The wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, marked her 46th birthday anniversary recently. She was reported to have donated some gift items to the less-privileged of our society. Using her pet project “Future Assured” she gave out some useful edible and non-edible items to the children of the poor and the needy in our midst. It is indeed always good and delightful to see some privileged compatriots in positions of power and influence think about those suffering the debilitating effects of the growing poverty around the Nigerian nation space. A careless nation encourages the rise of brigandage and criminals thrown up by the stress of want. A solution must be found urgently to the poverty we are breeding from the hinterland to the cities and towns.
Showing charity to the downtrodden in an annual auspicious occasion of this kind constitutes, in all intents and purposes, a great act that not only demonstrates obedience to the recommendation of the Most High but one worthy of emulation. A rich nation like ours, providentially blessed, that boasts of a majority poor and hopeless population ought to be ashamed of herself! Nothing much would be achieved as long as poverty keeps making victims out of Nigerians.
Hajia Aisha celebrated connubially alone as it were given the fact that ‘Maigida’ is out of the country on health grounds. On medical leave spanning more than one month now the President’s absence is not constitutionally felt since he dutifully handed over full powers to VP Osinbajo before departing for the UK. His absence is only felt by a cabal from the north whose power and influence in the scheme of things are being whittled down. PMB must ignore calls from this cabal for him to come back home even against his doctors’ recommendations. His health matters a lot and it is only a healthy President that can discharge his duty without problems. He must remain in London until his medical handlers decide that he is fit enough to return.
As a septuagenarian President Buhari is getting ever closer, like all mortals, to the end than the beginning thereof. He has had cause to regret coming to power at this time and age of his life! When he reminisced about his first coming as a martial leader, youthful, lanky and energetic, decades ago, he would have come to the conclusion that man is here as a slave to time. He could even pose silently the crucial question: how time flies! While it could be validly argued that the spirit is willing to do the hard job for which he sought the powerful office the body could be saying otherwise in deference to mother nature.
Buhari, like Presidents before him (living or dead) had been a subject of wicked dead rumours but he is alive and getting better according to those he received recently in London — Tinubu, Saraki and others. Our prayers are with him for we can only offer supplications to the Almighty Allah to give him more years and strength to be able to see through his vision of change for our dear nation.
And just at the same period in time the beautiful woman in the presidential “kitchen, bedroom and the other room” was marking her two scores and six years the founder and publisher of SaharaReporters, Comrade Omoyele Sowore, also celebrated his 46th birthday in Lagos. Surrounded by area boys and girls, friends and well-wishers, Sowore looked happy turning 46 in a land where life expectancy is generally lower.
Sowore as a former radical student union leader saw the future ahead of him and decided courageously to be fully involved in its definition. He wisely exploited the vast opportunity provided by the dot com revolution to affect his generation and even the next. From a humble beginning fraught with doubt and challenges he challenged greatness and from all indications he has triumphed writing his name on the marble of history.
In the history of the Nigerian nation no media organisation (conventional or otherwise) has had a penetrating all-encompassing impact more than SaharaReporters. With the advent of the Internet journalism as we knew it traditionally has changed for good. We now have youthful publishers and bloggers unafraid to speak their minds or confront the half-truths and mendacity of those in government.
Quite unlike what obtained in the distant past pre-Internet revolution no government worth its democratic appellation can afford to dictate how the unregulated online media should operate. The growing publishers and editors are at liberty to engage in citizen reportage and propagation of hard views concerning governmental failures or corruption within and without the system. Though we recognise here that in Africa some rogue regimes had sought to cut off Internet connections in their countries at times of presidential polls or social unrest they show themselves for what they truly are in doing this.
The Internet has effortlessly offered people some platform to air their grievances; it has freed peoples from bondage and oppression giving voice to the voiceless, hope to the hopeless and power to the powerless! Daily online taboos are being challenged and frontiers of knowledge pushed to the limit. Sowore saw an opportunity for him to write his name in the hearts of the poor, in the minds of the downtrodden and in the sands of time and seized same.
Nigeria is ripe for a revolution (violent or non-violent). But it cannot start or work if the people are not well-informed independently. Wherever a revolution had happened the free press played a pivotal role in the galvanisation and mobilisation of the people. Revolution can only happen in Naija if only the unemployed youths roaming the streets across the federation and the economically-embattled middle class wake up and conquer fear and docility within. No executive thief or political reprobate would ever elect to stand and be counted whenever any uprising takes place.
We celebrate Sowore at 46 not just because he is a jolly good fellow in whom one is well-pleased but because of what he stands for and represents for Nigeria and Nigerians. We salute him for his noble combat for the soul of the nation; we salute him for his uncommon courage, commitment and patriotism. Attaining 46 is indeed a milestone in the life of a combatant engaged in a strategic combat for good governance in a system devoid of graft and political manipulation of the masses.
With gladness in our hearts we salute the celebrated whistle-blower, Omoyele Sowore, @ 46! We wish him sound health, prosperity and longevity!! As we await the golden Jubilee (four years hence) we say cheers four dozens minus two times over.