Journalist and activist, Agba Jalingo, has lambasted the Muhammadu Buhari-led government over the arrest of human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore.
According to The PUNCH, Jalingo said Sowore and the other activists locked up since their arrest on New Year’s Eve in Abuja committed no crime for protesting against bad governance.
He said the human rights activist was moved from the Kuje prison to police custody on Tuesday because prison officials were afraid he would revolutionise other inmates at the facility.
Jalingo said the government harasses innocent citizens who demand a better Nigeria but negotiates with Boko Haram members and bandits who slaughter scores of Nigerians at will.
He said, “They arrested him (Sowore) and kept him longer than the statutory number of days and still could not bring up a charge. They are harassing him just like they have been harassing all of us.
“The system is afraid of Sowore. If not so, why are they harassing him? Boko Haram is there, bandits are there and they are negotiating with them. These people are killing up and down but the government is negotiating with them, they are granting them compensation and amnesty. Then, you keep dragging a man that you simply don’t have anything to hold against every day.
“All of us have been shouting, ‘Free Sowore, Free Sowore’, but Sowore is not worried where he is.
“When they took him to Kuje, the authorities in Kuje rejected him because they were afraid that he was going to revolutionise other inmates. So, they protested, they didn’t want to admit him.
“Even when I was in Afokang Prison in Calabar, it was the same thing because of the way the other prisoners were coming to listen to me. Keeping Sowore in the prison will cause more problems for them. That is why today, the court said they should keep him in police custody.”
When asked whether there is any plan for mass action to protest against the detainment of Sowore, Jalingo said, “Let’s wait for what happens on Friday. The court has said they should bring him back on Friday, so we are waiting. He is our leader and we are not going to keep quiet.
“They should just leave him alone. Sowore is not the problem of Nigeria, the problem of Nigeria is those locking him up.”