President Buhari Must Release Sowore Now!- Premium Times

On Friday, September 20, the federal government charged Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 general elections, with treason and money-laundering.

This is sequel to his arrest and detention for the past 45 days for having planned a series of protest marches against the state of the nation under the Buhari administration. This is an ominous sign. Opposition to the government of the day is not treason, however conceived. The additional claim that Mr. Sowore “insulted” the president would make the whole episode laughable, were the liberty and freedom of speech of a citizen not at stake. Nigerians asserted and exercised the right to protest against successive military dictators, including Buhari, in his earlier incarnation as head of state, and that right does not become dormant under civilian rule. The government is doing itself a disservice by infringing this right by way of these ridiculous charges.

Since Sowore’s arrest at his hotel in Lagos on August 3 by operatives of the SSS, two days before #RevolutionNow, a planned protest that he was spearheading and until formal charges were filed on Friday, the government had put out one ridiculous “explanation” or another, none convincing, for the arrest and continued detention of this political activist and engaged citizen. As a matter of fact, many have speculated that the latest charges were a last-minute attempt to hold Mr. Sowore beyond the 45-day limit set on keeping political detainees in custody without trial.

Mr. Sowore is certainly not the only victim of the Buhari administration’s highhandedness. Several citizens, including Ahmed Dadiyata, the journalist Jones Abiri, and others have fallen on the wrong side of this government’s definition of conduct it deems offensive and, therefore, illegal. We wonder what has become of Buhari’s vaunted claim of being a “reborn democrat” on the campaign trail.

Mr. Sowore’s arrest and now arraignment is the latest instance of this government’s growing intolerance of criticism and brazen violations of citizens’ rights and liberties.

PREMIUM TIMES asserts that Mr. Sowore is a patriot and a passionate crusader for justice, whose commitments to Nigeria are not in doubt. Since his days as a students’ union leader at the University of Lagos in the mid-1990s, Mr. Sowore has put his immense gifts for organisation and mobilisation at the service of the disenfranchised in the country, including those of latter-day “democrats” like Mr. Buhari.

From his work as an organiser among US-based Nigerian pro-democracy groups to the founding of the citizen-journalism platform, SaharaReporters, to his recent exertions as a politician, Mr. Sowore has maintained a commitment to improving Nigeria’s civic values.

Is Sowore paying for remaining at the forefront of the struggle for a better Nigeria, displaying the courage of his conviction in a steadfast, fearless, truth-telling, and progressively influential way, while other challengers to Buhari’s presidency during the 2019 elections have either made their peace with things as they are or returned to their private businesses?

PREMIUM TIMES believes that the administration adds nothing to the legal merits in its case against Mr. Sowore by proposing an imprudent charge of “insulting the president,” a funny retort unknown to the laws of our country. The hint is therefore difficult to dispel that, adding its serial disobedience of court orders, the increasing side-stepping of protocols that strengthen democratic norms, plus Mr. Buhari’s own record of contempt for democratic preferences in the 1980s, President Buhari’s administration is now embarking on a steady march towards authoritarianism and the undermining of citizens’ constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedoms of assembly, speech and protest.

Mr. Sowore is a patriot and a genuine, compassionate defender of the freedoms that Nigerians are entitled to enjoy. His current ordeal is totally unwarranted. We call on the government to stop the persecution of this exemplary citizen, to release him from detention, and vacate all the charges against him.

PREMIUM TIMES calls on all Nigerian citizens and democrats to stand up and resist the creeping dictatorship emerging in our country.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Some more Related News you might be interested in....

Stephanie Coker speaks about IVF journey, husband’s contribution

Stephaniecoker

Nollywood actress Stephanie Coker-Aderinokun, who revealed that she had her child through In Vitro Fertilization, IVF has stated the reason for making her story public. According to the new mum, “My vlog, ‘African and Pregnant’ is a four-part docu-series that follows my pregnancy journey. During my procedure, I did a lot of research about IVF,” […] Read more

Olakunle Churchill Declares Undying Love for Rosy Meurer on her birthday -‘You are an Extension of me’

OlakunleChurchhillandRosyMeurer

Nollywood actress, Rosy Meurer turned a year older today, and entrepreneur Olakunle Churchill took to Instagram to pen a heartfelt message as he celebrated her birthday.  Rosy Meurer Sharing stunning photos of the actress to his Instagram page, the ex-husband of Tonto Dikeh wrote:   @rosymeurer Through your years of growing up, I have observed your inclinations […] Read more

Bishop Frowns at Funke Akindele and siblings for Shunning their Dad’s burial

funkeakindeledadnews

According to the Bishop of Methodist Church Nigeria, Diocese of Ikorodu, Rt. Rev Samson Osundina, he is utter disappointment in Nollywood actress Funke Akindele Bello and her siblings over their absence at their father’s funeral. Funke Akindele and her late Dad It was gathered that their dad, Revd. Godwin Olusoji Akindele, who died on Saturday, […] Read more

Outrage as Oscars Disqualifies Genevieve’s LionHeart For Having Too Much English

GenevieveLionheart

Genevieve’s Lionheart, Nigeria’s submission for the Oscars, has been disqualified by the Oscars Board for having “too much English in it,”. According to The Wrap, Nigeria’s Lionheart has been disqualified from the 92nd Academy Awards race. The film, directed by and starring Genevieve Nnaji, was vying for a spot in the Best International Feature Film […] Read more

G-Worldwide Slams Kizz Daniel with a N500M Lawsuit

Kizz Daniel

Nigerian singer, Kizz Daniel embroiled in a contractual dispute with his then-record label, G Worldwide has taken another ugly turn. The issue was his desire to breach the terms of his contract and exit the label without fulfilling the terms of his contract. As a result of the dispute, an injunction prevented him from performing […] Read more

Davido Splash N36 million On Customized Jewelry for Zlatan

Davido 30BG

Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer, David Adedeji Adeleke aka Davido, splash the sum of $100K (N36million) to purchase customised jewelries for Zlatan Ibile, Skibii and seven other members of his 30BG (30billion gang). The singer rewarded the Nigerian rapper, songwriter and dancer Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael aka Zlatan Ibile, who is also in the United […] Read more

// End of script for the slider