John Campbell, a former United States Ambassador to Nigeria has accused the Buhari-led administration of tainting Nigeria’s international reputation with the rearrest of Omoyele Sowore in his statement titled: “Buhari’s Dictatorial Past and the Rule of Law Today in Nigeria”.
The diplomat also spoke about the danger ahead of the press following Punch Newspaper’s editorial on prefixing President Buhari’s title with his rank as a military dictator and referring to his administration as a “regime” as a symbolic demonstration of their protest against the President’s alleged autocracy and military-style repression.
The statement released by Campbell who served as U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria from May 12, 2004, to July 19, 2007, was published on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations and it reads in part;
“The state security service assault on a courtroom and the re-arrest of Sowore has already damaged the country’s international reputation.
“Buhari is not surprising, but it is worth noting that Zakzaky and Dasuki are both northern Muslims. What is different this time is the parallelism between military rule and Buhari’s civilian administration.
“Nigeria’s foreign friends will be hoping that the government takes no move to limit Punch’s freedom of expression. The SSS assault on a courtroom and the re-arrest of Sowore has already damaged the country’s international reputation.
“The Sowore re-arrest is consolidating opposition to the president by civil society, the press, international opinion and now religious leaders. It is to be hoped that the Buhari administration is looking actively for a way to defuse the Sowore issue, perhaps by allowing him to return to the United States.”