Okwe Obi, Abuja
Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), has described the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, Publisher of Sahara Reporters, as clandestine, primitive, and accused the current administration of “lacking the frame of mind to tolerate dissenting voice.”
Sowore, was on Saturday whisked away from his home in Lagos, by operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) for planning a nationwide protest tagged ‘revolutionnow’, against the spate of insecurity and bad leadership.
But, HURIWA, in a statement and signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, emphasised the need for the present administration to respect the rights of Nigerians to protest if they feel disenchanted with the scheme of things.
He said: “HIRIWA described the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, leading human rights activist in Lagos, pro-democracy campaigner, who was arrested on Saturday morning at his home as clandestine and primitive has also demanded his immediate release and public apology by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The report that the presidential candidate African Action Congress (AAC) Omoyele Sowore was arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services to thwart the holding of nationwide protests against misgovernance and unprecedented insecurity shows that the current administration lacks the frame of mind to tolerate dissenting voices.”
He continued: “The fundamentals of the practice of constitutional democracy are animated by the protection and promotion of the basic constitutional freedoms of speech and the opening of the civic spaces have raised alarm that since coming to office, President Muhammadu Buhari has adopted anti-democratic postures that constitute grave threats to constitutional democracy.
“Why invade the residence of a citizen in the wee hours of the morning like thieves or kidnappers to whisk away a citizen? This is reminiscent of the dictatorial style if the diabolical military dictatorship of General Sani Abacha which is totally not in consonance with the principle and practice of constitutional democracy.”