Activists have condemned the blockade of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights office on Wednesday in Lagos and also the continued detention of pro-democracy campaigner, Omoyele Sowore.

Makut Macham, a vocal rights activist, said if the government was doing things rightly, it should not be afraid of protests.

He said, “In my opinion, I am surprised that those that benefitted from protests are afraid of protest.

“It is sad to see that in a democratic society, people are being caged for speaking their minds. This is against the principles of democracy and the constitution we hold dearly.

“Why is a man like Sowore that is protesting against bad governance caged and bandits that are killing, kidnapping and destroying lives without sympathy being called for dialogue?

“Nigeria is ours to protect and any form of criticism should be analysed and taken as a fertiliser for national growth. Sowore should be freed without any infringement to his rights.”

Also reacting to the situation, Femi Adeyeye condemned the move, describing it as an embarrassment to democracy and civic engagement.

He said, “The siege by heavily armed security operatives on the office of CDHR is a total embarrassment to democracy and civic engagement by the President Muhammadu Buhari regime and must be condemned by all Nigerians who understand what it costs to resist military rule.

“The much more embarrassing aspect is the fact that the Lagos Police spokesperson said they were there to prevent any breakdown of law and order despite the fact that there were no protests at those places they laid siege on.”

Another activist, Juwon Sanyaolu, described the government's use of force as a sign that it had lost popularity among the people.

He said, “Anyone who has carefully followed the unfortunate trend of tyranny and flagrant disregard for the rule of law over the past four years of Buhari's administration, wouldn't find the siege so surprising.

“The arrest of Sowore, unprecedented intimidation of journalists and all voices of dissent, are evident features of a system at the verge of collapse and a further confirmation that this regime is more than conscious that its anti-poor policies is extremely unpopular among Nigerians.”

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