Nigeria’s former Vice President and presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar and others have denounced the arrest of Mr. Omoyele Sowore.
Some of the prominent citizens took to Twitter handles on Saturday to call for Sowore’s release hours after operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) reportedly picked him up.
In a post, the former vice president described the arrest as “kidnapping in the guise”, stressing that freedom of speech was part of the nation’s democracy.
For the Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project (SERAP), Sowore’s unconditional release would be “first step to stop Nigeria’s precipitous human rights slide”.
On his part, a civil rights activist and former member of the Senate, Senator Shehu Sani, faulted those he described as political elites allergic to the freedoms they once stood for.
He also accused the so-called elites of sponsoring protest and attacks on human rights organisation, Amnesty International.
A former minister and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, also condemned Sowore’s arrest.
He said the arrest was unnecessary and uncalled for, adding that Sowore should be released immediately and unconditionally.
Similarly, former minister Oby Ezekwesili called on well-meaning Nigerians to stand with Sowore and defend his right and freedom to protest any matter of governance that worries him.
Sowore, an activist and publisher of online news platform SaharaReporters, was said to have been picked up at his apartment in the early hours of Saturday.
He made his arrest known via his Twitter handle at about 1:25 am.
A minute after, the former presidential candidate tweeted “Ja p” which, according to his news platform, confirms his phone must have been seized while trying to raise the alarm about his arrest.
The news website added that its publisher’s arrest was not unconnected to #RevolutionNow, a series of planned protests against bad governance in the country scheduled for August 5, 2019.
Mr Sowore contested the presidential election on the platform of the African Action Congress (AAC).