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Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe blows out candles during a private ceremony to celebrate his 93rd birthday on February 21, 2017 in Harare. Mugabe, the world's oldest national ruler, turned 93, using a long and occasionally rambling interview to vow to remain in power despite growing signs of frailty. / AFP PHOTO

By Donu Kogbara
LAST week, I wrote about OurMumuDonDo, the protest group that is tired of the mystery surrounding Mr. President’s health, concerned about the fact that he has been away from his desk for most of this year while receiving medical treatment and insisting that he either returns from the UK soon or resigns.

Robert Mugabe

A foreign diplomat subsequently asked me to explain the exact meaning of OurMumuDonDo. I told him that it is a pidgin English way of saying that Nigerians have been stupidly submissive or daftly tolerant for long enough.

Anguish in foreign  hospitals

I then added, reflectively, that Nigerian “mumu” is very small compared to the MASSIVE mumu that is manifested by the citizens of countries in which leaders do MUCH worse than hide the exact nature of their illnesses and languish in foreign hospitals for several weeks at a time!

North Korea is a classic example. Kim Jong-un, aged 33, is the Chairman of the Workers’ Party and Supreme Leader. His father and grandfather were also Supreme Leaders and the young man is a real chip off the old blocks…as in uncompromisingly dictatorial, chillingly brutal and paranoidly psychotic.

He is extremely secretive. He executed his uncle (with anti-aircraft artillery, no less) for “treachery” and sent assassins after his elder brother (a gentle soul who minded his business and never harmed anyone). There are about 200,000 “dissidents” in North Korean slave labour camps.

North Koreans are so oppressed and so terrified of this frightening family that when Jong-un’s father died, they – senior officials as well as ordinary folks – fell over themselves engaging in flamboyant displays of grief. Similarly, wherever Jong-un goes, he is greeted rapturously as his compatriots clap maniacally.

Sychophantic  weepers

When I told a friend who has studied the Asian political scene for years that I was “disgusted by the fake tears and fake applause”, my friend assured me that the sychophantic weepers and praise singers are not pretending.

In other words, they have been so comprehensively brainwashed that they really believe that they love Jong-un and his awful predecessors…and it’s very unlikely that they will see the light anytime soon – and rise up and liberate themselves from the torture and tyranny they have endured for 3 generations.

Na wa for North Koreans! TheirMumuDonDo-O!

Nigerians would never put up with that kind of nonsense

THE same can be said of the difference between Nigerians and Zimbabweans. We can be mumu-ish to a frustrating degree, but our President is a saint and icon of democracy and transparency compared to many other heads of state and we are icons of self-esteem and gra-gra compared to Robert Mugabe’s subjects.

Mugabe, a onetime globally admired freedom fighter, has been at the helm for decades. He is now in his 90s. But there is no sign of retirement on the horizon. His pushy wife Grace is in everyone’s face.


Will this committee help?

THE National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, recently inuagurated a 23-member committee to investigate options around “true federalism” and restructuring.

The committee will be chaired by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state and he has said that it will distill from the APC Constitution and manifesto, “the various ideas canvassed in the different constitutional conference reports and the ongoing public debate, the aggregation of the views of our people for a consensus arrangement that is sustainable and conducive to the prosperity and peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians”.

I must confess that when I saw the names of the committee members, only two or three inspired any faith! Not that they are bad people per se. Just that I don’t think they are going to help much within this context.

It really worries me that the states that have the most to gain from constructive change are not adequately represented.

I and most Niger Deltans are tired of empty platitudes, futile window-dressing exercises and disrespectful attempts on the part of the authorities to insult our intelligence.

I guess it’s possible that I am being unfair and that this committee will deliver progress and not just slyly use style to maintain the status quo, plus a couple of largely irrelevant systemic tweaks. If past experience on the “reform” front is anything to go by, we will continue to be cheated until oil/gas runs out or ceases to have much economic value.

Let’s wait and see what happens in the near future or medium-term. In the meantime, NigerDeltaMumuDon-Do!

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