The Department of State Services (DSS) has explained why it arrested Omoyele Sowore, ex-presidential candidate, saying he threatened the public peace and safety with his planned protest.
On Saturday, agents of the service invaded Sowore’s residence and took him into custody. Before his arrest, he was promoting a protest tagged ‘#RevolutionNow’.
Speaking with journalists on Sunday, Peter Afunaya, DSS spokesman, said Sowore crossed the red-line by calling for a revolution.
He said the secret police would not ‘’just sit idly and watch any individual, group and their cohorts rise and threaten the peace, unity, and constitutionalism of the country’’.
“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,’’ he said.
“A democratically elected government is in charge, and we cannot allow any person or group to foment chaos or fan the ember of revolution.’’
Some Nigerians have spoken against the arrest of Sowore. In a statement, Wole Soyinka described the action of the DSS as a breach of the fundamental rights of the ex-presidential candidate.
‘’Deployment of alarmist expressions such as ‘treason’, ‘anarchist’, ‘public incitement’, etc by security forces have become so predictable and banal that they have become meaningless. Beyond the word ‘revolution, another much mis-used and misunderstood word, nothing that Sowore has uttered, written, or advocated suggests that he is embarking on, or urging the public to engage in a forceful overthrow of government. Nothing that he said to me in private engagement ever remotely approached an intent to destabilise governance or bypass the normal democratic means of changing a government,’’ he said.