By Eseoghene Emuke

The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has condemned the arrest of the publisher of Sahara Reporters and leader of ‘Revolution Now’ protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore by the operatives of Department of State Security Service (DSS).

IYC, the umbrella body for Ijaw youths worldwide, demanded that the federal government immediately release Sowore from detention.

In a statement signed by its president, Barr Eric Omare, the youths accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government of attempting to suppress dissenting voices against his administration.

Omare, in the statement made available to WARRI TODAY on Monday, noted that Sowore and organisers of the ‘Revolution Now’ have not committed any crime to warrant their arrest by security forces.

According to it, “The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide has demanded the immediate release of Mr. Sowore Omoyele,  who was arrested in a commando style by officers of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) in the early hours of Saturday, August 3, 2019 over his planned nationwide protest.

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“The IYC considers the arrest as an attempt to suppress dissenting voice in the nation. The right to express dissent is the hallmark of democracy. 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, Mr. Sowore’s planned protest aganist persistent killings all over 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.”

IYC also disagreed with the reasons given by the DSS and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Adamu for the arrest of Sowore and attempt to muzzle the protests aimed to put government at all levels at their toes.

“We completely disagree with the statements issued by the Directorate of State Security and the Nigeria Police to the effect that the planned protest is treasonable. The fact that the planned protest is styled “Revolution” is of no moment. 

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“To the best of our knowledge,  Mr. 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 properties and improve the socio economic conditions of Nigerians, which is the primary responsibility of government as provided for in the 1999 Constitution which President Buhari has sworn to defend and uphold. 

“Therefore, we demand that Mr. Sowore should be released unconditionally without delay. The federal government must note that trying to suppress voices of dissent in democracy would only increase the voices of dissent. Release Sowore Omoyele now!”, the statement further added.


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