2019 presidential election: GoFundMe restores Sowore’s $2 million fundraiser

GoFundMe has lifted all restrictions on Omoyele Sowore’s ‘Take Back Nigeria Movement’ fundraising appeal, roughly 24 hours after suspending the campaign  for undisclosed reasons.

The account was restored after its creator, Mr. Sowore, escalated a complaint to executives of the fundraising platform, imploring them to examine his public record as a well known social action organiser and media practitioner.

PREMIUM TIMES reported on Wednesday night that Mr. Sowore’s account, which was opened on Tuesday, was suspended after it started recording a deluge of donations.

Mr. Sowore is seeking up to $2 million through the crowdfunding channel towards his 2019 bid to become Nigeria’s president.

He told PREMIUM TIMES GoFundMe gave no reasons for suspending the fundraising drive on Wednesday morning, saying his political detractors were miffed by its success and flagged it as a suspicious cause.

When the account was restored on Thursday afternoon, GoFundMe did not say why it was suspended to begin with, but a senior official advised Mr. Sowore to edit the page for clarity.

Some of the additional information he was advised to provide include specific details of why the publisher is appealing for $2 million, who would be eligible to withdraw from the fund and how such withdrawal would be delivered.

GoFundMe also thanked Mr. Sowore for his warm demeanour and cooperation while the platform worked to lift the suspension.

In a letter to GoFundMe, Mr. Sowore mentioned his public credentials, including a 2011 New York Times profile of him and the PREMIUM TIMES article about the suspension of his fundraising campaign.

He also said  the suspension of his fundraiser was engineered by his antagonists and expressed his willingness to open up his dealings for scrutiny by the website’s officials.

GoFundMe did not immediately respond to PREMIUM TIMES e-mail seeking comments about the suspension and the reinstatement Thursday night.

Mr. Sowore expressed his interest in running for president in Lagos last month.

“The coalition of progressives, youths and previously disenfranchised Nigerians that we are building will be a force to reckon with,” he told PREMIUM TIMES in a recent interview. “I am confident that we will be able to build a broad coalition of Nigerians committed to taking their country back and setting it firmly on a path to prosperity and unprecedented progress.”

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