Activists for sale: Sowore and Nigeria’s army of grants scavengers – Seye Olaniyonu

Activists for sale: Sowore and Nigeria’s army of grants scavengers – Seye Olaniyonu

Something is emerging crystal clear. There is a lucrative new economic sector in Nigeria. It is called activism or better put, cashivism and the stock in trade of many nouveau activists.


On Tuesday, the floodgates of exposé opened on Twitter as disgruntled ex-comrades of Omoyele Sowere accused him of some shady practices. For many of us who are familiar with the world of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), this latest scandal is more of an open secret.


If you think politicians are rascals, trust me, grant-seeking CSO/activists are worse. Nothing is sacred in the quest for grants. Falsehood and exaggerations are readily deployed in their grant applications to spur the sympathy of donor agencies.


The imaginary cabals at the Presidency and oil sector are learners in the world of CSOs. The network of old buddies at the table have their hands in the cookie jar; while those waiting under the table are scavenging for the scraps.


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That is why anytime the question of regulation pops up, the big players are in a war mood. Every tragedy is an opportunity for them. Every crisis must be milked to its fullness. To them, advocacy is a hustle.


Activists, advocates and other players in this new industry are not immune to the general rot in the country. They are enablers and profiteers.


Sooner rather than later, many donor agencies, even those with the best of intentions will soon blacklist NGOs in Nigeria from accessing funding. The amount of fraud going on is mind-blowing. Daily, mushroom NGOs are springing up daily, especially in Abuja. In the North East, several NGOs are praying for the war against insurgency to last forever.


This commercialization of activism destroyed the #EndSARS movement. Participants were angling for the economic prospect in that struggle. Just recently, it was the Alex Saab campaign scandal.


In sane climes, this scandal involving Sowore would have resulted in resignations. But the same rule that applies to politicians applies to CSOs as well. They are Siamese twins, no shame, no remorse. Daily, the nation is being portrayed as ‘shitholes’ by grant writers, asylum seekers and scholarship seekers.




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Indeed, the role of CSOs cannot be overemphasized. It is worth noting that there are CSOs doing amazing works. However, the lack of self-regulation is mind-blowing. This collective solidarity is repugnant. No prominent member of the CSOs is speaking or will speak out against Sowore.


At least, politicians get to speak out against one another. However, in the world of CSOs, freedom of expression is gagged by hypocrisy. To many, Nigeria is a means to their end.


The civil society world is on a path of self-destruction, but it is not built to listen to reason. Adieu CSOs and your grants.




Oby Ezekwesili not a saint: Omojuwa was once an errand boy


Madam Due Process, Oby Ezekwezili is in a mud fight with Japheth Omojuwa.


Omojuwa did not see the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration as a bad government, but a means to climb a social ladder. Which he did. He used Jonathan as a social ladder at the behest of Oby Ezekwesili.


While Oby Ezekwesili was playing Madam Civil/Decent on the surface, she was deploying attack dogs as proxies. Hypocrites are getting exposed on a daily. Who is next?

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