The statement issued in Benin reads ‘We the undersigned Human Rights
Community in Edo State condemned in very strong terms the
commando-like style arrest of a prominent Human Rights Activist
“Marxist Kola Edokpayi” at instigation of the Commissioner of Police,
Edo State, C.P Haliru Gwandu.
We further condemn the spurious and orchestrated Charge that Marxist
Kola Edokpayi had instigated the invasion of Nigeria with a group of
intellectuals some of who are foreigners to invade the NPDC office in
Benin City, Edo State Government House Complex, Edo State House of
Assembly with a threat to use the military wing of the Benin
Solidarity Movement to lunch attack on Uroho, Obayantor, Ajoki,
Kolokolo, Ajemongha, Abiola, Ajakitou and Ikara Oil Producing
Communities all in Edo State.
_We now hereby state as follows:__
(1) That Marxist Kola Edokpayi is a foremost Civil/Human Rights
Activist whose contributions to the social movement in Nigeria is
Evident in the numerous interventions in human rights issues and in
defense of the poor and vulnerable in our Society.
(2) That this arrest of Marxist Kola Edokpayi is the latest in the
efforts of the political establishments using security agencies to
emasculate the social movement in Edo State.
(3) That the Civil/Human rights Community in Edo State believes in the
rule of law and the inviolability of the rights of the average Edo
person and we continue to agitate and engage authorities for it
4) That the demand for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is
globally accepted as the norm in the quest for the overall sustainable
development, equity and justice and such demand cannot be criminalized
under the guise of treason.
5) That the arrest of Marxist Kola Edokpayi cannot be unconnected with
the proposed meeting of the Civil Society Community in Edo State
scheduled for Wednesday 17th May, 2017 with the main agenda: Curbing
the oppressive and extortive tendencies of the Police in Edo State and
a proposed mass action.
Meanwhile, we hereby resolve to vehemently insist on the triumph of
the rule of law which we have always upheld and canvassed.
We accordingly urge the Edo State Government, the Inspector General of
Police to urgently call the Edo State Commissioner of Police to order
so as to discourage the culture of impunity and the resort to self
help in Edo State and further implore them to take responsibility for
the continued safety of Marxist Kola Edokpayi, his family and other
human rights activists that are currently under harassment and
Rev. David Ugolor, African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ)
Comrade Austin Osakue, Foundation for Good Governance and Social Change.
Rev. Olu Martins, Canvassers for Democracy and Rule of Law.
Abraham Oviawe Esq., Network of Civil Society Organizations of Nigeria (NOCSON)