Sowore: Nigeria presenting itself poorly to Biden – Ex-US envoy, Campbell Skip to main content

Sowore: Nigeria presenting itself poorly to Biden – Ex-US envoy, Campbell


John Campbell, a former US Ambassador to Nigeria, has criticised the arrest of Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore.

Sowore and four others were put on remand at the Kuje Correctional Centre by Abuja Magistrates’ Court.

In his reaction, Campbell told the Nigerian authorities that the arrest puts the country in a bad light.

The senior fellow for Africa at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington hinted that the coming government in America was taking notes.

“The arrest of Nigerian journalist and human rights activist Omoyele Sowore is a poor representation of Nigeria to the incoming Biden administration”, Campbell tweeted.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has written to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in protest of the detention.

SERAP urged the UN group to pressure President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to release the detainees.

In late 2019, Campblell likened the Buhari administration to military rule.

This followed Sowore’s re-arrest at the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 6 of the same year, and The Punch newspaper’s declaration that the Nigeria leader was a Major General not a President.

In an article titled: “Buhari’s Dictatorial Past and the Rule of Law Today in Nigeria”, Campbell stated that the Department of State Service’s (DSS) action had damaged the country’s international reputation.

He noted that in the immediate aftermath of the DSS’s “invasion of an Abuja court room and its re-arrest of Sowore, The Punch announced that it will prefix President Muhammadu Buhari’s name with his military rank, Major General, and will refer to his administration as a “regime,” until “they purge themselves of their insufferable contempt for the rule of law.”

According to Campbell, “The Punch draws parallels between Buhari’s government and his “ham-fisted military junta in 1984/85,” when he was military chief of state. For Punch the “regime’s actions and assaults on the courts, disobedience of court orders and arbitrary detention of citizens reflect the true character of the martial culture.”

He added that the newspaper also attacked the military and the police for failing to understand that peaceful agitation and the right to associate are fundamental rights.

Campbell said The Punch referred to the detention of Islamic Movement of Nigeria leader, Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, his wife, and former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, all in violation of various court orders, as well as governors’ moves to curtail media freedom and the right to demonstrate.

“Its criticism of Buhari is not surprising, but it is worth noting that Zakzaky and Dasuki are both northern Muslims. What is different this time is the parallelism between military rule and Buhari’s civilian administration. Buhari’s supporters are likely to find the Punch stance infuriating.

“Nigeria’s foreign friends will be hoping that the government takes no move to limit Punch’s freedom of expression. The SSS assault on a court room and the re-arrest of Sowore has already damaged the country’s international reputation”, Cambell stressed.


Popular posts from this blog

#BBNaija SEASON 5: Meet the housemates

After many weeks of waiting, the popular reality TV show, Big Brother Naija is back with a new season that promises to be filled with immense drama and excitement. According to organisers, MultiChoice Nigeria, the winner of this year’s edition will be going home with N85 million worth of prizes! Yes, way bigger than the previous editions. The breakdown of the prizes for the winner includes: a N30m cash prize; a top SUV; a trip to Dubai for two; a trip to Dublin; a two bedroom apartment; three smartphones; and a year’s supply of selected food stuff, snacks and drinks. There’s also a bonus prize of two VIP Tickets to watch a Champion League final game live. Meet the housemates: DORATHY Dorathy Bachor is a 24-year-old entrepreneur from Lagos. She believes she is the only one who should make you smile. Her sassiness will definitely prove to be an asset in Biggie’s house. What new habit or skill did you acquire during lockdown? I can sleep for more than four hours. I also discovered the abi

#BBNaija 2020: Get out, I’m done with you – Erica blasts Laycon

Big Brother Naija Lockdown housemate, Ngozi Nlewedim, popularly known as Erica, has berated fellow housemates, Laycon, for gossiping about her with the others. Laycon, who has a very strong feeling for Erica, seems to have been affected by the outcome of rejection as the Abia-born female housemate picked Kiddwaya over him. For this reason, Laycon has been seen at different times and locations discussing Erica and telling fellow housemates how he feels being rejected. Erica had once made it clear that while she is mentally attracted to Laycon, she is physically attracted to her lover, Kiddwaya. Addressing the housemates during Sunday’s live eviction, the reality tv show host, Ebuka had drawn the attention of Erica to things going on around her, one of which was Vee advising Laycon on how to handle his feelings for Erica. After the live eviction, Erica chatted with Vee, wondering why Laycon hasn’t moved on yet. Erica said that by now Laycon should move on and stop going around telling th

#BBNaija 2020: Kiddwaya’s mother finally speaks with Erica, details of conversation revealed

Susan Waya, mother of Big Brother Naija, BBNaija, evicted housemate, Kiddwaya, has finally reached out to ex-housemate, Erica. Mrs Waya, who spoke with Erica on phone, described the evicted BBNaija housemate as a “sweet lady.” She disclosed this to The Boss, a newspaper owned by Dele Momodu, on Monday. Mrs Waya who lives in Essex, United Kingdom said their conversation lasted for about 10 minutes. “She’s such a sweet lady… I’m looking forward to meeting her and can’t wait to see my son very soon in Lagos,” she said. Recall that Erica and Kiddwaya were involved in what many termed as a relationship while on the reality show. Though, they had their on-and-off moments, but the romantic cord between them was unmistakable. While Erica was disqualified from the BBNaija reality television show two weeks ago, Kiddwaya was evicted on Sunday.