Criticism Trails Tony Elumelu’s Acceptance Of Belgium’s King Leopold Award Over Congo Genocide


Africans on Twitter are criticising Nigerian billionaire businessman, Tony Elumelu, after he accepted an honour conferred on him by Belgium over links to colonial genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Officer in the Order of Leopold, which Elumelu was conferred with, is Belgium’s oldest and most important national honour.



King Leopold II, who the award was named after, from 1885 to 1908 perpetrated many crimes against humanity in the Congo Free State now DRC.

Leopold plundered the country to build Belgium and forced locals to surrender their rubber, Ivory and other valuables — those who resisted were brutalised, raped and killed en masse.

About 15 million people are said to have died on his orders during his reign of terror in the Congo.

He also captured Congolese natives and took them to human zoos in Belgium where they were displayed as animals.

Elumelu, who owns several businesses across Africa, posted on Twitter that he had accepted the Officer in the Order of Leopold honour on Monday, enraging many Africans.

Reacting, Togolese activist, Farida Bemba Nabourema, said, “Congratulations on joining the honourable league of slave servants who see nothing wrong with receiving an award that bears a genocidal family name. The millions of Africans butchered by the Belgian monarchy are very proud of you.”

Iyamu Victor @iyamuvic007 tweeted, “The order of Leopold. The same Leopold who killed and maimed more than a million Africans in the Congo. The same Leopold whose Belgium killed Patrice Lumumba and have rendered the Congo ungovernable. Is there any African intellectual or upper class who really thinks about the people.”





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