Tuesday, March 13, 2018 7.00AM / Proshare WebTV
Born (February 16, 1971) Omoyele Sowore a blogger, writer, lecturer, human rights activist and public commentator on national issues is an indigene of Ondo State from South-Western Nigeria.
He is the founder and CEO of Sahara Reporters a notable online media platform that has been credited for high-level political, social and economic stories and reports, that have been described as sometimes controversial.
Sahara Reporters has over the years carried major breaking news stories in the country, especially in the socio-political scene exposing corrupt practices of government.
Since the fourth republic in Nigeria, Sahara Reporters through the work of Sowore has been a major driver of citizen journalism in the country.
Mr. Sowore studied Geography and Planning at the University of Lagos, and then furthered his studies with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Columbia University, New York, USA.
During his undergraduate days in University of Lagos, Sowore was active in student unionism and was elected President of the Student Union Government between 1992-1994.
In June 1993, he led 2,000 students from the University of Lagos in the era of Nigeria’s Kleptocracy. In the face of the agitation, Sowore was arrested, interrogated and beaten up.
This did not stop Sowore’s activism and agitation for a decent education system in the country and he was an active participant in the June 12, 1993 pro-democracy struggle.
During a protest on campus same year (1993), two students were shot by the Mobile Police but survived after they were rushed to Lagos University of Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
His activism also followed him to his youth service in Adamawa State where he was outspoken on critical national issues.
For his vociferous anti – government campaigns, he was harassed, arrested and detained for about 8 times in various detention centres. He almost lost his life in the Late Gen Sani Abacha’s military junta. Since that tragic baptism of fire, Sowore has remained consistent in his struggle to emancipate his country from the clutches of the racketeers and plunderers.
Sahara Reporters, the scion of the Nigerian establishment and nemesis of the corrupt, was birthed in 2005 but became operative from 2006. It is supported by grants donated by the Ford Foundation and Omidyar Foundation. As part of its policy, the medium does not accept adverts and financial support from the Nigerian government.
Omoyele Sowore represents different things to different people depending on one’s social, economic and political leaning. To the corrupt politicians, the ruling class and their paid and unpaid apologists, Sowore is a tool in the hands of the opposition – a wild, unsubstantiated and indefensible charge that is yet to be proven with cogent and verifiable evidence. However, to the incorruptible and liberated victims of misrule, corruption and dictatorship, he represents the audacious candle that brightens the scars inflicted on the soul of our nation.
The Sahara Reporters CEO has a strong followership and base on the social media platforms in the country.
He has come under heavy criticisms and is viewed by some Nigerians as a rabble-rouser, an attention seeking activist, blackmailer, opposition propagandist, etc. Despite the criticisms , he remains unperturbed and is also seen by others as the ‘Conscience of the Nigerian Nation.
Mr. Sowore also lectures Modern African History at the City University of New York and Post Colonial African History at the School of Art, New York.
His surprising ambition to contest the 2019 Presidential elections is borne out of the burden to give Nigeria visionary, pragmatic, transformational and dynamic leadership.
Sowore believes as an activist of over 2 decades, he has what it takes to drive good governance and unite Nigeria beyond ethno-religious lines.
He is yet to declare the party that he will join for his ambition, but says he is in close talks with several progressive political parties.