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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Sowore: U.S. to Buhari: America is watching, the world is watching

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… it’s unacceptable, U.S relations with Nigeria may be reassessed in light of these events

 

“The United States is watching and the world is watching,” an American Senator and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez, has said.

He spoke against the backdrop of forceful rearrest of the convener of the #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, in the courtroom on Friday in Abuja by armed operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The operatives had rearrested Sowore and Olawale Bakare, his co-defendant, at the Federal High Court less than 24 hours after they were released on the orders of the court weeks after meeting their bail conditions.

Alarmed by the development, Prof. Wole Soyinka, described the operatives and their modus operandi as “African wild dogs on a pack hunt.’’

He asked Buhari to “rein in his wild dogs of disobedience’’, and warned that disobedience on the part of the government calls for civil disobedience.

The U.S. senator accusing the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of repression and oppression of citizens, said: “I fear that the blatant harassment of Mr Omoyele Sowore, an activist and journalist whose only crime appears to be exercising his right to free expression, is becoming symptomatic of increasingly closing political and civic space in Nigeria.

Menendez said it seemed President Muhammadu Buhari is not aware of what the secret police is “doing in his name”.

“The Nigerian court has twice ordered his release on bail. And the state security agencies openly defied the court order each time leaving me to conclude that either Nigeria no longer respects the rule of law or President Buhari is woefully out of touch with what agents of his governments are doing in his name.

“This is unacceptable in a country that calls itself a democracy. Journalists who risk their lives to expose the truth should be celebrated, not incarcerated.

“It is unacceptable to that the husband and father of a US citizen with such blatant cruelty. Today, my office contacted our ambassador in Nigeria in an effort to obtain answers on what actions the United States is taking on the Sowore family’s behalf.

“In the next several days, I’ll continue to engage with the states department in Washington to ascertain the impart of what the arrest of Mr Sowore and other activists and journalists will have on our relationship with Nigeria.

“My hope is that the bilateral relationship we have with Nigeria will be reassessed in light of these events,” Menendez said in a statement.

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