Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

SPN Condemns Court Order to Detain Sowore for 45 Days

The Socialist Party Nigeria (SPN) strongly condemns the judicial contrivance of the federal government obtained through an order of the Federal High Court to detain Omoyele Sowore for another 45 days. We restate our demand for immediate and unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore as well as all detained activists and journalists.
We call for an immediate meeting of civil society organizations, trade unions and pro-working class organizations and political parties to discuss the next step in the campaign to fight for the release of Omoyele Sowore and other detained activists and journalists as well as how to build the struggle to begin to challenge the anti-poor policies of the Buhari regime.
Sowore’s arrest and subsequent detention are predicated on a trumped up charge of terrorism. The DSS, which arrested Sowore, approached the federal high court for an ex parte order to investigate its allegation of terrorism against Sowore, while he is behind bars. The DSS proved by this action that it has no substantial material evidence to arrest Sowore in the first place; and that his arrest was designed to foil the August 5 protest or subsequent ones against the maladministration of the Buhari’s regime. This is a completely anti-democratic action, which has torn to shred any façade of democracy this regime hides behind.
We are not surprised in the SPN that the Nigerian courts have wittingly or unwittingly joined this grand contrivance of the state to smother democratic rights. In the final analysis, the capitalist court is not the last hope of the common person. Rather, just like the police and army, the judiciary is an institution for the defense of capitalist class interests. The culture of employing ex parte orders to deny the fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens is disquieting; beginning with the designation of IPOB and Shi’ites as terrorist organizations, and now Omoyele Sowore. These developments are anti-democratic and condemnable. The government of President Muhammadu Buhari, despite failing the masses of this country, whose household economy has consistently nosedived since 2015, is intolerant of dissents.
We call on civil right lawyers to challenge this ex parte order at higher court and also challenge the constitutionality of the terrorism act, which has become a legal instrument to suppress fundamental rights, in court. This legal action must be held side by side with a series of mass actions including peaceful protests against the growing brazen attack on democratic rights.
Despite our criticism of the call for #RevolutionNow which represents in our view an attempt by a minority to carry out a revolution which is an action that can only be carried out by the mass of the working people, the August 5 protest is a clear indication of the burning anger and temper of the long-suffering working masses and the youth against the poverty-inducing policies of the Buhari/APC administration. It is for this reason that we again urge the NLC, TUC and the ULC to provide leadership for the mass of workers, youth and poor masses by declaring a one-day general strike and mass protest to demand immediate implementation of the N30, 000 national minimum wage for all public and private sector workers without retrenchment, decent employment for all, an end to all anti-poor policies of privatization, commercialization and deregulation.
We recognize that, finally, the NLC has issued a public statement condemning the arrest of Sowore and the attack on protesters. This is an improvement on the statement the NLC issued on Saturday 3rd August 2019 where it distanced itself from the August 5 protest. We applaud this change of course by the NLC and urge that this is deepened by the labour movement boldly putting itself at the head of a mass struggle to begin to challenge all capitalist anti-poor policies and build a political alternative to end capitalism and enthrone a workers-led government armed with socialist policies.
Abiodun Bamigboye
Acting National Chairperson

Chinedu Bosah
National Secretary


E-mail: [email protected]