Sowore Lacks The Experience That Has Taken Nigeria Nowhere – Oluwaseyi Oyetunbi | GOVERNMEND

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The name Omoyele Sowore means different things to different people, in and outside Nigeria. Your perspective about him is determined by where you stand.
As an investigative journalist, he has uncovered so many corruption cases nailing high profile Nigerians. Sowore does his investigative journalism without minding whose ox is gored, at the time journalists were seeking asylum here and there after just an investigative story or two, Sowore returned to Nigeria from the United States to deepen his investigation and disrupt the political scene. As an activist, Omoyele Sowore has solidarized with different groups and people he considered to be oppressed, that has consistently happened for over 30years on a stretch, he even fought military dictators as a student leader in the 90s for their contempt for human rights. As a pan Africanist and an academic, he has persistently revisited the impacts of colonialism and imperialism on Africa as a continent. Lastly as a politician, he has been able to disrupt the entire political system and has been able to raise the consciousness of millions of young Nigerians through his active participation in partisan politics. While many deem it fit to commend him for his unwavering efforts and the tenacity to change the narrative, we still have millions of Nigerians who have either not gotten his message right or perhaps do not align with his approach and thought process. Notwithstanding, the point of convergence for all perspectives about his personality is that he is not a Nigerian who has a space for fear. Omoyele can simply fit to be a synonym for courage.

Aside Omoyele’s unblemish record of activism that has spanned for over 30years, in my opinion, no Nigerian alive has done more for the masses than this Sowore when it comes to being a voice for the voiceless; when we set aside individuals like Femi Falana, SAN, Prof. Won’t Soyinka and Bishop Matthew Kukah who are respected by all for the role they play in the African society. People from opposition parties have acknowledged Sowore’s roles in the actualization of the Nigerian democracy and fight for human rights at different times.

While many have mentioned that the African Action Congress presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore needs leadership experience, it is worthy of note to state that the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa was never a governor before he became President shortly after his release from detention. He arguably remained the most sought after African leader of this era. The only experience Mandela came with was from leading a group of iconoclast as a freedom fighter and perhaps his years in detention. Yet, he came out to become the best president South Africa ever had and has become a standard for other African leaders. A student president who refused to be corrupt in the 90s, during the dark days of the military junta when corruption flourished so well, at the time Omoyele wasn’t even sure of where his career compass was headed is an embodiment of character and discipline. Omoyele Sowore has paid his dues.

Sowore is not perfect, might have adopted some unapplicable approaches at some points, but he’s still not to be compared to any candidate in the race. His records are inspiring to young Nigerians who hope for a better Nigeria. I don’t necessary agree with all his approaches but I respect him for having the temerity to say and stand by the truth when it matters. No doubt, he is also loaded with ideas that seem to work for this country, and has shown to have the will to make a difference.

In 2019 Sowore called for a nationwide protest, tagged RevolutionNow that became a national issue before, during and after he was thrown into detention. The fearless human rights fighter knew about plots to arrest him upon his delaration of the nationwide protest geared towards enabling the government to put the interest of the common Nigerians at heart and subsequent charges for treasonable felony yet he did not back out, neither did he elude to avoid arrest. We have witnessed how he was assaulted by the DSS officials and dragged away from the court room, we have witnessed several attempts to lynch him and assassinate him, we have also witnessed how his brother was killed and how he carefully avoided making it a tribal thing or even finger any of his known rivals in the gruesome murder of his sibling?
He went through all these and more yet remained unpertubed in the face of danger.

Young Nigerians trooped out aspiring and reeling out ideas to be president in 2019, many of advised Sowore to work with or for one of his colleagues to build a stronger momentum. Only Sowore came back to contest without comproming. Today, let us ask where is; Tope Fasua, Oby Ezekwezile, Ahmed Buhari, Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu. Many of them lost their voices, few others are already with the old men they once said were the issue creators for Nigeria. Meanwhile, not even a single one of them had issue with the government after election unlike Sowore whose lawyers are probably even tired of getting him out of troubles. Most recently is EndSars, there was no other presidential candidate that was more involved in the struggle than Sowore did.

Obviously, any president that will fix this country must lack the kind of experience that has moved us as a nation nowhere since its creation.

Written by Oluwaseyi Oyetunbi

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