Monday, September 12, 2011

Wikileaks and Nigeria’s Leaky Elite

This Day
11 September 2011

Nasir El-Rufai
Recent revelations from Wikileaks about the interactions between senior American diplomats and the leadership of their host countries have unsettled quite a few countries.  From Washington to London, Sydney to the Vatican and Rabat to Abuja, leaders have lost quite some sleep on revelations from Wikileaks. Sometimes these leaks leave serious intelligence trails.

Concern over the Wikileaks variant of journalistic intrusiveness in major Western countries has been about the security content of some of the leaks. In the process of publishing Wikileaks material in the last couple of months, both high officials of major nations and the very sources of the leaked information have been unveiled sometimes in rather unflattering roles. Newspapers and sundry publications, both online and in street copy format, have had a field day...


Our leaders and sundry officials tend to see it as a privilege to be invited to the odd dinner or cocktail by these Western diplomats and see these as opportunities to run down their country and worsen our already declining international rating.

Unfortunately also, a certain underlying attitude of supremacist arrogance can be read in the approach of the United States’ diplomats so far cited in the recent Wikileaks stories. Our officials are routinely summoned, even if politely, and subjected to subtle debriefing sessions on nearly every subject dictated largely by the national interests of the United States, not necessarily Nigeria’s. It is a national tragedy that our highly placed citizens are all too willing to oblige our guests with an array of unflattering information sometimes for reasons of personal ego and even in return for the favour of being seen in the company of senior foreign diplomats.

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