Nigerian activist arrested

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Nigerian security agents arrested Omoyele Sowore, an activist, news organisation founder and former presidential candidate calling for revolution, the security agency said.

Sowore founded Nigerian online news organisation Sahara Reporters and ran for president as a minor candidate in the February election, was arrested by the State Security Service at the weekend.

The detention comes as President Muhammadu Buhari faces criticism for his administration’s record on human rights, particularly a lethal crackdown on protesting followers of a Shi’ite leader in detention despite a court order he be freed.

Sowore said Nigeria needs revolution partly because elections were not credible, along with other issues ranging from corruption to ineptitude.

“We don’t want war,” he said in a July video. “We want a clean, quick, succinct revolutionary process – surgical. That will put an end to the shenanigans of government, that will put an end to oppression, the corruption of government.”

Sowore planned a nationwide series of protests on Monday.

The State Security Service said calls for revolution were unlawful.

“He’s with us,” said a spokesman, confirming the arrest.

“He has crossed the line, he threatened public safety. Nothing will happen, there won’t be any revolution. Government, elected democratically, will remain in place.”

A presidency spokesman said there is “a difference between peaceful call to protest and incitement for a revolution.”

The statement did not refer to the arrest, but said “the ballot box is the only constitutional means of changing government and a president in Nigeria.”