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Sowore Embarks On Hunger Strike To Protest Unlawful Detention: What Can He Really Achieve?

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Sowore tried to stage a peaceful protest which eventually led to his arrest. Now in detention, he has embarked on one of the most peaceful protests known through out history: a hunger strike. The real question is, in a country as unforgiveably corrupt like Nigeria, what can he really achieve?

Sowore’s Predicament

It all started on the 3rd of August as Sowore made preparations to bring the government on its toes by organising a protest he called ‘Revolution now‘. It was intended that every Nigerian join him as the dissatisfaction was too evident to ignore. However, he realized a little too late that ‘Revolution now’ was never meant to happen.

The reason for the hunger strike

After appearing in court and hearing the bail conditions placed on him, it was clear that he couldnt meet up with it. His lawyer and famous activist, Femi Falana requested the court varied the bail conditions which were eventually varied and met by Sowore . However, ever since the said conditions were met and his release ordered by the court,  the Department of State Services(DSS) have apparently refused to release him.

There are are varied reasons for the current detention of Sowore. The first being the DSS stating that no one has come to take up Sowore. On the other hand, the danger of a one-sided story revealed itself when Femi Falana denied this and explained  that the DSS has in fact refused to release Sowore. Sowore, realizing he couldn’t get justice on his side, deceided to go on a hunger strike on Thursday the 7th of November.

So far, he has refused to see anyone and eat anything. It might just be him fasting or an actual hunger strike but the real question is, does the government really care?

Has hunger strike ever been effective?

People through out history have embarked on varied hunger strike in order to make political statements.

Famous people like Mahatma Gandhi,  Anna Hazare, ,Marion Wallace-Dunlop, Cesar Chavaz etc have all embarked on hunger strikes for good causes

It started in the early times in India before many protesters started adopting the act. In those times, the offender being protested against were persons in the Western country who on some occassions reacted positively. But in a country like Nigeria were the people in high places are quite nonchalant in maintaining justice, it begs the question: does Sowore’s hunger strike really mean anything?

How long can an average person go without food?

The average human can go a particularly long amount of time without food. Christians go into religious fasting which sometimes last up to 30 days. The typical human being can last up to 60 days but only if water is taken. Without water, the person may die within 8- 10 days. However, the ability to resist can vary from person to person. Usually people with higher fat storage and no underlying health issues can last longer.

What Sowore can practically achieve

Usually in prisons, the government is responsible for every prisoner. Therefore, the life and death of a prisoner becones the responsibility of the government as soon as the said prisoner is brought into custody. Basically, if anything is to happen to Sowore, the government is fully liable; but do they really care?

Bottom line

The whole concept of a hunger strike is that the person being protested against is not affected while the protester suffers. Sowore is suffering now as far as we know and it is the responsibility of not just the government but of Nigerians to alleviate the suffering. It is evident that if we proceed on this path of nonchalance to the real issues, then there is really no hope for the common Nigerian. If Sowore who is under public scrutiny is being treated this way, what is the present predicament of the common, unpopular and poor Nigerian Prisoner?

One thing is clear though, history will remember Omoyele Sowore.

READ ALSO: Myths about Lawyers/law students debunked


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