Twelve members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) were Wednesday arrested in Abuja, Anambra, Oyo, Niger and Kaduna States at the rallies to celebrate workers’ day.
In a statement made available to THISDAY by the General Secretary of the organisation, Mr. Segun Sango, he said while those arrested in Ibadan and Minna had been released, those arrested in Abuja, Anambra and Kaduna were still being detained by the State Security Service (SSS) and the police.
‘Taiwo Hassan Soweto and Odun Eniayekan, were arrested at the Eagle Square in Abuja by SSS operatives and detained at the State House office of the SSS.
“Sadare Dimeji and Sefiu Amusat, were detained in Kaduna by SSS, while Francis Nwapa, was detained at the Anambra State Police Command Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Awka. Abiodun Bamgboye and four others were arrested in Ibadan by SSS,” he said.
While demanding the release of the activists, Sango said they were “arrested for the circulation of the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) leaflet and selling of Socialist Democracy, the paper of DSM, whose contents the security operatives termed ‘seditious’. “The leaflet is critical of monumental corruption and pension fraud and highlights the shameless endorsement of corruption by the Jonathan government with state pardon granted to former Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Dieprieye Alamieyeseigha.’
He alleged that the venues of the rallies were heavily militarised, “under the guise of providing security,”, adding that “in reality, the huge presence of security operatives was primarily to harass and intimidate anybody or groups, who were critical of the government.”
“It is a fact that the Jonathan government and state governments have become highly intolerant of divergent views. Indeed, there is rapid descent into civilian dictatorship by the Jonathan government. This is not unconnected to its growing unpopularity as a result of egregious corruption and anti-poor conducts and policies the government has been characterised with,” he added.