As reactions continue to trail the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, Senator Shehu Sani says the federal government should be able to engage dissenting voices if it can sit to have coffee with bandits in search of peace.
Sani stated this on Saturday in reaction to the arrest of Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 elections.
Operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had stormed Sowore’s residence in the early hours of Saturday and whisked him away.
The brutal pre-dawn crackdown has drawn criticism from many quarters, as Nigerians lament the apparent slide into dictatorship.
Sani, who represented Kaduna central in the eighth national assembly, joined the call for Sowore to be freed.
“The arrest of Omoyele Sowore stands unreservedly condemned,” he said.
“Our Democracy has become a block of ice floating on warm waters. We are leapfrogging into totalitarianism.
“A nation that can sit and have a cup of coffee with bandits in the search for peace should not find it difficult to engage dissenting voices.
“It’s ironic for our nation to walk in the sun and be allergic to shadows. The voices of dissent are the heartbeats of democracy.
“Let not our prisons not be filled with those that speak but with those that kill.”
Sowore’s arrest on Saturday is suspected to be connected to #RevolutionNow, a movement planning to protest “against bad governance” in Nigeria beginning on Monday, August 5.
Sani accused the ruling elite of becoming intolerant of truths that had once served as the “moral chariots that validated their ascension to power”.
He said Nigeria’s democracy will remain questionable until citizens “learn to tolerate things that are legal within the ambit of the law but unpleasant to our ears”.
“The Government should defeat Sowore by beaming a bigger light than his and not by switching off his rays.
“Sowore should be released.”