Civil Societies Organizations in Delta State have called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Department of State Services to as a matter of urgency release human rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner, Omoyele Sowore, or face the wrath of the masses.
Sowore, who is spearheading a series of nationwide to protest bad governance in Nigeria, had his apartment invaded by operatives of the DSS in the early hours of Saturday.
Condemning in its entirety the arrest of the human rights activist, the Delta State chapter of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and Behind Bar Rights, Initiative (BBI), described the arrest as an infringement on the fundamental human rights of the activist.
Reacting to the arrest, Israel Joe, Delta State secretary of CDHR and Harrison Gwamnishu, founder of BBI, warned that any further delay on the release of Sowore would lead to the mobilization of youths to occupy the state.
Joe said, "It is very painful the level Nigeria has deteriorated to. Nigeria is not in need of a Joshua that will take us to a promised land but we are seriously in need of a Moses that can take us out of wilderness and Sowore has presented himself as a Moses that will take us to the promised land, so, every well-meaning youth must stand behind him to consolidate on these efforts that the man is putting forward to take Nigerians out of the perpetual darkness we are into right now.
"Secondly, the DSS must understand that it is not treason for somebody to air his views on the ground of freedom of speech. If he's calling for a revolution, it is not an armed struggle so we believe in that mind revolution. Sowore is not calling for a revolution to overthrow the government.
"We are fully behind Sowore in this move and we are calling on the DSS to release him unconditionally without any further delay because the Nigerian youth need a Moses to take us out of this wilderness we are in right now.
“The change mantra of the Federal Government is not working, they are old fashioned and such old-fashioned ideas cannot run this our model society. We are sending a strongly worded message to the Federal Government to release Sowore now and change its tactics, if not the revolution is inevitable."
On his part, the founder of Behind Bar Rights Initiative (BBI), Harrison Gwamnishu, said, "Activism doesn't end when an activist dies or captured by the DSS, police and military. It only fuels more activists. Every Nigerian should be able to express their anger and frustration about the mismanagement of their resources or the insecurity in their communities without fear of intimidation. The government must protect that right.”