Omoyele Sowore: The Unsung ‘Street’ Hero of June 12 Struggle

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The struggle for the actualization of June 12 and enthronement of democracy in Nigeria cannot be complete without the mention of Sahara reporters founder, Omoyele Sowore.

Sowore as the then student Union leader at the University of Lagos led many street protests to fight the military, at one of the struggles he led, some students were killed by security forces, he was rusticated (later recalled), yet he did not stop. He was arrested and tortured several times during this period.

Before MKO was arrested, Sowore met with him at his Ikeja house, where he (MKO) offered the student Union leader N800,000 to support their struggle, this Sowore vehemently declined (Sowore revealed how some politicians he met at MKO house has been coming to collect money from Abiola in the guise of fighting for his mandate) and when MKO died, Sowore led the group that received Abiola’s corpse and literally buried him.

A renowned journalist Niyi Babade in his yet to be published memoir also acknowledge Sowore stride in the June 12 struggle, in his word
“Unannounced they came out of an unmarked grey vehicle and saw the ugly scenes then opened fire on all of us. I spent some quality time in my resting place the gutter till I heard the song singing voices of the students of University of Lagos led by Yele Sowore ( now Sahara reporter ) heading to Abiola’s house, I crawled out of my hiding and tried to get an exclusive shot when the hoodlums among the students attacked me and wanted to confiscate my camera but with the heroic effort of Sowore I was spared and allowed to join them as one of the hoodlums and a journalist which then gave me unlimited access to exclusive footage of the day till we got to MKO Abiola’s house.”

It would be recalled that Sowore during a town hall meeting in Abeokuta on 3rd June 2018 during the run-up to the 2019 Presidential election promised to declare June 12 Nigeria democracy day. Few days after, President Muhammadu Buhari made the announcement (an obvious sign the Presidency has been following the young man).

Sowore struggle and doggedness in ensuring real democratic rule in Nigeria are unparalleled, no wonder many young people see him as someone who is unyielding in ensuring good governance, some who had the opportunity to accumulate wealth and live largely but decided not to jettison the struggle for a better Nigeria.

Watch the videos that chronicle Sowore activities in democratic struggle for June 12

SOWORE WITH MKO ABIOLA

SOWORE DURING MKO ABIOLA’S BURIAL

SOWORE AT ABEOKUTA PROMISING TO DECLARE JUNE 12 DEMOCRACY DAY

SOWORE NUGA GAMES 1998