Nigerians in the United Kingdom under the aegis of Free Sowore Now and the Take It Back Movement defied the freezing London weather yesterday to demand the immediate release of the #RevolutionNow convener, Omoyele Sowore, his co-defendant, Olawale Mandate, journalist Agba Jalingo and other political detainees being held by the Department of State Services (DSS) despite court orders.
The protesters, who stormed Abuja House, the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, around 10:40a.m. and tarried for over two hours, chanted anti-Buhari songs and slogans, flaying the president and his deputy “for trampling upon the rights of the detained activists, including Sheik El-Zakzaky and his wife.”
With songs like, “solidarity forever, solidarity forever, solidarity forever, we shall always ask for our rights,” and “ Sowore must be free, Sowore must be free, Sowore, Sowore, Sowore must be free,” the diasporean Nigerians accused President Muhammadu Buhari of turning “Nigeria into a mockery of democracy by his disrespect for the rule of law.”
Taking their turns, the cheerleaders asked the president, who is currently in London on a private visit to the European nation for over a week, to go back “home.”The convener, Gabriel Agbontaen, urged Nigerians at home to embark on a “sit-in” solidarity protest “to make the All Progressives Congress (APC) government realise that the country cannot be cowed by its actions.”He also called on traditional leaders and all “lovers of freedom, lovers of justice to come out and be counted.”
Another cheerleader, Portsmouth-based Bunmi Olurin, enjoined the president to let go of the detained activists who “have done nothing wrong by asking for a better Nigeria.”Comrade Ayo Ogundimu, who also addressed the gathering, re-chanted their slogan: “Freedom cometh by struggle, freedom come by struggle and by struggle, freedom comes.”He alleged that the United States and Britain were backing the ‘sordid’ development in the most populous black nation.
To Bukola Azeez, another cheerleader, she is disturbed by the decay in the country, regretting that the leaders are impoverishing the people, and thus wants a Nigeria that works. Christine Aluga craved a better nation for herself and children, stating: “ That is why I am here in the cold.”
Two Met police officers, who came around mid-noon, however told our reporter that they were there to maintain law and order.Besides, the Sowore family has appealed to the president, the 36 state governors, lawmakers, human rights organisations as well as well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the secret police to release their son for the preservation of the country’s democracy.
In a statement yesterday by Deacon Solomon Omoyeni, the family lamented the continued incarceration of the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 2019 poll in contravention of an existing court order.According to him, the detainee believes in the unity of the nation and would not want to destabilise a democratically elected government.