Activists across Nigeria are marking today, May 28 as a…
By Agboola Kehinde
I have had the opportunity of watching and listening to Omoyele Sowore speak on various platforms about his 2019 presidential ambition and I have been worn over. I saw his interview on Channels TV where he held his ground in the face of thorough questioning by Seun Okinbaloye, I even saw the crossfire at the Fresh FM Ibadan between him and the Minister for Communications Mr. Bayo Shittu. While the Minister couldn’t communicate a single point and barely allowed any form of civilized communication to take place Mr. Yele still came out of that encounter smelling of roses. I have listened to his highly ambitious plans and promises if he makes it into office, I have taken note of his passion, energy, intellect and academic qualifications as a past University of Lagos Student Union President and a Masters degree holder in public administration from the Ivy League Columbia University in the United States. I also take cognizance of his work as a human right and rule of law activist ever since the early days of Nigeria’s fight for democracy in 1999.
I have heard the constant assertion by Nigeria’s political realists who claim that a candidate outside the PDP/APC dualism can never win the exalted office. My answer to them is that they should keep on inadvertently trumpeting the agenda of the political elite in the country, that is after all, what the ruling class wants us to think and believe. In France just a few months ago Emmanuel Macron managed to unseat a two-party hegemony that had held sway in that nation for over a decade, the controversy that upstaged one of them was a mere wrongful employment of a family member. Our own leaders have trailer loads of worse and more heinous controversies yet we keep insisting they are untouchable.
I registered as a voter for the first time in 2014 solely to join the train of change and vote for Gen. Buhari. Every day, I thank God academic engagements did not allow me to exercise my franchise in that election. I would have had to apologise to the families of the Catholic priests and Benue residents that have been murdered recklessly by killer herdsmen, I’d have had to apologise to Leah Sharibu and her parents for being let down by their country simply for their faith, I’d have had to apologise to the millions of Nigerians who have lost their jobs and means of livelihood because of harsh and archaic economic policies of this administration.
I do not look to the PDP to provide succor from this inglorious mess that my country has found itself, after all as the British would say the difference between them and APC is all very much of a muchness. I do not look to Atiku for salvation from a system that he helped build or President Obasanjo who has been intimately involved in every choice of President we’ve made in the country since 1999, I’m not prepared to gamble that Baba Iyabo will get it right this time (6th time lucky perhaps). I am thoroughly impressed with Governor Dankwambo’s qualification but unfortunately, he is still a part of the old establishment. Mr. Kingsley Moghalu is another excellent choice, he has everything going for him but I am being swayed by the radicalism of Mr. Sowore, my country needs ‘Alutaism’, the kind introduced into the polity by Sahara Reporters.
Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili’s red card movement have earned my respect with their doggedness and passion for the country, no doubt they continue to play a key role in our polity as a nation now and going forward but Democracy is not a football game, you do not send-off a president for his avalanche of infractions and leave his seat vacant, so I have signed up for the green card movement. My green card is my PVC; I am the Howard Webb, Michael Oliver and the Pierluigi Collina on Election Day 2019. I will send out Buhari and his cohorts and send on Yele Sowore and his horde of hungry and angry agitators. That is after all what the dead engine of this sleeping giant needs, a tricky and determined mechanic that will cut wires with his teeth and jumpstart the vehicle. If enough of us decide to waste our votes on a dark horse, let those who submit their votes to the bull in a china shop be assured that we will all live through the continuous excuses, regression, mudslinging and global humiliation that will undoubtedly come with it.
I am not a political jobber, analyst or influencer; I have no encounter with Omoyele Sowore or his team. I am simply a young Nigerian who continues to suffer on many fronts because of the sins of voters before me and who can see no end in sight but rather predicaments if something radical is not done. I have decided to adopt as my mantra that gentleman Mr. Jimi Agbaje’s campaign slogan in one of his ill-fated runs for governorship office in Lagos, I AM NOT ONE OF THEM: When it comes to the naivety, cowardice, and nonchalance of the average Nigerian voter, I WILL NOT BE ONE OF THEM. When they troop to go and select the lesser of two evils so that we can spend another four years gnashing our teeth and counting our losses, I WILL NOT BE ONE OF THEM. Godspeed Mr. Omoyele Sowore and God bless the federal republic of Nigeria.
Federal Republic of Nigeria.