2019: Sowore’s aspiration receives boost, more support
The aspiration of one of the 2019 presidential hopefuls, Omoyele Sowore, is creating excitement in the country’s political scene.
Though Sowore has not announced his political platform and the issue of independent candidacy is not yet clearly defined in the constitution, but the kind of backing he enjoys is swelling.
His recent return to the country is an attestation to this. It would have gone unnoticed like most incidents of the day, but for the crowd that trooped out to welcome him and the traffic snag that it generated within the precincts of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and the interconnecting roads.
The fully packed townhall meetings across the country showed a real intent of a determined shot at the nation’s highest seat of power. This is remarkable for an aspirant who has not announced any affiliation with any existing political party, but currently running independently and thus does not enjoy benefits of any party structures, as it should be.
A media consultant, Paul Ojenagbon, who spoke glowingly about the former students’ union leader, described him as a brave young man who held the reins of Students’ Union government as the president of the University of Lagos Chapter and had ceaseless battles with the university authorities, student cultists and the then military government of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB).
“Significantly, because of its several anti-people policies, the IBB administration experienced several students’ riots that often spiraled out of the campuses onto the adjoining streets and areas to mobilise the masses against the government. It could be argued from a generational perspective that students’ unionism reached the peak of radicalism during this period; it was incessant just as it was profound on scale.
“It would appear rather simple now to conceptualise for the uninitiated, but to take on a brutish military Gestapo at that time required the indomitable courage of the steel-hearted; very few would attempt it because of the dire consequences.
“Sowore did not only confront the establishment, but equally endangered his life in the even more dangerous battles with cult groups when cultists ruled the universities and their activities riled the minds. The young man suffered untold hardship by way of various arrests and detentions, endless threats and rustication. That he survived all these difficulties showed an indefatigable spirit and that God had other plans for him,” he said.
Ojenagbon, who attested to his swelling crowd, said Sowore’s supporters’ cut across ethnic lines and certainly beyond his Yoruba tribe. “The barrage of reactions to online publications indicate there are many who believe in his vision just as some think that he is a pretender which is normal. He is organised, focused and smart with a clear out strategy on how he hopes to wrest the presidency from the hands of “looters”.
He stressed that Sowore displayed singular bravery once again by aspiring for the topmost position of presidency, “not even governor of
his state not even governor of his state, nor senator, House of Representatives member or local government chairman for that matter.
It shows that he is not afraid of thread where angels dread. His ‘Take It Back’ message is very apt for the times and conforms to the vision
and philosophy of his campaign.
“He has taken his message to far and beyond to those in the Diaspora notably Canada, US, UK and others, and back home in Nigeria, he has
visited several cities and met with relevant prominent personalities to drum up support because he believes in consultations.
“He has also denounced any close relationship with the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu contrary to the thinking of many who thought that he was a stooge of the latter. His on-line publication, Sahara Reporters has been of immense benefit in unraveling shady deals involving power brokers and giving a bite to the voice for justice.”
Ojenagbon noted: “It is gratifying to note that a young man like Sowore has the confidence to come out boldly to indicate his interest to occupy an exalted seat where many perennial veterans have failed. He has an impressive resume better than those of many office holders; he is not perfect, but it is not saints the country needs but those will perform.”
The youths have long sought for a president who is youthful and just one of them.