When SaharaReporters boss declared for president, he insulted everyone
SaharaReporters publisher Omoyele Sowore declared for president this week and dished out enough insults for everyone.
13A Isaac John serves as SaharaReporters’ office in Nigeria. But you wouldn’t have guessed so from the exterior of the property. There is no sign that reads ‘SaharaReporters’ or stuff like that on the gate or on the walls of 13A. It was an address as nondescript as they come.
You could have missed the address if you were a first time visitor. I did.
After zooming past 13A, I had to park somewhere in the distance in order not to end up on a one-way street and become guest of the police.
I made the journey back to the right address on foot.
Let the insults rain
“Good afternoon…my name is…..I am a journalist with , I muttered to the chap standing like a statue at the gate; not so sure what to expect. He had a pained look on his face.
“Oga, enter” he commanded, without asking for any kind of identification.
A few steps in and I could hear Sowore insulting Buhari, Saraki and every name he could come up with at the time. He was saying something about how he had declined offers to work for CNN and BBC to pursue his dream of exposing the corrupt and the wicked in Nigeria.
He had a small crowd before him. The young, the old and the not-so-old. They were holding on to his every word in this charged atmosphere. They were about 50 persons crammed into a corner of the parking lot for this special town hall.
I had a hard time finding my way to the front row seats. But I eventually did. I would spend the rest of the evening listening to Sowore tear past and present Nigerian leaders apart before putting himself forward as the candidate to beat in the 2019 presidential contest.
The aspirant bemoaned how tissue papers are rationed at the nation's airports ("Why don't you just give me your hand to wipe my ass, then?") and how he'll fix Nigeria's infrastructure problems in a heartbeat.
Sowore was wearing a blue suit on sky blue long sleeved shirt. On his neck was a trademark cowry necklace that made him look invincible. He was fiery in his delivery. Every word was a jab at the establishment political class and President Buhari.
"If I should run this country, Nigerians will be happy. I can run this country in my sleep better than Buhari can do. Ambode can't govern a county in the US", Sowore said at one point.
"Jagaban ( has taken every piece of land you can find in Lagos. Saraki has taken over Kwara”.
For the SaharaReporters publisher, “Buhari has no brain. If you ask Nigerians about the economic plans of Buhari, they'll point to the British accent of the finance minister. How does accent create jobs? "
Sowore wondered how Nigerians handed over the running of their country to someone who can’t operate his own smartphone.
"Buhari is not even analogue. He is worse. He can't even use a telephone by himself", Sowore stated.
There were intermittent cheers and jeers from the crowd. Cheers for the activist turned politician and jeers for those the man of the moment was directing his diatribe at.
Sowore was a student union leader back in university before journalism took him abroad. There were strong words for those who say activists like him can’t become Nigeria’s president.
"As activists, we can run Nigeria. If a goat gets the kind of waiver Dangote gets, the goat will be rich," he said. Another round of cheers engulfed the meeting here.
The meeting drew to a close around 4pm. I embarked on the trek to my car as the presidential aspirant stopped to say hello to everyone.
They were lucky the man had run out of insults to dish at this point.
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