Omoyele Sowore Biography: Omoyele Sowore was born on February 16, 1971, in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, specifically in Ese Odo, Ondo State. Sowore started Sahara Reporters, an online newsgroup, and is a human rights advocate from Nigeria who fights for democracy. He ran for office in the 2019 and 2023 elections as a candidate for the African Action Congress. Since his student days, he’s known for leading protests against bad leadership.
Table of Contents
Profile Summary: Omoyele Sowore Biography
|Date Of Birth
|16th of February 1971
|State Of Origin
|Ondo State, Nigeia.
|Masters in Public Administration
Omoyele Sowore Biography: Early Life and Education
Omoyele Sowore Biography: Omoyele Sowore was born on February 16, 1971, in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, specifically in Ese Odo, Ondo State. He grew up in a large family with sixteen siblings, born into a polygamous household. At the age of 12, Sowore learned to ride a motorcycle so he could fish at the lake every morning before school, providing food for his family.
Sowore’s interest in the media was sparked during Nigeria’s military regime. His formal education began in a basic elementary school, followed by Kiribo Community High School and Okitipupa Ofedepe Comprehensive High School in Ondo State, where he completed his WAEC.
From 1989 to 1995, Sowore pursued his undergraduate studies in geography and planning at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Despite facing challenges, including two expulsions, he persevered and earned his degree. Sowore later obtained a master’s in public administration from Columbia University, marking the completion of his formal education. Throughout his time as an undergraduate, he began his political and active career.
In 1989, Omoyele Sowore actively took part in student protests opposing the conditions of a $120 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), intended for an oil pipeline project in Nigeria. One of the IMF loan terms included reducing the number of universities in Nigeria from 28 to 5. Sowore led a demonstration in 1992 with 5,100 students protesting against the Nigerian government. Tragically, seven protestors lost their lives when police opened fire during the protest. Sowore was detained and subjected to mistreatment.
On June 12, 1993, Sowore joined the call for a democratic government to replace military rule. Many people, including Sowore, were arrested, detained, and faced life-threatening treatment by government agents.
Motivated by his desire to make a positive impact on people’s lives, Sowore accepted a position as a lecturer in Post-Colonial African History at the School of Art, New York, and also taught Modern African History at the City University of New York.
Omoyele Sowore Biography: Work History
Here is a summary of Omoyele Sowore’s work history:
Writer / Investigative Reporter / Partner
- Workplace: Catholic Charities New York tri-state area
- Date: 2005
- Workplace: Sahara Reporters
- Date: 2006 to present
Omoyele Sowore is married to Opeyemi Oluwole Sowore, and they have children together. They reside in Haworth, New Jersey. Opeyemi, who is American-Nigerian, gained attention when she organized a demonstration advocating for Sowore’s release after his re-arrest by the Department of State Services.
Sowore’s initial detention occurred on August 3, 2019, and he was later detained again on December 6 on charges of treasonable felony, cyberstalking, and money laundering. On September 24, 2019, Opeyemi Sowore organized demonstrations and delivered speeches at the United Nations plaza in response to the Department of State Services’ imprisonment of her husband. These events aimed to garner international support for democracy and sought the involvement of the U.S. Senate in the case.
Omoyele Sowore Net Worth
Omoyele Sowore’s estimated net worth is around $10 million, primarily attributed to the valuation of Sahara Reporters. The anticipated daily income for Sahara Reporters is approximately $3,000 on average.
For those interested in following Omoyele Sowore on social media, his handles are as follows:
- Instagram: yelesho
- Twitter: yelesowore
Other Interesting Things to Know About Omoyele Sowore
Who Is the Founded Of Sahara Reporters?
Omoyele Sowore founded the media organization Sahara Reporters in 2006. Starting in a simple apartment in Manhattan, his aim was to create a platform to confront Nigeria’s corrupt political system. Sahara Reporters receives financial support from the Ford Foundation and Omidyar Foundation. Notably, the organization has policies in place that prohibit seeking advertisements or financial assistance from the Nigerian government.
Omoyele Sowore Presidential Campaign
On February 25, 2018, Omoyele Sowore announced his decision to run for president in the 2019 Nigerian general election. In August 2018, he founded the African Action Congress (AAC) and chose to contest the presidential election under its banner. Sowore officially became the party’s presidential candidate on October 6, 2018. However, despite his efforts, he did not win the election.
Furthermore, Sowore has once again emerged as the presidential candidate for the African Action Congress (AAC) for the 2023 election.
Omoyele Sowore Election Result
In the 2019 presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari from the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged as the winner with 15,191,847 votes. Omoyele Sowore, running as a candidate, secured the fifth position with 33,953 votes.
However, Sowore’s political journey has been marked by controversies:
- During his time as the Student Union Government (SUG) President in the University of Lagos (Unilag), claims of his involvement in a cult were made, leading to tensions with members of other cults.
- In 1999, Sowore faced a serious assault, allegedly involving the injection of a poison called “Lead.” This incident required him to be airlifted to the United States for necessary medical treatment, and fortunately, he survived.
- Sowore was accused of accepting payments from President Buhari during the 2014 election, purportedly to mock former President Goodluck Jonathan.
- His media outlet, Sahara Reporters, has faced allegations of extorting government representatives for selfish reasons.
- Sowore’s biography is incomplete without noting his frequent disagreements with various Nigerian politicians, resulting in threats against his life and legal issues.
On August 3rd, 2019, Omoyele Sowore was detained by the Department of State Services (DSS). Sowore called for a nationwide protest named #RevolutionNow, leading to his arrest being acknowledged by the Nigerian Federal Government. Prominent activists such as Wole Soyinka and Oby Ezekwesili criticized Sowore’s detention. He faced charges of “conspiracy to commit treason and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The Federal High Court of Abuja granted Sowore bail on September 24th, 2019, with the condition that he surrender his foreign passport within 48 hours. Initially, the DSS objected to his release, prompting protests organized by Sowore’s wife at the UN plaza. Sowore, upon his media appearance on September 29, 2019, spoke about the harsh conditions of his imprisonment, including confinement in a dark space without sunlight, restrictions on phone use, and TV access.
Despite complying with bail conditions, Sowore faced an attempt at re-arrest by DSS agents after the court declared him free on December 5th, 2019. He was officially released on December 24, 2019. The Federal High Court ordered the DSS to pay Sowore 2 million Naira by December 8, 2021, as compensation for the illegal confiscation of his phone during his 2019 arrest.
In March 2022, it was reported that Omoyele Sowore had filed a lawsuit against the Nigeria Police Force and three other parties at the Federal High Court in Abuja, citing violations of his basic human rights.
Conclusion: Omoyele Sowore Biography
Omoyele Sowore has a diverse work history that includes serving as a writer, investigative reporter, and partner at Catholic Charities in the New York tri-state area in 2005. He then went on to found Sahara Reporters in 2006, where he continues to play a pivotal role. Sowore’s career reflects his dedication to journalism, investigative reporting, and his commitment to addressing social and political issues through platforms like Sahara Reporters.