Atiku, AI, others condemn Sowere’s arrest

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Atiku, AI, others condemn Sowere’s arrest

Atiku, AI, others condemn Sowere’s arrest

Former Vice President and the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar condemned the arrest of Omoyele Sowere on his Twitter handle, saying: ‘Freedom of speech is not only constitutionally guaranteed, it is the substructure of our democracy. These kidnappings in the guise of arrests stands condemned. -AA’ Amnesty International’s initial reaction also came via its Twitter handle. It said it “is concerned about the arrest of Omoyele Sowore @YeleSowore by DSS operatives. We urge the authorities to respect his rights and follow due process. If not charged for any offence, he should be released immediately.” Sowore’s fellow activists including Kadaria Ahmed, Chidi Odinkalu, Hajia Aisha Yesufu and Shehu Sani also condemned the arrest. Sani said: “Our democracy is a block of ice floating on warm waters. The sponsored protest and attacks on the @AmnestyNigeria stand condemned. The arrest & detention of @YeleSowore is needless; I join the call for his release.” Sowore himself broke the news of his arrest when he tweeted “DSS invades Sowore’s” at 1.25am on Saturday. He was said to have been driven to the Lagos head office of the DSS, Magodo. SaharaReporters, Sowore’s online outfit, said his phone was forcefully seized before the arrest. “An eyewitness confirming that his phone was forcefully taken from him,” it said in a report. Shortly before his arrest, Sowore had tweeted: “All that is needed for a #Revolution is for the oppressed to choose a date they desire for liberty, not subjected to the approval of the oppressor.” Someone claiming to be Sowore’s driver said the Sahara Reporters publisher was arrested by armed men who “knocked on the door.” The driver who did not give his name said on social media that “I noticed immediately that these knocks were strange. And didn’t open. I looked and I saw men armed to the teeth. “They started forcing their way in like armed robbers. But I knew they were DSS men, knowing fully well the attention RevolutionNow has garnered. Sowore wanted to open at first but I immediately told him who they are. He retreated and like magic, he was not in the room when they forced their way in- 8 of them. “That was when he managed to tweet. By this time, I had been beaten and handcuffed. Phones were snatched from me. An order to block all exits came from the leader when Sowore was not found inside. He was later arrested at the gym in a gestapo manner and dragged after a bit altercation. “I followed them immediately till we got to CMD road around Ketu when one of them came down from the Sienna and corked his gun, threatening to shoot me. I had to escape at that point.”

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