Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on email@example.com
Under the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, a radical former military dictator turned democrat, Nigerian security forces are planning to kill Omoyele Sowore, a New York-based journalist and publisher locked up since August this year, his publication alleged in a report on Thursday citing anonymous sources.
The scary allegation has not been independently confirmed by TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA.
Mr. Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters news agency, is a Christian from Southwest Nigeria while President Muhammadu Buhari is a Muslim from northern Nigeria.
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Sowore opposed Buhari in the last presidential elections and lost but raised concerns about serious irregularities allegedly perpetrated by Buhari and his ruling All Progressives Congress.
He was arrested in August for organizing street protests known as “Revolution Now”, and charged with felony, money laundering and cyber stalking.
The protests, he explained, were a social revolution to bring about change in a country rich in mineral and human resources but full of poverty and official corruption.
Sowore has been granted bail twice and despite meeting his bail conditions, security agencies have refused to release him.
On Thursday, his publication alleged that security forces do not want to see him leave alive. In effect, they would like him locked up or dead.
Read their report below.
Sahara Reporters: DSS Doesn’t Want Sowore Out Of Detention Alive -Sources
*DG under intense pressure, wants to negotiate with Sowore
“We’re making him feel comfortable. You can ask Mr. Sowore yourself,” a reliable source at the Department of State Services office who is familiar with the detention of pro-democracy activist, Omoyele Sowore, quoted a top DSS operative as saying.
“They claimed that they have even allowed Sowore to hold meetings with his visitors any time he wanted to,” said one of the sources who spoke with SaharaReporters on Thursday morning.
But he expressed grave concerns regarding Sowore’s safety and freedom.
According to him, the DSS working in cahoots with the President Muhammadu Buhari presidency will not let Sowore and his co-pro-democracy campaigner, Olawale Bakare, out of its detention facility.
“Here’s the bad news: the Buhari regime with the connivance of the DSS don’t want Sowore released. They see him as a thorn in their flesh.
“Their ultimate intention is to give him the Sambo Dasuki and Ibraheem El-Zakzaky treatment. You know what that means?
“They want to keep Sowore in detention for as long as possible,” the source told SaharaReporters.
The democracy crusader and publisher of SaharaReporters has been in, what many Nigerians regard as, illegal detention for more than one hundred days since he was abducted at his hotel apartment on August 3.
Meanwhile, the DSS has repeatedly flouted court judgments ordering his release.
Buhari and his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who swore to defend the rights of Nigerians have kept mum over continued flagrant violation of Sowore’s detention.
Many public commentators said the case was that of “hand of Esau, voice of Jacob”.
They warned of darker days in the country reminiscent of Buhari’s 1984 dictatorship.
Buhari, had in his infamous inaugural speech in 2015 told Nigerians, “I belong to nobody; I belong to everybody.”
His critics say the president is acting just as he had suggested in the speech. He will not tolerate insults from anybody -one of the charges the DSS levelled against Sowore.
“Here’s the worst news,” the source continued, “they don’t want, if possible, for Mr. Sowore to walk out of detention alive.”
Another source who has intimate knowledge of the operations of the DSS and has ears in the agency explained, “I can tell you authoritatively that they’re currently doing everything possible to make life ‘comfortable’ for Mr. Sowore in detention.
“He has been provided with a TV to watch. In fact, they have given Mr. Sowore a telephone loaded with call credit to talk to his people.”
Those were booby traps, the source told SaharaReporters.
“You must get the message to your boss that he shouldn’t fall for the trap,” he explained.
“Their seeming kindness to make him feel comfortable in detention is a small episode of a larger clandestine drama about to play out. Buhari doesn’t care about local and international outcry. His goons at the DSS aren’t bothered too.
“Pray for Mr. Sowore’s safe return,” the source said with concern. “They don’t want him to come in one piece -alive.
Meanwhile, SaharaReporters can exclusively confirm that the DSS is jittery and under intense pressure to release Sowore.
Another authoritative source within the DSS told SaharaReporters on Thursday, “What is happening outside is putting them under pressure to release him.
“I am aware that Sowore and Bakare were threatened that they would not walk out of here alive but suddenly things changed yesterday.
“A meeting was arranged in the DG’s office but Sowore declined saying he has nothing to negotiate because he has been granted bail and cannot renegotiate his bail in custody as a hostage.”
The source added, “There was also a meeting arranged by the PRO of DSS with select media outfits on Wednesday but again Sowore declined to come out.”