Sowore: Hello Tomorrow!/

The general elections in Nigeria are slated for early next year and they are fast approaching. The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftains are boasting of victory and the main opposition party (PDP) hierarchy are equally talking tough confident of sweeping the polls. But beyond the two established political formations, there are other political forces and movements pushing for a radical change in the system come 2019. Beyond the APC/PDP presidential, gubernatorial and legislative rivalry, however, it is too early to speculate on how things would play out, yet it is possible to hazard a guess that the political landscape could witness a revolution never before seen in the annals of our chequered history.

While political pundits are reticent about the desirable scenario of real change becoming a reality the entrenched politicians of fortune of different hues ruining our collective lives are not in a hurry to change their ways anytime soon. The PDP has recently tendered an apology to Nigerians for their sixteen years of high-wire corruption, maladministration, and failure at the centre but it remains to be seen how the Nigerian electorate would react to this belated apology without any consequencies. Should we forgive the PDP and forget the 16-year broken promises and grand larceny? Should there be need to take the apology seriously as one given with remorseful heart or one tendered with winning elections in mind? What do we make of the so-called "rebranding" of the PDP? Is it old bottle in new wine or old wine in new bottle?

One doubts seriously the capacity of the PDP or the ruling APC party to win convincingly any presidential election in the event of one being organized today or tomorrow given the preponderance of public opinion against the two popular political parties. The APC has ruled for close to three years and national scandals abound from Abuja to the states' capitals. Scandals bordering on corruption, misrule, nepotism, cronyism and godfatherism. The twin evils of Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen may very well be the undoing of the APC as it seeks to position or re-position itself for the coming electoral battles. The Buhari regime has disappointed not a few Nigerians for many things it has done wrongly or failed to do rightly. The President is losing his northern political base given the perceived failures since he assumed power three years ago on the mantra of change.

While some professional politicians still believe strongly in the politics of money, rice and fertilizer changing hands during electioneering campaign in an environment of national misery others simply believe in the power of rigging their ways to positions of power through godfatherism, imposition or coronation. But whoever is telling any discerning Nigerian that the 2019 presidential poll would be a walk-over for the ruling party or the opposition PDP party could be telling that to the marine. The election of the Commander-In-Chief would be as rough and tough as they come indeed given the emerging trend in the political arena.

Today, Nigerians are more demanding of results from the leaders at local, states and federal levels. They are more mobile and mobilized than never before. The Internet revolution has somewhat given back power to the people in a non-violent manner. It has effortlessly broken 'taboos' and pushed forward the frontiers of knowledge and awareness around the world making this planet we know better a global village in the real sense of the word. What is more, the information super high-way is no respecter of colour, creed or nationality. It zooms around at a record speed no government or agency could ever control!

As the 2019 general elections draw ever nearer political forces are emerging left, right and centre ready to break the jinx of failure in our national leadership. They are getting ready to challenge frontally the political status quo that is constantly negating our march to predicted greatness as a nation. Senior advocate Olisa Agbakoba has since launched a National Intervention Movement (NIM) aimed at positioning the youth to take power from the gerontocrats and undemocratic elements worsening the living conditions of Nigerians by their visionless and purposeless leadership at the centre. The discredited ruling elite or the (mis)ruling class are reading the handwriting on the wall and strategizing and re-strategizing since no one is sure how the political pendulum would swing come 2019.

Following a controversial hard-hitting pungent open missive he sent to the President few months ago former President Olusegun Obasanjo had hinted that there was need for the new generation to be vested with power to power Nigeria and empower Nigerians as the world has changed for good. He has since begun the process of forming a movement named Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) recruiting credible youthful Nigerians for a new generational shift in the nation's leadership. But some crtics had carpeted the Ota executive farmer for contributing to the national rot he is now struggling to clear.

And throwing his hat in the ring in a shocking manner the Publisher of the New York-based online platform, SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, has sounded a note of warning that he is in the race as an underdog who could defeat the incumbent President in an elaborate interview he granted the Premium Times recently. And Sowore has started in earnest the mass mobilisation by launching a fund-raising scheme through which he hopes to fund his campaign. Please do not write him off yet!

We are indeed witnessing history in the making. And no one should allow themselves to be deceived by the empty promises of reprobates and crooks that abound in the executive and legislative arms of government. The political pendulum is inexorably swinging towards change and no one can stop an idea whose time has come. To power Nigeria and empower Nigerians in the 21st century world powered by the IT revolution Nigeria needs a 'digital' President who can intrepidly apply the triple 'F' formular: Find, Fix and Finish. Finding the way forward, the solution to our problems no matter the odds, fixing whatever is wrong with the system and finishing with the half-a-century-old story of our stagnant evolution as a nation.

A definitive conclusion has been reached by patriots and elder statesmen that Nigeria under the present demoralising political circumstance needs to be saved urgently from itself before more harm is inflicted on her. We have reached the lowest level where a radical revolutionary operation must be effected in our chaotic body polity. In 2019, therefore, all hands must be on deck, given the urgency of now, to elect an ebullient President capable of knocking back sense into the senseless situation. Sowore, in our reckoning, though not a core politician, is demonstrably capable of fixing the rotten broken system!

It takes a quality leadership, with a strong leader at the very top, to make things happen. Things can only get better when a good patriotic leader emerges and unlocks the hidden treasures and talents wherever they are found in the overall interest of the nation. Whenever and wherever such emergence has occurred all around the world strong institutions would follow suit and change naturally would be a steady work in progress. If Russia has changed under Putin (though he is not a democratic role model), given his strong leadership style, it is because the man at the zenith of power is leading aright and showing the way. If Botswana, closer home, could be made to become a shining example of successive leadership character characterized by socio-economic development and prudent management of state resources then Nigeria is not a hopeless case.

As a distinguished former UNILAG students union leader Sowore at 47 has what it takes to provide a sound leadership to our abused motherland. Having lived in America for decades we have no reason not to believe that the American sophisticated democratic society must have transformed him for good. Comrade Sowore could inspire confidence in the teeming youths in a desperate search for employment and hope for a better future and rev them up for a new dawn. He is sharp, fearless and commands his environment wherever he finds himself.

The executive SaharaReporter could be compared to the young enigmatic President of France, Emmanuel Macron, the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. In France, for example, last year, the little-known former Economy Minister under the then President Francois Hollande (who spent some months in Nigeria after his graduation) had used the "En Marche" popular movement he created to realize a political revolution that was impactful enough in the conservative French democratic society.. The then 39-year old did the impossible by deftly organizing a socio-political move that saw the triumph of a radical change in the French political life. For the very first time in the centuries-old history of French the old "gauche" and "droite" (left and right) political establishment was given a resounding beating by a new generation mentally prepared to bring down the old order and install a new one.

Today, President Macron has succeeded in changing the face of French politics for good. He daily demonstrates competence, youthful vigor, sound intellect and doubtless integrity. While we recognize, as a matter of self-evident truism, that we, Nigerians, are corrupt morally and materially we believe however in the future greatness of our fatherland. The potentials for continental dominance are all visible with our ingenuity and intelligence. We are supposed to lead Africa but self-inflicted circumstances have robbed us of opportunities to bring glory to Africa! Providence could not have been wrong by bestowing our nation with abundant human and natural resources.

Reading through the two exclusive interviews he recently granted two online platforms (Premium Times and The Cable) one came to the conclusion that Sowore knew where he was coming from and where he is going and where Nigeria was coming from and where she is headed. He sounded so convincing and so patriotic that one could not but applaud his intellectual power, energy and integrity. He is, of course, a jolly good fellow in whom we are well pleased! He is one 'hell' of a guy who can deliver justice, accountability, equity, fairness and prosperity to all without compromise upon his election to the office of the President.
For Omoyele, the son of Sowore, therefore, we can only say hello tomorrow, the future is finally here! It is, of course, the responsibility of our generation to make things happen. It is within our powers to make Nigeria work again and become a better place for us and our children. Let us, therefore, make it happen come 2019. We doff our hats for the future President!
SOC Okenwa
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