Why Sowore? By Jimmy Toriola
Let’s face the fact: among all the people we’ve seen contesting to be president of Nigeria in 2023, Omoyele Sowore stands out as the best.
For years, I have observed this man from a distance, and in as much as I had supported other candidates the last time he contested for president, I have always known that Sowore has the solution to many of Nigeria’s problems, and this is why I think so.
Before you can solve a problem, you must first identify the nature of the problem.
The problem of Nigeria is failed leadership. With this failure comes corruption, nepotism, unemployment, insecurity, a decayed healthcare system and the sheer recklessness of our leaders and public officeholders.
These problems have continued to exist decades after decades because we Nigerians are the enablers. Yes, we enable them with our silence. We are a lackadaisical people who only whine about bad leadership without putting up any resistance. It is in our nature to leave things to “God and karma.” That’s why every time you see Nigerians ranting about poverty, insecurity, corruption and the entire failure of government, you’ll see that they always end their rants with “God will help us.”
We have outsourced our responsibility of holding leaders accountable to God, and we expect God to do it for you. “God will judge them.” “God will punish them,” “God will do this. God will do that.” Yet, while we languish in a dysfunctional economy, we see these politicians flourishing every day.
However, as we continue to suffer and smile in our systemic and inborn cowardice, this man called Sowore has always sworn to stand out. This is a man who understands that it is our collective responsibility to hold leaders accountable, and even when others cower, he has always been at the forefront, agitating, fighting and demanding for a better Nigeria.
In a country where activism has become a business opportunity; in a country where most people become activists just to gain some relevance, blow hot steam, gain popularity, make some sweet cash and either go to sleep or end up working for the same politicians they fought against, Sowore has stood undeterred.
And for every time he was arrested, for every time he was tear-gassed, for every time he was unjustly thrown into jail in a bid to intimidate him, this man always came back stronger, more stubborn and resilient, with his clenched fist raised in the air, punching and chanting “Revolution Now!” because he understands that only a revolution, a total overhaul, can save this country.
Beyond words, I took my time to read his manifesto to see if he truly has a strategy for redeeming Nigeria, or if he’d be like the current ruling class, who came to power with absolutely no plans or strategies of making the country better.
Reading his manifesto was the tipping point for me. I saw that this man understands that most of the recent woes that face poor and even rich Nigerians today are tied to insecurity. He understands that because our farms are no longer safe, the farmers who used to produce enough food to feed the nation and even export abroad, have fled their farms, thereby causing scarcity and skyrocketing the price of food and everything else.
Amongst all other strategies, Sowore plans to solve Nigeria’s insecurity problem by tackling the root causes, which include the long-standing economic deprivation and inequitable access to resources and long-held feelings of injustice which has led to agitations and counter agitations from different groups, and has now metamorphosed into full-blown violence and extremism.
He also plans to put a permanent end to the herdsmen-farmers crisis by transforming the cattle rearing business from pastoral to the commercial ranching model. Apart from saying these in mere words, Sowore’s manifesto highlighted a step-wise approach to solving this problem, and even generating up to 700 megawatts of electric power from the biogas to be gotten in the animal dung.
In the same vein, Sowore, in his manifesto, highlighted steps through which he plans to solve all other problems plaguing Nigeria. Having read this manifesto from cover to cover, I’m strongly convinced that the pathways highlighted therein, when followed judiciously, will rechannel Nigeria towards the path of progress.
When it comes to fighting corruption, Sowore has used his media outfit Sahara Reporters to become the singular biggest whistle-blower that has exposed the corrupt practices of many Nigerian leaders. We will all recall that it was Sahara Reporters that first exposed James Ibori’s looting and other criminal activities that led to the tribulations he has faced. They also blew the whistle on Emeka Ugwuonye for siphoning $1.5 million of public funds. It was Sowore, through Sahara Reporters, that exposed Orji Uzor Kalu’s Potomac home, and also that of DSP Alamieyeseigha, and his kids.
We will also remember that Sahara Reporters published findings that either sacked or prevented criminals from getting appointed into public office. There was Lulu Enabaifo who they exposed and prevented from becoming the Executive Director at the Joint Development Zone with Sao Tome; Mrs. Farida who was removed as EFCC Chairperson after Sahara Reporters exposed her and ultimately, and there was Stella Oduah, who was removed as Minister of Aviation after Sahara Reporters made publications about her.
Sahara published several stories about Dizani Alison Madueke, which led to her current woes. They have also shone their investigative torch on Rotimi Amaechi, Nyesom Wike, Bukola Saraki, Dimeji Bankole, Iyabo Obasanjo, Musiliu Obanikoro and Sambo Dasuki. These publications prompted the EFCC, ICPC and other law enforcement agencies to swing into action to investigate and prosecute these corruption cases, many of which are still ongoing.
You see, our people always say that a person who uses a little opportunity to achieve great results, will achieve an even greater result if given a great opportunity. If Sowore could demand good governance despite being hated by the powers that be, imagine how much more he would do if he gets into the seat of power. If Sowore could fight corruption and expose corrupt government officials using just an online media company, imagine how much he would fight corruption if we make him President, and he gets access to all the powers needed to sanitize our country.
Fellow compatriots, we are looking at a man who is the solution to all our troubles. A man who we can hold accountable when things go wrong; a man who understands the plight of the ordinary Nigerians; a man who will never submit to any cabal because he has already burnt all the bridges that could have connected him to them. We are looking at a man who is angry at the state of this country, a man who has a burning desire to fix this nation.
Look inwards. Look beyond the glamour of career politicians, and see that Sowore is just like you – an ordinary Nigerian who just wants to make this country work.