The Aare-onakakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams, on Sunday described the arrest of the publisher of SaharaReporters, Mr Omoyele Sowore, by operatives of the Directorate of State Security (DSS) shortly after his release as a national tragedy.
He said that the situation that played out at the court last Friday indicated that Nigeria had lost its drift as a democratic nation.
Aare Adams who made this known in a release made available to newsmen in Lagos insisted that the situation in the country had only justified that the rule of law was gradually dying as the country continues to slide into dictatorship, while the Federal Government remained helpless.
“With what happened at the court, it reminded me of the dark era of the military, but ironically, the present government under President Muhammadu Buhari is liken to the military junta of the late Sanni Abacha, where the military brigandage held sway for years.
“I have been watching events as they unfold, but I am saddened that the event that transpired in the court was a testimony that Nigeria has a long way to go. The Department of State Services (DSS) had failed to respect the rule of law and it was a sad reminder of the military era,” Adams said.
Adams expressed sadness that the prolonged detention of Sowore had affected the image of Nigeria as the world was watching the government with keen interest, declaring that this was not the democracy he and other Nigerians fought for between 1993 and 1998.
“This is not the democracy we fought for between 1993 and 1998. I remembered vividly as activists and pro-democracy groups, we put our lives on the line to ensure that our dreams for this democracy became a reality. Now, democracy is here, but we have lost touch with the ideals of a democratic setting as it is practised in other climes,” he lamented.
Speaking further, the Aare Onakakanfo flayed the stringent bail condition given to Sowore, saying it was a ploy to strangle justice, even as argued that the restrictions of his movement to only Abuja had only justified that this government was using the DSS to frustrate perceived oppositions.
He, however, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to release Sowore unconditionally for him to redeem the image of the country, reminding him that late General Sani Abacha’s name kept ringing till today but names of those that perpetrated evil “on his behalf were not mentioned now.”
“I remember during the inglorious years of the late Abacha, the names of those that acted on his behalf, all the actors that used his name and the state mercenaries to perpetrate evil were not mentioned now, it was Abachavs name that kept ringing, and remained in the dustbin of history, while a few others are still alive today to enjoy their loots at the expense of the people.
“Therefore, I am using this opportunity to advise President Buhari, not to allow these set of people at the corridors of power to use his name and the office of the presidency to perpetrate evil that could later discredit his name in the future,” he said.