Sowore Is Light, Saraki Is Darkness By Abdulrazaq Hamzat

Sen. Bukola Saraki

Truly, money can buy them position and influence, but it can never buy them integrity. If integrity is a commodity being sold in the market, they may be able to afford it, but unfortunately, this is not the
case. Integrity cannot be bought.

Apart from on the media, I have never seen nor met with Omoyele Sowore, founder of Sahara Reporters, neither have I ever see nor met with Bukola Saraki, former Kwara State Governor. However, I have encountered both personalities based on their activities as it affects the general public.

My conclusion based on public records of the activities of both party is that one specializes in looting public resources; while the other specializes in exposing looting and impunity. This explains why they can’t cohabit. Light and darkness can never be friends.

Take it or leave it, Sowore is light, Saraki is darkness. If both of them die today, the world will forever remember Sowore for his outstanding contribution to governmental accountability, but as for
Saraki, the world will be a better place without him. His praise singers will simply move on to praise other looters who can pay the piper.

Let me break this down for you all to understand.

In retrospect, the first time the name, Bukola Saraki was ever mentioned in public document was in 1990, when he was standing trial for theft and fraud perpetrated at the Society General Bank (Police Document Attached).

Bukola Saraki first police fraud case in 1990

The name, Omoyele Sowore, on the other hand, made it to public document in 1992 as an activist, anti military dictator, and President of University of Lagos Student Union Government.

Public record as you can see shows that in early 90’s, one was fighting for democracy and students right against military dictatorship, while the other was alleged of stealing customers money at a bank owned by his father. Between this two, who is light and who is darkness? You decide.

Fast forward to our return to democracy in 1999.

The name Bukola Saraki came back to public consciousness in 2003 when he ran for Kwara State Governorship position. Sowore, on the other hand, returned to public consciousness in 2006, not just as a critic of
public irresponsibility, but also as a champion of free expression.

Sowore established Sahara Reporters to democratize journalism in Nigeria and encourage everyday people to report stories about corruption, human rights abuses and other political misconduct in Nigeria. Again, one was spending his time, money, intellect and energy to empower other Nigerians and create a decent society worth living, while the other was only interested in having access to public purse.

When Saraki came on board in 2003, he said he wanted to end poverty in Kwara State and build infrastructure, but 15 years after taking charge of the state of harmony, Kwara has been dragged deeper into poverty
and its infrastructure in greater shamble than ever before. All major companies had closed down, no single school built and our hospitals remain without drugs, except for himself, pensioners and worker went unpaid for months. This is the legacy that has continued.

Sowore, on the other hand, has not only succeeded in getting people to be telling the real stories of corruption, human right abuses from all across Nigeria, Africa and indeed the world; he also made his platform readily available for the stories to be told. This was the objective of Sahara Reporters from day one and it has been achieved. Again, Sowore has passed and Saraki nko?

A massive failure.

Personally speaking, I have been publishing articles and reports on Sahara Reporters for over 5 years. On no occasion did anyone ever asked me to pay any money. This is not a small feat, considering the brown
envelop syndrome prevalent among media organizations in Nigeria.

More surprisingly, a friend had written a PR content for someone running for office at a time. He approached Sahara Reporters to publish the content as an advert, but to my greatest surprise, Sahara reporter
told him they don’t publish sponsored political content. I mean, every media outlet carry sponsored content to make money. If you ask Linda Ikeji, she will tell you the meaning of getting patronage from
politicians, but Sahara reporter doesn’t care about money, all they want is to tell the real and factual stories. Any content that is geared towards promoting any person for political office is not
allowed, no matter how much you want to pay. This ensures that nobody influences the platform with money. This is the person some nonentities are accusing with fake account statement. I just dey
laugh. Some people are too valuable than money.

It is a public knowledge that many politicians, including presidents, have attempted to influence Sahara reporters with money on several occasions, but none of them succeeded. There is something money cannot
buy. It is called Omoyele Sowore. Saraki has tried it several times and failed. The same way he failed Kwara and now failing Nigeria. He is a specialist in failure.

Let me narrate a special encounter with Omoyele. During our struggle at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) which led to our expulsion, Sowore whom I have never met surprised me. Apart from the
fact that he assigned a journalist to always cover our story, he did something remarkable. My colleague, Elias Ozikpu who was the Public Relation Officer of the Congress of NOUN Students informed me that
Sowore had called to ask if we need financial assistance for our lawsuit. I mean, an unknown person, calling to offer financial support to us, isn’t that remarkable?

Although we told him we had sorted the finance, the fact that he was ready to give us funds, without even asking for his assistance is something that shocked me really. Is this the person you are comparing
with Saraki?

When our case was eventually reversed for judgment, Sowore offered to finance a victory party for the Congress of NOUN students. This is somebody I have never met before.
The point is that, if Sowore has $100 million dollars, he will give it out to young people in need. He will use it to empower hundreds, if not thousands of youths. He doesn’t need it for himself. He is a man
with high moral standard.

If Sowore decided to open Sahara reporter to sponsored content today, I can assure you that the first person that will pay him for sponsorship is Bukola Saraki. All politicians in Nigeria will queue to
pay Omoyele. Some will even dobale (prostrate) to give him the money.

But to hell with blood money. Sowore doesn’t need it.

SOWORE OMOYELE
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