By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja and Lawrence Olaoye
The Department of State Services (DSS) has accused the Sahara Reporters publisher and presidential candidate of the African Action
Congress in the 2019 general elections, Omoyele Sowore of working with ‘foreign actors’ to destabilize Nigeria.
The spokesperson of the DSS, Mr Peter Afunanya made the accusation at a press conference yesterday in Abuja.
The DSS spokesman explained that Sowore was arrested because “he called for a revolution in Nigeria.”
Afunanya added that DSS was “aware of information that Sowore had been in touch with foreign actors to destabilise Nigeria.”
Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, which he intended to hold across the country on Monday, August 5, in protest against alleged bad governance, was arrested at his apartment at 1.25am on Saturday.
The DSS Spokesperson said that Sowore crossed the red line after he called for a revolution over alleged bad governance, insecurity and corruption, among other national issues.
The proposed revolution march instigated by the former Presidential Candidate of AAC Afunanya argued, will threaten public safety, peaceful co-existence and social harmony.
He maintained that the DSS, as a responsible security agency, will not just sit idly and watch any individual, group and their cohorts rise and threaten the peace, unity, and constitutionalism of the country.
While describing revolution as insurgency, revolt, insurrection and forceful takeover of government, Afunanya pointed out that Nigeria is not a Banana Republic and cannot be made one by the likes of Mr. Sowore.
He categorically declared that DSS will not allow self-centered and violence-inclined persons to take law into their own hands.
According to him, “Though there is apprehension and anxiety among citizens already, we wish to assure friends of Nigeria, and other law-abiding citizens, that there will be no revolution of any kind come Monday, August 5, 2019.
“A democratically elected government is in charge, and we cannot allow any person or group to foment chaos or fan the ember of revolution,” he said.
Meanwhile, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called for the immediate and unconditional release of the convener of #Revolutionnow, Mr Omoyele Sowore, who was arrested in the early hours of Saturday by operatives of the Directorate of States Services, DSS.
The arrest of Sowore, who was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, during the last presidential election, is believed to be connected with his recent call for revolutionary protests across the country today.
The rights organisation, in a statement yesterday by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, called on the DSS to respect Sowore’s fundamental human rights, stressing that he must not be subjected to inhuman treatment.
The MURIC reminded the DSS that right to the dignity of the human person is entrenched in Section 34 (b) and (c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended (2011).
The Islamic Rights group, in its statement said, “We call on the DSS to respect Sowore’s Allah-given fundamental human rights. He must not be subjected to inhuman treatment.”
In a related development, the Presidency has said that those wishing to change government should do so through elections instead of embarking on inciting people for revolution.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday counseled an organization called the “Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria” which planned a “revolution” march today with the aim of bringing “regime change” in Nigeria without recourse to a nationwide vote.
He stated that the President and his administration respect and uphold the right of every Nigerian to peaceful protest and civil campaign– whether to raise awareness on issues, and even oppose the government stressing that it is the inalienable right of all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do so.
He, however, cautioned that there must be a difference between peaceful call to protest and incitement for a revolution.
He stated “The organisation championing this planned action is not fronted by any serious public faces. We call on the sponsors and organisers to have the decency to come forward and make their identity known – out of respect to all Nigerians – so that Nigerians can be fully aware in whose name this “revolution” is being proposed and who the beneficiaries may be.”
“The President calls on all those who seek to use and hide behind everyday citizens to attain power through undemocratic and violent means, which has been alluded, to come out clearly and be identified. They should lead their march in person. Only then will they begin to have the right to call themselves leaders before the people of Nigeria.”