The Nigerian Presidency, on Sunday, reacted to the raging debates and harsh reactions that have trailed the arrest and trial of the Convener of ‘Revolution Now’ agitation, Omoyele Sowore.
It said the government and its agencies would not stand asides, fold their arms and watch another latently dangerous agitation, like the Boko Haram terrorism and the Nnamdi Kanu-led Biafran agitation plunge the country deeper into violent crisis.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement made available to newsmen, noted that Mr. Sowore, whom he described as “the agitator”, is not just an “ordinary citizen expressing his views freely on social media and the internet”.
According to him, Sowore, a presidential candidate in the last general election, publisher of one of the most widely read online newspaper, with base in the United States of America, now calling for a revolution to overthrow a democratically elected government, is definitely a person of interest to security agents.
He also pointed out the fact that the Department of State Security (DSS), did not need prompting from the Presidency to carry out its constitutionally assigned responsibility to arrest situations that are potentially threatening to the peace, safety and security of the country anytime it discovers it.
He, however, reiterated that there is no serious government or state in the world that will condone anyone or group that openly calls for its destabilization, adding that Sowore, with his base in New York, USA, had no fear of sharing in the tribulation that will follow the sort of incendiary he champion, as he could easy slip out to the country and leave the rest of the country to bear the consequences of the crisis he must have caused.
“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 faraway 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 statement said.