New Jersey activist jailed for 4 years in Nigeria reunites with family

A New Jersey resident who was detained in Nigeria for four years was reunited with his family in Haworth over the weekend.

Omoyele “Yele” Sowore had been jailed since August 2019 after running for president and organizing a protest in the West African nation.

“I stand today to declare that I am unbowed,” Sowore wrote in a tweet ahead of a celebratory gathering on Saturday.

Sowore lived with his family in Haworth and traveled back and forth to Nigeria prior to his arrest in August 2019. He also operated an independent news site, Sahara Reporters, that criticized corruption in the country.

In 2019, Sowore ran a long-shot presidential campaign in Nigeria and called for a protest following the election. Before the demonstration could occur, Sowore was arrested and charged with treason.

As his legal case took several twists and turns, Sowore’s family spread the word in New Jersey and organized calls for his return.

“During these difficult years, the entire Haworth community has united around the Sowore family and demonstrated what it means to live with Jersey Values, selflessly lending a hand to those in your community who needed help,” Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) said in a statement.

Sowore said despite his triumphant return, he still plans to return to Nigeria and continue fighting corruption.

“My trip today to reunite with my children and courageous and supportive wife is only for a short while,” he tweeted. “I will return to Nigeria to continue my struggle for the total liberation of our people from the shackles of the current corrupt, self-serving political class.”