Saturday, March 2, 2019 8:22 pm
Concerned Nigerians, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) on Saturday rolled out the drums to welcome their coordinator and civil activist, Deji Adeyanju, who regained freedom after 78 days in Kano Prison.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that women, youths and other activists gathered at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, bearing placards with different inscriptions to welcome the activist.
NAN reports that Adeyanju was released from Kano Prison on Friday after a Kano State Magistrate Court granted him bail in the sum of N500,000 and two sureties, in addition to depositing his international passport with the court.
The activist, known for series of face-offs with the Nigeria Police in recent times,was rearrested in December 2018 and charged with culpable homicide.
Mr Raphael Adebayo, who spoke on behalf of the group, said that they decided to welcome and celebrate the activist as a mark of solidarity for his “commitment to a better society.”
“Deji wants a better society and good leadership; and that is why he keeps on speaking against bad leadership at all levels.
“No matter the persecution, he has remained dogged in the struggle, and that is why we have come to celebrate his release,” he said.
Adeyanju, while addressing newsmen, expressed gratitude to the group and other Nigerians, adding that the gesture was a succour he most needed in his struggle for good society.
He, however, lamented that he was being seen as an enemy by the authorities, saying that activism is a part of every civil society.
“I am very grateful, because I will always hold government accountable and speak truth to authority whenever necessary.
“Those who care for their country should always put government on its toes to ensure that it is accountable to those being led.
“I don’t know why government decided to single me out for persecution, but I am very grateful to them because they are making our message for a better country louder,” he said.
Adeyanju, however, debunked claims that his activism was partisan and politically motivated.
He added that Nigeria was bigger than any political or tribal inclination and must be put above individual or sectional interests.
“Those who oppose authorities must not necessarily be a member of any political class, they are just concerned Nigerians who want a better society for everyone.
“Victory is not just about winning election, the greatest victory is about delivering on promises made to the people.
“Whether PDP or APC, whichever party the government in power belongs, we will always criticize authority to ensure an accountable leadership.
“If they are not comfortable with it, let them step outside, because if you cannot stand heat, then vacate the kitchen,” he said.