A coalition of former 2019 presidential aspirants and candidates, under the aegis of Third Force Forum, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the Department of State Services to release Omoyele Sowore.
Sowore was abducted on Saturday by operatives of the DSS for organizing a protest, RevolutionNow, against bad governance in Nigeria.
The former presidential aspirants and candidates described the arrest of Sowore as unlawful, positing that he acted within his rights as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.
In a letter to Buhari, a copy of which was obtained by SaharaReporters, the Third Force Forum also urged the president to respect human rights and adhere to international treaties the country subscribed to.
The group said, “We must also remind you, Mr. President, that in addition to the Nigerian Constitution, Nigeria also subscribes to other international treaties, which prohibit violation of human rights of its citizens.
“To refrain from adhering to these national and international rights is to invite anarchy onto the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As you are fully aware, Mr. President, every democratic government that subscribes to the rule of law, has time-tested methods of containing any breach of the peace during peaceful protests; without clamping down on our fundamental rights of 'Freedom of Expression' and to peaceably assemble, in order to address grievances by the government; even when those views expressed are contrary to the views of the current government.”
The forum stated further: “We implore you to immediately order the applicable agencies of the state to immediately release Mr. Omoyele Sowore unconditionally, in order to maintain peace in our country, and to deter further national and international repercussions on this matter.”
The letter to the president was signed by five presidential aspirants and two presidential candidates at the last general election.
They are Dr. SKC Ogbonnia, 2019 presidential aspirant, All Progressives Congress (APC); Hon. Tope Fasua, 2019 presidential candidate, Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP); Hon. Okey Samuel Mbonu, 2019 presidential aspirant, Labour Party (LP); Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikhubese, 2019 presidential aspirant, Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN); Dr. Emmanuel Etim, 2019 presidential candidate, Change Nigeria Party (CNP); Dr. Ayodele O. Favour, 2019 presidential aspirant, Young Progressives Party (YPP); and Hon. Clement Jimbo, 2019 presidential aspirant, Social Democratic Party (SDP).