There is a lot in common between the spate of banditry that various gangs of outlaws have been unleashing against the lives and property of the majority of law-abiding citizens and the latest outbreak of political psychosis in the rowdy ranks of misguided urban youth recruited by Omoyele Sowore in pursuit of delusions of “revolution”.
Both groups seek to reap where they have not sown. They both share the deviant desire to short-cut their way to satisfy inordinate urge to acquire wealth and power even at the expense of innocent lives, property and ultimately, stability of the nation. The two groups resorted to banditry as a result of failure to “make it” from lawful endeavours.
Sowore’s agenda for using the 2019 presidential elections to leap-frog from political non-entity status as a New York based, self-exiled fringe journalist, heavily funded by the American Ford Foundation($175,000 in 2008 alone) and the Global Information Network to “publish with impunity from afar” on his Sahara Reporters online platform, to presidential candidature was never hidden.
On arrival in 2018, he boasted: “I am coming from New York and I have just arrived Nigeria to lead a movement to change power in the country. I have been doing activism for over 30 years, I have never done anything less than national politics. So, there is no less position. The position that is most important to Nigerians today is the position of the president. I am more than qualified. There is no need going to become a Local Government Chairman, Councilor or a Senator when I can run the country as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Million dollars of confidence to commence a destabilizing insurgency disguised as “political activism” to create a Boko Haram for Lagos, Abuja and other major urban centers in the country towards “regime change” was the ultimate objective. His African Action Congress (AAC) special purpose vehicle easily fulfilled conditions for registration but the reality of political inconsequence was stark. Sowore came tenth in the presidential elections with 33,953 votes, far less than what an average local government contestant can record and obliterated by President Muhammadu Buhari’s 15,191,847 votes.
Sowore’s next assignment was in fulfillment of his oft-expressed mission reflected in his choice of identity for his online platform, Sahara Reporters, “named less for geography than to symbolize his desire to “kick up a storm across Nigeria.” He was no less truthful about his new mission by tagging it “#RevolutionNow”, knowing that Cambridge online dictionary defines revolution as “a change in the way a country is governed, usually to a different political system and often using violence or war”.
The bottom line of the Sowore sinister strategy is that he is now emerging in his true colours as a mercenary of the overt and covert US based entities on whom he has been dependent for existence and sustenance of his online platform. He has now dropped all pretences of pro-democracy activism and dared to don the cape and cloak of an agent provocateur to undermine the stability of his fatherland because he has another country, US, to call his own.
If he were genuinely “pro-democracy” he would have staked his resources in raising his political profile and winning more hearts and minds across Nigeria preparatory to the 2023 elections. Instead he has been spear-heading the hostile agenda of a foreign country to“kick up a storm across Nigeria” by instigating a revolution through which his foreign masters can infiltrate our country, to exacerbate unavoidable conflicts that will erupt.
Sowore is certainly unsuitable and ill-equipped for office of a local government chairman and lacks the loyal followership of less than half the 33,000 votes he allegedly scored, considering that virtually all those who voted to him were misled and induced.
A bold indication of his pedigree and partners was again flaunted with impunity when he visited the other mercenary of the foreign agenda for dismembering Nigeria, Nnamdi Kanu, who jumped bail, betrayed his sureties and abandoned his “Biafra army” for the London haven provided by his foreign masters.
Nigerians must always remember that we have been successfully operating a full-fledged democracy since 1999. When unpatriotic elements, devoted to the agenda of enemies of the sovereignty of our father land provoke them into so-called pro-democracy activism, confrontational street protests and “revolution”, they should ask them to form a political party and be a constructive contribution to building our democratic dispensation.
All over the world, there is no civilized and accountable alternative system of government than democracy. It is because there can be no perfection in governance that democracy provides periodic opportunities for peaceful, transparent and systematic general elections into its institutions for the people to choose their representatives.
Sowore’s oft-repeated credential is that he is an “activist”, but it only diminished his leadership qualifications beyond street protests. Sowore as president of the SUG at UNILAG got expelled twice. Today he stands expelled by the Africa Action Congress, the party he formed for his failed presidential bid. His successor as National Chairman, Leonard Nzenwa said he would not be the kind of chairman Sowore was and remarked: “We acknowledge the constitutional rights of citizens to peaceful protest against the government, but we are aware that this constitutional right does not include the right to resort to unconstitutional takeover of the government of the country or any part thereof.” Swooning from revolutionary stupor, Sowore insists “I can run this country in my sleep.” He must be very busy now!
OWEN DONBRUCE runs an NGO in Asaba