New Jersey senator, Senator Bob Menendez, has expressed in clear terms the displeasure of the United States of America over the continued detention and abuse of the rights on Omoyele Sowore.
During the press conference, the Senator had said the act was absurd for a country that calls itself a democracy.
“New Jersey is watching, the United States is watching, and the world is watching!” the Senator began in his address.
“I fear that the blatant harassment of Mr. Sowore, an activist and journalist, whose only crime appears to be exercising his right to free expression is becoming symptomatic of increasingly closing political and civic space in Nigeria.”
“The Nigerian court had twice ordered his release on bail and the state security agency openly defiled order each time, leading me to conclude that either Nigeria no longer respects the rule of law or President Buhari is woefully out of touch with what agents of his government are doing in his name”
“This is unacceptable in a country that calls itself a democracy,” the senator said before inviting Opeyemi Sowore to share the stage with him.
“Freedom of the press is a fundamental pillar of a democracy and an indispensable check on government overreach.”
“Journalists who risk their lives to expose the truth should be celebrated, not incarcerated,” the senator said. He further explained the importance of press freedom and why it has been enshrined in the United States constitution for over 200 years, saying it cannot be displayed in a democracy.
“It is unacceptable to treat the husband and father of a US citizen with such blatant cruelty, so we stand with the family who is devastated by the uncertainty that these actions have caused.
“Today my office contacted the United States ambassador to Nigeria in an effort to obtain answers to what actions the United States have taken on the Sowore family’s behalf.”
“In the next several days, I will continue to engage with the state department in Washington to ascertain the impact that the rearrest of Mr Sowore and the detention of activists and journalists will have on our relationship with Nigeria.
“My hope is that the bilateral relationship we have with Nigeria will be reassessed in light of these events!” Bob Menendez declares.
“Mr Sowore needs to be freed now, the rule of law must be observed and that means he should be liberated!”
Watch the video of Senator Bob’s address below.