There was some drama on the national TV, Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme today when the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and the National President of Revolutionary Lawyers Forum, Mr Tope Akinyode, had a heated exchanged concerning the #RevolutionNow protests that held in various parts of the country on Wednesday.
According to Akinyode, who took part in the protests which were disrupted by security operatives, the aim of the demonstrations was to demand good governance, poverty eradication, an end to insecurity and many other issues that the country is facing.
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However, while responding, Adesina described the protests as an irritation and a child’s play.
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He said, “Well, was it really a protest? By my estimation, it just seemed like a child’s play because protests by their very nature are spontaneous things, mass things. These are just a sprinkle of people trying to be funny. As far as I am concerned, it is nothing to worry about.
“A revolution is always a mass thing, not a sprinkle of young boys and girls you saw yesterday in different parts of the country. I think it was just a funny thing to call it a revolution protest.”
When asked if the government determines the seriousness of a protest only by its size, Adesina responded, “Revolution is something that turns the normal order. What happened yesterday, would you call it a revolution?
“It was just an irritation, just an irritation and some people want to cause irritation in the country and what I will say is when things boil over, they boil over because you continue to heat them.”
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However, Akinyode mocked Adesina for having a shallow understanding of the concept of revolution despite being a veteran journalist.
The lawyer said, “We have to forgive Mr. Adesina and the Buhari government for all the things they speak. They don’t understand these things. They are bereft of the fundamental workings of democracy and the rule of law. They don’t know what protest means, they can’t appreciate it
“Buhari is a dictator. He doesn’t obey court orders so he doesn’t know that Nigerians or the people have the right to protest. And this is why Mr. Adesina is continuously talking down on Nigerians, saying it (the protest) was a child’s play and an irritation.”
Akinyode said Buhari’s regime seemed to be dedicated to failure hence its aversion to criticism.
The lawyer wondered why the unarmed protesters were attacked by security men for demanding good governance.
He said, “I am disappointed by the myopic definition that Mr. Adesina gave the word revolution especially being a journalist who should have fundamental knowledge of the English Language. Revolution has many meanings to it. You cannot attach a single meaning to the word.
“For those who have a deficiency in the use of English, revolution can also mean an improvement, an advancement in a system which has a positive long-lasting impact. The demands of the protesters are well articulated. They are engaging the government in its failings – unemployment, insecurity, non-payment of minimum wage of N30,000 and many other things.
“And if the protesters are demanding the removal of the present government, that is constituted, it is a constitutionally guaranteed right. The law allows for impeachment of any validly elected government and for a government that has woefully failed, is it not right for it to resign?”
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Adesina, in a show of displeasure at Akinyode’s response, took offense with Channels Television for pairing him with “such a character”.
He said henceforth, the TV station must let him know who he is up against when next he is invited to a programme.
The spokesman of the President said, “Let me make this point. Channels TV should have been ethical and professional enough to tell me that I was appearing with somebody and then I could decide whether to appear or not to appear.
“The way this young man is talking, if I had a chance, I wouldn’t want to share a platform with him because he is irascible, he is irrational and he doesn’t understand and I could have decided whether to appear with him or not.”
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Akinyode, however, stated that he was a lawyer and a learned individual.
“It is not just the way Mr. Adesina sees it, that I am a young guy. I am a lawyer and I have an understanding of the law. It is a constitutionally guaranteed right of Nigerians to protest. It is the law,” he replied.
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