“I have always wanted to defend the weak from the recklessness and abuses by the mighty,” says Bode.
As a young journalist with The Guardian, Nigeria’s leading national newspaper, Bode witnessed such abuses of power by the mighty. He participated actively in the press freedom struggles during the despotic rule of the late General Sani Abacha. From there, he turned to waging corporate campaigns as part of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA): Nigeria’s foremost environmental rights advocacy group, which grew out of the movement to hold Shell accountable for its abuses in Nigeria (including the persecution of activist Ken Saro-Wiwa). That’s where Bode first became involved with Corporate Accountability: In 1999, he joined the steering committee for the Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnationals (NATT).
Today, Bode is the deputy executive director of ERA and heads the campaign to prevent the privatization of water in Lagos and build the movement for public water in Africa. He also plays a lead role in designing and implementing ERA’s tobacco control program. In addition to his extensive experience running corporate campaigns and his perspective and experience of corporate abuse in Africa and Nigeria, Bode brings his sense of humor to Corporate Accountability’s board and global campaigns. “I like to crack jokes,” he deadpans.