Sowore: If Anything Happens To Him, We’re Done With Nigeria – US

The United States has weighed in on the illegal rearrest of Nigerian activist Omoyele Sowore, noting that the nation’s relationship with Nigeria is on the line.
Speaking on the recent development, a Member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Robert Menendez condemned Sowore’s detention and the DSS’ defy of the court orders for his release on bail. The New Jersey Senator and the most senior Democrat in the US Senate wondered if President Muhammadu Buhari is not aware that the arrest is tarnishing his image, stating that the Sowore ought to be celebrated and not incarcerated. He then threatened that there will be consequences in US’ relationship with Nigeria if any harm comes to Sowore.
Noting that the US and the world is watching, Menendez revealed that he fears if the blatant harassment of Sowore is becoming a symptom of the closure of Nigerian politics and civil space.
The United States is watching and the world is watching. I fear that the blatant harassment of Mr Omoyele Sowore, an activist and journalist whose only crime appears to be exercising his right to free expression, is becoming symptomatic of increasingly closing political and civic space in Nigeria. The Nigerian court has twice ordered his release on bail. And the state security agencies openly defied the court order each time leaving me to conclude that either Nigeria no longer respects the rule of law or President Buhari is woefully out of touch with what agents of his governments are doing in his name. This is unacceptable in a country that calls itself a democracy.
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Journalists who risk their lives to expose the truth should be celebrated, not incarcerated. It is unacceptable to treat the husband and father of a US citizen with such blatant cruelty. Today, my office contacted our ambassador in Nigeria in an effort to obtain answers on what actions the United States is taking on the Sowore family’s behalf. In the next several days, I’ll continue to engage with the states department in Washington to ascertain the impart of what the arrest of Mr Sowore and other activists and journalists will have on our relationship with Nigeria. My hope is that the bilateral relationship we have with Nigeria will be reassessed in light of these events.
Photos Credit: Getty

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