Nigerians woke up on Saturday to the arrest of Sowore, who was taken in a Gestapo manner by operatives of the Department of State Services.
The arrest of Omoyele Sowore by DSS has led to a social uproar in Nigeria.
His arrest is not unconnected to his championing of #RevolutionNow protest in demand of good governance from the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
High profile individuals, as well as civil societies and non-governmental organizations, are calling for his immediate release adding that the constitution of Nigeria permits the right to protest of all Nigerians.
A CSO, Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria, coalition of young Nigerians promoting good governance and citizen engagement, also joined the demand for Sowore’s release.
The CSO also express their demand on Twitter.
EiE said, “The arrest & detention of @YeleSowore by DSS belies Nigeria's supposed commitment to human rights. The protest is a human right! #RevolutionNow #DaysOfRage
“This stifling of citizens' voices is blatant lawlessness & an abuse.
The DSS itself being a creation of the law cannot act above the law that created it.
#FreeSowore #RevolutionNow #DaysOfRage
“The battle for the right of lawful assembly of citizens in any cause, conducted peacefully has been won legally, constitutionally, and even morally.”
The People’s Alternative Front also posited that Sowore has not committed any criminal offence by associating with other Nigerians to hold a peaceful rally.
PAF in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Eze Alloysius read, “Since Nigerians have the fundamental right to protest for and against any of the governments in the country Mr. Sowore has not committed any criminal offence by associating with other Nigerians to hold a peaceful rally against insecurity, unemployment, corruption, etc.
“After all, General Buhari had taken part in public protests against the rigging of the 2003 general election by the Olusegun administration and against insecurity in the country in 2014vunder the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
“Therefore, in demanding for the unconditional release of Mr. Sowore from illegal custody without any further delay we are compelled to urge President Buhari to call the heads of the security agencies to order.”
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) Lagos State Branch also called for the immediate and unconditional release of Sowore adding that if his arrest is because of the planned protest, the government should have waited for wait till the day of the protest.
CDHR stated that a similar revolution by Nigerians led to the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as president in 2015.
Comrade Alex Omotehinse, State Chairman of CDHR said, “We must remind this Buhari Government that the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended gives Sowore or any other Nigerian right to protest and freedom of expression with the right to lawful assembly.
“We need to remind Mr. Buhari what brought him to office maybe he must have forgotten so quickly that it was PEOPLES REVOLUTION from 2014 to 2015 that leads to his emergence as the president of Nigeria.
During the last administration led by his Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Nigerians protested against his government day and night but Jonathan never prevented nor arrested anybody for protesting against his government.
The President must be called to order by the National Assembly and he must know that this is a democratic government, not the military government.
This government has failed Nigerians, therefore, it deserves to be condemned, since returned to civil rule in 1999 Buhari regime has recorded the highest arrest of critics. Buhari government has failed in all ramifications, security of life and property is zero, we can no longer travel safely on our roads, killings everywhere and kidnapping in high rate Boko Haram insurgence are still killing our soldiers and innocent Nigerians in north and herdsmen are killing villagers Buhari and his DSS did not deem it fit to address that, but they are most concern about innocent citizen that are complaining.”