We, Writers Without Borders, wish to express our profound dismay at the arrest and interrogation of the Nigerian academic and journalist Dr. Okey Ndibe, as well as the seizure of his passports by agents of the Nigerian State Security Services (SSS).
We consider this despotic action as an attempt to muzzle the voices of dissent to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan. We believe that such acts have no place in our democracy.
We urge President Goodluck Jonathan to quickly put an end to this shameful act by returning Prof. Ndibe’s passports forthwith. We want to believe that this was a case of overzealous agents stuck in the mindset of the past when lawlessness was the way of carrying out the business of the nation. If the goal of the security agency is to frighten writers into silence, let it be known to them that this will have an opposite effect. Nigerian writers will continue to exercise their right to free speech. They will continue to advocate for a decent life for all Nigerian citizens. They will continue to oppose the culture of impunity and lawlessness that breed corruption, injustice, and insecurity.
We consider the harassment of Okey Ndibe as a harassment of us all. We hope that the Nigerian government will pull back from this descent into the abyss. We have been there before and we all know that it did not work out well for both the oppressed and the oppressors.
Obiwu & Rudolf Okonkwo
For: Writers Without Borders