Omoyele Sowore is a human rights activist, blogger, writer, lecturer and the owner of Sahara Reporters, an online news and media website in Nigeria. In this article, we shall take a look at his biography and net worth.
OMOYELE SOWORE BIOGRAPHY AND HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISM
Omoyele Sowore was born on February 16, 1971 in Kiribo village, a rural setting in Ondo State, South-West Nigeria. He is known for his human rights activism and all through his life as an adult, he has consistently supported social justice and fairness for all.
He was raised in a polygamous home with sixteen children and by the time he was 12 years old, he had learnt how to ride a motorcycle which enabled him to go fishing at the lake for the family before going to school. The military rule in Nigeria contributed largely to his passion and desire for media and media activities.
Omoyele Sowore studied at the University of Lagos, UNILAG from 1989 – 1995 where he obtained a degree in Geography and planning. He was President of the Students Union Government, SUG while at UNILAG from 1992 – 1994, and he quickly became a model of leadership that was to be emulated at some of the University campuses in Nigeria. Because of his student activism and some political reasons, he spent two extra years at the University.
After his studies at the University of Lagos, he proceeded to the University of Columbia, USA where he bagged a Masters degree in Public Administration. He is currently an adjunct professor in a New York University.
Omoyele Sowore, alongside other rights activists, protested against the military juntas in Nigeria during his student days, calling out their corrupt practices, which always landed him in trouble with the Nigerian military.
In 1989, Omoyele Sowore partook in student demonstrations and protested the conditions of an International Monetary Fund, IMF loan of $120 million which was to be used for a Nigerian oil pipeline. Part of the conditions of the loan given by the IMF was to reduce the number of universities in Nigeria at that time from 28 to 5.
In 1992, Sowore mobilized 2,000 students to protest against the Nigerian government, a protest in which the Nigeria Police shot at protesters and killed seven people. Sowore was arrested in the process and tortured. His activism against the government started very early in his life.
As part of the struggle for a better leadership in Nigeria, he was involved in the demand for democratic government taking over military rule in June 12, 1993, a protest which resulted in several arrests, detentions and life threatening treatment by government authorities.
His protests and struggles against the military juntas of his day finally paid off when his effort, together with that of many others, ushered in democracy to Nigeria in 1999, after the military dictatorship dominated Nigeria’s political space for 35 years, including plunging the country into the Nigerian Civil War.
In 2006, Omoyele Sowore birthed the Online News and Media Website, Sahara Reporters in a small room in Manhattan, USA in order to fight and speak against the corrupt and wrong practices of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Sahara Reporters is supported by grants donated by the Ford Foundation and Omidyar Foundation. The Online Media Platform does not accept adverts and financial support from the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Sahara Reporters promotes African culture and values, especially in Nigeria, and as earlier mentioned, it is very critical of corrupt government officials and their enablers in Nigeria.
POLITICS AND PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
Sowore is also a Nigerian politician among many other things. On February 25, 2018, he announced his intention to run for President in the 2019 Nigerian general election on the platform of his own political party, the African Action Congress.
He founded the party on August 15, 2018, on whose platform he contested and lost the 2019 Presidential election to Mohammadu Buhari who ran for second term in office on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Sowore’s political movement operates with the slogan #TakeItBack. He has since been very critical of the Federal Government and has made clear his mission to restore Nigeria and Africa’s dignity to what it once was.
ARREST AND RELEASE
On August 3, 2019 Omoyele Sowore was arrested by the Department of State Services, DSS for alleged treason after calling for a protest against the Federal Government and it’s perceived corrupt practices. He tagged the protest “Revolution Now”.
He was charged with trying to overthrow the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari after he called for “Revolution Now” and was also made to answer questions on money laundering and cyber-stalking.
Despite being granted bail in October 2019, the Federal Government continued to hold him in detention, snubbing the ruling of the courts, a situation that sparked wide media outcry from majority of his supporters.
On December 5, 2019, a Federal High Court in Abuja granted him bail once more but under controversial circumstances, members of the Department of State Services stormed the Court on December 6, where he was on trial for treason, halted proceedings and bundled Sowore out of the Court premises, effectively rearresting him and snubbing the rule of law once again. A situation which made the sitting judge to flee the court premises to save dear life.
After mounting pressure from the international community, on December 24, 2019, the Federal Government, through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, ordered the State Security Service, SSS (Self styled as the Department of State Services, DSS) to release Sowore on bail.
OMOYELE SOWORE NET WORTH
Omoyele Sowore is a wealthy and influential person in Nigeria. Presently, his primary source of income is his news and media website, Sahara Reporters, which is reportedly worth about $10 million, which when converted to Nigerian Naira, stands at over N3 billion.
Yele Sowore is happily married to Opeyemi Sowore and his family is based in New Jersey, USA. The couple is blessed with two children.