Soyinka Faults Government On Ndibe's Arrest

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com
PHOTO: DR OKEY NDIBE.
PHOTO: DR OKEY NDIBE.

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 09, (THEWILL) - Nobel Laureate and writer, Professor Wole Soyinka, has faulted Government over the arrest of United States based journalist and University professor, Dr. Okey Ndibe by officers of the State Security Service (SSS) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Saturday night.

Dr. Ndibe who also had his travel passport confiscated arrived on board a Turkey Airlines flight.

Professor Soyinka, who is also Convener of Citizen Forum in a statement obtained by THEWILL in Sunday said: “Election neurosis has clearly gripped a most insensitive and inept security apparatus. Inept because the harassment of a journalist is the very worst form of service that can be rendered to their paymasters in a democracy. I presume of course that we are not only under democratic governance but are actually engaged in a process that is supposed to strengthen that condition.

“All the signs indicate that the nation is being deceived, and that another extravagant sham is being presented to the world. The action of a Security with regard to Okey Ndibe will be taken as enjoying the full support of the government unless his passport is immediately returned and a severe reprimand meted out to the agency responsible for this violation of the most elementary rights of its citizens. Not only that, they must be instructed that it must never happen again,” Soyinka said.

He challenged Nigerians to remain vigilant and proactive in the protection of their rights as citizens.

“The nation is urged to remain vigilant and proactive in the protection of their citizen rights. These, let us remind ourselves, include freedom of expression, freedom to associate, and freedom of movement. The infringement of any one of these, no matter who is the victim, becomes the collective responsibility of all and must be sternly addressed.

“A movement towards fascism begins with seemingly innocuous violations. The signs are increasingly ominous but we have been here before,” Soyinka added.

Dr Okey Ndibe who contributes opinion articles to THEWILL on Monday’s told THEWILL in an email that he was ‘briefly detained’ and released after he was asked ‘a few questions about my column for a Nigerian newspaper (and several websites). The interrogating officer released me. However, he seized my Nigerian and American passports and directed me to report to their Lagos headquarters Monday morning to see the agency’s director.”