*Journalist arrested by security operatives, released hours later
*As Sowore’s group vow to continue picketing Dunamis Churches in Lagos, Abuja unless…
By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
Tension, on Sunday, enveloped the precincts of Dunamis International Gospel Centre headquarters in Abuja following the decision of members of the Take-It-Back movement led by former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, to stage a protest demanding the release of their comrades arrested by the Department of State Security during a ‘Buhari Must Go’ demonstration last week at the church.
The protesters had regrouped for confrontation with the church administration and insisted that the affairs of the nation were in a bad shape.
This was even as another group, Abuja Grassroots Project (AGP), stormed the church with #IStandwithBuhari shirts matched with face caps to counter the protest by Sowore’s men.
However, the Church requested the deployment of security operatives to forestall any breakdown of law and order.
But the security operatives deployed to the scene arrested and whisked away from a correspondent of The PUNCH Newspapers, Mr Solomon Odeniyi, who was at church to cover the protest.
The circumstances surrounding Odeniyi’s detention were unclear as of the time of filing this report.
Sources, however, said the gun-wielding security operatives harassed him as well as the camera crew of Roots TV at the main gate of the church and subjected them to serious interrogation.
“Some journalists who came earlier were chased away and harassed by the overzealous security agents. They arrested and took away the ones who tried to resist them,” Ezekiel Oguche, an eyewitness said.
Hours later, Odeniyi regained his freedom. the FCT Police Commissioner, Bala Ciroma, confirmed his release to journalists.
Meanwhile, Take-It-Back Movement has threatened to continue to picket Dunamis Churches in Abuja and Lagos until the detained ‘Buhari Must Go’ activists were also released.
A press release from the group which was signed by Mr Oni Ayoyinka reads: “On the 4th of July, 2021 Youths dressed in #BuhariMustGo shirts attended Dunamis Church in Abuja. They came out for the Altar call and were prayed for by Pastor Enenche. On their way out of the church, they were ambushed by Dunamis Church security who handed them over to the DSS after they were mercilessly tortured.
“A week later, these youths are still in illegal detention, tortured, denied access to lawyers, families and friends.
“Friends and families who have now gone to the church demanding the intervention of Pastor Enenche whose security handed the youth activists to the DSS were harassed and arrested. Journalists from thedailynewsngr.com and others who have also come to do their job were also molested and whisked away by security agents.
“The actions of the activists, including a visually impaired Samuel Gabriel at Dunamis last week Sunday is not against any law of the land. They have the right to wear what they like anywhere and they also have the right to operate their phones. We have demanded the Dunamis Church to secure their release and we have also sued both Dunamis Church and the DSS.
“The reaction of Dunamis church to the protest by family and friends of the arrested youths have yet again that the church is in direct connivance with the regime in the detention of the activists.
“It is to this end that we state categorically that we’d be occupying the Dunamis Church if the activists are not released and allowed to return to their families. And with this, we want to state categorically that mobilizations have now begun to picket the Dunamis Church.
“Wearing ‘Buhari Must Go’ to church isn’t an offence known to law.”