A former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, was arrested in the company of other activists participating in a protest against the Nigerian government in the early hours of Friday, January 1, 2021.
According to a report by Sahara Reporters, owned by Sowore, police officers attacked and arrested the protesters during a peaceful procession to mark the new year in Abuja.
The protesters were reportedly wounded before they were allegedly taken and detained at the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit in the capital city.
It’s currently unclear how many others were arrested alongside Sowore, but four have been identified.
Sowore had on Thursday, December 31, 2020 called for a nationwide crossover protest against the current government.
“How about a CrossOver Protest/Uprising tonight? Anyone willing to participate?” he posted on his official Twitter account.
The crossover protest also held in Ondo and Kaduna as Nigerians celebrated the new year.
While it’s yet to be officially communicated why the protesters were arrested, the Nigerian government had been insistent over the past week that its 12 am to 4 am curfew to combat the spread of COVID-19 would be strictly enforced.
The outspoken Sowore has also had a running battle with the government since he called for revolutionary nationwide protests against the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government months after losing to him in the 2019 presidential election.
He was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) in August 2020 and detained for months, accused of treasonable felony, before a court granted him bail.
His bail conditions stop him from leaving Abuja, or participating in any form of protests pending the determination of the suit against him.