We don’t want another Boko Haram, IPOB - Presidency

By AdvocateNews on 09/12/2019

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The Department of State Services (DSS) is doing its job, the Presidency said on Sunday in its reaction to the agency’s action in the Sowore saga.

There has been angry reactions since Friday when the DSS re-arrested the convener of “RevolutionNow” campaign, Omoyele Sowore, at the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja, barely 24 hours after his release from custody.

The agency accused the activist-turned politician of acts of inimical to the security of the state.

The Presidency described Sowore as “the agitator” who is not just “an ordinary citizen expressing his view freely on social media and internet.”

In a statement by Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, the Presidency said there is every reason for Sowore to be a “person of interest” to the DSS.

The Presidency explained that no government would fold its arms and allow “anybody to openly call for destabilisation of the country” and run away like the leader of the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu did.

The statement reads: ”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, RevolutionNow, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow. No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing.

“Mr. Sowore is no ordinary citizen expressing his views freely on social media and the internet. He was a presidential candidate himself, who ran – and lost – as the flag bearer of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23 general election.

“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.

“Again, it is no surprise that he should be a person of interest to the DSS. Nigeria is already dealing with an insurgency that has left millions of people displaced and desperate in the northeastern region of our country. The Boko Haram militants, who are behind the violence, also fancy themselves to be fighting for some sort of revolution.

“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.”

Sowore’s appearance in court on Friday was for the resumption of his trial over charges of treasonable felony for organising the Revolution Now, which the government saw as an attempt to disrupt the peace in the country.

He was arrested along with Olawale Bakare on August 3, 2019, and despite a federal high court order for them to be released on bail, the DSS kept them in custody, because the appropriate sureties had not come for them.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Friday, a team from the  security service attempted to arrest Sowore at the court premises.

The DSS  denied that it invaded the court room, causing Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu to flee.

It admitted that its men were in the court premises, but accused Sowore’s supporters of acting out  an “orchestrated drama.”

The service spokesman, Dr. Peter Afunanya, in a statement, said,  ”It  was his people who seized him. And from the latest developments, it has become obvious what the intent for such mischief was meant for – simply to serve a propagandist purpose as well as bring the Service to disrepute.” --Nation 

Posted 09/12/2019 06:11:04 AM


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