Omoyele Sowore, presidential aspirant contesting on the platform of the African Action Congress (AAC), has expressed his determination to see to the end of cabals muddling in the affairs of the country and inhibiting meaningful development for the people.
He stated this at a meeting with renowned singer and activist, African China, at the Federal Palace Hotel in Lagos on Monday.
Sowore has emerged as one of Nigeria’s most striking and unusual personalities to challenge the status quo, which he said has “kept millions of Nigerians trampled and exhausted for decades”.
He said: “Cabal is a generic word for self-defeat. When people give out themselves, they are afraid to fight; they are afraid to look people in the eyes and call them thieves. With this, they use it to hijack our democracy. It is just like in Italy when you talk about mafia, they use that to scare people away. Another word for mafia in Nigeria is cabal.
“All my entire life, I have been fighting cabals. I just want to tell you that the same blood that is running in our body is the same blood in theirs. They have bones and flesh. They have created a kind of environment for themselves that will make people afraid of them, but the moment you confront these people, they will become powerless.”
Sowore, known to have led millions of students in protest against the Nigerian government in the 1990s, cited some cabals that have existed in the past, which he confronted.
He continued: “In 30 years, I have confronted cabals such as ‘Babangida cabal’. We fought them and people were saying ‘how can you dare face the military?’ I was expelled from the university twice. Then Obasanjo set up his cabal, and people like Andy Uba and all those guys were there; they are the ones that planned to package the third term using money, criminality, and people and even planned outright killings when necessary.
“When that cabal fell apart, the Yar'Adua cabal emerged. They used cabal during and after the death of late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua. Their agenda was simple: To hold onto power at all costs and not hand over to the then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan. They held the ailing president incommunicado in a hospital in Saudi Arabia, then supervised and took part in the pilfering of the nation's wealth.
“There was the Jonathan cabal and then the Buhari cabal led by Abba Kyari, former DSS man, who was just removed.”
Speaking further, he said: “Cabals do not exist only among politicians, but among Imams and powerful pastors who use churches to scare people and sometimes slap people within the congregation and say ‘touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm’. Even Jesus never did that. There are also the economic cabals, which are made up of bankers, stock marketers, and manipulators.
“We also have powerful traditional rulers who are protecting the existing political structures. This is the way the country is operating to suppress the energy of people so as to not let them realise their potentials in the world.”
Highlighting the attitude of Nigerians to work outside the countries, he said: “If you see a Nigerian abroad that passes you by, you have to look back and check because you will see a driving force. Most employers employ Nigerians because they believe we have the zeal and passion to work and we unleash this by the time we go out of the country.
“This is because the energy that they are supposed to use in their country has been suppressed by these cabals. The only place that is not working for Nigerians is Nigeria itself. The angriest Nigerians sometimes are people living outside Nigeria because they believe that if the country is working they would not have left.”
The young and visionary leader, whose position on national issues has sparked intense debates across the country, also spoke on the agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
He said: “Biafra is the cry for justice in a country that I just explained to you. They are people who are naturally republicans. Even if you look at the traditional structures of the Igbo, they don’t have kings because they cannot wait for them to determine their destinies. They realise that the potential of their lives doesn’t revolve around the kings.
“It is not Biafrans alone that have mentally seceded from this country; a lot of Nigerians have left the country in their brains, just that they are still trapped here. Nigeria’s space, if we can get justice within it, is even big enough for Biafrans to operate.
“I want to inform our Igbo brothers and sisters that you cannot realise Biafra if you keep on voting for the guys who fought during the war. These people have war mentality. I was born after the war and I don’t have the killing mentality, because we are representing people. You cannot get Biafrans to love Nigeria when Nigeria is not loving them back.”