Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, has accused an activist, Omoyele Sowore, of treason and plotting to destabilise the country.
Mr Sowore was arrested on Saturday for calling for a revolution against bad governance.
He had planned a series of protests across Nigeria to start from last Monday.
Despite Mr Sowore’s arrest, many Nigerians still came out for the protest. However, dozens of the protesters were arrested across the country with some charged to court.
On Thursday, the Nigerian government secured a court order to detain Mr Sowore for 45 days based on Nigeria’s controversial terrorism law.
Even though the main opposition party, PDP, has not been part of the protests with one of its prominent governors warning against it, the APC still accused the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, of being behind the protests.
“Of course, the disgruntled presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Atiku Abubakar is expectedly the patron and cheerleader of the unpatriotic elements who would rather bring our country down for being rejected at the polls,” APC spokesperson Lanre Issa-Onilu said in a statement on Thursday.
Mr Issa-Onilu accused Mr Sowore of treason for planning the ‘revolution.’
“Sowore and some of his co-losers have now resorted to an illegal and misguided plot to destabilise the country,” he said.
Read the full APC statement below.
Proponents of Forceful Takeover of Government are Enemies of Nigeria – APC*
The All Progressives Congress (APC) calls on Nigerians to reject the toxic messages and criminal antics of some individuals and partisans who have embarked on a campaign of calumny against the government and are calling for a forceful takeover of government. They are cowards and enemies of Nigeria.
The recent arrest of Mr. Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Services (DSS) must be seen for what it is — a legal and timely action by our security services to protect our democracy and protect the country and its citizens against any action that threatens our collective peace and safety.
Predictably, some desperate individuals, sore losers, and their sy0mpathisers are acting in vain trying to pull a wool over the eyes of Nigerians. Of course, the disgruntled presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alh. Atiku Abubakar is expectedly the patron and cheerleader of the unpatriotic elements who would rather bring our country down for being rejected at the polls.
The desperate attempt to politicise a legitimate action by the security agencies and futile effort to spread falsehood to create chaos in the country are clearly irresponsible actions. We call on Nigerians to look at the issue of Sowore’s arrest dispassionately devoid of the skewed narratives and sentiments being propagated by these individuals.
Sowore arrived the country recently and openly threatened a revolution against a constitutionally recognised and legitimate government. Should the DSS and other security services have dismissed the declaration and the underlying implications as a non- issue? No intelligence/security agency worth its calling take issues like this with levity.
From elections to governance and general conduct, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has demonstrated its adherence and defence of the rule of law over politics and sundry interests.
Again, on the safety of Nigerians, the current government has been decisive in addressing any action that threatens the country’s unity, peace and our democracy. Sowore’s arrest is another testament to our unshaken resolve in this regard.
The right to a civil protest is a given, however it should not be construed to mean the same thing as a revolution to forcibly take over government. This makes it necessary to put the act of a revolution in context, at least by the proclamation made by Sowore and his co-travelers. Revolution means to forcibly overthrow a government through rebellion, revolt, insurrection, mutiny, uprising, insurgency, coup.
Nigeria is not a banana republic, we are a country with a democratically-elected government, governed by laws. Our laws are clear on Sowore’s actions. It is treason. No one should be allowed to get away with any attempt to destabilize this country.
We must remind ourselves that the same Sowore who attempts to lead a revolution had a legal opportunity during the 2019 Presidential election as a candidate to sell his governace ideas, if any, to the electorate. He failed woefully in that attempt, coming a distant sixth with 33,953 votes compared to the winner, President Muhammadu Buhari, who polled over 15 million votes.
Sowore and some of his co-losers have now resorted to an illegal and misguided plot to destabilise the country. Their plan is dead on arrival.
We reiterate that our laws are clear on all criminalities and Nigerians expect that the enforcement of relevant laws should apply to every Nigerian, irrespective of class and status. This government would not be found wanting where it is required to take decisive actions.
Finally, the effects of instability being championed by these cowards and enemies of Nigeria is disastrous. The same proponents of a forceful takeover will be the first to flee the country with their loved ones while the ordinary nigerian suffers the disastrous consequences.
*Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu*
National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)