BUHARI --FREE FREE SOWORE! PUBLISHER OF SAHARA REPORTERS & HUMAN RIGHTS FIGHTER
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On August 3, Omoyele Sowore, Publisher of Sahara Reporters was arrested by the regime of Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's invisible President. The ailing ruler spends half the time in London hospitals. His own country's hospitals apparently aren't good enough for him to treat his undisclosed ailment. He should just resign.
Sowore had called for demonstrations and a peaceful "revolution" in Nigeria. Nigeria is notorious for corrupt government. But corrupt Nigerian officials need corrupt Europeans and Americans in order to tango. African officials are not the only thieves. This must be mentioned.
Yes, former dictator Sani Abacha stole $5 billion. Some of the money made it to U.S. banks. These bankers knew the money wasn't from Abacha's paycheck. Sowore in one of his past TED talks pointed out that in the last 50 years, Nigeria has lost $500 billion in oil money. This explains the sorry conditions of the country's roads, hospitals and schools.
Sowore, founded Sahara Reporters in New York City in 2006. Sahara reporters gets 1.7 million monthly total visits and relies on tips from citizen journalists. It's scoops have led to trials of corrupt Nigerian officials. Its exhaustive coverage made the Boko Haram kidnappings global news. Notables including Michelle Obama, tweeted #BringBackOurGirls.
Sowore threw his hat into the political arena in Nigeria's Feb. 23, Presidential election, which was dominated by incumbent Buhari by abusing State resources, so that no other candidate stood a chance.
On October 15, 2018, in an African Leadership forum in Nigeria, Sowore had also called for a Revolution. He wasn't arrested on that occasion, as another friend and comrade in journalism, Adeola Fayehun, points out on her YouTube program "Keeping It Real" with Adeola.
Perhaps in light of the Revolution in Tunisia, the unfolding one in Sudan, and People Power protests in Uganda, in South Africa and in Hong Kong, Buhari is more fearful today.
For the record, long before he became a civilian, Buhari as a general in the army overthrew a Nigerian civilian government in 1983, and installed himself as military ruler. He returned to power in his second act as a civilian after the 2015 election. That he would now see shadows everywhere is ironic.
But why blame the messenger? Sowore merely echoes the cries of millions of Africans who've been failed by the neocolonial states on the continent; where African dictators have replaced European governors and continue to work on behalf of the interests of former empires.
Resource-rich Africa has some of the world's most impoverished citizens.
Arresting one individual cannot halt an idea if it's time has arrived.
Here in the U.S. friends of everyone's right to peacefully protest can call Nigeria's Permanent Mission to the United Nations at (212) 953-9130 and demand that Sowore be released.
Africa is not yet Uhuru.
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