Nigeria: Sowore - Rein in DSS, Soyinka Tells Buhari

Omoyele Sowore was rearrested in court by agents from the Department of State Security (DSS) the day after he was released on court order.
7 December 2019

Lagos — Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday condemned the alleged invasion of the court in Abuja by officials of the Department of State Service (DSS), asking President Muhammadu Buhari to rein in his "wild dogs."

In a statement titled, "Lessons from the African Wild Dog (Lycaeon Pictus)" issued following the rearrest of the Convener of #Revolution Now, Mr Omoyele Sowore, Soyinka said, "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!"

He decried what he called, "escalating degradation of the judiciary", saying disobedience of court orders was fast becoming a norm in Buhari's government.

"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."

According to him, disobedience of court orders could precipitate civil disobedience.

He added, "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.

"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."

Also commenting on the Sowore's saga, former Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Barr. Monday Ubani described the drama in court as "unacceptable, despicable and something nobody should be proud of as a citizen of this country."

He said he was alarmed by the seeming "desecration of the judiciary," calling on the President to immediately sack the DSS Director-General whom he said, had caused him "monumental embarrassment."

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