10th December, 2019
Sowore's Wife Comments on United Nations Human Rights Day
“Today, December 10th, as the world celebrates Human Rights Day, my husband Omoyele Sowore sits in an isolated prison cell in Nigeria where he has been illegally abducted and detained by President Buhari for 130 days and counting. Many people know my husband as a human rights activist and for his work as founder of NY-based Sahara Reporters that sheds light on corruption, human rights abuses, and political misconduct in Nigeria.
My husband Sowore’s case is not isolated. His case represents something much bigger than his individual struggle for good governance, acceptable living standards, and his dream of a Nigeria that works for all its citizens. Today, Agba Jalingo and many other journalists, activists, and bloggers sit in prisons across Nigeria in clear violation of their fundamental human rights. Their collective cases represent a crackdown on freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and a clear sign of the shrinking civil space in Nigeria. President Buhari’s regime has shown a clear disregard for the rule of law openly violating court orders to release many of these critical voices. Also, of profound concern are the recent Social Media and Hate Speech bills that are designed to silence critics of the Nigerian government legally.
This Human Rights Day, I am calling on the United Nations to intervene on behalf of my husband Omoyele Sowore, and on behalf of all other political prisoners in Nigeria. I am scared and fear that without your help, my husband will not come home. I have had to comfort my young children in the middle of the night when they’ve had nightmares. Twelve hours after their father was released, I had to tell my children that the Nigerian government had illegally taken him into custody again. My husband’s life and the lives of many other journalists and activists depend on your action and swift intervention."
- Opeyemi Sowore, Wife of Omoyele Sowore