The founder and publisher of an online citizen news platform, Saharareporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, has explained why he has not revealed the political platform under which he will seek to actualize his 2019 presidential ambition.
He said he and his team are currently in meeting with a number of political parties under which coalition he would run for the highest office in Nigeria.
Speaking during a town hall meeting at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, the activist cum journalist said he is more interested in galvanizing a movement of a coalition of diverse interest groups for the realization of his presidential ambition, than focusing on party politics.
He argued that when the youth are resolved, the party would not be a problem.
He said: “We have coalitions of political parties we are engaging with. We are not naming them yet because we suspect that they will infiltrate them. Some of the political parties we are seeing today are very new and that is why we are approaching this throw movement politics, but here is what I have to tell you, we are not joining the PDP or the APC.
“We welcome people of conscience across Nigeria, across all political parties and creed. We welcome them to our movement and together we will join parties that are pro the people of Nigeria.
“We cannot have a merger anymore because we run out of time to assemble political parties that will surrender their identity under a merger, but even as I am standing in front of you, we are getting commitments from parties”.
He warmed that the Take Back Nigeria Movement is not a joke, as it is determined to reposition Nigeria and take power from the political elites who have mismanaged and mistyped the country for so long.
“This is not the time for a joke. It is not the time for adulation. It is the time for us to get very serious because we have a battle ahead of us. These guys are not going to leave power on their own volition. We have been fighting them for 30 years and now is the time to disrupt the system and take it down. It is up to them to choose where they want to be spanked in this fight. It is up to them to choose to leave peacefully. The word disruption is not to scare anyone but to prepare us that the younger generation is finally ready to give worthy leadership to this country” he said.
Although Mr. Sowore has not reeled out his manifesto, he said his ultimate aim will be to ensure that there is a big improvement in the fortunes of workers and students.
“I just told you that workers will be paid 100,000 as minimum wage and I also want to add that those of you who are youth corpers will be paid N50,000 and we should be heading very quickly to N100,000 because youth copers should be able to earn minimum wage as well. And if you’re a youth corps member and anything happens to you while you’re serving, your family gets paid N10 million as insurance.
“Let me also say, because I want to address students, we just have been working on the calculation of how many students we have in higher institutions. Can you believe that the Nigerian University Commission does not know how many students are in our higher institution? They don’t know. But we have figured it out and we want to invest N50,000 each on every student so that when you cannot pay your school fee, you’re not denied your final result.
“My plans are going to be uploaded online. They are going to be made physically available. But I am breathing life to this so that you know it is not a joke that Nigeria can be put to work. I do not want to compare Nigeria with the UK or the US, I want to compare Nigeria with Ghana. Go to Ghana and you will never experience any blackout” Mr. Sowore said.
Addressing question on the ideology he is guided by, the 47-year-old journalist said; “Nigeria is sick and it needs a doctor, whatever ideology you call that is what I am. Nigeria is in need of a future that can be guaranteed to her children, whatever ideology will deliver that, you call me that. All these ideologies we are branding around, they are ideologies that were developed by other countries when they had a problem and they wanted to solve them. By the time we are done with Nigeria, our own Ideology will emerge and will be adopted by everybody around the world. That is my promise”.
He continued: “I have thirty years of experience taking a stand and you can always count on me. When it was dangerous to do so, when I was 21 years old at the University of Lagos, I stood on the side of the people. At the time student leaders were being offered 505, I rejected it. Why will I compromise 30 years later? When I started Saharareporters, as you guys can imagine, I was dealing with some of the richest people in the world, not just in Nigeria. They threw everything at me; dollars, cars but I never compromised. Nothing in this world can compromise me”.
“The Nigerian Senate has become a coven of thieves where former governors who have stolen and retired get paid more money. In fact, we found out some of them were getting paid both their pensions from when they were governors and getting paid allowances (criminal allowances) even as they continued as lawmakers. There is no way this country will progress with lawbreakers acting as lawmakers.”