Not many politicians outside the country’s major parties, journalists or activists pull up the kind of followership that Publisher of online news agency, Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore is capable of drawing up.
One undisputable fact however, is that the Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in 2019 election is not one known to shy away from controversies. And if you like, ‘melodrama.’
Tuesday, 2nd March was another gracious day to see Sowore in those controversial colours as he was accompanied by an unnamed traditional priest donned in full ‘babalawo’ regalia to the premises of a Magistrate Court sitting in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja. Same court where he and four others are facing trial on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and incitement.
Why should a traditional priest in red and black striped-robe “embellished with white cowries, snail shells, little calabashes and the head of a cat hanging down his neck” be present at such a gathering? This must have been the burning question on the minds of journalists and onlookers at the court.
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Speaking at the end of the court session, the #RevolutionNow convener stressed that the priest is a member of his movement attending the trial in solidarity with him. He went on to query some journalists who referred to the priest as an herbalist, as he likened this supporter or ‘spiritual adviser’ to a Christian priest in a casoc.
As expected, the story dominated headlines and social media trends all day; with many dismissing it as a joke. Given the long drawn battle Sowore has had with the APC-led federal government, to the point that he cannot travel out of the Federal Capital Territory in compliance with terms of his bail in a 2019 treason charge, could the pro-democracy campaigner be sending a cryptic message?
If that is far from the truth, could it be that the Sahara Reporters’ Publisher has changed religion or he actually hired the services of a Special Spiritual Assistant in his quest for justice?
Regardless of what side you hold on to, it would arguably make room for some Netflix classic if we continue to see more ‘Babalawos’ in court expressing solidarity with those on trial.
Who knows ? the ‘weirdness’ that comes with it may even help hasten the dispensation of justice. Or what do you think?
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Journalist, Political Analyst and Satirist with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.