I Faced Threats Even From My Family Member – David Hundeyin Speaks On Why He Left Nigeria


“One of my least favourite things about Nigeria is the fact that it almost seems as if facts don’t really matter. So, if I say that ‘two plus two is four’ and you say that ‘two plus two is five’, the objective fact of two plus two being four doesn’t matter anymore”.

Award winning Journalist, David Hundeyin, sits with host of the viral show #WithChude, to discuss his style of journalism, the stories he broke, his books, his decision to step away from his brand, and why he left Nigeria.

“Those who know me in person are always amused by the perception of the public that I am some fire breathing dragon. I am a very sentimental and emotional person. To those who have access to it, I am a huge softie. The flipside to it is that Nigeria is not a place for meek people. The only people who get anything done in Nigeria are people who break things and move fast. In Nigeria, you have to create a persona that can survive in a very harsh public space of Nigeria, if you don’t do that it is going to step all over you”

Sharing about his books, and his decision to step away from his brand in journalism, he said,

“I have always said plainly that I have always felt that the type of journalism I did is always going to be time limited. It is a four to five year career; it is not something that you can do for 15 years. Last year was my 5th year, I thought that it was time for the story to be told now that I have stepped away. Although this does not mean I have turned my back on the entire space entirely. I am still involved in West Africa Weekly, but I am involved more in a mentorship capacity now.

Speaking of the allegations he levelled against FEMCO, he shared,

“So, the issue is not how it was perceived. The issue is, are these things true or not? I have provided much evidence suggesting that it is true. She has provided none to the contrary. Again, one of my least favourite things about Nigeria is the fact that it almost seems as if facts don’t really matter. So, if I say that ‘two plus two is four’ and you say that ‘two plus two is five’, the objective fact of two plus two being four doesn’t matter anymore. All you have to do is shout back and have enough people in your corner. It becomes like a clique thing: who is backing you up? Who is supporting you? So, if you have enough people who have decided that they are backing you up no matter what, then it’s like, no matter how incorrect, how wrong, or how dishonest your position is, they just get to shout and point fingers back. For example, the idea that I was doing the story in question was misogynist; well, what the story showed was that this person stole credit that belonged to another woman. If showing that a woman stole from another woman is misogynist, then are we not even bastardizing the meaning of the word misogynist? These are the issues. Or if saying that FEMCO did not account for the money donated from the public, money in their care, which is objectively true, they did not account for it. There is empirical evidence to the extent that a part of this money was stolen, and this evidence is in the public domain. To date, the forensic audit, which was requested has not only not been provided, but in fact, an attempt was made to insult the intelligence of the public.

Davud Hundeyin shared why he left Nigeria, addressing rumors that he wasn’t exiled.

“I was exiled from the country; I do not have a Nigerian passport anymore. Starting from 2019 when I set off and became this ‘thing’, I had already started getting threats and from very close to home as well. It was August 2019, and there was Sallah celebration and there used to be this family tradition that everyone will travel home to Badagry to celebrate together whenever there’s a major celebration. I had not spoken to this family member since my dad died, I hadn’t seen him in years and this man came with his full official escort to look for me specifically. He said, ‘Have you seen the DSS headquarters in Abuja? Do you know that it has seven underground stories of prisons? With this your glasses you are not going to see anything inside there.’ He said it with a sort of smile on his face, but it was a threat.

He shared further how the Lekki Massacre made him realise that he needed to start making plans to leave while the final trigger was the MTN story.

Watch the excerpt: https://www.instagram.com/p/C6Nq_vroQSD/

#WithChude is a network of media products across TV, Film and podcasts telling stories that enable and strengthen the mind, the heart, and the spirit.

All past and new episodes of #WithChude can be watched at watch.withchude.com. You can also watch the premiere of new episodes every Saturday on Channels TV at 1 pm, with reruns every Sunday on Wazobia TV Channel 98 at 5 pm, and every Tuesday on Rave Tv at 5 pm.

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