Former Minister of Education Oby Ezekwesili has asked President Muahammadu Buhari to order for the release of human rights activist Omoyele Sowore and four others remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre on Monday or be prepared for more protests.
The ex-minister, Ezekwesili, said Buhari should get ready to create more cells to detain protesters if he fails to immediately ensure the five activists’ release.
Ezekwesili said this on Monday on an Arise TV programmed monitored by SaharaReporters.
Omoyele Sowore and other activists were arrested on New Year’s Eve in Abuja for holding a peaceful protest against bad governance in the nation.
The arrested activists were subsequently arraigned on criminal conspiracy charges, unlawful assembly, and attempting to incite others. The activists, however, denied all charges.
Reacting to the activists’ arrest, Oby Ezekwesili said, “There is nowhere we have seen change happen without the resilience of a segment of the population to act regardless of the oppression that may be against it.
“That is why we must all applaud the resilience of Yele Sowore. Some people are not fair to him in dismissing his advocacy. I don’t dismiss it at all.
“Every society needs a Yele Sowore and all other groups and movements that consistently advocate for a good society.
“The truth is that the only pillar that has the motivation and has the right incentive to push for change in this society is the citizen’s pillar. Our current political class are not going to overwhelm all of its citizens.
“It will do the president good to ask that Yele Sowore and the other citizens that were imprisoned for merely protesting be released.
“Everybody in democracy has the right to protest, and that right can never be taken by anyone. The president will think of establishing many more cells because if he continues to keep Yele Sowore, his (New Year) speech will mean nothing to anybody.
“(It’s) not as if anybody bothers to believe what he said because what we have consistently seen over the past years is a president that says one thing and does a completely different thing.”