Sowore Arrest: A Big Storm In A Little Tea Cup

By Yusufu Shehu Usman

There is much talk going about and trending hot on all media platforms across the nation on the arrest and detention of Sowore by the Department Of State Services.
I think that is what Sowore and his cohorts have set out to achieve in order to distract attention of the government and the people from the efforts being put in place to address our emerging national challenges
As for me, I see Sowere’s “revolution” as a ploy to achieve from the street what they failed to achieve from the polling stations and I think he is just a pawn in the hands of powerful but failed and desperate political heavy weights humbled into the position of feather weight by the out come of the 2019 general elections.
From the response of Nigerians to the call, it is easy to determine the actual motive of the so called revolution. It is aimed at polarising Nigerians and settling the citizens on war path along the primordial ethnic, regional and religious fault lines.
The object as I see it, is to create confusion and chaos in the polity, create widespread but in reality selected unrest in certain parts of the country to discredit the government and present to the outside world a false impression that the government has failed to meet the aspirations of the Nigerian people
They plan to call people out to street knowing fully well that by the nature of street protests in Nigeria, it must invariably result in the break down of law and order which will eventually lead to the destruction of lives and properties
The grand plan as I can see it is to set the people against themselves, make the streets a battle ground where the protestors will clash with the supporters of government and the security agents would come in to restore law and order
In such a scenario, the protesters and the supporters will engage themselves in violent clashes in areas where the protests are taking place and the security agents will try to disperse the unruly crowd by shooting tear gas as usual
Those with evil intentions from any side involved in the conflict, may then take advantage of the confusion and chaos created to use live ammunition or other dangerous weapons they might have brought to the battle ground, to kill some people either from the protesters, supporters or other innocent and law abiding citizens who may not be in any way connected with the protest.
In the end, casualties will be recorded and the blame game will be triggered.
The usual narratives will ensue and the media will be awash with so many talking points and subjective commentaries
There will be the usual diatribe that the government failed to manage the protest, that the security agents were overzealous, the those killed were felled by police bullets and those arrested were members of the opposition
Then the Human Rights groups will take over from that point and start processing theories of violation of Human Rights, police brutality and high handedness of government
They will invite international condemnation of the government and cause hate, division and disaffection among the people
This without more, in my view, is the real objective behind Sowore’s revolution
We are used to this scenario which has been enacted repeatedly in the course of almost every mass protest in Nigeria
I have never been against protest by any group or person to register their dissatisfaction with the way the government is running the affairs of the nation. It is an inalienable right entrenched, guaranteed and protected by the constitution
But the same constitution has made it is illegal and treasonable to over throw or attempt to over throw or take over a democratically elected government by the use of force or a revolution or street protest as canvassed by Sowore and his financiers
Under our constitution, there is only one way of removing a non performing government. It is through the ballot box in a legally organised election and not on the streets or by protest, violent or otherwise
Therefore when any person or group calls for a revolution with the object of through it, effecting a change of government, such a person or group has crossed the red line by posing a threat to public peace and the maintenance of law and order in the nation
Under our constitution, the basic and primary responsibility of every government in power is to protect the lives and properties of all citizens.
Furthermore, the security agencies have not only the right but also the duty to enforce the law and prevent the commission of crimes .
They are not expected to fold their arms and wait for a break down of law and order to occur before they act. That will amount to medicine after death
It is also our law that the security agencies can arrest and take into custody for the purposes of investigation, any person, who from information available to them in the course of their security duties, is suspected of organising an activity which is capable of jeopardising national security or which if not not nibbed in the bud, may result in break down of law and order.
An arrest effected pursuant to this, in my opinion is not a violation of the right of such a person arrested but an enforcement of the rights of the greater majority of the citizens
Indeed it is one of the justified circumstances which may create an exception to the much talked about human or fundamental rights
They are Human Rights because they affect all human beings in a like manner and they fundamental rights to the extent that they are exercised within the bounds or limits set by the law.
Therefore, Human Rights are fundamental but not absolute in their context and application. In the enforcement of any fundamental Human Rights, a balance must be struck between the rights of the individual and the overriding rights of the society in whose environment and within the context of whose values, the right will be exercised. The right of any person or group to protest or demonstrate is not superior but subject to the rights of other members of the society who do not wish to be a part of the protest and the security agencies are bound by the law to protect all citizens, whether they are protesters, opposed to the protest or indifferent to the protest
It for the above stated reasons that I believe the noise and rants about Sowore’s arrest by the DSS is just a big storm in a little tea cup.

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