Photo: Omoyele Sowore | Credit: Daily Post Nigeria - Photo: 2018

A Journalist Joins the Presidential Race in Nigeria

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK | LAGOS (IDN) – Next year’s race for the presidency in Nigeria just got a lot more interesting as a crusading journalist – an upstart known for exposing the millions and billions stolen by a national “loot-ocracy” – announced his candidacy for the nation’s top job.

As news spread that the journalist, Omoyele Sowore, was testing the waters for national office, President Muhammadu Buhari, age 75, reminded Nigerians that he too would be a candidate, ending months of speculation that the President might step down.

At a meeting with ruling party – All Progressives Congress (APC) – leaders, President Buhari explained that he heard “the clamour by Nigerians” urging him to run again in 2019.

Until the announcement on April 9, President Buhari was considered a candidate for retirement. Serious health issues took him to doctors in the UK for a total of five months in 2017. A campaign promise to stamp out the Boko Haram insurgency fell short as militants raided a school in February in a reprise of a similar attack in 2014.

Speaking to a reporter, Omoyele listed problems of the current regime starting with unemployment. “Over 20 million Nigerians who are qualified to have jobs, most of them young people, have no jobs and unemployment rose in 2017,” he said.

“The economy is in shambles… Healthcare is a disgrace,” he added. “When the President has to go overseas for treatment, what do you think the quality of care is for ordinary Nigerians?”

“Our political system continues to be defined by corruption,” Omoyele declared. “Not a single major conviction for corruption has been achieved under Buhari.”

Nigerian analysts also give Buhari an uphill battle to win another term. “There are multiple factions in his party who don’t want him to have a second term,” said Cheta Nwanze at the Lagos-based risk advisory SBM Intelligence. “They will coalesce against him now.”

New ‘third party’ movements are the Coalition for Nigeria, touted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Nigerian Intervention Movement headed by human rights lawyer Olisa Agbakoba, and the Red Card Movement led by Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former minister and ex-vice president of the World Bank.

“I will be contesting for the presidency of this nation whose development has been ‘arrested’,” said Omoyele, founder of – a website of citizen journalism, supplying videos, photos, news stories and commentaries that expose official corruption and abuse in Nigeria’s government.

“What I have learned in my 47 years on earth …is that if you want to see things change you have to do it yourself.” [IDN-InDepthNews – 10 April 2018]

Photo: Omoyele Sowore | Credit: Daily Post Nigeria

IDN is the flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate. –

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