Panic As Jonathan’s Men Go After Social Media Activists Demanding For Change Through Bulk SMS And Emails!

By on March 20, 2015


In a scary development yesterday, one of my colleagues and a very active internet marketer who has been providing SMS numbers and email numbers sourced from the internet, to supporters of General Muhammadu Buhari was arrested, with handcuffs, by 3 car loads of fierce looking gun-wielding SSS gunmen.

These gun totting men from SSS broke into an ongoing digital marketing training workshop being organized by Mr. Stephen Akintayo, a digital marketer and bulk sms seller, and hauled him away in handcuffs to the SSS head office in Shangisha, on ‘orders from the presidency’ according to the arresting officer.

When I got the news, I quickly dispatched some attorneys from my law firm to the SSS office to find out what happened. When they got to the scene to ask for the reasons why our client was being detained, we were refused audience with him throughout the day, on the excuse that the officers who ordered his arrest were not around. On further insistent enquiries, they said they were operating on orders from Abuja to round up people disseminating Jonathan must go messages on SMS and emails.

My colleague ended up being detained overnight at the SSS Headquarters for allegedly providing emails or sms numbers that were used for anti-Jonathan messages

The officer disclosed that several people have also been arrested for the same offense, and some of them mentioned Mr. Akintayo as the man who provided them with emails and sms numbers which they used to send the CHANGE messages explaining to people why they should vote out Jonathan during March 28 elections. We waited in vain all through Tuesday with no audience.

Finally my lawyer was allowed to see Mr. Akintayo the next day, on Wednesday and he was eventually released on bail though no formal charges had been levelled against him, and he was asked to report back on Friday as they ‘continue’ their investigations.

This arbitrary arrest of people for suspected pro-Buhari inclinations for daring to use their phone sms and emails to campaign for their candidate of choice is a worrisome development and we condemn it in its totality. We continue to maintain that we have every right as Nigerians to canvass support for whoever we support in a democratic setting.

In any case, we believe that if the government had done its job well in the last 6 years, it would not have had to worry about so many people asking for CHANGE.

We must also point out that Nigeria is yet to enact any laws as to who can send messages by sms to other people, or have any legal restrictions to the amount of sms or emails anyone can send in Nigeria.

Unlike other nations with strategic direction and progressive policies on digital marketing, Nigeria is yet to catch up to the exploding social media phenomenon. We don’t have laws on internet marketing and we don’t have any laws against spamming or mass mailings yet. WE DON’T HAVE ANTI-SPAM LAWS IN THE COUNTRY AS WE SPEAK and Presiden Jonathan should take responsiblity for this laxity and not resort to punishing young people for taking advantage of a situation that is not illegal.

So, it amounts to jungle justice for Jonathan’s men in SSS Uniform to go around rounding up Nigerians who are exercising their legitimate rights to free speech, and free association, by using their phones to send sms and their email accounts to send political messages, which unlike the pronouncements of the 1st lady, are not inciting any violence, but simply reminding Nigerians of the abysmal records of their govt.

Unless President Jonathan has passed a secret law when we were not looking, the last time we checked, any Nigerian is free to express his dissatisfaction against the government in a democratic setting, in exercise of the fundamental rights GUARANTEED under our constitution. It is therefore very worrisome that our government has gone so desperate as to start silencing people for expressing their hearts. It must also be noted that millions of anti Buhari messages are being sent to peoples’ phones everyday too by supporters and hirelings of the Jonathan Government. Yet, NOBODY sending out any supporting messages for President Jonathan has been arrested so far for violating a non-existing law for which my friends, colleagues and clients have been arrested.

We are using this opportunity to let all Nigerians know that this country is gradually descending to a Gestapo State though we are in a civilian government. It is actually ironic that those who have been accusing a former military ruler of indiscriminate arrest during a military regime, are now doing the same thing openly in a democratic setting…

We are also letting all Nigerians know that the SSS people, claiming to operate on order from Abuja, have warned us that us and our people will be arrested without bail, should we refuse to stop posting social media messages and SMS messages against the government. We have replied them that we will not stop, and we will not let our fundamental human rights be abridged without a fight. We definitely do not intend to stop our campaign against a government that has mortgaged the lives of its citizens these last four years with lack of direction in many areas. We most humbly ask all Nigerians who believe in democracy, regardless of their political persuasions, to stand with us to condemn this act of lawlessness by officers under the Jonathan government

In readiness from the worst from the fascist officers of the SSS who may make a run at us in the crucial days leading to the 2015 elections, we have put structures in place to ensure Nigerians are updated in real time of further developments.

We believe in one Nigeria. We believe in democratic Nigeria and we believe in a free and fair elect ions after a free and fair campaign period.

About Dr. Ope Banwo

Dr. Ope Banwo is an Attorney; Pastor; Business Consultant; Author; Motivational Speaker, and Corporate Solutions Provider. He holds several degrees in Law including a Bachelors, Masters and a Ph.D. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar (1986), New York Bar (1997) and Federal Court of Nebraska (1997) in the United States. Ope Banwo has written several published books on different topics over the years including bestsellers in Christianity; Lifestyle; and Business such as The Kingdompreneur, Overcoming The Gideon Complex, The Kingdom Citizen, The Return of The Prodigal; The Blessings of Adversity; African Internet Business Manifesto; Confessions Of A Guru-Wannabe; Social Media Marketing Genesis; Offline-Online Business Manifesto, Digital Marketing Without Tears For Company Executives etc. Deeply committed to public service and service to humanity, Dr Ope Banwo has also initiated several public initiatives including the Ghetto Dreamz Foundation to empower economically-disadvantaged Youths; The Omega Wealth Club to teach youths legitimate ways to employ themselves online; The Kingdompreneur Academy to impact Christians in Business and the Nigerian Market Ombudsman to ensure transparency, accountability and fairness in the market place.

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