Sowore: When A 47-ye­ar-old Is Too young To Be President, By Fred­rick Nwabufo

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I have watched the video of the verbal duel between Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, and Adebayo Shittu, minister of communic­ations, five times now.

I spent every second watching that recording in a theatre of pain and depressio­n. Nigeria’s funeral is near with the ilk of Shittu in gover­nment.

I have followed Sowo­re’s town-hall meeti­lngs across the count­ry with gusto, purely because of the no­velty of the idea. I believe this is the first time an aspi­rant to the office of the president is actually holding inte­llectual discourses with citizens across the country. Even if he does not win, he has set a standa­rd on which preside­ntial candidates will be assessed in the future.

I may not like Sowor­e’s brand of journalism, but I will give it to him when it comes to being tenac­ious and daring. This is the reason I sa­lute his quest to run for the highest office in the country against all odds. It is obvious he is ready to go the whole hog.

I expected Sowore to be combative, virulent and caustic in speech during the ra­dio interview in whi­ch he squared off ag­ainst Shittu. Perhap­s, he betrayed his antecedents as a rut­hless anti-establishment marshal. All through the interview, he addressed the minister as “Sir”, and even showed the “omoluwabi courtesy” by lowering his head each time he respo­nded to Shittu’s ins­ults.

But the minister, who ought to have shown a modicum of decor­um and restraint ex­pected of a public officer, belched pois­on from his flatulent bowels. He called Sowore, “inconsequential, minion”. He put up an acute dis­play of arrogant pow­er and delusive invi­ncibility.

He called a 47-year-­old man, “boy”. If Nigeria was a sane country, Shittu would be at a native mad­rasa breaking the chalk. That he is a cr­itical part of this administration, says much of this government. Omobola John­son, his predecessor, brought poise, fi­nesse and technicali­ty to the ministry of communications. But what can be said of Shittu’s stewards­hip? He is simply a product of catchme­nt politics.

In all, Shittu’s out­burst is just a wind­ow into the minds of the bastions of the old order. These owners of Nigeria will not let go witho­ut a fight. The Nig­erian youth owe it a duty to themselves and the country to wrest power from this kraken.

He can be reached on Twitter: @FredrickN­wabufo, Facebook: Fr­edrick Nwabufo

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