AAC Faction Expels Sowore, Dissociates Self From #RevolutionNow Protest

Sowore Accuses APC, PDP Of Spending Beyond N1bn Threshold At Primaries
Omoyele Sowore (file)

 

A faction of the African Action congress (AAC) has announced the expulsion of its national chairman and former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore.

The party faction also dissociated itself from the “RevolutionNow” protest which Mr Sowore planned.

This was announced at the AAC’s national convention in Owerri the Imo state capital where the party also elected Mr Leonard Nzenwa as the new national Chairman.

‘RevolutionNow’: SERAP Seeks UN Human Rights Council Special Session Over Attacks On Journalists

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to all member and observer states of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, urging them to “urgently convene a special session on Nigeria over arbitrary arrests and repression by officers of the Nigeria Police Force and other security forces of ‘RevolutionNow’ protesters, organizers, activists, and journalists who covered the protests on Monday across the country.”

SERAP also raised: “concern over suppression of freedom of expression, attacks on journalists, bloggers, and human rights defenders by several state governments, as well as the intimidation and harassment of Amnesty International in Nigeria, including by a group of apparently paid protesters that continues to besiege the organization’s office in Abuja, preventing it from carrying out its activities, and giving the organization ultimatum to leave Nigeria.”

In the letter dated 8 August 2019 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “There are serious violations of the rights of Nigerians to liberty, personal security, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association, and media freedom and a Special Session is urgently needed to help stem the attack on human rights and contribute to UN efforts to prevent further abuses including arbitrary detention and excessive use of force.”

READ ALSO: Sowore To Be Detained In DSS Custody For Next 45 Days

The organization said: “The human rights situation in the country has drastically deteriorated, with the authorities at the Federal and State levels violating human rights and refusing to obey court judgments. The Human Rights Council should heed the rising chorus of concerns by Nigerians, journalists, human rights defenders, activists, and lawyers, and urgently convene a Special Session on the growing human rights crisis in the country.”

The organization also said: “Consistent with its mandate to prevent human rights violations and respond promptly to human rights emergencies, the Human Rights Council should address the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in several states of Nigeria as a matter of priority.”

If one third of the Member States requests so, the Human Rights Council can decide at any time to hold a special session to address human rights violations and emergencies. The Council is made of 47 Member States—13 from Africa; 13 from Asia; 8 from Latin America and Caribbean; 7 from Western European and other States and 6 from Eastern Europe.

The letter read in part: “We urge your delegation to actively support the holding of a Special Session of the Human Rights Council without delay and the adoption of a resolution that ensures meaningful attention to the situation with a view to stemming the abuses and ending impunity.”

“The Human Rights Council cannot ignore persistent attacks on human rights and disregard for the rule of law in Nigeria. If the Human Rights Council does not assume its responsibility and give voice to the victims, it would exacerbate the impunity of perpetrators and continue to fuel further abuses.”

“At the Special Session, the Council should adopt a resolution that urges the Nigerian authorities at the Federal and State levels to respect the peoples’ rights to freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, and association as guaranteed in UN human rights treaties ratified by Nigeria and to refrain from using excessive force to disperse protesters and against journalists.”

“The Council should urge the Nigerian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those arbitrarily detained in connection with the ‘RevolutionNow’ protests across Nigeria simply for exercising their human rights to protest and freedom of expression.”

“The Council should urge the Nigerian authorities at Federal and State levels to stop harassing and intimidating Nigerian citizens including peaceful protesters, journalists, human rights defenders, and others who seek to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.”

“The Council should express its deep concern about the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in Nigeria and the impact of the crisis on the Nigerian people, as well as about the targeted attacks on peaceful protesters, human rights defenders, journalists, and Amnesty International in Nigeria.”

“The Council should condemn in the strongest possible terms the attacks on ‘RevolutionNow’ protesters, journalists, and bloggers by the Nigerian authorities at both Federal and State levels, as well as the ongoing impunity enjoyed by perpetrators.”

“The Council should demand that the Nigerian authorities at both the Federal and State levels end these violations and abuses as a matter of critical and urgent priority, including by immediately halting repression of real or suspected opponents and critics, and by conducting thorough, impartial and independent investigations with a view to bringing those responsible to justice and providing victims with redress.”

“The Council should call on the Nigerian authorities at both the Federal and State levels to fully cooperate with the UN Special Rapporteurs, including by allowing them free access to the country to investigate all allegations of human rights violations against protesters, journalists, bloggers and other Nigerians.”

“The Council should request the High Commissioner for Human Rights to report to the Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in Nigeria, and to regularly brief the Human Rights Council on developments.”

“The authorities have arbitrarily arrested Omoyele Sowore, the organiser of the ‘RevolutionNow’ protests and Publisher of the online newspaper Sahara Reporters. He is still currently detained by the Department of State Services. Several protesters and journalists continue to be targeted, including a former Politics Editor with Daily Trust, Ibrahim Dan-Halilu, who has been reportedly re-arrested.”

#RevolutionNow: Does Sowore Want Nigerians To Make Him President – Oshiomhole

 

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has said that the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore must be clear on what he wants. 

Oshiomhole made this remarks while condemning the #RevolutionNow protest as planned by Mr Sowore who is the convener of the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy.

The APC chieftain noted that though every Nigerian has the right to protest, still every protest action must be properly coordinated with the grievances of those involved, stated clearly.

READ ALSO: Charge Sowore To Court, Falana Dares Government, Security Agencies

He stated this while speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“What is it that Sowore the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, a Presidential Candidate cleared by INEC to bid for power, who had opportunity to ask Nigerians to vote for him, now Nigerians have voted, the voted have been counted and he was not the favoured candidate.

“What does he want now, to say that Nigerians must make him the President? We all have to be careful nobody should talk as if we have another country.

“We have challenges but somehow we have all resolved as a people that the way and the route to power is through the ballot box.

“Our task as a people is to continue to work to clean up the system so that only Nigerian people and Nigerian people alone shall determine who governs them at all levels. That I believe is a legitimate thing to fight for.

“But if you want overthrow, you want a revolution then you should have spared us, the INEC from going to put his name on the ballot paper,” Oshiomhole said.

He further stated that though people have the rights to disagree and contest issues, and government do not have the right to dictate to people how to protest, but it must be stated clearly what exactly the people want.

Charge Sowore To Court, Falana Dares Government, Security Agencies

 

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has dared the Nigerian Government and security operatives to charge Mr Omoyele Sowore to court. 

Sowore, who was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 Presidential Election, was arrested on Saturday by Department of State Services (DSS).

The DSS accused the convener of #RevolutionNow movement, of threatening public peace and safety with the nationwide protest which he organized.

Speaking at the launch of ‘Why Not’, a book by Professor Pat Utomi on Tuesday, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria said he had talked to Sowore in detention, adding that it will be a mistake if the Nigerian government is to charge his client just because he used the term ‘Revolution’.

Withdraw Charges Against CJN, Falana Tells FG

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: #TakeItBack Campaigners Ask FG To Release Sowore, Others

Falana went on to explain that in the case Sowore would be charged, his first witness would be someone in government who in 2011 also called for a revolution, a statement which many believe is referring to President Muhammadu Buhari who in 2011 was the presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

“I do hope that the government will not be stupid to charge Sowore. In fairness to them (DSS), they gave him a telephone to phone me. Of course I knew they were monitoring the phone, and I told him I hope they won’t charge you, because if they do, some of the people in government will be our witnesses

“You know why? One of them, I won’t mention his name. In 2011, he asked Nigerians to learn from the Egyptian revolution and be ready for a revolution in Nigeria. So, he will be my first witness.

“The late Chief Gani Fawehinmi and four other people were charged with treasonable felony by the Ibrahim Babangida junta. I was one of them. We were detained in Kuje prison for two months. We were taken to the court, and what was the offence? I think we went beyond Sowore. We posted thousands of posters across the country, that Babangida must go. That was the treasonable felony,” Falana said.

Nothing That Sowore Has Done Suggests A Violent Overthrow Of Government – Soyinka

Impunity Will Prevail If Legal Community Continues To Betray Its Calling – Soyinka
File photo: Professor Wole Soyinka addressing reporters in February 2018.

 

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka said on Sunday that nothing which the human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, has said or done suggests a violent overthrow of government. 

While stating his stance on the arrest of Mr Omoyele Sowore, by the Department of State Services, the Noble Laureate said that the deployment of alarmist expressions such as “treason”, “anarchist”, “public incitement” etc. by security forces have become so predictable and banal that they have become meaningless.

He adds, “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”.

READ ALSO: Protest Marches Are Not Treasonable Offences In Nigeria, Says Falana

Prof. Soyinka asked the police to stick to its task of protecting and managing protests, and not attempt to place their own meaning and declaration of intent on words like revolution.

Below is the Nobel Laureate’s full statement.

“SURELY, NOT AGAIN!!!

Deployment of alarmist expressions such as “treason”, “anarchist”, “public incitement” etc. by Security forces have become so predictable and banal that they have become meaningless. 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. Nothing that he said to me in private engagement ever remotely approached an intent to destabilize governance or bypass the normal democratic means of changing a government.

I therefore find the reasons given by the Inspector-General, for the arrest and detention of this young ex-presidential candidate totally contrived and untenable, unsupported by any shred of evidence. His arrest is a travesty and violation of the fundamental rights of citizens to congregate and make public their concerns.

This is all so sadly déjà vu. How often must we go through this wearisome cycle? 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. This was followed up by a personalized letter that was hand delivered by the State Security Services to me under their summons, at their Abeokuta so-called ‘Annexe’ with near identical wording to the threats contained in today’s release from the desk of the Chief of Police. At least, I was summoned, not subjected to a terrorist midnight arrest. Some irony!

The same pattern Pavlovian conduct manifested itself under yet another supposed democratic ruler who personally declared that the gathering of civilians to deliberate on, and propose a constitution for the nation was ‘high treason’, and would be resisted by the full rigour of state power if we persisted.

The Inspector-General of Police mobilized his forces and issued inflammatory proclamations, but PRONACO went ahead despite all the thundering from Aso citadel. Can the police ever learn anything also their tear-gassing and brutalizing of grieving mothers who marched peacefully to protest the deaths of their children in a plane crash inferno? Their mission, under that same regime, which was simply to deliver a letter to government house in Lagos, demanding greater safety in airline operations, yet such a rational intent, born of traumatic circumstances, was quashed on the sidewalks of a supposed twentieth century nation.

And yet again, even a faceless cabal under yet another civilian regime refused to be left out of the insensate play of power. A march on Aso Rock calling for an end to governance by a ghostly entity was slated to be crushed, but fortunately, a conflicting balance of interests decided in favour of a reduced trajectory of protest. And so on and on and on, in a nation which continues to speak at once through both sides of the mouth, spewing out the same Treason monotone, as if this was a magic incantation that could substitute for the venting of mass feelings, even as collective therapy!

May I invite the Inspector-General to wade through the daily journals of the past few weeks and months, read and digest the calls by numerous sectors of society – across professions and national groupings – for demonstrations against the parlous conditions of society, all identifying ills to which attention must be drawn, and urgently, through mass action? Demonstrations and processions are time honoured, democratic ways of drawing not only the attention of government to ills, but of mobilizing the public towards a proactive consciousness of their condition, and thereby exhorting civil society also to devise means of ameliorating their condition through their own efforts?

Religious bodies have urged such remedies, so have civic associations. The ready recourse to arrests, incarceration and threats to civilians are ultimately counter-productive. They alienate the citizens, erode their confidence in governance responsiveness, and thereby advance the very extremist nightmare that security agencies believe they are acting to thwart.

If we cannot learn from the histories and experiences of other societies, let us at least learn from ours. Freedom is not so glibly qualified. It cannot be doled out like slops of charity from soup kitchens. Let the Police stick to their task of protecting and managing protests, not attempt to place their own meaning and declaration of intent on bogey words like – revolution!”

Planned ‘Revolution’ March, A Treasonable Felony – IGP

 

 

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Adamu Mohammed has said that a video being circulated all over social media by the ‘Global Coalition for security and Democracy in Nigeria and others’, calling on Nigerians to join a planned ‘revolution’ march against the Federal Government on August the 5th, amounts to treasonable felony.

According to the police boss, the planned action is meant to force a regime change in the country.

In a communique sent out over the weekend, IGP Adamu said that rights should not translate to violence, adding that the force will not watch anyone or group disrupt the nation’s peace.

READ ALSO: Atiku, SERAP, Others Condemn Sowore’s Arrest

He said: “The force wishes to state unequivocally that the call amounts to treasonable felony and acts of terrorism and will therefore the force will not stand idly-by and watch any individual or group in the society cause anarchy in the land.

“While acknowledging the rights of Nigerians to embark on protest, the force wishes to note that such rights should not translate to a violent and forceful change of government which clearly is the meaning of ‘revolution”.

The police boss maintained that Nigeria is a democratic country with well-defined processes for change of government and warns those he describes as the organizers, sponsors, allies, supporters, associates and sympathizers of the ‘Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria’ to steer clear of any such planned protest, and acts of incitement.

The 5th of August has been scheduled as the date of a planned protest by the publisher of online news magazine, Sahara Reporters, Mr Omoyele Sowore and his group, a move which has led to the arrest of Mr Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 23rd presidential election.

The Department of State Security Service (DSS) had on Sunday confirmed the arrest, with its spokesman Peter Afunaya stating that the DSS is acting within its constitutional powers to arrest and detain anybody or group who threatens the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria.

Mr Afunaya however, declined to comment whether Mr Sowore is at the DSS office in Lagos or Abuja.

Nobody Should Attempt The ‘Revolution Now’ Protest In Rivers State – Wike

Wike Inaugurates Loan Disbursement Committees

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that nobody should attempt the ‘RevolutionNow’ protest in the state.

Governor Wike said that Rivers State is not part of the RevolutionNow protest and whatever illegal agenda it seeks to pursue.

The Governor said: “Rivers State does not subscribe to what the RevolutionNow protest represents and Rivers State is not part of the protest”.

READ ALSO: Protest Marches Are Not Treasonable Offences In Nigeria, Says Falana

He directed security agencies in the state to arrest anybody involved in the RevolutionNow protest and also take all necessary steps to prosecute such persons.

Governor Wike urged parents to ensure that their children are not misled by agents of the march to participate in the illegal protest.

“All council chairmen are directed to be at alert. If they suspect any illegal gathering, they should report to the security agencies for immediate action “, Governor Wike said.

Stop Parading Yourselves As ACC National Chairman, Court Tells Omoyele Sowore

 

Justice Iyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has restrained the suspended national chairman of the African Action Congress, AAC, and the presidential candidate of the party in the last presidential election, Mr Omoyele Sowore to stop parading himself as the national chairman of the party.

The court also ordered the deputy national chairman of the party, Mr Malcolm Fabiyi, to stop parading himself as deputy national chairman.

The court restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission from further recognizing the suspended chairman, pending the determination of the motion on notice.

The newly sworn in acting chairman of the party Mr Leonard Nzenwa, dragged the suspended chairman and his deputy to court.

In the order granted by the court, the court restrained Mr Sowore and Fabiyi from further exercising any power or function relating to the offices pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

In the affidavit in support of the motion on notice, the party alleged that Mr Sowore failed to fulfill the mandatory statutory requirement of holding the national executive committee meeting of the party quarterly.

READ ALSO: We Will Continue To Recognize Sowore As National Chairman Of The AAC – INEC

He is also accused of receiving money from foreign donor and used it for his personal use in contravention of the provisions of the federal republic of Nigeria.

The party said despite appeals made to him to call for a NEC meeting of the party to respond to allegations against him, he failed to do so.

The party further said that it reached a resolution on march 27th, 2019 suspending them from the party for six months.

Mr Sowore was suspended as the chairman of the party and in his place the party appointed Mr Leonard Nzenwa, as the acting national chairman.

We Will Continue To Recognise Sowore As National Chairman Of The AAC – INEC

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it will continue to recognize Omoyele Sowore as the authentic National Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC).

INEC made this clarification in a letter by its Secretary, Mrs Rose Oriaran-Anthony, dated May 14.

The electoral umpire sent out its communique in reply to a letter by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the AAC, on May 13.

In its letter, the party sought to suspend Sowore and eight others over alleged anti-party activities.

However, after reviewing the party’s request, INEC said it discovered certain flaws that do not substantiate the AAC’s claims against Sowore and the others.

READ ALSO: AAC Suspends Sowore As National Chairman

INEC’s letter partly read, “The commission, after reviewing the content of the letter, has established the following: There is no documentary evidence that a meeting of the AAC NEC was convened by the National Chairman as required by Chapter 9 Section 59(a) of the constitution of the AAC.

“The party did not provide a 21-day notice of the NEC meeting as required by Section 85(1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). There are no minutes or evidence of attendance of the AAC NEC meeting where the National Chairman and eight others were purportedly suspended.

“Accordingly, the Commission shall continue to recognise and relate with Mr Sowore Omoyele as the substantive National Chairman of the AAC.”

 

I Am Ready For A Coalition With Sowore, Moghalu – Durotoye

Presidential Candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria, Fela Durotoye

 

The Presidential Candidate of the Alliance for New Nigeria, Fela Durotoye has said that he is ready for a coalition with the Presidential Candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Kingsley Moghalu and African Action (ACC), Omoyele Sowere.

Mr Durotoye made his declaration known through a series of tweets on his social media platform.

His comments come after the Presidential Allied Congress Party (ACP), Oby Ezekwesili on Thursday withdrew from the Presidential race 

READ ALSO: Ezekwesili Withdraws From Presidential Race

“I have always believed that leadership is about service & sacrifice & today, I would like to commend Oby Ezekwesili for leading the charge to form a viable coalition to presenting a Consensus Candidate for the 2019 Presidential elections.

“To ensure an alliance is formed and we present a united front, I am ready to come into coalition talks with my brothers Omoyele Sowore & Prof. Kingsley Moghalu to submit myself to any transparent process that will help us arrive at a selection of a Consensus Candidate from amongst us.

Fela Durotoye, Kinglsey Moghalu and Omoyele Sowore

“To be clear, if the process produces any other candidate apart from myself, I am ready to support whoever the Consensus Candidate is and to do all I can to support the coalition to win the 2019 Presidential elections for our generation.

“Once again, I implore the front-line candidates in our generation.

“Let us come together and seize this historic window of opportunity for our generation to select one of us to go ahead of us …so that All of us can come together and speak with one voice at the 2019 General Elections.

“Together, we can do the perceived impossible. Our generation is depending on us.

“We must not let them down”.

Signed, Fela Durotoye Presidential Candidate Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) @ANNigOfficial.

President Buhari Has Disappointed, Failed Nigerians – Sowore

Publisher of Sahara Reporters and Presidential Aspirant, Mr Omoyele Sowore

 

A media entrepreneur, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, has regretted that President Muhammadu Buhari, has failed to deliver his campaign promises to Nigerians three years after assuming leadership of the country.

Sowore, who is also a Presidential aspirant, stated this while featuring as a guest on Sunday Politics aired on Channels Television.

“President Buhari, having disappointed as a leader and failed a majority of Nigerians will lose in 2019,” he said.

Sowore, however, explained that he is not disturbed in any way with the President declaring his intention to seek reelection ahead of 2019.

The media boss is rather optimistic that the current administration would be sacked owing to what he describes as ‘failure’ on the part of the Federal Government.

He added, “What were his plans for coming to power? He promised security but the people of Dapchi know better.

“Boko Haram is still flourishing. He promised to make the economy better and fight corruption. But you know what the corruption is all about.”

The media practitioner also took a swipe at the corruption was embarked by the Federal Government.

If given the mandate to serve the nation, he promises to revamp the power sector, provide massive jobs to the teeming Nigerian youths, tackle insecurity, curb corruption among several others.