US Calls On Nigeria To Uphold Tenets Of Democracy
The United States government has urged the government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to respect the independence of the judicial arm of government.
This was said in reaction to the decision of the operatives of the Department of State Services who last Friday, stormed the premises of the Abuja Federal High Court to rearrest Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow protest.
The US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour which operates under the US State Department in a tweet on Saturday evening advised the Federal Government to respect the rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom, saying they represented the key tenets of democracy.
The tweet from its verified handle read, “We are deeply concerned that #Sowore has been re-detained in #Nigeria, shortly after a court ordered he be released on bail. Respect for rule of law, judicial independence, political and media freedom, and due process are key tenets of #democracy.”
However, the Presidency in its reaction to the saga in a statement on Sunday, December 8, through Mallam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to President Buhari, said Sowore is a person of interest to the secret police.
The statement reads as thus; “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.”
“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.”
The Presidential spokesman said no government will allow “anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing.”
The Presidential spokesman added: “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 far-away 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.”