The Southern, Middle Belt and Northern Minorities Forum has asked the Nigerian Government to stop the harassment and intimidation of reknown critics including Omoyele Sowore, who has been restricted to Abuja through a very stringent bail condition in order to break his spirit.
SMBNMF in a statement by its President, Sidney Imohbio, asked the government to immediately let Sowore off the hook without any conditions.
The statement reads, "We call for the immmediate and unconditional release of Mr Omoyele Sowore. It is not certain that Sowore is a victim of political persecution. He is being held under no known law. The state have failed to prove a case of treason against him.
"Nigeria is keeping Sowore as a political prisoner. His outing in the last presidential election inspite of his lack of funds and his dependent on the will of ordinary Nigerians. The government is afraid of his rising profile and his prospect in future elections.
"It appears there is a conscious move to kill SaharaReporters which has become the voice of the toiling masses against a spineless ruling class.”
The group also condemned the third invitation of a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Obadiah Mailafia, by the Department of State Services, saying it was an attempt to intimidate and humiliate him.
It said Mailafia spent over 20 years of his working life abroad as a university teacher, banker and international civil servant with unblemished record.
"We view this latest invitation at a time the court has taken over the process as an assualt on the judiciary. There is no justification for the invitation except it is anothet attempt to intimidate and traumatise the notable leader.
"Sadly, it is in his own fatherland that he is being taunted and subjected to criminal investigation and such extreme political persecution
“It has good reasons to believe that some powerful political forces want to silence Malaifa Obadiah forever, just like they did to Gana Akwaza for standing up to speak the truth,” the statement reads.