens who preferred democracy and decided not to undermine an elected government.

“Today, joining those millions of Nigerians was not only the President and governing party at federal level, but many state governments from the opposition, trade unions, civil society organisations, media and NGOs with focus on freedom of speech.

“All have, rightly, united in protecting Nigeria’s young democracy and the rights of all to elect leaders and lawmakers.

“The Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria’s attempt to incite citizens into a revolution against their own democratic rights and interests has failed – as will all attempts to take away from the people their hard-won rights and freedom to choose who leads their country.’’

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