Ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar has described the Saturday morning arrest of Mr. Omoyele Sowore as “kidnapping in the guise of arrest.”
Omoyele, publisher of the online medium, Sahara Reporters, who was also the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 2019 General Election, was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services at his home on Saturday.
The politician said the action stands condemned, noting that, “Freedom of speech is not only constitutionally guaranteed, it is the substructure of our democracy.”
Atiku, also the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the same election, stated his view via his verified Twitter handle @atiku on Saturday.
See the tweet:
Freedom of speech is not only constitutionally guaranteed, it is the substructure of our democracy. These kidnappings in the guise of arrests stands condemned. -AA
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) August 3, 2019
Critics of the human rights activist’s arrest believe that the DSS action was predicated on his planned nationwide protests.
Sowore had expressed the intention to spearhead nationwide protests against the Federal Government, tagged ‘#RevolutionNow Days of Rage,’ scheduled for Monday, August 5, 2019.
Late last month, precisely on July 31, Sowore was reportedly barred from delivering a lecture as the guest speaker at an event organised by the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, University of Lagos chapter.
Hi online medium, Sahara Reporters, reported that “The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, UNILAG branch, had invited Sowore as a guest speaker for an academic counselling seminar set to hold at the J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium.
“He was, however, barred abruptly from speaking by the group in a ‘regrettable correspondence…’”
The medium published a letter Sowore purportedly received from the Muslim student body, informing him that he was no longer required to speak at the event.