Election neurosis has clearly gripped a most insensitive and inept Security apparatus. Inept because the harassment of a journalist is the very worst form of service that can be rendered to their paymasters in a democracy. I presume of course that we are not only under democratic governance but are actually engaged in a process that is supposed to strengthen that condition.

All the signs indicate that the nation is being deceived, and that another extravagant sham is being presented to the world. The action of a Security with regard to Okey Ndibe will be taken as enjoying the full support of the government unless his passport is immediately returned and a severe reprimand meted out to the agency responsible for this violation of the most elementary rights of its citizens. Not only that, they must be instructed that it must never happen again.

The nation is urged to remain vigilant and pro-active in the protection of their citizen rights. These, let us remind ourselves, include freedom of expression, freedom to associate, and freedom of movement. The infringement of any one of these, no matter who is the victim, becomes the collective responsibility of all and must be sternly addressed. A movement towards fascism begins with seemingly innocuous violations. The signs are increasingly ominous but we have been here before.

WOLE SOYINKA
Convener, CITIZEN FORUM 

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