Free Sowore Protest Hits Nigerian Mission In New York
Ahead of the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari for the 74th General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA), a group of activists on Thursday, stormed the Nigerian House in New York to protest the continued detention of former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore.
The online newspaper publisher was arrested in August after convening a protest tagged “Revolution Now” in August, which allegedly called for the removal of the government.
A few protesters brandishing various placards calling for his immediate and unconditional release besieged the Nigeria House located on Kudirat Abiola Corner on 2nd Avenue, New York, denouncing the federal government for allegedly clamping Sowore in jail for daring to speak for the people.
Some of the posters they displayed read: “Free Sowore now, free Nigeria from the shackles of Buhari’s incompetence, Sowore, an advocate of the masses, freedom of speech and to protest is my right,” among others.
Spokesman of the group and Executive Director, Nigeria Democratic Liberty Forum
Bukola Oreofe, who addressed the audience, said the federal government was breaching human rights by detaining Sowore, who he observed did no wrong.
He said the former presidential candidate’s supporters would not beg for his release even as he announced the group’s intention to welcome President Buhari with another protest next week Thursday.
According to him, Sowore spoke out because he could no longer sit back while Nigeria with all its potentials drifted into tyranny, fascism and totalitarianism and becoming the poverty capital of the world.
Oreofe added: “The corruption continues because there is enough to go around for everybody but we don’t have enough to go around for the greedy.
“And Nigerians are demanding through Sowore that good governance is the hallmark of democracy, that Nigerians deserve a better life.
“So, we are also insisting now and we are demanding that Omoyele Sowore should be released and should be released now.
“He has to be released unconditionally. Sowore has to be released unconditionally. We are not going to beg because this time we are at the point of no return.
“Sowore understands the people, Sowore is giving voice to the people. Sowore ran in an election which we all know was a sham. It was a case of distributing numbers.
“Yeah, we are humbled by the number they gave Sowore, but that does not mean that Sowore has abdicated his right to be able to speak out for the despondency in Nigeria.
“So, we are here today to demand that Sowore should be released. The Nigerian government as represented here by the Consul General or whosoever is there, we are demanding that all you are doing to Sowore is a breach of his fundamental human right as guaranteed by the United Nations Charter, African Union Charter, EU Charter and the charter of humanity.”
He said it was an “oxymoron” for President Buhari to recycle old and corrupt politicians in his administration while jailing someone like Sowore, an action, which he said was indefensible.
“It is unconscionable and we are insisting that Sowore has to be released and until he is released, we will continue to fight on his behalf,” Oreofe stated.
“On Tuesday, September 24, we will be at the United Nations. We are aware that the President is coming and we will be there in large numbers to be able to speak out and tell Buhari to go back home and fix Nigeria and of course, release Sowore. Enough is enough,” he declared.