Ver Angola


Nelito Ekuikui says street demonstrations will return to the country

Representative Nelito Ekuikui, who leads UNITA's youth wing, argues, in an interview with Lusa, that the party must lead new street demonstrations, to change a country that he says is still mostly poor, illiterate and hungry.

: Facebook Nelito Da Costa Ekuikui
Facebook Nelito Da Costa Ekuikui  

"In a short space of time, the party will return to the streets to lead the large demonstrations", anticipates the former secretary of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) in Luanda, whose work during the campaign for the 2022 elections resulted in an unprecedented victory over the party in power since independence, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA).

Asked whether the move to leadership of the youth wing, JURA, after having been the head of UNITA in the province of Luanda, represented a demotion, Nelito Ekuikui replied that it was not.

"I don't consider it a demotion. I consider [JURA] a space where the thinking and participation of youth in politics can be structured. And since Angola is a young country, a young country, however, in which youth have little participation in The biggest challenge facing me as a youth leader is to effectively instruct and allow youth to achieve their goals at the center of political decisions", he emphasizes.

After the 2022 elections, in which the MPLA's advantage over UNITA fell again, repeating the average drop of 10 percentage points since the first pluralist elections in 1992, Nelito Ekuikui rejects the idea that UNITA has accommodated itself.

"I do not consider that UNITA has disappeared. UNITA, after the elections, took stock and has been carrying out internal restructuring work. Internal restructuring presupposes organic changes here and there. The party has been carrying out programs of restructuring of its database, of its local committees", he explains.

It is, he emphasizes, "all the work that is necessary to then go into the field".

"There is this perception [of accommodation], but on the ground what we see is something else, UNITA remains very strong, and is still the only credible and responsible alternative to power in Angola, credible and responsible, because it is very structured, rooted and above all, he has an idea of what he intends to do for Angola", he assures.

"After this process is over, as is natural, the parties need to take stock, carry out internal restructuring and determine limits to return to a presence on the streets, our activity is fundamentally on the streets, in mobilization", he adds.

As for the tutelary figures of national historical parties, Nelito Ekuikui argues that these formations "must form figures capable of changing the present context".

"Because we cannot be hostage to the past. The struggle of the past was justified and so was the context. However, in the past, Jonas Savimbi, founding president of UNITA, Holden Roberto and Agostinho Neto fought to free Angola from colonial domination", highlights.

The challenge now is "fundamentally, to free the people from an economic point of view".

For the UNITA leader, Africans are still not free from an economic point of view.

"The African people in general, specifically in Angola, are unable to eat three meals a day. Their population is mostly illiterate, their population is mostly poor. These are the challenges of the context. UNITA must present models that inspire young people to take up this fight", he argues.

Nelito Ekuikui paints a dark portrait of the reality in Angola, which he says has deteriorated "quite a bit in recent years".

"Activists are suffocated, they are arrested within the country, others are forced to leave the country to remain free, outside their homeland. Churches, pastors are persecuted, politicians are persecuted, but all in silence", he laments.


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