I will make Minimum wage Hundred thousand Naira, Youth Corp members’ Fifty thousand Naira if I become President; OMOYELE SOWORE
One Of The Presidential aspirants for next year’s presidential election, Omoyele Sowore was at Ibadan. Our Chief Columnist Babatunde Oluwaseun was there to report the event.
In the build up to the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, political activities have started taking shape gradually. Several people have already indicated interest in running for the highest office in the land, the presidency. They include former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, current Ekiti state governor Ayodele Fayose, motivational speaker Fela Durotoye, fuji musician Wasiu Alabi Pasuma has also been reported to have indicated interest, and lately former captain of the Nigerian national football team, the super eagles, Nwankwo Kanu was reported to have also shown interest. Although the current president, Muhamadu Buhari has not come out to declare intention to seek re-election, members of his government and party have spoken about it. There is probably going to be more people who would indicate interest in running for the office of president.
However, a man stands out from the park, especially because of his activities in the media space, and his days as SUG president during his days in the university of lagos, where he took on the vice-chancellor, cultists and the then military government. He is Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of SAHARA REPORTERS. Omoyele Sowore has begun mobilizing for this project and his train was in Ibadan on Friday 6th April 2018. The venue was the Gamaliel Onansode hall, international conference centre, university of Ibadan. It was a town-hall meeting in which Sowore spoke to the people of Ibadan on his plans for the presidency, and to also formally launch what he called the ‘’take it back movement’’. The meeting had in attendance people from, mainly youths, from far and near, barrister Femi Aborishade the human rights activist, mr Seun Akinola from splash FM Ibadan, Madam Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo, among others. There were people who came all the way from the United states of America, and expectedly there were numerous students of the polytechnic Ibadan, lagos state university and other institutions in attendance.
The moderator of the event was the well-known journalist, Edmund Obilo. While speaking, Edmund Obilo made reference to the immediate past president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet as an example of what Nigeria needs. She was first president between 2006 and 2010, but because the constitution of Chile does not allow anyone to have two consecutive terms, she had to wait till 2014 to have a second term and is the first person since 1932 to win the Chilean presidency twice in competitive elections. Her popularity rose to about 80% towards the end of her first term. During the campaigns in 2013 she promised to provide ‘’free university education’’ and in january 2018 the Chilean senate passed a law guaranteeing free education. Edmund Obilo also believes that Nigerians have to take the country back from the current politicians making a mess of it. According to him, ‘’until the people choose between good and evil, the politicians would continue to take them for a ride’’. Mr Femi Aborishade also spoke on the need to take the country back. In his words, ‘’Sowore is courageous, he is a fighter, he challenged cultists in unilag during his reign as SUG president, he would also challenge the political cultists in Nigeria’’. And finally he charged Nigerians to ‘’dare to fight, dare to win’’.
Now to the subject of the meeting, Omoyele Sowore. In the usual manner, people wanted to applaud him as he spoke, but he asked that nobody should clap for him. He warned that the current set of politicians will not leave power willingly, and that there is no more time to waste because 2019 is already on us. He spoke to the people about his plans and also answered questions from the audience. Sowore seems to have done his home-work very well as he had good answers to every question he was asked. On his priorities if elected president in 2019, Sowore said ‘’security’’ will be first on his government’s priorities list. According to him, ‘’violent herdsmen, boko-haram, niger-delta militants etc are criminals aided by the top’’. Other items on his priorities list include power, infrastructure, health, education and constitutional amendment. He promised to change the present constitution that was handed to us by the military and also mentioned ‘’restructuring. Sowore described Nigeria’s problem as a ‘’wicked problem’’, which means a problem that is resistant to solution. He condemned the current minimum wage of #18,000 and promised to make the minimum wage of the Nigerian worker #100,000 if elected as president in 2019. Youth corp members are not left out in Sowore’s plans, as he promised to make their monthly wage/allowance #50,000 if elected president in 2019. On why he wants to run for president, he said ‘’I started sahara reporters in order to distrupt the Nigerian media space and I have. Now it is time to distrupt the political space too’’. He stressed the need to rescue the country from the mess it currently is, and this informed his campaign slogan, ‘’take it back’’. He noted that there are several political parties already inviting him to come run on their platform, but said he is yet to decide on which party he would represent at the polls, but that It certainly will not be either APC or PDP.
However, at a point he recognized the dangers that could come his way on this mission when he said ‘’they will come after me, but it is too late now, and like Martin Luther king, I have been to the mountain top, I have seen the promised land, there is no stopping us now’’. When asked about his political-economic ideology, if he is a capitalist, communist or socialist, he answered and said, ‘’I am not into labels and do not buy into any of the mentioned ones, by the time we get there and we do what we have to do, the world will give our approach its own name. the main thing now is that Nigeria is sick and needs a doctor’’. There were numerous questions, but time did not allow him take them all. And by 3;30pm the event was concluded.
Will Sowore become Nigerian president in 2019? Only time will tell.
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