President Muhammadu Buhari has thrown his full weight behind the re-arrest of political activist, Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Service, declaring that his planned overthrow of the government will not be tolerated.
The President further likened Sowore to the Boko Haram terrorists who have ignited mayhem in the country’s Northeast under the guise of fighting for a supposed revolution too.
Sowore was re-arrested in a dramatic manner within the court premises a day after he was reluctantly released, on the insistent orders of a court, from 124 days of detention by the DSS for calling out Nigerians for civil unrest.
Following public outcry over the development and worries that Democratic tenets were in danger of peril in the country, the President came out to voice its support for the intelligence service, and explained that national security was at the fulcrum of the case.
Making his position known through his Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, the President stressed that no government would allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing, especially as Sowore was no ordinary citizen expressing his views freely on social media and the internet.
In a statement issued on Sunday morning by Shehu, the president noted that Sowore could just destabilise Nigeria and then flee from the consequences, in manner it said leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, could have done too.
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.
“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.
“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 elections.
“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.”