By Bayo Oluwasanmi
Omoyele Sowore, journalist, activist, and leader of #RevolutionNow returns to court today in Abuja. Arguably, Sowore is the most popular and easily recognized prisoner of conscience in Nigeria today.
Muhammadu Buhari’s regime is a cage for Nigeria’s prisoners of conscience and epicenter of a brutal crackdown.
As Nigeria boils and burns with rage and riots over Buhari’s repressive regime, Buhari remains adamant and defiant.
Since coming to power, Buhari has ruled Nigeria with an iron fist. He has gone after his critics and opponents with a ferocity that dwarfs the brutalities of his kinsman and military comrade Sanni Abacha. Buhari hounds critics and runs a police state.
There’s lamentation all over the country about Buhari’s censorship, surveillance, arrest, and imprisonment of innocent Nigerians.
Buhari’s bloodthirsty police – the SSS – controls and cows Nigerians who dare to speak out against Buhari’s policies and practices. Scores of prisoners of conscience have been jailed for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression, association, and assembly in a relentless campaign of ruthless suppression. Buhari continues to repress virtually all civil and political rights of Nigerians. Many innocent people are imprisoned for who they are, what they believe and the freedoms they fight for.
As Sowore is back to court today, Nigerians must add their voices and demand his unconditional release. We should never live in fear of a retaliation or violence for exercising our basic human rights in a democracy. In today’s court hearing, dictator Buhari the butcher of Nigeria’s prisoners of conscience must be called to order. His repressive regime must be held accountable.
Change is not easy. We should not leave Sowore alone to fight the oppressor. Champions are needed to stand with Sowore. Together, we must call for the release of all innocent prisoners of conscience. The release of Sowore should serve as the beginning of our guaranteed constitutional freedom and right.
History informs us that repressive regimes like Buhari’s ultimately fail to silence human rights fighters and instead magnify their voices. Buhari is fighting the war he can never win.