By Jemanze Ago-Alowes
The world is full of prayers for Omoyele Sowore. All persons of goodwill and democratic turn of mind want him released. The issue is not whether he is innocent or not. The issue is that our democratic and judicial traditions say so. To the extent we know, the courts have granted Sowore his plea for bail. And it is thus required of this administration to see to that.
The other point is that government in serving true democratic pathos is serving its own best interests. No government is eternal. It is not likely the present APC government and or its elected officials will tarry in power forever. The implication of this is that certain members of this present government may in the future become victims of their own ways and means. And historical lessons have been too abundant on that. For instance, General Olusegun Obasanjo, retired, was roped in as a coup plotter on a legislation he signed as a dictator. That his sympathizers claim it was a miscarriage of justice is something else. The point should be well taken that the same dictator, Obasanjo, signed a law that could compromise an innocent citizen. That was when he was in power. When he left, the same law caught and compromised him.
Additionally, it must be made clear that Nigeria as a corporate entity loses billions by the rogue behaviors of government or its agencies in sabotaging or resisting judicial orders. These uncivilized conducts of government agents towards duly secured judicial pronouncements constitute one of the major reasons international arbitration never happens in Nigeria.
In nearly all major contracts involving Nigeria and or Nigerian citizens there is a clause. It is that in the event of dispute, it shall be resolved, not in Abuja, but in London courts. And courts are a part of the economic system. Thus by making our laws go rogue either in dispensing or executing them, we are robbing ourselves of humungous economic riches. By default London and United Kingdom economy is enriched by our uncivilized methods. In other words, the head strongness of the DSS and or government in the matter of releasing Sowore on bail is doing nobody any good.
However, after having said all these, there is need to make recourse to historical records. First Sowore despite his protestations is one of the key midwives of the Buhari re-emergence. Buhari had sworn and even cried pitifully that he is done with Nigerian politics. But behind the scene and against the run of play, a ragtag gang of fixers put their heads together and headhunted Buhari. It is their successes that handed Buhari his present job description. One of those heads at play for this successful Buhari resurgence is Sowore’s.
Along the line, Sowore wanted to rationalize things, that he was not a party in the play. His claim was that he was merely giving equal opportunity window to all sides in his Sahara Reporters online news portal. According to Sowore’s narrative it merely happened that the Jonathan faction was beaten at the news and ballot counting fronts.
We first believed him. And next we were shocked to discover Sowore was telling a lie or at least not the whole truth. What revealed the true Sowore was a social media clip. It showed Sowore, apparently an independent third party publisher, popping champagne with Buhari partisans, celebrating Buhari’s first democratic coming. That video has neutered all Sowore’s claim of neutrality. Thus in the affairs of how and why Jonathan was defeated, Sowore was a committed partisan. Clearly put, Sowore was a Buhari mole masquerading as an independent third party. And that made him and his media asset particularly dangerous. It was only after they have won, that he deemed it fit to rob it on our faces – that we are fools for believing that he or Sahara Reporters magazine was independent.
Some points are important to note here. It is not that former president Jonathan should or should not be sacked. It is also not that a Sowore and or his [media] assets should not elect to be partisan. The fact is the Sowore played a fast one on fellow citizens. He sold them a mirage, while he kept the waters to himself and gang alone. It is only now with the social media clip, that we know so much. And the questions suggest themselves. Was Sowore not hands in gloves with the forces that fought and threw Jonathan out? Was Sowore and his media brand not retained assets? Did Sowore betray any agreements he initialed? Are they after him on a vendetta, for failed [his] promises to keep silent, Omerta?
The fact of these are suggested by the downturn of the Sahara Reporters. We may recall that during the Jonathan years, Sahara Reporters was one of the go-to sites for scoops. After Jonathan, the fact is that the oceans of scoops have died out. Nobody goes to Sahara Reporters for any revelations anymore. So what happened?
People in the know have an explanation. It is that it was the Buhari coalition agents during the Jonathan years who recruited Sahara Reporters and Sowore. It was not Sowore and Sahara Reporters who cultivated them. The point is that Sahara Reporters were not any great on investigative journalism or whistle blowing. Sahara Reporters were at best hired hands. The mafia that brought Buhari back to power recruited or co-opted Sowore and his media assets. Thus immediately they got their power, they switched off the leakages. And Sahara Reporters was left high and dry. She is now a shadow of itself.
Expectedly, there is a twist is to the tale. It is that you can’t sign off on the mafia. Once you have been recruited by the mafia, political or otherwise, you got two options. It is either you pledge eternal servitude or you accept your liquidation. Mafia is like ogboni. There is only an entry door. There are no exits, save in death or liquidation.
These and more make up the background to the Sowore travails. It is not that we give approvals. It is that we understand these things first.
We have also heard Sowore being described as a human rights activist. No, Sowore is no such thing. At least not any longer. Perhaps he used to be. However immediately Sowore took to running around and about for votes, he becomes a politician. And politicians, voluntarily or otherwise, are in the hunt for power, not human rights. Anyway this Sowore double or multiple honorifics is typically Nigerian. That explains why many also speak of one Professor Yemi Osinbajo, a Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The point is there is no such person. What you have is Mr. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a politician. To be a professor is not an inheritance. It is a working, not inherent, title. And the world knows.
In other jurisdictions, these things are kept in perspectives. For example, Angela Merkel of Germany is actually a PHD holder. Have you ever read of Dr. Mrs. Angela Merkel? Or have you ever heard her remind you that she is a chemist? As far as the proper order is concerned, she is a working politician and that is all. It is only in Nigeria that people don’t know that most stations or titles are descriptive of work, not personal virtues, if any.
One last matter. Supposing Sowore gets his freedom today, would he be humble enough to admit to his errors? Did folks not tell him that the horse he was backing in those days would see him down and out? That is the real issue. The Sowores think it that they are particularly smart. And historical records show that in each instance they have fallen victims to their own schemes. Dear Sowore, when next you are mounting a horse make sure, it won’t throw you to the gutters. And never antagonize a man because he is minority. When a man is minority – Jonathan once was – succor don’t tyrannize him for his weakness. That is about all I have to say on this for now.
In all let the DSS please make haste to release the Sowore and his mates in their dungeon.
Dr Jemanze-Ago Alowes is a developmental economist, a journalist, poet and writer.
Mrs Yemi and Chinenye Olaoye.
They are two of some of the world’s loveliest peoples. And they have come together in one Holy Matrimony. We are happy and proud to report the union of Yemi Olaoye and Chinenye Olaoye, nee Onwuzuruoha. Olaoye, an omoluabi, is from Osun State, while Chinenye, pretty like an angel, is the only daughter of Dr. Agu Onwuzuroha, a lead management thinker and lovely wife, Lolo Egondu Onwuzuruoha, an Insurance guru. The Onwuzuruohas are from Nkwerre in Imo State. By the way both Yemi and Chinenye are top Lagos based chartered accountants. We pray their ”life ledgers” be balanced in eternal and abiding love and fruitfulness. Amen.