Green Nigeria Welcomes Maikori’s Release, Calls On Osinbajo, Saraki To Wade In
Green Nigeria, a coalition of young Nigerian professionals on Saturday condemned the arrest of Audu Maikori, a lawyer, Nigerian music industry mogul, youth icon and founding CEO of Chocolate City Group.
A statement issued by the group and signed by Tonye Isokariari described the arrest on trumped up charges of conspiracy and incitement as a clear demonstration of dictatorship in a democracy.
“The arrest of Audu Maikori by men of the Nigeria Police Force on Friday and his subsequent detention by the Police is a clear violation of the principles that govern a democratic society. His arrest represents a new low in Nigeria’s steady decline into the abyss of tyranny, the insensitivity of elected leaders to the plight of the oppressed and the brazen display of abuse of public office and institutions.
“Arresting Maikori for posting on his Facebook page, an incident he later discovered to be inaccurate, and which he retracted and offered a public apology for is tantamount to flogging a dead horse all in an attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
“The choice of Maikori, one of Nigeria’s most vocal youth advocates and one of the country’s most successful self-made entrepreneurs is a sinister ploy at demonization of dissent and an attempt to silence an increasingly vocal generation of young Nigerians. It is spiteful, deplorable and obnoxious that a government that came into office riding on the wave of free speech is now the lead persecutor of citizens over social media comments.
“Green Nigeria as a coalition of young Nigerian professionals uses this medium to call on the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the Senate President Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki in his capacity as the Chairman of the National Assembly to intervene and prevail on all relevant parties involved in Maikori’s arrest in order to forestall any further violence and breakdown of law and order in the Southern Kaduna region and even beyond.
“Meanwhile, we commend ordinary Nigerian citizens who came out in the social media in record numbers within the last 24 hours demanding for Maikori’s release. They are the true symbol of the resilient spirit of the Nigerian citizen against all forms of dictatorship and censorship.
“Finally, government must note that Nigerian youths have a lot to worry about already; unemployment, hunger, poverty and a dysfunctional system that has robbed them of opportunities to thrive and compete with their contemporaries across the world. Arresting, harassing and intimidating them for making social media comments is the last straw that will eventually break the camel’s back”, the group cautioned.