By Bamidele Ademola-Olateju
It is amazing how fast friends can become foes. I don’t want to lay any claim to self-righteousness but once someone has done me a single good in life, I don’t turn against them no matter the temptation. Before President Muhammadu Buhari won his election in 2015, he took Sowore’s call at the first or second ring. That is the background story. A lot of rain has fallen since 2015. Many of us who campaigned for Buhari when it was not fashionable to do so and when no one gave him a chance are no longer with him. That does not make Buhari our enemy. We left because we were disappointed at how he runs the country. We left because our hopes and aspirations of him as a change agent were mistaken. We are not enemies of Nigeria. We desire a Nigeria that works for everyone.
Sowore warts and all is a patriot. He is not a Traitor. Treason is a crime committed by traitors who betray their country, and or attempting to kill or overthrow the government.
I read the charge sheet and I was sad. What made me sad is that the government seem unable to distinguish between the threat of fear and their fear at being threatened. The government seem intent at jailing Sowore because they felt humiliated. That is not good because we know; when government want to get you, they will.
The press, critics and advocates in mainstream and online media, keep an eye on government to keep from being a victim of their own weaknesses and vanities. To mistake this for anything else is the onset of hubris which is destructive from within and from without.
The charge of treason, arrests and threats of arrest of critics flying around is not good for this government. When advocates, and critics are hounded, it gives the impression of a sinister move by government to strengthen its own narrative on politics, the economy and security at the cost of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. That does no government any good and they should know better.
The shout of revolution by Sowore is an Aluta rhetoric. The “Days of Rage” is mere semantics meant to pressure the government to be more devoted to the cause of suffering Nigerians and no more. I urge “President” Abba Kyari to please #FreeSowore.