A Public Affairs Analyst and Lawyer, Dele Farotimi, says despite threat to his life he will not stop speaking truth to power in Nigeria.
Farotimi alleged that some powerful personalities in Lagos state were planning to assassinate him due to his radical comments on the EndSARS protest, #Lekkishootings and the proposed reopening of the tollgate.
The Human Rights Activist, who made the allegation on Tuesday, at a press conference in Lagos, disclosed that he had petitioned both the Department of State Security (DSS) and the Lagos State Police Command over the alleged assassination plan against him.
” Nobody can determine when I will die. I have petitioned both the DSS and the Lagos State Police Command. I seek protection from the Nigeria state.
He said that he was passionate speaking for the masses and that he was not into advocacy for the purpose of seeking political position, saying ” I will continue to speak for the masses and the less privileged. If anything happens to me, those I mentioned in my petition should be held responsible ”
Farotimi explained ” When you do what we do, that is , speaking truth to power in a country like Nigeria, you take cognisance of the risk you are taking. Nigeria is a dangerous place to speak truth to power. Speaking truth in Nigeria endanger your life and I doubt there is anyone of radical persuasion who is not aware of the extent of danger that we daily deal with when we open our mouth to speak the truth in Nigeria.
” I have never been under any illusion as to the kind of existential of what stalks anyone who dares to speak the truth to power in Nigeria but this particular experience is a little different . It is one thing to be working with the paranoia with which we work in Nigeria because in this country paranoia is mere a self preservation but when you get to the point where you know that the only thing standing between you and certain death in this country is for you to keep your mouth shut. That is dangerous and we are already in the dangerous place.
” On Monday last week, I was hinted that alot of powerful people are pissed off with me particularly because of what I have been saying about the EndSARS protest, the killings at the Lekki tollgate and the planned reopening of the tollgate plaza . I was aware that I had offended alot of powerful people but by Tuesday, I got a call giving a specific and clear warning.
” Somebody was privy to certain discussions at certain levels. I am not going to disclose the name of my source. I am sufficiently concerned enough to know that this is not one of those empty threat. The threat was specific and names were mentioned. I know one of the persons who was mentioned at the personal level. He is someone I have known for years and it will be stupid to dismiss what I was told and the veracity of what I heard.
” Being confronted with that, I consulted with Mr Ogunlana as the head of the organisation, Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association (RAMNBA) a group I belong. I spoke with a few other friends and we all agreed that given the experiences of Nigeria and late Chief Bola Ige, a former Attorney General of the federation who was allegedly murdered in his bedroom in his own house. Given the fact that we have also witnessed the gruesome murder of Dele Giwa who briefed his lawyer on a Friday and on a Sunday he was bombed. We will all die, that is the only certain thing for all human.
” If anything should happen to me, look no further than the persons I had mentioned in my petition to the DSS and the Nigerian Police”.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association (RAMNBA), Mr Adeshina Ogunlana, said that those who threatened Farotimi were known persons, saying that the organisation don’t make frivolous allegations.
” Those who are threatening Mr Farotimi are known persons and I want to let you know that organisation like ours don’t make frivolous allegations”, said Ogunlana.