The Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, has sternly rebuked the Buhari administration after it filed charges of treason against the detained publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.
Mr Soyinka said the government “has indeed attained an unprecedented level of paranoia” over the “improbable” charges that include “insulting” President Muhammadu Buhari.
Charges against the activist became public on Friday, more than a month after Mr Sowore was detained by the State Security Service for planning the #RevolutionNow protest.
The SSS obtained a court order authorising Mr Sowore to be held for 45 days in the first instance.
Last week, security forces laid a siege to the offices of Sahara Reporters in Lagos, in a bid to stop a protest demanding Mr Sowore’s release.
Mr Soyinka slammed the government’s charges, saying the nation had failed to learn from its past.
Read the full statement:
BACK TO THE TREASONABLY FELONIOUS FORMULA
This is utterly depressing news. So, the Sowore affair has moved beyond harassment and taken on a sinister direction. Outside the country where I happened to be engaged at the moment, I can testify that the immediate reaction around me was to dismiss this as yet another grotesque product of Fake News, of which Nigerians have become the greatest practitioners. I confess that I also joined in this school of thought — at the start.
Further checks have however confirmed that this government has indeed attained an unprecedented level of paranoia. I do not believe that the Justice department itself believes in these improbable charges, as formally publicised. So, once again, we inscribe in our annals another season of treasonable felony, History still guards some lessons we have yet to digest, much less from which to learn.
Welcome to the Club, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.