Convener of the #RevolutionNow movement and founder of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore has taken a swipe at those who accuse him of playing a role in bringing President Muhammadu Buhari to power in 2015.
Sowore made the rebuttal during his appearance as a guest in the first of the series of Presidential Aspirants Interviews put together by the online Talk show 90MinutesAfrica, hosted by Rudolf Okonkwo and Chido Onumah on Sunday.
Goodluck Jonathan became the first incumbent president in Nigeria to lose re-election when his party lost the presidential election to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015. Since then, some supporters of the former president and his party, the PDP, have continued to blame Mr. Sowore and others who were critical of the Jonathan administration for enabling the ascension to power of President Buhari.
Some people suggested that Sowore was paid huge sums of money to work for Mr Buhari during the 2015 election.
Sowore described the allegations as mere propaganda, saying that former President Goodluck Jonathan was the major culprit in bringing Buhari to power.
“Goodluck Jonathan mismanaged Nigeria so badly that Buhari became attractive to people who were looking for an alternative,” the 2023 presidential aspirant of the African Action Congress (AAC) noted.
The founder of Sahara Reporters said he had never met Mr. Buhari. “Even when Buhari visited the United States after he won the election, he requested to see me but I declined. I have never met Buhari before and I don’t have any plans to meet him,” Sowore said.
He explained that everything he did in exposing the corruption and mismanagement in the Jonathan government was strictly his duty as a publisher of Sahara Reporters.
Sowore also spoke on sundry issues during the interview, including his ordeal under the Buhari government, his inability to see his family, and his call for a revolution.
He acknowledged the slow pace of acceptance of his ideas by Nigerians but expressed optimism that with time they will understand that it is the only way to achieve a better country.
“I understand that Nigerians are slow with taking in new ideas, but we have to be consistent and persistent in telling them about the need for this revolution. We can’t afford to sit down and expect things to work out themselves,” he argued.
Sowore said the clamour for zoning will not bring about the desired social justice in Nigeria, describing it as an “overly simplistic” solution to the complex problems besetting the nation.
“Justice cannot be achieved by zoning the presidency to any region in which you still leave the political elites who are the source of injustice to determine who emerges as the winner,” he noted.
On what he has endured because of his RevolutionNow campaign, the activist expressed sadness about his inability to attend his brother’s burial and take care of his aged mother because of his detention by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Sowore’s movement was restricted to Abuja as part of his bail conditions until April 2023 when the restriction was lifted.
He visited his hometown in Ondo State last week after three years. He said he was heartbroken seeing his mother “paralysed from neck down.”
“When I was released in 2019, she had two years visa and my intention was for us to get on a plane and travel for medical checks and get her treated in the US but that never happened,” Sowore lamented.
“I didn’t realise that what the military was doing in 1993 will become a child’s play in 2022 under a civilian regime.”
The activist vowed to continue the struggle until Nigeria is free from the stranglehold of the corrupt political elite.
“I was born a Nigerian,” Sowore declared. “I refused US citizenship because I wanted to face the consequences of being born a Nigerian.”