Presidency Defends DSS Re-Arrest of Sowore

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  • he says Sowore threatens to unseat Buhari through #revolutionnow protest

The Nigerian Presidency has defended the re-arrest of the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.

The DSS seized Sowore after spending 124 days in detention and re-arrested him at the court premises.

Garba Shehu
Garba Shehu

The action has sparked outrage within and outside the country.

Many Nigerians had accused President Muhammadu Buhari of turning the nation back to his days of dictatorship through the arrest and persecution of dissenting voices.

A US Senator, Robert Menendez had told Buhari that the United States was watching, warning that his action might lead to the reassessment of the relationships between the two countries.

In its defence, the Presidency, through his spokesman, Garba Shehu said on Sunday that Sowore was arrested because of his plans to overthrow Buhari.

He stated that the activist who was a presidential candidate on the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 general election is a person of interest to the secret police.

“The Presidency notes some of the insinuations in the media about the arrest by the Department of State Services (DSS) of the agitator, Omoyele Sowore,” Shehu said in a statement.

“The DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its essential responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution – which was the foundation for the restoration of democracy in our country in 1999.

“However, it should not surprise anyone who has followed his actions and words that Sowore is a person of interest to the DSS. Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.

“He did so on television, and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely-read digital newspaper run from the United States of America.

“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow.”

Shehu likened Sowore with Boko Haram, Nnamdi Kanu who he said were also calling for some sorts of revolution in their ways.

“The Boko Haram militants, who are behind the violence, also fancy themselves to be fighting for some sort of revolution.” Shehu likened Sowore

“He was a presidential candidate himself, who ran – and lost – as the flag bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23 general elections,” Shehu said.

“Nigeria’s democracy was a long time in the making and was achieved after decades of often harsh, military-led overthrows of government: the kind of situation Sowore was advocating.

“To believe in and desire armed revolution is not normal amongst ‘human rights activists’, as Sowore has been incorrectly described.

“Nigeria is already dealing with an insurgency that has left millions of people displaced and desperate in the northeastern region of our country.

“Nigerians do not need another spate of lawlessness and loss of lives all in the name of ‘revolution’, especially not one that is orchestrated by a man who makes his home in faraway New York – and who can easily disappear and leave behind whatever instability he intends to cause, to wit, Nnamdi Kanu. This is a matter for the DSS, acting under its powers.”

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