Fri. Dec 13th, 2019

Ketil Karlsen, EU Ambassador to Nigeria

RevolutionNow: EU’s stand on Sowore, others’ arrest

The European Union in a statement on Friday through The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Ketil Karlsen, said that “Protest remains a significant factor in a democratic system.

He However said that it is illegal for the EU to adjudicate to Nigeria government on how to pilot the internal affairs of the country. He also made it clear that the Nigerian Judiciary should be allowed by the executive to carry out it functions.

The ambassador said, “The European Union stands firm on the principles of freedom of speech and our fundamental values. Of course, it is important in any democratic society for people to be able to participate.

“I am not aware of any petition following the latest events in Nigeria but what I can say is that as long as people seek peaceful means to demonstrate and voice their political opinion, this is what we see as a natural part of a thriving democracy.

“Of course, any democracy or any society in the world must jealously guard and make sure that such pronouncements are always non-violent and that they respect the fundamental rules of the game and democracy at the end of the day and it is for the Nigerian justice system, in the end, to follow up on specific cases and as long as these cases are being dealt with in the Nigerian justice system, it is not for the EU or the EU ambassador to judge what is right or wrong in these occasions but of course we always follow very carefully when there are dissenting voices in the countries where we operate and we listen very carefully to all of them.”

The Federal Government had on Saturday arrested Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, for organising a nationwide protest calling for a revolution.

On Monday, security agencies also clamped down on protesters, arresting those who decided to demonstrate at the National Stadium, Surulere.

A Federal High Court in Abuja granted the Department of State Services’ request to detain Sowore for 45 days pending investigation for alleged treason and terrorism.


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