Sowore: ‘Rein in your wild dogs…’, Soyinka tells Buhari

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. [PHOTO CREDIT: Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism]
Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka. [PHOTO CREDIT: Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism]

The violent actions of State Security Service officials at an Abuja court on Friday, while trying to arrest Omoyele Sowore, are worse than those of wild dogs devouring their meal, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka has said.

Mr Soyinka reacted to the action of the SSS in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES titled ‘LESSONS FROM THE AFRICAN WILD DOG (Lycaeon Pictus).’

He said the wild dogs in a video he watched devouring their prey “exhibited more civilized table manners” than the SSS did on Friday.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how armed SSS officials stormed the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to rearrest Mr Sowore and Olawale Bakare.

Both men were only released Thursday night after over 120 days in detention.

They were arrested for organising a protest tagged #RevolutionNow against bad governance in Nigeria. The government charged them with treason, money laundering and insulting President Buhari.

They were detained despite two court orders ordering their release.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu on Thursday ordered that both men be released within 24 hours.

The SSS, in a bid to claim to have complied with the order, released both men Thursday night before re-arresting them Friday morning in court.

The armed officials went into the court premises to violently apprehend the activists.

“Only yesterday, in my commentary on the ongoing Sowore saga, I pointed out the near perfect similarity between plain crude thuggery and the current rage of court disobedience. Little did I suspect that the state children of disobedience would aspire to the level of the African wild dogs on a pack hunt,” Mr Soyinka said.

Read the full statement by Mr Soyinka below.

A few years ago, I watched the video of a pack of the famed African wild dogs hunt, eventually bring down, and proceed to devour a quarry. It was an impala, antelope family. The pack isolated the most vulnerable looking member of the herd – it was pregnant – pursued it, until it fled to a waterhole which, for such animals, is the nearest thing to a sanctuary.

A few minutes ago, almost as it was happening, I watched the video of a pack of the DSS, bring down, and fight over their unarmed, totally defenceless quarry within the sanctuary of a court of law. I found little or no difference between the two scenarios, except that the former, the wild dogs, exhibited more civilized table manners than the DSS u court manners.

Only yesterday, in my commentary on the ongoing Sowore saga, I pointed out the near perfect similarity between plain crude thuggery and the current rage of court disobedience. Little did I suspect that the state children of disobedience would aspire to the level of the African wild dogs on a pack hunt.

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I apologize for underestimating the DSS capacity for the unthinkable. I reiterate the nation’s concern, indeed alarm, about the escalating degradation of the judiciary through multiple means, of which disobedience of court orders is fast becoming the norm. May I remind this government that disobedience calls to disobedience, and that disobedience of the orders of the constitutional repository of the moral authority of arbitration – the judiciary – can only lead eventually to a people’s disregard of the authority of other arms of civil society, a state of desperation that is known, recognized and accepted as – civil disobedience. It is so obvious – state disobedience leads eventually to civil disobedience, piecemeal or through a collective withdrawal of recognition of other structures of authority. That way leads to chaos but – who set it in motion? As is often the case, the state, unquestionably. Such a state bears full responsibility for the ensuing social condition known as anomie.

It has become imperative and urgent to send this message to President-General Buhari: Rein in your wild dogs of disobedience. And for a start, get a trainer to teach them some basic court manners!



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