OMOYOLE SOWORE'S ARREST IS ILL-ADVISED

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Omoyele Sowore's sin as long as I know is his call for revolution. Revolution in itself is not seditious, because even the President won his election on the promise that he would lead a revolution. My Party, the APC attracts the support of people like us because we are convinced that it was founded on revolutionary, masses based ideals. Omoyele has the right, within the law, to call for a revolution.

My idea of revolution is a call for change, rather than a call for forceful change of power through violence, and this is what I think Sowore believes. Sowore is not calling for a mutiny against President Muhammadu Buhari, but he is calling for a revolving of ideas and method of governance. To him and to a number of Nigerians, things are not just right. The best way to know if Sowore enjoys the support of Nigerians in his call for revolution is by allowing him to go on his protest march. If he does not get the support of a large number of Nigerians, then, he would have helped in passing a vote of confidence on the present Nigerian government, but if he gets good support from among Nigerians, then, he would have helped to call the attention of our leaders to how Nigerians truly feel, and the President, whom I believe has listening ears will see the need to change some styles, if he is convinced that is what Nigerians want.

Dissent is integral to democracy and everyone should be allowed the right to protest within the ambits of lawlessness. Sowore has not committed any offence by asking Nigerians to come out and demand for change. Arresting him would rather rather make this call for revolution more popular among the people.

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Do the security agencies have information that Sowore is planning violence during these protests? Do they have information that he is acquiring arms? If they don't, then, they should let him go, and even provide him with security shield during the protests. Keeping him in detention will serve no good purpose to Nigeria, it will rather earn him more sympathy than he might actually deserve.

The impression we are giving the world about Nigeria's democracy is also wrong and very dangerous. Rightly or wrongly, the world is begining to record Nigeria as a nation that suppresses dissent with maximum force. We must not fall into that trap.

Already, the US government has barred some Nigerian politicians for allegedly undermining democracy. This is not good report on our democracy and the world is taking notes. Do we wait till NATO forces are deployed to protect opposition elements, before we know what the world thinks about us?

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