Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), the umbrella body for Ijaw youths worldwide, has joined millions of Nigerians to demand the immediate and unconditional release of rights activist and convener of #RevolutionNowmovement, Omoyele Sowore.
Sowore, a thorn in the flesh of corrupt government officials and their cronies, was arrested by operatives of Department of State Security Service (DSS) in his hotel room in Lagos on Saturday.
In a statement signed by the President of IYC, Eric Omare, the organisation condemned Sowore's arrest and detention by the DSS, accusing the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government of attempting to suppress dissenting voices against his administration.
The statement said, “Sowore and organisers of the #RevolutionNowhave not committed any crime to warrant their arrest by security forces.
“The Ijaw Youth Council worldwide demands the immediate release of Mr Omoyele Sowore, who was arrested in a commando-style by officers of the Department of State Security in the early hours of Saturday, August 3, 2019 over his planned nationwide protest.
“The IYC considers the arrest as an attempt to suppress dissenting voices in the country.
“There is no democracy without the people having the right to express their dissatisfaction with the way they are governed.
“In the opinion of the IYC, Sowore’s planned protest against persistent killings across the country and the state of governance falls within the right to protest in a democratic society and do not amount to treason in any form.
“We completely disagree with the statements issued by the Department of State Security and the Nigeria Police to the effect that the planned protest is treasonable.
“To the best of our knowledge, Sowore has not called for undemocratic overthrow of government.
“All that the protest calls for is for government to live up to its responsibility to protect lives and property and improve the socio economic conditions of Nigerians.
“The Federal Government must note that trying to suppress voices of dissent in a democracy would only increase the voices of dissent. Release Sowore Omoyele now.”