By Omoyele Sowore
Yesterday, I saw a number of pictures of a man referred to as a “Fake Bishop”, who is also a plumber “apprehended” presumably by supporters of Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi in a market in Dei Dei neighbourhood of Abuja.
His offence? He was accused of appearing as a “fake bishop” at the unveiling event of Bola Tinubu’s VP, Alhaji Shettima also in Abuja weeks ago.
I was particularly shocked that some highly respected persons on Facebook/WhatsApp and elsewhere celebrated this mob justice against this particular Nigerian.
Since the advent of this election cycle we’ve seen and observed a heightened level of harassment of citizens via death threats, arson threats, verbal and now physical abuse against those who happen not to support Peter Obi’s candidacy.
A Catholic Church pastored by Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka known as Adoration Ministry was a victim of this mob action, Femi Kuti’s African Shrine in Lagos was at the receiving end of arsonists over his refusal to support Mr. Obi for President.
We’ve seen supporters brandishing guns and threatening people who might not support Obi’s candidacy.
A former media assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri complained consistently that the life of his one year old daughter was repeatedly threatened.
Obi’s supporters are not alone in this unconscionable act, a disabled Obi supporter was reportedly beaten for displaying his paraphernalia. However, Obi’s campaigners have demonstrated the most amount of intolerance and harassment of his opponents.
The latest mobbing of the Bishop/plumber is barbaric, unacceptable and criminal.
I condemn these conducts and urge Nigerians to stand by their rights to choose their leaders without pandering to fear, harassment and threats by anyone.
No set of persons or groups should be allowed to ride roughshod on anyone simply because they refuse to follow their preferred candidate(s).
It is DEMOCRACY, founded and built fundamentally on the freedom to choose.
@views exclusive rights: Omoyele Sowore, Founder, SaharaReporters, August 21, 2022.