No regrets over ‘Revolution Now’, Sowore,

Activist asks Nigeria to scrap bicameral legislature, engage part-time lawmakers

16th March 2024

Nigeria’s dominant opposition figure, Mr Omoyele Sowore has called for the scrapping of bicameral legislature urging Nigerians to push for part time lawmakers.

He said the current system bleeds the country to its bones.

The Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2023 General Election also said he has no regrets embarking on his aborted protest tagged ‘Revolution Now’ which led to his incarceration by the immediate past administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

In this interview with Saturday Sun, the Publisher of Saharareporters, an online news platform, however said the movement started too late and wished it happened earlier.

Sowore, who returned to his base in the United States last week after spending close to five years in Nigeria, further said he was happy that he enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime privilege to act amongst change agents in his lifetime, especially in a country seeking courageous and upright men and women to change its course of history. Amongst other issues, Sowore dwelt on the recent move by the Federal Government to implement the Steve Oronsaye Report and concluded that the report is a distraction at this material time. He spoke with AIDOGHIE PAULINUS.

How would you describe your ordeal in the hands of the Federal Government?

I have reached a point in life when I do not romanticise the fact that the system comes after people in my mould and character. I have a revolutionary spirit; it is a package that attracts severe reactions from cowards in power. So, my five-year ordeal is not extremely difficult to understand or explain. In a way, I am one of the lucky few. In the last nine years, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party has made Nigeria hell on earth for Nigerians.

Do you regret embarking on that voyage to incarceration known as Revolution Now?
Absolutely no regrets. I am happy that I enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime privilege to act amongst change agents in my lifetime, especially in a country seeking courageous and upright men and women to change its course of history.

During your ordeal, some said it served you right because you helped the Muhammadu Buhari administration to power. What is your take on this?

It is needless to address those who make such uninformed and outlandish claims. First, there is no truth or substance to it, except it serves those who have done a duty to self-perpetuate a narrative they knew to be false. Ask yourself if the majority of those who were massacred in the South-East through several criminal operations by the Nigerian Army ever supported Buhari’s elections.

Looking back, what would you have done differently regarding Revolution Now regarding the strategy you employed?

We started too late. I wish we had started earlier because Revolution Now emboldened a generation of youths that realized their potent powers to change the course of history. I hate to be self-serving, but I doubt that #ENDSARS would have happened had Revolutionnow not shown to a new generation of youths that they could fight power.

You were in Nigeria for five years, unable to return to the United States where your family resides. What did you miss most during the five years?
Oh, I missed the solid growth of my kids. I left them both when they were practically toddlers, and I returned to them five years later to meet “adults.” They had grown into a world I am now trying to navigate. My daughter read a poem during my homecoming last Saturday; she was deeply introspective, and she captured my departure and returned in ways I never thought she could.
How would you quantify your financial loss during the period?
It wasn’t about finance; my losses were beyond economic, and it is also fair to say it was a massive economic loss too.

While in Nigeria, you lost loved ones, particularly your brother. How would you describe those moments?
That was a testy moment! I can’t describe it, it was very hard to get over it, and I doubt I will ever get over his death.

Nigeria is experiencing turbulent times. What plans do the civil society organizations in which you have played active roles have to lift Nigeria out of the woods?
I don’t see the solution as something civil society could resolve. By their very nature, “civil society groups” have low bandwidth. They are not social movements, and they are also “limited liability” groups that are largely risk averse. Nigeria’s problems have reached beyond what could be solved by or with civil society activism.
Based on your political participation experience, will you contest the 2027 presidential election?
I have always stated that my political career is never tied to election cycles.
What is your opinion about the planned implementation of the Oronsaye Report? Is it too late?
Orosanye’s report is a distraction at this time.

Tinubu has spoken in favour of state police. Is restructuring gradually being achieved?
No, Tinubu doesn’t even believe in policing in the first place. He’s a lover, sponsor, and supporter of criminal and violent non-state actors. The gimmick he’s putting out about state police is to empower such actors, lawless and brutal non-state actors.
What are your thoughts about the planned constitutional amendment?
How many times could a constitution be amended? There is no way an illegitimate “Constitution” thrown at Nigerians by the military could be amended. The amendment of the Nigerian constitution since 1999 has become a drain pipe on Nigeria’s resources.
A crisis is looming in the National Assembly over alleged N3 trillion budget padding. Your opinion, please?
Nigeria must abolish the bicameral legislative system and engage part-time lawmakers to make laws. The Nigerian Senate is the retirement home of looters and criminals, mostly former state governors.

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