2019: Sahara Reporters’ Omoyele Sowore Declares For Presidency
The controversial Publisher of Sahara Reporters cum activist, Mr Omoyele Sowore has declared to run in the country’s forthcoming presidential election in 2019, vowing to defeat the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Sowore made the declaration in an interview with the Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times, Musikilu Mojeed.
Sowore said that he is currently in discussions with progressive groups and parties, in order to have a broad coalition of progressive parties that could lend their structures and ideologies to defeat President Buhari.
During the interview, he said: “My focus has been on improving and sanitizing the democratic space. This is a natural progression of my commitment to moving Nigeria forward.
“This will not be politics as usual. I have always been a part of the movement to move Nigeria forward. I have always played a leading role in that movement.
“This is a movement. It will be the largest mobilization of Nigeria’s ignored and dispossessed people. It will be the most direct engagement of a people in their own political future.
“We will be part of a coalition of parties. These will all be progressive parties – committed to nothing other than the advancement of the Nigerian nation. It is Nigeria’s moment to see revolutionary politics in action!”
When asked if he is abandoning activism for politics, he answered:
“Activism is simply advancing a pro-people agenda. For too long we have focused on using borrowed voices in the political realm while we’ve focused on creating awareness. That has failed.
“Since 1999 – the progressive movement has been disappointed by the actions and inactions of those we have left to handle the affairs of Nigeria while we reduced ourselves to election monitors, NGO leaders, and street protesters.
“In the course of doing these, we have inadvertently supported some of the cruelest and mediocre to occupy political power. Sometimes the most revolutionary thing to do is to get into the ring.”
On his stand about Buhari and if he should be re-elected, he stated:
“Just a little over a week ago – over 100 young girls were taken by Boko Haram in Dapchi.
“Buhari’s appeal was supposed to be a tough stance against corruption and an ability to address the security crises posed by Boko Haram.
“No single major victory has been notched in the anti-corruption fight.
“Boko Haram is still alive and kicking.
“And the president’s inaction and lack of leadership are causing the herdsmen-farmers conflicts to take on an even more dangerous dimension. The Nigerian state is in shambles.
“If I believed in Buhari’s ability to lead NIGERIA, I would have supported him.
“Buhari’s followership is large – but remember that it took four tries and an alliance with the South-West and with progressive democratic forces before he was able to become president.
“If there is anything we have learned in the last few years, it is the fact that the Nigerian electorate has become impatient with purposeless leadership.”
When asked what he will do differently if elected president of Nigeria, he cited developmental “marvels” in China and Dubai, UAE and said:
“I will be instituting a series of four-year plans to overlap with Nigeria’s political tenure system that will chart our path to growth and progress.
“Secondly, even where a clear vision might exist, nepotism, tribalism, and favoritism has robbed us of the service of our best people.
“Corruption has crippled us as a nation.
“Where past presidents have been slow in tackling this issue and sometimes even complicit through their actions or inactions in promoting corruption, I will be decisive in dealing with this cancer that has ravaged the Nigerian nation.”
He, meanwhile, discountenanced the notion that he might be abandoned by the same people he served for almost his entire life just like long-term activist Gani Fawehinmi.
On the platform he is planning to run, he said that he is currently in discussions with progressive groups and parties to have a broad coalition of progressive parties that could lend their structures and ideologies to defeat the old order.
He assured that when the time is right he will be announcing what party platforms he will run on.