By Elizabeth Chukwuma
Until his arrest last Saturday by the Department of State Security, DSS, under the close watch of Yusuf Bichi Magaji, in Collaboration with Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of police, IGP, Omoyele Sowore, an activist and a former Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, in the last general election, was not a household name in Nigeria.
The arrest of the Human Rights Activist and Politician, by the DSS with the support of the police has popularized him among Nigerians as fighting for their cause. Given reasons for his arrest and subsequent detention , the DSS, claimed that he was to lead a group ‘’Revolution Now, which slated Monday, August 5, 2019, to organize a mass protest which is a threat to the peace and unity of the country.
The Agency noted that the plot by some self- seeking Nigerians who are sponsoring the group was to cause disaffection , disrupt social and economic activities to hasten the violent overthrow of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC.
Peter Ifunanya, the agency Spokesperson disclosed that no responsible security outfit saddled with the responsibility of managing , curtailing and eliminating threats against national security would sit-by and watch the government being violently overthrown. He noted that Sowore and his group’s threat to the security of the nation include sabotage, subversion, , terrorist activities and to further hasten separatist agitation in the country.
In his own account to justify the arrest and detention of the Politician turned activist, Frank Mba, a Lawyer and Force Spokesperson disclosed that he was arrested based on a video clip which has gone viral showing how how the group had called on called on Nigerians to join the planned revolution march against the Buhari government today, Monday, August 5, 2019.
Given an insider security report on the planned mass protest, Mba, said the organisers of the planned mass protest have the sponsors both within and outside the country. Note that Sowore is the publisher of the United States based Sahara Reporters , an on-line publication. The Force Image maker had Collaborated the claim of his Counterpart in the DSS, when he opined that the Revolution Now call amounts to treasonable felony and terrorism.
The group , going by the reports making the rounds may have planned the mass protest, based on what they described as the ‘’bad governance ‘’, which the DSS and the Police would not take from them.
Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate , who had thrown his weight on Buhari, the APC, Candidate, in the last general election, may have disagreed with with those controlling the Katsina state born Nigerian President security architecture over the arrest of the activist.
An angry Soyinka said there is nothing that Sowore has uttered , written or advocated or embarked on or urging the public to engage in forceful overthrow of the government. Appealing to the DSS and the Police Authorities, to’’ stick to their task of protecting and managing protests, and not attempt to lace their own meaning and declaration of intent on words like revolution’’.
He had made mockery of the DSS and the police deployment of the alarmist expressions such as treason, anarchist, public incitement , terrorism and treasonable felony , in order to rope the politician in, which has’’ so become predictable and banal that they have become meaningless’’ . He may have alluded to the fact that the DSS , which are is keeping the Politician in their Custody with the support of the Force Headquarters have somewhat made a hero out of Sowore among Nigerians.
Femi Falana, a senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, described in different quarters across the country as one the President’s one of arch legal supporters may have lost faith in him over the arrest of Sowore over alleged planned mass protest march by the DSS and the Police
Falana, who could not hide his feelings opined that that protest marches are never treasonable treasonable offences as alleged by the DSS And police Authorities. The legal luminary noted that ‘’It is high time the Federal government restrained the security agencies from further exposing Nigerian to ridicule in the comity of nation’’.
Yinka Oduman, Spokesperson of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural Organisation, said there was no basis for the activist arrest by the security agencies, insisting that ‘’protest is legitimate no matter its catchphrase: ‘’Revolution or mass protest’’.
Many believe that the only way the President could exonerate himself from blame over the arrest of the activist and Human Rights Campaigner , who is currently in DSS Custody is to order for his reasonable and drop all charges against him.
The Value News findings shows that wherever two or three Nigerians are gathered in Lagos and other major Cities in the country , the arrest and detention of Sowore , dominate their talks. It i not surprising why there have been pressure on the government by some weal meaning individuals and other Nigerians using the social media to release the Activist. The DSS officials may not be in a hurry to release because of the fear that the activist supporters might want to take the law into still go ahead with the protest march. The International Community , according to Diplomatic sources to see how the government would handle the Sowore matter before taking a stand.
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