Sowore of Nigeria not Museveni of Uganda, Kabila of Congo or Yusuf of Boko Haram – Perspectives by Bayo Onanuga

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We now know that Sowore was re-arrested for talking the ‘R’ word again. But in my view the defences put forward by both the DSS and the Presidency clearly missed the core issue: the denial of liberty for a fellow Nigerian because he exercised his freedom of speech and free expression.

Sowore is not a Yoweri Museveni of Uganda or Laurent Kabila of Congo, who took up arms to change the political order in their countries. He cannot therefore be a serious political or security risk.

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And Sowore is not a religious ideologue like Mohammed Yusuf that founded Boko Haram to launch an Islamic state in Nigeria. Comparing both of them just doesn’t make any sense. Sowore is simply impatient about the snail speed reforms in his country and wants to mobilise them for radical change, in calling for protests . And we have seen the limitation of his style in the election that he lost woefully and the failure of the ‘countrywide protests’ organised by his ‘Revolution Now Movement’.

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The only comparison we can make is with that of Charles Oputa #Ourmumudondo Movement in the run-up to the February 2019 election. No overzealous DSS official arrested Charlie Boy for taking his revolutionary message to public places, where he was beaten up in one outing at an Abuja market .

If Sowore spoke about revolution to a small circle of friends at Transcorp Hilton, it is left for the court to decide whether the act amounted to a breach of his bail condition. It is not the business of the DSS to re-arrest him and turn itself into the court of law.

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We lose our democracy if we do not allow freedom of speech to reign. I rest my case.

Bayo Onanuga, a journalist and publisher of TheNews Magazine and P.M.News, made his remarks in a Facebook post.

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