I Will Remain Undeterred By The Controversial Tactics Of The Current Government – Detained social activist, publisher and politician, Omoyele Sowore, has spoken out from the custody of the State Security Service, telling PREMIUM TIMES he is being held as part of a grand scheme by the Buhari administration to shut down Nigeria’s civic space.
Mr Sowore called a PREMIUM TIMES’ reporter on Thursday afternoon, in a rare move to directly send out a message to the public. It was a message of courage, defiance and hope for both his teeming supporters and the Nigerian downtrodden people.
The Sahara Reporters’ publisher said he would remain undeterred by the controversial tactics of the current government, which have seen him held in perpetual custody against the order of a federal judge.
Mr Sowore, a former student union activist who confronted military regimes and went to jail for it, was arrested in August in connection with his #RevolutionNow campaign — a series of nationwide protests he had planned with other activists to demand a better Nigeria.
The protests were planned to commence on August 5 across 21 towns and cities, with public awareness escalating as the day drew closer.
But suddenly on August 3, armed SSS officers broke into an apartment Mr Sowore was occupying with some of his closest associates in Lagos. He was taken away in the midnight raid that was captured by security cameras. The arrest elicited outrage from Nigerians, with many slamming the SSS’ brutal tactics as yet another state-sponsored violence against unarmed citizens.
Members of the movement also warned that Mr Sowore’s detention — which they deemed illegal and unwarranted — would bolster rather than dampen a wave of resistance to decades of bad governance that many believed had worsened under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Grand plot thwarted – politician
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES from custody, Mr Sowore said the demand for his sureties was an attempt to intimidate them into pulling out.
“Their aim is to intimidate my sureties by subjecting them to undue maltreatment,” Mr Sowore said. “It is part of a grand plot to hold me hostage because they have failed to find anything illegal to pin on me.”“But we know what they want to do and we will not allow it to happen,” he added.
Although the SSS has repeatedly asserted its respect for the Nigerian judicial and the rule of law in general, the agency has a history of repression, violation of citizens’ rights and disobedience of court decisions.
Omoyele Sowore – Social Activist, Publisher, Politician (www.oleakupdate.com)