There are eerie similarities between a 1996 movie, Ransom and the edgy tableaux caused by the #RevolutionNowprotests. More so by the typically gawky responses from Nigeria’s government.
In the movie, a rich man( Mel Gibson) has his son kidnapped by the house keeper’s boyfriend (Gary Sinise) who is also a police man. Two other criminals are involved. They demand $2 million. Mullen agrees to that but the exchange went sour . So he changed the game and switched the heat on the kidnappers.
On national television, he announces that anyone who returns his son gets the money. The kidnappers begin to kill themselves for the money.$4 million! The end? Greed losses as Mullen gets his son back without paying a dime.
Omoyele Sowore who has been in the custody of Nigeria’s DSS since Saturday, will spend more time in detention. 45 days, according to a “court order”. The problem for the government is not how long they detain him. They are more worried about the mystery surrounding the man they thought they knew after having used him successfully.
It is one thing to know that one is about to confront a hired assassin but it is quiet another disquieting thing to realise that the assassin is the man one has used severally in the past. An assassin who earned his reputation, fame and fortune by announcing the death of a president 5 months before it was made official.
4 days after the #RevolutionNow protests and the violent response by Nigeria’s security, Mr Sowore is morphing from a Julian Assange to an Edward Snowdon and Juan Guaido in a combination of a puzzling Mandela.
Normal governments will ignore Mr Sowore but Mr Buhari’s government is far from that. Also add that they know how insecure they are, with so many secrets to cover most of which are known to their former marksman.
Like in the movie, Ransom, Mr Buhari has no idea who has paid his former hatchet man and is very confused about workable ways and means to respond appropriately. Unlike Ransom, Mr Buhari cannot call Mr Sowore’s bluff: again, there is so much to hide? What with the controversial elections and the bogus high school certificate and a lack thereof.
Could it be Atiku Abubakar, Mr Buhari’s main challenger who has even condemned Mr Sowore’s arrest? “Stop acting like a president” ,the APC told Mr Atiku. Could it also be the United States and the EU who have termed Mr Buhari’s re-election as fraudulent? Still, is it the Yorubas whose son is the vice president but whose land Mr Buhari sought to seize? “The South West is working with foreign agents to topple the government even though the are the “biggest beneficiaries” says an obscure and obviously paid group last night.
Is Mr Sowore working with Nnamdi Kanu on the orders of Olusegun Obasanjo to divide Nigeria? “We have no hand in splitting Nigeria “-Northern group says”.
And so , the government is boxing shadows and grabbing at straws. Like a hopeless captain Adams Oshiomole, Chairman of Mr Buhari’s APC, asked in utter helplessness ” Why does Sowore want to seize power by force”?
Here is one theory why the government can’t turn the tables on their adversaries (like in the movie)as expressed by a good conspiracy theorist( not this writer). The social media landscape is littered with an assortment of all conspiracy theories but l think this one will carry.
A writer who wished to avoid Mr Buhari’s jail using the the nom de plume “Aare De Oracle ( Nigerian Concord)”“In 2010, some powerful elements within the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, under the leadership of Bola Tinubu approached the publisher of Sahara Reporters which is being published in New York, Omoyele Sowore, in order to help them rubbish the government of the then president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan whom they referred to as a weak and minority president at that time. Tinubu personally bought a mansion worth $2m for Sowore in Boston, bought him two exotic cars, built him two Mansions in Lagos and Ondo states and as well put him on a N5m monthly salary. Apart from that, a traitor within the PDP who was then the governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi, was brought in, and he too offered to put Sowore on a N3m monthly salary just to ruin Jonathan as a result of a burning crisis between him and Patience Jonathan.When Sowore began his hatchet job, two politicians in Benue state were also approached so they could help put lies on the then governor, Gabriel Suswam, just because they saw that he was very close to Jonathan.On Suswam’s issue, they uses several malicious ways from certificate forgery, womanizing, embezzlement to poll riggings but they failed in everywhere even up to the Supreme Court since he was innocent of all their accusations.Back to the moles within the PDP then, some of Jonathan’s ministers and other principal aides were contacted by Tinubu to work for the downfall of their boss and they all agreed. They were offered good cash in exchange of classified federal government documents and information.All the documents and stories which Sowore published against Jonathan and his administration then were being sent to Tinubu directly by the moles in the administration just as they were being paid heavily. Jonathan being a gentle man decided to allow Sowore get away with his blackmails not knowing that all the fake reports would be believed by Nigerians who in 2015 voted him out of office.Having assisted Buhari to power in 2015, Amaechi stopped paying Sowore. Tinubu too stopped paying him,and this led him to a serious media war against Buhari in 2017. Sensing dangers in the build up to the 2019 poll, Tinubu sent Abike Dabiri, presidential aide on foreign matters, to speak with Sowore in New York,and a deal to make him a junior minister from Ondo state where he hails from was struck at their meeting. The deal was not a free one as Sowore was given a task to declare for Presidency in 2019 so that he could split Atiku’s votes in some areas. He was given funds and other logistics for that assignment which he carried out very well with a hope of becoming a minister. Now that it is certain that he is not going to be made a minister, Sowore is planning a Revolution, that is to take government away from Buhari after series of blackmails but,he has met his waterloo. He forgot that it is not everyone that will be kind like Jonathan and Gabriel Suswam.”
Now, would Sowore actually seek to “bring down the government” because he didn’t make the cabinet? In Nigeria, anything is possible. Could they make him a promise and fail to deliver on it? Very possible. Remember Air Nigeria that was launched with several millions about this time last year? And how it disappear into thin air two months later? So ,anything is possible.
The government is taking unmeasured steps and making unforced errors because it is the most insecure government in Nigeria’s history, behaving like a child begging to be loved. And Mr Sowore knows all of this.
In my first article on Mr Sowore, Saturday, I warned that he was no angel but a clumsy response by the government will make a saint out of him and expose its other battery of failures.
Having secured 45 days to hold Mr Sowore, one can only watch with anticipated fascination how a sweet marriage between Sowore and APC became a deadly and bitter divorce.
In the movies, the impression is given that assassins can’t be bought by the opposition. Perhaps Nigeria’s DSS wants to increase Mr Sowore’s pay and the nebulous negotiations will require 45 days.
Those who are familiar with how the APC coalition was hatched and the hoopla about how bad the government of Goodluck Jonathan was must know that the association was basically a blackmail. Now, the tables have turned. But by who?