Founder of the Igbo Youth Movement, IYM, Evang. Eliot Ugochukwu-Uko has declared that the arrest and continuous detention of Omoyele Sowore “is bad news for the political health and image of Nigeria.”
Ugochukwu-Uko, who is also the Secretary general:Eastern Consultative Assembly (ECA), as well as Deputy Secretary, Igbo Leaders of Thought (ILT), said the clampdown on the demonstrators “makes it difficult for the government to continue pretending it respects the democratic rights of her citizens.”
He added that “The international community could not have forgotten the leaders of the OCCUPY NIGERIA demonstration that shot down Lagos and Abuja, 7 years ago.
“The world also noted that President Goodluck Jonathan did not accuse the demonstrators of plotting to overthrow his Government.
“The world therefore wonders how and why the people who organized several high profile demonstrations against Jonathan’s government 7,6 and 5 years ago, have suddenly become intolerant of opposition voices today,simply because they are now in government and therefore at the receiving end today.
“It is truly surprising, how government believes that clampdown and intimidation will ultimately resolve Nigeria’s governance, political, and structural issues that has only increased the number of disgruntled and disappointed populace in recent time.
“This clampdown tactics deepened the secessionist agitations, popularised the Shite movement and created allies for them all over Nigeria today. This same clampdown tactics deployed once again, in a bid to avoid the necessary, unavoidable and inevitable conversation towards a new constitution and a new structure,will only turn the leaders and organizers of this demonstration,heroes and celebrities.”
He demanded that “government should release Sowore and his colleagues and engage them without further delay.
“The tension in the land today demands truthfulness on the part of government and eminent leaders of Nigeria.
“Are there still intelligible reasons and excuses why the whole country should continue to pretend we can still drag on the way we are going today?
“Frightening broad day killings of priests and kidnapping of citizens simultaneously going on all over the country, demonstrators being shot and manhandled in videos trending in social media, political, ethnic and religious divisions getting deeper by the day. Add these to the unemployment, hunger and frustration in the land, it becomes incomprehensible how any sensible leader could still continue to pretend that all is well.
“Nigeria is clearly at crossroads, eminent elders and leaders from the six geopolitical zones should as a matter of urgency, raise a committee of prominent, capable and patriotic leaders to begin the inevitable process to reinvent, reconcile,rejuvenate and recreate our country through the adoption at a referendum, a new people’s constitution, that would enshrine true federalism and devolution of power in our national life once again.
“The game of trying to avoid the truth and pretending that this military constitution will make Nigeria great by and by has become offensive.”