Today, Omoyele Sowore, the African Action Congress (AAC) presidential candidate, was a guest on Politics Hub, a Vanguard Online TV’s political show. He outpoured his political radicalism, which this piece will analyse concisely.
Life is in phases; the time to breathe inside a mother’s belly and the period to navigate the Lagos Trafic or the Jos's breeze.
From activism to journalism and now to unseating President Muhammadu Buhari after winning the 2023 presidential election in a manner that the latter would not attend his swearing-in ceremony, the phases of Yele’s life envelopes radicalism, a brand of politics he has ridden on since he first contested in 2019.
Omoyele Sowore is a household name in Nigeria’s national history for good and bad reasons.
When other students would have chosen to ignore, he participated in student demonstrations protesting the conditions of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan of $120 million to be used for a Nigerian oil pipeline in 1989.
He was at the forefront in 1992/93 when the country suffered arguably the meanest setback to its democracy.
His voice was also loud when Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola was robbed by General Ibrahim Babangida and his military democrats.
These struggles have turned detention into his familiar abode.
A source who spoke to our correspondent only on the condition that his name won’t be mentioned in this article explained that Sowore had said to him that he could no longer count the number of times he has been arrested.
Even though most of these arrests were illegal in the court of public opinion, the arrest by the DSS on August 3, 2019, ahead of a planned nationwide #RevolutionNow protest, divided interests, he was later charged with “conspiracy to commit treason and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari" afterwards.
Being radical here, we mean that Omoyele Sowore advocated for a complete abolishment of a political order he is actively participating in.
He contested the election in 2019 and is getting his gears ready to jostle again in 2023 for the country’s number one citizen post.
In August 2018, he founded the African Action Congress party and had been the unchallenged presidential candidate in the party ever since.
His opposition has, however, questioned his ideals of being an active player in a system he wants to be revolutionised.
Not only that, his brand of social change does not sit well with some sections of Nigerian people.
Religion and culture characterise the lives of an average Nigerian no matter how they want to stand tall against them.
Some of Sowore’s ideas, such as women’s dress codes and the legalisation of Marijuana, do not tick the box in the minds of some Nigerian elites, religious groups and cultural judges.
Because of these, his critics have branded his style of politics as radical and one that represents and supports extreme mockery of our national values.
Our dependable anonymous source said that Omoyele Sowore is not as active in controlling Sahara Reporters as in 2006 in New York City when and where he set up the media outfit to fight against corrupt and wrong government practices.
But he displays ideological radicalism in running his outfit as it never receives adverts from the Nigerian government or its agents.
Damilola Ogunsakin, the show’s host, witnessed another exposition of political radicalism from Sowore.
Decorated in valour and self-assurance, as monitored by our politics desk, Sowore kept his hopes alive like the other seventeen contestants. But he took it a step further.
He said he was serious that President Buhari would hopelessly perform his constitutional duty to hand over power to him next year.
No democratically elected president of Nigeria has handed over power to anyone through the back door. But Sowore is submitting radically that Buhari will do so come next year.
According to Oyedele Oyeleke, a political science lecturer who spoke with our correspondent recently, Dr Goodluck Jonathan had almost lost the 2015 election even before a single vote was cast.
Omoyele Sowore was one of those who made this viewpoint valid.
He, alongside others, aggressively campaigned for a new government.
But Omoyele Soweore dismissed claims that he supported Buhari before his election as president of Nigeria in 2015 today.
“What I have always done in my entire life is to be opposed to terrible government.
"It didn’t matter who was in charge. Even if it were my Dad, I would have opposed him if he was acting like Jonathan”, Sowore explained.
Omoyele Sowore’s politics of radicalism have equivalent benefits and faults.
As the presidential election draws near, Nigerians will choose one among him and seventeen others to occupy a seat President Munhammadu Buhari have marshalled for the past eight years.