The Nigerian Presidency says the Department of State Security, DSS, is interested in activist Omoyele Sowore because he declared a revolution aimed at removing President Muhammadu Buhari from office.
A senior presidency official, Garba Shehu, in a release exonerated the presidency from the DSS action. He said Sowore’s “actions and words” had made him “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”, said Shehu.
The Presidency likened Sowore’s call for a revolution to Boko Haram terrorism, stating that the latter “also fancy themselves to be fighting for some sort of revolution.”
“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.”
The rearrest of Sowore had sparked wide criticisms against the Buhari presidency. Many critics accuse the government of human rights abuse, disobedience to court orders, and assault on press freedom.
Also, the United States’ Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour had said it was “deeply worried” about his rearrest after being granted bail.