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Omoyele Sowore: “Fighting Is His Element!” By Kunle Wizeman Ajayi



Omoyele Sowore

As Epa Tega called to disclose that the Tinubu’s government hass decided to discontinue the Treason case against Omoyele Sowore and Bakare Olawale Mandate, a shed of joyful tears rolled down my cheeks. The first thing I remember was the situation I was when I saw Sowore’s coded tweet around 1am on August 3rd, 2019. The tweet was for the core Comrades who had been in the lead of organizing and mobilizing for the August 5th #RevolutionNow protests. Aside that I knew Sowore was being arrested by that tweet, I also knew it was a long call of battles. So, I immediately took the baton and issued a statement on behalf of the movement stating that Buhari and his army could arrest Sowore but the revolution continues.

There is a point in history when the most important actions must be organized, not birthed out of spontaneity. The Buhari government climaxed thirty years of the impositions of neo-liberal capitalism on Nigeria by the rogue ruling class under the close supervision of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. While General Buhari was dropped in the mid 80s at the inception of this historic onslaught to favour General Babangida who employed cunning methods to kickstart the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP); same Buhari was brought back 30years later to over see the burial of social welfarism in Nigeria. So, the civilian Buhari was brought back to fulfill a role he failed to play well as a military ruler. And the new jackals of the ruling class are also packaged alongside in the All Progressive Congress (APC) as a counterweight to the failing People’s Democratic Party (PDP.) So, members of the TakeItBack Movement and the African Action Congress (AAC) were clear after the 2019 elections that there was a need to employ civil actions to fight the Buhari government and consequentially, the whole ruling class. This necessitated the third arm of battle, the Coalition For Revolution (CORE) to rally all revolutionary forces beyond our movement.

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Many on the left chastised us for calling for revolution giving all kinds of excuses. Some even told us to change same to “Campaign” instead of a coalition. But we simply asked all to check our five-point demands and see whether they were not on point. That was the grace to winning the battle of ideas.

As Sowore was arrested, we knew the plan was to arrest more Comrades, so we worked in cells at the different locations nationally and coordinated so randomly yet meticulously. Between August 3rd and 5th, we had the most hectic hours of organizing, “now open, now hidden.” Happily, we overwhelmed the military and police with our wide networking and robust educative mobilizing. In far away Adamawa, the secret agents were busy looking for our comrades, just as they were searching for us in the nook and corners of Lagos. But we made sure they didn’t arrest any Comrade until the D-Day on August 5th when we had actions in 56 towns and cities nationally and globally. Our Comrades in Europe and America raised banners in protests and solidarity.

The crux of this article of mine is that despite the fact that the head of the #RevolutionNow was arrested, we fought on without looking back. A friend of mine who is no more an activist called me in the morning of August 5th and said, “are you sure your Sowore wouldn’t have been cowed now that he is arrested?” I laughed so loud. I was so ready for either arrests or something worse. And as the one who had to lead the protests that morning, I needed all convictions.

So when after we kept fighting and Sowore was finally brought to court months later, we were in court massively. As he entered the court in the midst of the war-ready DSS agents, Sowore shouted #RevolutionNow! That was the inspiration we needed. My old friend called me again and said; “Kunle, now I am sure you are going to war with a true soldier!”

Since 2019 till the judiciary finally asked FG to come withdraw the pieces of their shameful cases against Sowore and Mandate, the members of AAC keep fighting for #RevolutionNow, either through protests or elections. We remain focused and never “genuflect on the altars of fallen gods,” as Gimba Kakanda correctly noted.

Many think it’s some magic that poor we keep organizing and so powerfully have influenced the barricades till the great EndSARS and now. So, as we celebrate both the legal victory and the new rising of the people through #NoGreeForHunger protests from Niger to Otta, we wish Omoyele Sowore many more years in revolutionary battles. We live on ideas, but as Engels said of Marx, our leader is not just a talk-talk person, fighting is his element!

Imagine that AAC got millions of votes at the last elections like Labour Party, by now, this regime will be on a very hot seat. AAC members and Sowore be like Asake, “dem don cut our ears comot”. We sacrifice, not getting obedient. In all our interventions, from Yoruba Nation, to Shiites, to Nnamdi Kanu’s freedom; we fight relentlessly. We do not bow for our oppressors, no matter how powerful. That’s the way to change things for the better from below!