48 hours after DSS’ re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore, the convener of #Revolutionnow protest became a national conversation, the presidency has finally come out to address the issue.

In a statement issued on Sunday, December 8, 2019, and titled, “Sowore: Between Fact and Fiction” the presidency said it should not surprise anyone that the Department of State Service is after Sowore.

The statement explains that the DSS does not necessarily need the permission of the Presidency in all cases to carry out its responsibilities that are laid down in the Nigerian Constitution, adding that by re-arresting Sowore, the department is only acting under its power.

The presidency went on to explain why ‘Sowore is a person of interest to the DSS’.

DSS re-arrests Sowore barely 12 hours after he was released. (Punch)
DSS re-arrests Sowore barely 12 hours after he was released. (Punch)

The statement reads; “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.

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“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.

‘Sowore is not an ordinary Nigerian’

The presidency maintained that no government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing, adding that Sowore is not an ordinary citizen expressing his views freely on social media and the internet.

In February 2019, Omoyele Sowore ran as the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress. (Pulse)
In February 2019, Omoyele Sowore ran as the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress. (Pulse)

“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 elections, presidency continues.

“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”.

Presidency accuses Sowore of planning to destabilize Nigeria

Likening Sowore to Nnamdi Kanu, the presidency alleged that the activist, whose wife and children are in the United States planned to organise #revolutionnow protest to destabilize the country and run back home to his family.

“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 ordeal with the DSS started on Saturday August 3, 2019, when officers of the department stormed his residence at 1 am to arrest him ahead of his planned #Revolutionnow protest.

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