Who is afraid of Sowore? – Perspectives by Tony Ademiluyi


Comrade Omoyele Sowore means a lot of things to different people. Some see him as a hero who has been committed to a better society and has been consistent about his cause since the 1980’s. Others view him as a mere rabble rouser who is a constant attention seeker that loves to make a mountain out of a molehill.

After being held by the Department for Security Services (DSS) for over four months, he was released on bail on Christmas Eve after so much pressure was piled on the government agency. Critics blasted the agency for not obeying two previous court orders for disobeying court orders.

Uhuru came for him but it came at a huge price. His international passport was seized and he wasn’t allowed to travel out of Abuja so as not to jump bail like his friend, Nnamdi Kanu.

It will be a while before his trial will take place and it is understandable that the active activist is bored and tired of being largely inactive. He opted to be a volunteer teacher to teach government in a secondary school in Abuja. The Principal on sighting the activist immediately took to his heels. The amiable comrade met other teachers and exchanged banters with them but couldn’t fulfill his desire to make an impact in the lives of the young ones.

It is not surprising that the Principal ran away as the human rights and anti corruption activist is an extremely controversial figure. He was expelled twice from the University of Lagos where he cut his teeth in human rights advocacy and almost didn’t graduate from the premier institution. He had trouble with the Adamawa state government authority when he was doing the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) as he wanted to turn the conservative radio station into a radical one at the height of the then General Sani Abacha led dictatorship. After his youth service, getting a decent job became an impossible task as he was a marked man with no employer willing to take the risk for fear of being sanctioned to use the Nigerian parlance by ‘the oga at the top.’

He found his way to the United States shortly before the return to democracy in 1999 and worked for a Roman-Catholic charity before teaming up with a Nigerian journalist to set up Elombah.com. They had a falling out barely after a year and he went solo to establish Sahara Reporters which has been a thorn in the flesh of corrupt governments in the country. It has broken stories that the traditional media has failed to touch with a long pole and is a trusted source for among many Nigerians and foreigners who have a deep interest in the Nigerian project.

He became a Presidential aspirant last year as he wanted to merge talk with action. It wasn’t surprising that he lost the election as the terrain wasn’t clearly ready for the man of change.

The principal may have been afraid that the activist would surreptitiously radicalize the students who may end up being uncontrollable the moment ‘their eyes became open.’ He obviously didn’t want to lose his job as the buck stops on his table and so wasn’t willing to take the risk. In a country where jobs are so difficult to come by, it would have been ‘fool hardy’ to lose his when he had a family to feed at home. He wasn’t ready for his students to embark on an adventure to no where like that of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Such remained realistic in English literature and not in Nigeria where nothing works. The Principal was obviously scared of a possible DSS surveillance on his school.

Nigeria is a cesspool of irony as we have witnessed the likes of Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha and Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola who became celebrity teachers to some students while they held sway as governors. Aregbesola even went as far as donning the students’ uniform. If these politicians could teach the students for a mere publicity stunt, why shouldn’t Sowore be allowed to do the same? It is the case of what is sauce for the goose should also be sauce for the gander.

The comrade wanted to render a free service to the students and he wasn’t asking for any form of remuneration. He wanted to share his wealth of experience gathered over time to them at no cost. In the developed societies, we have the presence of celebrity tutors who add a lot of spice and flavour to the world of teaching. For instance an experienced journalist could be hired on a locum basis to share his or her rich experiences with journalism majors without necessarily being a full fledged academic. A business mogul could be hired to teach MBA students with the experiences of the titan coming in handy and to add gown with town so as to give the students a practical feel. If Sowore could be appreciated in the US where he is an adjunct lecturer in the City University of New York where he teaches African history, why can’t the same gesture be extended to him in his so called motherland? The hypocrisy is so nauseating with the loss being on Nigeria.

We wish him the best of luck with his trial and hope that he can be free again once more to rove as much as he likes and more importantly to be reunited with his family especially his wife, Opeyemi who stood by him through thick and thin.

Tony Ademiluyi writes from Lagos and edits africanbard.com

Opinion contributor
Opinion contributor
This opinion was received by Today News Africa in Washington, District of Columbia. The views expressed here are those of the writer(s) and not ours. You can send your own article to todaynewsafrica@gmail.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

U.S. calls for independent probe into massacres in Tigray region in Ethiopia

The United States government on Thursday called for an independent investigation following massacres in the Tigray region in Ethiopia.The United States said the investigation...

Trump campaign files appeal after Judge called legal claim in Pennsylvania “Frankenstein’s Monster” before dismissing it

President Donald Trump’s legal team on Sunday filed an appeal to a federal judge’s ruling that dismissed his campaign's effort to block the certification...

Biden announces foreign policy and national security team, including Blinken as Secretary of State, Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security and Kerry as envoy on climate

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced key members of his foreign policy and national security team, including Antony Blinken as Secretary of State;...

Angry South African President fully rejects US allegations against him and his Phala Phala wildlife farm over treatment of animals

In a statement on Saturday, the presidency in South Africa said allegations against President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Phala Phala wildlife farm over the...

IMF chief to G20 leaders: jointly build foundations for better 21st century global economy

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Sunday urged G20 leaders to jointly build the foundations for a better 21st century global amid...

President-elect Joe Biden’s national security and foreign policy team praised as experienced and historic choices

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced key members of his national security and foreign policy team on Monday, including Antony Blinken as Secretary of State;...

After Georgia, Trump receives another blow, shattering effort to stage ‘election coup’ in Michigan

After Georgia, President Donald Trump received another blow on Friday to his effort to overturn his election loss, when Michigan Republicans said after a...

Iran top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadhe assassinated

Iran has confirmed the assassination of its top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadhe.The Iranian ministry of defense confirmed the death of Fakhrizadhe in a statement...

WHO warns up to 5 million people could die without 150 to 300 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week

Up to 5 million deaths a year could be averted if the global population was more active. At a time when many people are...

President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden wish nation Happy Thanksgiving in moving CNN op-ed

“Like you, our family will hold on to our most important tradition: taking a moment to count the many reasons we have to be...

WHO urges African countries to ramp up readiness for COVID-19 vaccination drive

As the race to find a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is showing increasing promise, a new World Health Organization (WHO) analysis finds that Africa is...

Remembering soccer legend Diego Maradona

World soccer great Diego Maradona died on Wednesday from a heart attack, less than a month after his 60th birthday.He died at home...

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva heartbroken over passing of former World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Ms. Kristalina Georgieva on Wednesday expressed deep sadness over the passing of Sir James David Wolfensohn,...

Trump announces full pardon for Michael Flynn

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced that he had granted full pardon to the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn."It is my Great Honor...

Atiku blasts Buhari, says attacking him won’t fix mismanagement of Nigeria

Paul Ibe, the spokesman of former Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar on Thursday lambasted president Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying "Focusing on Atiku won't solve the problems Buhari, APC created for Nigeria."Ibe wrote: "The All Progressives Congress has validated the assumption that the major reason the condition of living has been deplorable under the Buhari administration is on account of...
error: Alert: Content is protected !!