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Sowore: When You Fight Against The Monsters Holding Your Country Down, They Are Bound To Come After You

Omoyele Sowore reveals his challenges as a Nigerian journalist in what has become a regular battle with the authorities.

Nigerian journalist, human right activist and former presidential candidate Omoleye Sowore in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Wednesday, spoke on the challenges he has faced in Nigeria, explaining that when you “fight against the monster holding your country down,” they are bound to come after you at all times.

“I did say while I was being tried and suppressed and oppressed that I won’t leave Nigeria under any term. I could have left if I wanted even though my passports were seized. I knew all the routes to get out of this country, I used to help people get in and out of this country through another route but this time around I said I wasn’t going go anywhere. 

“I come in and out through the legal route, that’s why I waited for my passport to be returned to me, and when i left, I decided to come back.”

He explained the reason for his return being to attend to a cybercrime case. “I came back primarily to attend to another court case that was put in place before I left and I promised the judge that I would back.”

He further stated, “I cannot promise anybody, not even myself that I won’t get into trouble again. This is the job we do, it’s the work of conscience and when you fight against the monsters that are holding your country down, they are bound to come after you at all times. 

“By the way, the DSS still has refused to return my phones to me even though there is a court order to that effect and they also haven’t paid me several court awards that was given to me during my last 5 years here, saying that they violated my rights. The violations are still in place and I’m sure they’ll do more as long as I do what I do.”

He spoke on how the biggest loss he has faced with the battle with Nigerian authorities, was the separation from family.

“The biggest is probably the separation from family. I left my kids when they were toddlers, and by the time I went back, they were full-grown adults. 

“When I left the US in 2019, I was the second tallest person in the house, my wife being the tallest and when I went back I was the shortest person in the house. That tells you something”.

He spoke on difficulties as an activist in Nigeria. “I didn’t start today, I started when it was really difficult, that was under the military regime when we were in the university. 

“You’ve probably heard my stories of being expelled twice from the university. I started out at the university at around 19 years. When I arrived in the university of Lagos, the biggest battle was to fight the military that was outside of the campus. Inside of the campus, it was to fight against cultism and university gangsterism and I did all of that, so I’ve been through the furnace.”

His love and passion for ensuring fairness and equality for everyone in society began at a very young age. He seeks to advocate for any person or issue regardless of the size of the matter.

“I know I love social justice so much and I’m willing to risk it all for social justice to be enabled whereever I find myself. It doesn’t matter whether the person is small or big or the issue is gigantic or minute, I love to fight for justice and I’ve been doing it since I was very little.

“Particularly my activism life started at the age of 10 when my village was invaded by the police in 1980, that was where I made the decision that when I grow up I’m gonna fight back as strongly as I could and I was inspired by every other social movement around the world, and I took it up from university.”

Speaking on the circumstances surrounding his cybercrime court case, he said; “one day I was coming out of the court of appeal and some policemen came, that was why I was restricted to Abuja for 3 years by a judge and they said there was another petition against me and I went to their office. 

“They said a so-called billionaire said I wrote a report against him and so I’ve committed a cybercrime. The next few days, they said they were charging me for cybercrime.

“We should all unite in this country and end our misery.”

Nancy Mbamalu 

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