Nigerian journalist and author, Chido Onumah, a frequent contributor to Pambazuka News, just turned 50. To celebrate the milestone, he reflects on his life, work and the contradictions of the Nigerian nation.
It is normal for resistance movements to adopt rough survival strategies and techniques while fighting an oppressive regime. Unfortunately, such confrontational mentality becomes entrenched in an authoritarian political culture that is based on the claim that liberators have an entitlement to rule within a new elite project.
‘Now that the court has found that the President failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law, how should I relate to my President? If we are to continue to be guided by growing public opinion and the need to do the right thing, would he not seriously consider stepping down?’
South Africa’s once revered ANC ruling party now behaves as if it is entitled to the republic. The motto on the country’s parliamentary coat of arms may as well be changed from ‘We, the People’ to ‘We, the ANC.’ Firebrand opposition leader Julius Malema may have a point when he says the liberation party is turning the country into just another banana republic.
The leak once again reveals how states collude with private interests to protect the criminality of the powerful. Or how could journalists uncover the Panama Papers while states which carry on surveillance on millions of people, listen to billions of phone calls and read billions of e-mails were apparently unaware of the underhand dealings?