Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Omoyele Sowore. Image from Naija News.

Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of SaharaReporters and 2019 Nigerian presidential candidate on the platform of the African Action Congress (AAC), has been arrested by officers of Nigeria’s State Security Service (SSS) for organising the #RevolutionNow protests, a series of peaceful demonstrations for a better country which are set to begin today, 5 August, in 21 Nigerian cities, and which the police has labelled an act of treason and terrorism developed to “force a regime change in the country.” The arrest happened on Saturday, 3 August. Premium Times reports that “Sowore posted a distress tweet at exactly 1:25 am with an eyewitness confirming that his phone was forcefully taken from him,” the tweet reading ”DSS invades Sowore’s.”

Sowore’s lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, is reported to have said the following on Facebook:

This is a panic response from a decayed regime that is so sacred of its own shadow. Buhari’s despotism is now in full force. Nigerians are now preoccupied with the shenanigans of a morally bankrupt, economically backward and politically inept administration. The SSS which is supposed to be actively involved in curtailing insecurity across Nigeria has been turned into a tool of intimidation for a corrupt, clueless and incompetent government.

Let it be known that this irresponsible and highly reckless action will not deter conscientious and enlightened Nigerians from fighting for a better country. The #RevolutionNow Movement has come to stay and no dictator can stop it.

SSS spokesperson Peter Afunanya confirmed that Sowore was arrested “for threatening public safety, peaceful co-existence and social harmony in the country,” stating that the secret police is “’aware’ that Mr Sowore had been in touch with foreign actors to destabilise Nigeria.”

The development has been condemned by Wole Soyinka in a statement. “Beyond the word ‘revolution,’ another much mis-used and misunderstood word, nothing that Sowore has uttered, written, or advocated suggests that he is embarking on, or urging the public to engage in a forceful overthrow of government,” Soyinka said. “We underwent identical cynical contrivances under the late, unlamented Sani Abacha, when he sent storm-troopers to disrupt a planning session for a similar across-nation march at Tai Solarin School, Ikenne.”

In response, the Federal Government accused Soyinka of “blackmail.” “You mentioned the name of Professor Wole Soyinka. Some of these critics of government are people whom we have great respect and admiration for,” stated President Buhari’s spokesperson Garba Shehu. “This is an unpardonable blackmail that cannot stop Police and other law enforcement agencies from doing their work.”

Activists have stated that they would go on with the protest.

At the time of writing, security agents have surrounded the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, in anticipation of protesters.

Tags: , , , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Romeo Oriogun Shares Heartfelt, Powerful Personal Story as Anticipation Peaks for His Debut Poetry Collection, Sacrament of Bodies

Romeo Oriogun - main

Romeo Oriogun’s debut poetry collection Sacrament of Bodies is still some 12 days away from its March 1 publication date […]

New Poetry Anthology, Wreaths for a Wayfarer, Published in Honour of Pius Adesanmi

pius adesanmi - graph (2)

A new poetry anthology, Wreaths for a Wayfarer, has been published in honour of Pius Adesanmi, who passed on in […]

Existence as Protest | Nigerian Visual Artist-Writer Osinachi’s Debut Solo Show Set for Kate Vasse Galerie, Zurich, with Foreword by Jason Bailey | March 2020

NDUKA'S+WEDDING+DAY - by Osinachi

The Nigerian visual artist and writer Osinachi is set for his debut solo show. Themed “Osinachi: Existence as Protest,” it […]

Margaret Busby, Sarah Ladipo Mayinka, & Angela Wachuka to Discuss the Global Legacy of African Women Writers at the 2020 LSE Festival

Sarah ladipo manyika by James M. Manyika

The LSE Shape the World series is an annual festival hosted by the London School of Economics and Political Science. […]

Jose Eduardo Agualusa to Headline 2020 African Book Festival in Berlin 

Angolan author Jose Eduardo Agualusa poses for a photograph with his book A General Theory of Oblivion at a photocall in London on May 15, 2016, ahead of tomorrow's announcement of the winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. / AFP / Leon NEAL        (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

The Angolan author Jose Eduardo Agualusa will headline the 2020 African Book Festival in Berlin, curated by the Angolan musician […]

#Valentine’sDay | Which Book Character Are You in Love With? 17 Writers Tell Us

Brittle Paper's Top 15 Debut Books of 2019

Writers love to write about love. Even in the fabric of fundamentally political books are scintillating love stories. These love […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.