The presidency has said that Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka and others calling for the release of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore are blackmailing president Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement issued on Sunday by the Special Assistant to the president on Media, Garba Shehu, said no amount of blackmail will deter the police and other security agencies from doing their work.
According to Shehu: “You mentioned the name of Professor Wole Soyinka. Some of these critics of government are people whom we have great respect and admiration for. When things are going wrongly with the law and order in the country, they say the police are not doing their work. They raise their voices, asking that ‘the culprits to be booked and expeditiously punished in the most severe manner.’
“The police under a new leadership is now rising to the occasion, saying ‘we cannot take any more atrocities against the law in our country’ and they are saying don’t do anything.
“They are calling out President Buhari and comparing him to autocratic leaders. This is an unpardonable blackmail that cannot stop the police and other law-enforcement agencies from doing their work.
“A Nigerian is by right empowered to call for a change of government using constitutional means, to protest peacefully against government policies and decisions. But to call for the violent overthrow of a democratically-elected government and president and worse – were those calling for it or attempting to do so – is not acceptable under any law in Nigeria.
“Violence will never be accepted again as a way to change government in this country. Those days are gone.
“Nigeria has a well-crafted Constitution and elaborate laws governing elections that guide an orderly succession in government. We have a judicial system that actively serves as a watchdog of the people’s rights.
“Yet, we are daily witnesses to obscene display of delight in the killing of our soldiers and policemen, an open contempt for the country’s laws and its people, accompanied by loud cheers from the so-called new media. Is this the way to grow a country?”