A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has asked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to immediately order the release of Sahara Reporters’ publisher, Omoyele Sowore, and four other activists who were remanded in the Kuje Correctional Centre on Monday.
According to her, the president should prepare to create additional cells to remand more protesters if he failed to release the five activists immediately.
Ezekwesili mentioned this in an interview with Arise TV on Monday.
As previously reported by RevolutionNow earlier, Sowore and the other activists were arrested on New Year’s Eve in Abuja for holding a protest against bad governance.
Arraigned to the Wuse Magistrate Court in Abuja on Monday by the police, Omoyele Sowore and other comrades were charged on the grounds of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and attempting to incite others. The activists, however, denied the charges.
Reacting to the arrest, Ezekwesili said the activists have the right to protest in a democracy.
Ex-minister said, “There is nowhere we have seen change happen without the resilience of a segment of the population to act regardless of the oppression that may be against it. That is why we must all applaud the resilience of Yele Sowore. Some people are not fair to him in dismissing his advocacy. I don’t dismiss it at all. Every society needs a Yele Sowore and all other groups and movements that consistently advocate for a good society. It will therefore do the president good to ask ‘yele Sowore and other citizens who were arrested to be released.
”Everybody in a democracy has a right to protest. That right of protest can never been taken by anyone. The president should think of establishing many more cells because if he continues to keep Yele Sowore, his speech will mean nothing to anybody. Not as if to say that many people bothered to believe what he was saying because what we have consistently seen over the past five years is a president that says one thing and does an entirely different thing. So if he wants to prove that it is a New Year and that he has turn the corner, then he should allow Yele Sowore and others to come out.
Sowore, who has been declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, was detained for several months in 2019 by the Buhari regime for allegedly calling for a revolution.
He was denied bail several times and even re-arrested inside the Federal High Court. However, he was released after domestic and international pressure in December 2019 on a condition that restricts his movement within the foyers of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.