The Madrilenean

“I will go to a place where nobody knows my name, a place where the language is different”

The Madrilenean

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Pablo grew up in Girona. This town has about 100 000 people. His childhood went too quickly or maybe not. It depends on which perspective he chose. When he thought about the years he had to endure with his sisters, then it was a long, uneventful childhood.

On the other hand when he thought about what could have happened if he could turn back the time, then it was a period that went rather quickly. As a result of his feelings during his teenage and college days, he forgone many things that many other children his age did.

There are many things that Pablo will like to forget. There are so many things he hoped will be left in his thoughtless moments.

But what happened to Pablo actually that almost destroyed his life especially his relationship with his family. Here is the story.

Pablo has 3 sisters. He is the only son of his parents. At a very early age, he started to pull away from everyone in his household. He felt totally different. When his parents noticed his strange withdrawal, they tried to pamper him. Pablo’s withdrawal became more intense and his parents regretted that they did not consult a professional. Where did we go wrong? His mother pondered.

One day his father decided to take a long walk. He thought deeply about his family situation-how his daughters are having the best days of their lives and how his only son is turning to a complete stranger. He slipped at the edge of the pavement and broke a toe. He is a man who believes in omen. His favourite is the spirit of the puma.

Once he had a twisted ankle when he was taking a walk in the woods and thinking about Pablo. When he got a broken toe walking on the other side of the town, he decided that he will never worry about Pablo again. He thought he may develop a serious health problem like stroke if he worries more about Pablo. A twisted ankle and then a broken toe will do. The spirit of the puma will guide Pablo, he reasoned.

It didn’t matter what anyone did, Pablo did not feel that he was loved. At home the conclusion was that Pablo was acting the last child or the last born. One day Aleksandra the eldest sister told a joke and said, mamma, maybe you should have let pappa make the 5th baby. Maybe Pablo wanted a brother to play with. He doesn’t like us because we are girls.

Pablo was 10 years at the time and the joke turned out to be a bad one. He locked himself in the room and skipped school for 3 days. He came out only when everyone had left home and helped himself to some juice and biscuits. His mother cried. She was completely devastated how bad things turned out socially for Pablo.

Pablo had always thought that his sisters are getting all the attention at home. No one is sure exactly when he got that perception but it must have registered in his brain quite early. His mother even said, maybe he heard too many voices when he was a foetus and got fed up with everyone even before he was born.

On the surface everyone at home knew that Pablo’s feelings or perceptions were incorrect. But deep inside they don’t know what approach would make him cherish and love them the way they love him. So the most difficult task at home and sometimes at school and at the playgrounds was how to correct the impressions and help Pablo get along socially. He was growing up and his family feared that he may become a social misfit. This trait is uncommon in Catalonia.

What was obvious was that Pablo did not know how to feel as a boy because everywhere he looked in the house, he saw girls and things that belonged to girls. This made him uncomfortable and sad and he thought he was different from the other boys in his class. His heart continued to grow cold as he grew up.

Pablo hated school. It is a place that brought him in contact with many other categories of people. However he learnt to dissociate his social deficiency from his academic needs. Therefore he excelled even as a withdrawn student. This was one of the reasons his parents did not seek professional help for him. His future looks bright, his mother said to his father one day when they looked at some of his results after a quarterly conference with the school teachers.

When he was 18 Pablo started to work at the postal agency. He saved a lot of money because this is a work he had no need for. His father is wealthy and even his mother inherited a lot of fortunes from her grandparents. His parents understood that Pablo took the job so he could skip encountering his sisters at home. It was one of his weird ideas of what freedom means.

By the time Pablo became a graduate at the age of 23, there was only one of his sisters left unmarried. With only Cecilia at home, Pablo was beginning to see the world from another perspective. But he had a hard time to express his feelings. He never liked his sisters yet he’s feeling the vacuum created when Aleksandra and Viveca left home forever.

When he was a young boy he promised never to love anyone because he doesn’t know what it means. I will never know what it means to love, he told himself. He hated his childhood. He does not like to remember it. He felt lonely, quite often. These women have ruined my life, so he thought. He cannot remember when he started hearing their voices but it appeared like forever until now that Cecil is the only one left.

Despite all his troubles Pablo turned out to be one of the outstanding engineers in Girona. People have noticed that he likes to be alone but they have also come to appreciate his effectiveness and productivity at work. This was also an outstanding observation his former boss made when he worked at the postal agency.

Pablo found the courage and will to rent his own apartment. When he was 25 and Cecil was preparing to get married, Pablo decided it was time for him to move on. That’s what he did.

One day Pablo was tired after work. It was his third year at the factory and he had accumulated his annual leave. So he decided he will travel to another city in another country. He made up his mind to travel to a place he had never been before.

I will go to a place where nobody knows my name, a place where the language is different. So he left. He travelled by road to Barcelona and flew from there to St. Petersburg.

One day he stood at the central station at St. Petersburg. He was looking at the map, trying to find his way around.

But the map he was looking at was inside a frame made of glass. So it also looked like a mirror. He saw himself as he looked at the map for directions.

Suddenly he saw the image of a woman too. There was a pretty woman looking at the same map. She stood behind him.

(Read Part 2 Next Week)

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No Love Lost  

One of the remarkable ironies of life is that we see other people’s problems more than we see ours. Life is short and problems don’t disappear. If we paddle our canoes hard enough, maybe we will still be rowing when the storm is over. Life is just too unpredictable

NO LOVE LOST

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Lucy lives in Zambezi, until now anyway. This is where she has known all of her life. She was born here and this is where she blooms. She is a very beautiful woman. Some people spoke about her and said maybe she is a goddess. There was an artist in the town and he was convinced the gods took their time to mould her. He meant to say that Lucy was made with perfection.

Ever since she was a little girl there has always been an admiration for her beauty and her personality. People generally agree with Lucy. In her neighbourhood almost everybody she met respected her.

When she left home for the City College at Mongu, she already knew that respect and admiration were not going to be substitutes for love. We all need someone or some people to love us. So when Lucy left college the emptiness in her life began to manifest. Still she continued to pull through with the admiration and respect that folks have towards her. When she is alone she often asks herself: who will satisfy my soul?  Respect is a wonderful quality but it is not love. Even admiration is not love.

Now a working class lady, Lucy almost gave up on love. It was not hard to find a job when she graduated from Zambezi University. She is a brilliant woman and with her kind of beauty, she can open any door. But when it comes to love and satisfaction for her soul, she seemed to be lost. No one knew this but her. She knew that she is not perfect like the artist had insinuated.

One day she was waiting at the bus station. Quite unpredictably the sky turned cloudy that morning and it started to rain heavily. As it rained, Lucy started to cry. The buses were not coming because of the heavy rain. But she was not crying because of the rain or the buses that were not coming. It turned out that the weather gave her a picture of her life. She thought that her life was cloudy inside. She was alone at the bus station, and then she cried even more.

This is not the first time Lucy cried. She has read a lot of novels and she had known about the travails of many characters in tragic literatures and even in some romantic books. She learnt to cry when she is sad because tears wash away sorrows, so she thought. Once she read a book where it was stated that the men who committed suicide are often those who refused to cry because they did not give in to their feelings and pains. When people cry, they feel refreshed and often that gives them the hope that they can carry on.

Lucy was so carried away in her thoughts she almost did not notice the car that had parked right in front of her at the station. Someone had stopped to her help get to work that morning. The man did not know that Lucy had been crying. He thought it had rained over her face. In addition it was too dark to make clear observations. The man recognised Lucy though and that was why he stopped to help her.

That weekend Lucy saw the man again as she took a walk down the street. Thank you Paul, you are kind, she said. It was nothing he replied. But on this occasion Paul noticed something unusual about Lucy. Are you alright he asked? Then Lucy looked at him and started to cry again.

Paul gave her a tissue and she wiped her tears. But Paul was shocked. Until that moment he was one of those who thought that Lucy could have anything she wished for in her life. Lucy did not speak about all of her emptiness but Paul knew from the short conversation they had that the vacuum in her life is enormous.  

Paul was almost thinking out loud. So people can be beautiful, they can have good jobs, they may be admired, well respected and still be sad. Indeed many people often ignore the roles of physical beauty and clothes in covering the darkness and emptiness inside the human body.

In Zambezi there is a man who cannot finish his expressions without the use of proverbs. Paul thought about the day the man had a conversation with him. He remembered one of his sentences: lizards are always lying on their bellies, so we don’t know which among them have stomach problems.

He gave Lucy a hug and they parted ways.

Over several months that followed, Paul was visiting Lucy. There was no attraction between them because Paul had a woman in his life. But with his company, Lucy felt better. They talked about many things, some memories of growing up and now working in this commercial town where the fourth largest river in Africa took its origin.

Lucy also met new friends through Paul. These after-work and weekend companions helped Lucy to forget some of her problems. They filled some gaps in her life. Some of the people who admire her are no longer at a distance.

When she remembered how an unexpected rain facilitated her meeting with Paul, she cherished the moment. Then she decided to buy a car so that she does not have to be at the mercy of another man from the town on another rainy day. She already knew how to drive.

Lucy is happy. She felt she had leaped out of a shell. It was definitely a step in the right direction when people not only admire her but showed her some love through conversations and doing things together. Some people she spoke to talked about their travels and adventures.

Lucy became inspired and she decided that she will also take to travelling. She had always had the opportunities to travel but she never took them. She felt that it was a lot of hassles but now that she had listened to the stories about Paris, Berlin, London and Stockholm, she got motivated.

However she promised herself that she will not travel far. She learnt in geography about the different places and seasons in Africa. I will see my world in Africa before I see the rest of the world she told herself. In her mind she also made a decision to find love and never to let it go.

Lucy spent some of her weekends in Harare and sometimes she is off to Johannesburg. She also travelled to Accra because of the gold at the coast in Ghana. Once she was covering her hair in Cairo. Now she has a handful of pictures, maps and souvenirs from the West, East, North and South of Africa in her study at home.

One day, Paul left a note for Lucy. He wanted to see her again. Lucy did not understand. She just came back from Cape Town where she went on holidays. Zambezi had been warm and she wanted some experience of winter from the bottom of Africa. Lucy is a woman in search of balance and fulfilment. She came home to Zambezi and found the note in her letter box.

Paul’s relationship with his long-time girlfriend had fallen apart. They did not get along as they had dreamt. They had a few problems and they both agreed on one thing only: to end the relationship. It was a sad occurrence but they both felt it was better to do it now rather than trying to make it work at all cost. They have no children yet. He is now 32 and she is 28, so they still have their lives ahead of them.

Sometimes things are not always what they seem. We all make mistakes and our passions can mislead us. One of the remarkable ironies of life is that we see other people’s problems more than we see ours. If people stop pretending, maybe they wouldn’t have to run away from their problems. Life is short and problems don’t disappear. If we paddle our canoes hard enough, maybe we will still be rowing when the storm is over. Life is just too unpredictable.

Lucy met Paul at the coffee shop down the street. She was sorry to hear Paul’s sad story. Paul’s heart was obviously broken. But he cannot blame it on Lucy. Lucy did all she could not to be a distraction. They are close friends, true. Still there was neither attraction nor intimacy between them. Lucy was missing something in her life but her head was clear about what she wanted and desired.

In her mind, she knew that Paul is confused. He has just broken up with someone he had spent a substantial part of his life with. Lucy is quick to draw inspirations from books, stories and her own life. So she said, give it sometime maybe you will find someone new. Your heart will heal and you will go on with your life.

She continued: When I went to Johannesburg in February, I met Vincent. I like him a lot. He adores me. He respects me, but above all he loves me and I love him too. We spent the last two weeks together in Cape Town and he’s planning to find a job in Harare. Apparently 7 months after their first meeting Lucy and Vincent have concluded plans to move to Harare as expatriates.

Paul is not a novice. He too had always known that people must learn to pass through their own troubles, their travails. They must learn to conquer their fears. They may need some time and a little help but they must learn.

The best way to learn is through real experiences.

Goodbye Paul. I must go now. Take care of yourself and we’ll see sometime.

Paul was close to tears but Lucy showed no emotion whatsoever.   

She gave him a tight hug and left.

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(c) Adeola Aderounmu 2014

 

 

The Kings Are Mad (Part 2)

Bawa cried when he knew it was normal for men to cry too. People need to set their souls free from the sufferings of their bodies. Tears are the medicine of nature and they cure men from suicide

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

All is not well in this place, this land.

The people have diverse and confusing opinions about the true meaning of life, so it was difficult to find the solutions to their problems.

When Bawa was born and raised, no one provided him with the education he needed. He is from the north part of the land. His parents told him it was enough to obey. Everyday he prayed but he didn’t know if his prayers hit the roof or if they went above the clouds. His family did small retailing and didn’t have to depend on food tickets from the local councils like several urchins in the north did.  

When the expanding family business brought him to Ebute Metta, his life changed. He became rebellious and started asking questions every time he went back to the north. He found a perfect companionship with some co-travelers and a few men who have been away also, even further north. One day he looked at the extent of ignorance in his village and felt extreme bitterness in his heart. Someone told him that men are not supposed to cry but he knew that until that moment, he had lived the life he didn’t choose.  

The colonial thugs who invaded the land several years ago told the foolish kings in the north never to educate their wards. Stupidly, there was an agreement to the insane treaty. How can anyone think they could be kings or rulers for life? Without the royal blood, no one is born to rule. Even royal bloods do fade. 

How can anyone even think that knowledge is the reason for the crises in the Mediterranean?  Knowledge is power, not war. It’s true; humans always blame objects and abstract concepts for their foolishness. Sometimes they say they are looking for a scapegoat, as if one was lost. They always find the reasons to go to war. 

An old man from the east once said to the people, “10 kings own 10 eras”. He said those who forget their history can never be free. He also said “if you fight a war, make sure it is for your freedom”. He added that “peace comes from freedom and absence of injustice”. But the people are reading less and not showing understanding for the wisdom hidden in books. 

The stupid king in the north, just like all the dead kings before him, has also not fulfilled his promises to the people. Like many other places in the land, many people don’t have water, electricity and shelters to cover them. It is worse here in the north. The king and his emissaries have acquired what should have been shared equally among the people. 

When Bawa and his gang members started having their secret meetings, they got the people’s ears. Walls have ears too. They soon sold their souls to the elites, they lost their plots. 

Hopelessness can ruin a man’s conscience. At this point the people have started wondering if cannibalism will be a criminal offence if that becomes an option soon. Evil grew in their hearts due to deprivations.  

This king in the north has no plan. He’s quick to blame the woes in the north on the reign of the king in Abuja. If we had one of us as the king in Abuja, our ancestors will be kind to us and our lives will be better he often said.

But the king in Abuja is really upset. He lacks charisma and hardly spoke but one day he said “ask the king in the north what he has been doing with all the tax returns given to the north and all the pure gold that he receives on behalf of the north four times a year”. Sometimes no one knows what to believe because the king in Abuja usually soaks himself in the pleasures of alcohol and women.

 One day when the people came from everywhere to plead with him, he chased them away with whips and bullets. Then another time when the people found the courage to return, he repented and told them to go home and pray. Sometimes when he doesn’t know what to think or what to say, he simply said he didn’t care.

When the people refused to pray he commanded one of his brothers to do so on behalf of the people. His brother dressed up like a knight and prayed the prayer of a fool. The people thought he was insane but he didn’t care one bit. He knew his brother-the king- was too drunk to reason. But he got a lot of gold for his worthless prayers. 

Now, frustration is growing in the land and the people do not know where to turn or who to speak to. They can never trust the soldiers. They are men of fortunes and when they had tried or pretended to help they did things worse than the kings could ever have done. They abuse drugs and they denied being homosexuals even when it was not yet a crime in the land. Now it is a crime. 

But the soldiers laughed because they know that it is easier to practice homosexuality in prisons. They also knew that going to prisons will not affect their sexual disorders even if the lawmakers still think it is an abomination. Their biggest laughter on this matter came last, because they know that they live in a lawless land. They will never go to jail. 

In the barracks, they wonder who really is mad. Someone said it’s the trait of the kings. One soldier who all of his life, had neither tasted tobacco nor alcohol shouted “we are all mad”! When they asked him the reason for his thoughts, he said, because when we sleep at night, we all lie in the same direction

Then they laughed again because they did not understand his reasoning. He is a soldier from Ebute Metta. He went to bed, worried. How did I end up with these fools, these mad men

In Abuja, the king had slept several times with one eye open and the other closed. He too is convinced that soldiers are treacherous and mad. Sometimes he had unpleasant nightmares. He’s encountering many strange dreams because his heart is not pure. 

One day he dreamt that the dissidents had captured him and cut his throat. Then he vowed never to see the eyeballs of the soldiers from the north. He will never meet with the king of the north again as well. 

The king of Abuja rebuilt his network and brought foreigners to protect him. He decided that he would have 99 vehicles when he is travelling on the road. Among the people, he gave gold and silver to the greedy councilors. He called them his loyalists; they will always speak for him in such a way as to create false hope while his reign of injustice persists everywhere in the land. It was easy to find religious people as members of his loyal groups. 

When the unrest started in the north it was some of the councilors who gave the rebels tools and the courage to unleash violence. They used some of the monies they stole from the land when they were kings in Abuja and started various propaganda aimed at killing the present king. 

Bawa and his friends got along with the treachery when the elites approached them. He started to visit Ebute Metta less frequently. At some point he left the holy books and started to listen to his heart. In their group, as dissidents, they got very rich at the expense of the people in the north. His heart told him that he’s now one of the reasons people remain poor in the north. At a recent meeting Bawa and his group members decided to abandon everything that they believed or were taught. They will make their own rules, now that they have wealth and weapons. 

There had been a long call by some fools to return the kingship in Abuja to the men from the north. The stupid idea of born to rule has erased the ability of the north to think freely. Some of their kinsmen are happy to dine and wine with the king anyway. Many of them knew that feudalism is a form of injustice but they want to find a bigger fault with the king in Abuja. 

The poor people are angry, infuriated and helpless. There is confusion everywhere. There is something the people are not doing. There are things the kings and the elites are doing maliciously. So across the land, all is not well. 

One girl from the west brought a message of fire on the mountain to the land. The people lacked the wisdom to discern her message. They doubt that the gods spoke through women. So the girl went to another land. Then she prospered. One man sang for the freedom of all the regions but they put him in prison and poisoned him. He died. 

Every time someone stood up genuinely for the people, the people watch from afar, disunited. Then the freedom fighter is killed by an angry person or someone sent by any of the kings. The land is flowing with the blood of innocent people. Even the gods shook their heads because the people did not understand the signs and processes of freedom. 

Bawa and his generation grew up in ignorance. At that time they were easy preys for wrong political purposes. Bawa’s exposure led him to some light, but it was half-light. For vision, half-light is more dangerous than total darkness. But those who don’t know that, what is worth doing at all is worth doing well always argue when taught this principle. Bawa doesn’t care anymore about the consequences of disobedience. His views about life are now at conflict with one another. 

Now he, along with the others in the rebel groups, is at war with the society. They will bring down the reigns of the king in the north and the king in Abuja. He doesn’t know what his actual plans are in this senseless war. He and his evil gang members have abandoned their foreign teachings. They have now turned to the evil in their hearts. They are now monsters and their unknown ambitions surprised the north, totally. 

There is trouble in the north. There is pandemonium in the east and the west is choking even with diseases due to congestion and migration. The south is polluted, full of treacherous men and unsafe for existence. 

Mama Esan is trapped, Chinedu is depressed and Bawa is ready to die for the things he does not believe in, the things he does not even understand anymore. 

At the town hall meeting, Mama Esan wept, again. No one could console her. She even refused to be consoled because she needs to set her soul free from the suffering of her flesh. She asked why the kings everywhere have so much wealth, women and property when the people are suffering. How can her dreams come true? Why did things go so wrong? The more questions she asked in her heart, the more sorrowful she felt. 

Chinedu in his depressed mood fell asleep before the meeting ended. In his dream, he saw what life was supposed to be and he woke up with a thunderous cry. The hall was empty when he opened his eyes. 

Bawa was not at this meeting. He will never come back to Ebute Metta. He had decided to remain incognito until vengeance is achieved. He thought the kings are all wicked or mad as people say. But he also hated those who made him cry. 

Indeed, he cried when he knew it was normal for men to cry too. People need to set their souls free from the sufferings of their bodies. Tears are the medicine of nature and they cure men from suicide. He thought his life is upside down and not worth living. He doesn’t know where this will lead him or where he wants to go from here. 

Sometimes the king in Abuja speaks after the town hall meetings to get feedback and make new reforms. When the king spoke after the latest meeting held in Ebute Metta, he was far from reality. This was worse than what the people had thought. So now everyone across the land knew the gods have made him deaf.  They know what will happen next because that is a premonition that is easy to interpret. This gives an unusual hope that change will come soon. 

Sometimes people think that time is their enemy. But time is a good concept. It carries out everything at its appointed moment. Because humans have faint memory, they forget their destinies. Therefore their actions can be in contrast to their desires in life. If you want freedom, you must act correctly or appropriately. Time will bring all things to pass at the appointed moments only if the actions that preceded those moments are just and upright. 

In this entire clamor for change, the south remains indifferent because the people inhabiting the place have become like the proverbial soap and leaves. They are used to their sufferings and living poorly in the midst of plenty. In fact they are like the thirsty fish because their land and water lie in ruins. The king of Abuja was once one of them. 

Bawa the boy from the north does not believe in the gods. He does not know what the people in the east or west have on their minds but what he wished is what the people said the gods have in plan: that when the time for freedom comes, there will be no going back, that all the kings are mad and that their kingdoms, big or small, will pass away. 

(Concluded)

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The Kings Are Mad (Part 1)

Hope is quenched when we die. Maybe tomorrow will be better, Mama Esan thought out loudly pondering what she was going to do next as she stood on her feet. She is awake now. Still a voice echoed in her head: what if it is true that tomorrow never comes. Then she sat down again, and wept.

The Kings Are Mad (Part 1)

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Mama Esan ran out of the house. The rain was heavy. She quickly cleared her stall and salvage the remaining items she could grab. Earlier that day she had hoped that things would get better and that her dreams would come true. The heavy rain destroyed almost everything including her temporary stall, her wares and then some parts of the house itself. The roof is always the first part you can imagine.

Her husband has been jobless for 7 years. The dwindling economic fortunes and the total collapse of infrastructure especially the absence of power supply led many companies to shut done their operations. Some of them declared bankruptcy just as a way of getting out of the unrealistic economic environment. If I want food, it doesn’t mean I have to be able to manufacture a gas cooker or an electric heater, one of the affected CEOs declared, proverbially. Then he went to another land.

All of Mama Esan’s children have been withdrawn from their different schools. No one had expected that the cost of education will be so high. No one thought a time would come when there will be no food on the table. But like a pestilence the day came.

In mama Esan’s existence, hope no longer seems to have a place. For her, only vengeance was sure if she could have one. Mama Esan knew though that her situation was not an isolated one. Many people suffer similar fate as she does. Life no longer presented them with choices. For some people the dictionary can as well be rewritten and the non-applicable words deleted.

There is a man called Chinedu. The first time mama Esan saw her was around 1985. He was just a boy. At that time he enjoyed a lot of facilities. But all of those (fading) facilities and infrastructure soon disappeared completely. The best thing in his life was that he got the education he wanted. This was not possible in every part of the land.

When he left high school in 1990 Chinedu decided to try his hands on business and he started as a learner. He learnt the buying and selling trade and gained his freedom when he became an expert. Then he was able to rent an apartment though he was a bachelor at that time. He had his eyes on the future.

However since 1993 no one knew or understood what went wrong. Perhaps people just denied the knowledge of what went wrong with their lives. Some people said the gods got angrier, and others said their ancestors are now restless. Some people read the new foreign holy books and thought they found new hopes.

If anyone had told Chinedu that he was going to be living from hand to mouth in 2014 he would have sworn to Amadiora, one of the gods he knew before 1985, that that day will never come. He would have called the Alusi, if he knew how, to strike the speaker of the strange words.

Now married with children, Chinedu can no longer afford the cost of running his business. It’s too hard now to tend a family. He is terrified everyday and he had seen some people landed in prisons after attempting to push hard drugs as a way to keep their businesses going. The law is not effective but it always catches up with the people who need protection the most, if they erred. One of his friends died with foam puffing from his mouth. The wraps of cocaine inside of him exploded before he could deliver them.

The power generating plants kept breaking down and the cost of petrol for home and business became unbearable. Chinedu gave up. One day he survived an unexpected explosion. The generator was bad but he didn’t know about it. Now, he’s not sure if he should move back to his village with his family. He can go back to his grandfather’s farmland. He is afraid he may be called a failure. His mind kept roaming, as he ponders on the alternative “businesses” of armed robbery and kidnapping. By resisting the temptations, he thought he had rebuked the devil.

Some people think that the devil exists and that he is male. People think the devil should be blamed for all the negative things in life. When he was a student, Chinedu learnt about the culture and mythology of the people in Ebute Meta. He was held spellbound when he learnt that the devil was not Esu. He knows now that it was the invaders who taught about the devil.

Among all the tribes in the land, the people of Ebute Meta, Amuwo and Araromi have no version of the devil in their existence and traditional institutions. It was also the foreigners who invented the term religion and misapplied it. Ignorance ruined the minds of men and they thought that the white man’s devil is the Esu in Ifa’s mythology. Ifa is not a religion; it is a way of life and the explanation for everything associated with mankind.

It was about time the human race laid the blame for global ruins at own doorsteps. Man is responsible for the evil deeds in the world, not an imaginary demon. Man created religion and a place in his own heart called “devil”. Ifa is not human but it can admittedly be either good or bad depending on the man that applies it. When people find evil in (d)evil, maybe they will be convinced that both terms are the inventions of ordinary mortals.

Many people in Ebute Meta are happy for the knowledge that came their way through basic education. But they are now sad because of their misfortunes. What they have learnt have seen them through many life changing experiences. Their hope is that the prevailing problems they encounter will pass away. But what are they doing about these new problems?

There was a man who left Ebute Meta. He went to a very far place in the land called Abuja. He was in search of fulfilment and his name was Muyiwa. He was killed in a bomb explosion. The bomb was set off by the dissidents in Abuja. No one can see the future unless the gods smile down on them and when risks are not taken sometimes, it’s hard to tell what the outcomes could be. After more than 10 years as a jobless engineer in Ebute Meta, this young man was exterminated. He was just 37, which is 3 years shy of age when they say life begins.

Muyiwa was a brilliant man and he was originally from the village of Eniyansoro. He had been told of a job opportunity in the far place. He thought he’d try out his luck. The debt he owed to get to this place of death will never be paid back. The dissidents from the North have now come to Abuja. People say they are also mad because they do not believe in visions but accepted the foreign teaching that they will be alive as martyrs in an unknown place by killing innocent people in suicide missions.

The king of Abuja is foolish. He believes in the devil so he did nothing about this evil when it showed its ugly head. All his life, all he-the king-wanted is power and he chose to dine with the “devil” because he had a choice. He had learnt from his youth that he could dine with the devil by using a very long spoon.

Many of the previous Kings of Abuja are known to have suddenly perished. Some people say the gods must be crazy in this land because they first make the kings deaf and then they destroyed them. But the gods are not crazy. They are probably amused.

Even so because the various kings in the different parts of the land are hypocrites who pretend about the new religions while possessing deep seated intuitions about the gods and they always thought that sacrifices are better than obedience. So they-the kings-make many ceremonies and they give away many unsuspecting fools as living sacrifices. The biggest human sacrifices have always been in Abuja and towards the North of the land.

Money and gold can make people to stop thinking, so they don’t see the evil that other men have planted in their ways. Another selected delegate to the king’s ceremony died 2 days ago and still people want to blame the devil. If the king can kill one of his brothers, who can be free from his thirst for power?

When people are hungry, they also sometimes unknowingly sell their souls. They have no food because many of them left for the cities. They thought they will get rich in the cities. Now with fewer jobs, many of them have no money as well. So the people also said that money is the root of all their problems. How can the people know that the devil is not a demon and that he does not exist? Men clothe their hearts as devils and propagate evil despite the knowledge of the truth with which they were born.

Mama Esan thought about the religiosity of all the kings that she knew: in Ebute Meta, in Abuja and even in the North. Then she wondered who God is and his relationship to Olodumare. This was the first time in her life that she gained awareness of her own thinking about religion. The present king of Abuja took religion to an absurd horizon. No king before him adopted religion as widely and open as he does today. Yet, it is now that the greatest devastations beseech the land. Mama Esan became really confused.

She was not finished with her thoughts. She knows a lot about many of the books her children read when they returned from school. The stories are mostly sad stories. In history, in geography and even in science books, she listened when her children study about many diseases and how some of them are incurable. She’ll be sad if there are no ways for the children to return to school. We are in a hopeless situation, she said to herself. Then she thought that she had a voice in her head “We become religious because we are afraid of death. Yet we die and become dust”.

She woke up drowned in her sweat. She thought about Muyiwa. Ebute Meta is not a big place. Bad news travel fast. She knew about the travails of Muyiwa and many young people in Ebute Meta. She remembered the day Muyiwa and his friends came to her and ask for some items on credit. She overheard him when he told his friends about a foreign film called Fried Green Tomatoes that he had seen and that his favourite line in the movie set in the 1920s was: no one would leave this earth alive.

One day, in order to start a discussion, mama Esan asked her neighbour: what is the meaning of premonition? One of her children had said that he thought Muyiwa had a premonition he was going to die in a far (foreign) place and that was why he talked about the foreign drama and death.

All that is foreign cannot be evil. The power of discernment is one of the greatest gifts the gods left to the people when they departed from Araromi. Muyiwa was philosophical while his travails lasted. He spoke of the several millions like him and wondered from where their hope cometh. He died along with several other innocent people. His hope never materialised and his body parts were shattered. Life can be cruel even to the kind. The evil in the hearts of men and kings does not discern because they think it is the devil’s work.

With all sorts of religions, vices and crimes are committed in the land. The taste of foreign religions left the people in this land in the rhythm of the shadows of mental slavery. It became more devastating because somehow they were not able to differentiate between rites and faith.

This king of Abuja became a master in the philosophy of modern religion. The dissidents from the North have their own ideas about it. The people are suffering and there is confusion everywhere.

From everything the people hear and see they also fail to realise that their freedom and way back to prosperity will lie in their power to discern. They must know the truth so that they can be free. Else there is a risk they will become slaves to anything that they do not understand.

Muyiwa was one of those who believed that life started and will end on earth. He had a premonition but he didn’t know it. He was a kind fellow and he lived in peace with everybody though his heart was always troubled in his private moments.

Hope is quenched when we die. Maybe tomorrow will be better, Mama Esan thought out loudly pondering what she was going to do next as she stood on her feet. She is awake now. Still a voice echoed in her head: what if it is true that tomorrow never comes.

Then she sat down again, and wept.

(Watch out for part 2)

aderounmu@gmail.com

How Much Money Does A Man Need?

By Adeola Aderounmu

In 1996 before the end of my service year I met an elderly man in a village near Moniya, on the outskirts of Ibadan. I think the village is called Idi Ose or something like that. Some of my colleagues at that time had been going to that village before I arrived in Oyo State for my service year.

The village provided solitude, a sort of respite from the stress of the work we do as Nigerians at IITA. I think my colleagues really wanted to have a place where they can have peace from work and sip original palm wine or just relax in the shade when they have long breaks or at the close of work before heading home. There is always peace when you are close to nature.

The elderly man, a very good reason to follow on the short trips to the other side of the road, was a very good listener and he chose his words with wisdom when he spoke. On one particular day he revealed his vexations, his bitterness about the criminals and greedy people called politicians who loot or steal from the treasuries across Nigeria. His greatest disappointment was that the crazy politicians do not need so much money for a single, short life time. For most of us we will not live up to 36 500 days!

He must be in his 70’s then and he told us that he had counted the probable days left of his life. He made an example and said if he had just N1m, that it would be more than enough for him to live a good life for the rest of his days. So, he questioned the excessive looting by Nigerian politicians and public office holders. He could neither comprehend, nor understand the rational behind looting of several billions of naira or dollars by individuals.

It was from this elderly man that I first heard that having cars do not depict prosperity. It’s hard to admit such a line of reasoning in Nigeria and I understood it more in Europe where people leave their cars at home and enjoy bicycle rides to work and parks.

How much money does a man need actually?

The answers cannot be that easy and the question cannot be treated in isolation. It can also not be generalised.

The amount of money a man needs today will depend greatly on the country that he lives in. Even within a single country the amount will also vary locally or regionally.

But what a non-greedy “universal” man needs can be used a yardstick, sort of standard.

At every point in time, a man needs access to shelter. He needs food, water and above all a good state of health to enjoy the previously stated necessities of life.

But how does one define a universal man? Is he/she single, married or divorce? Does he or she have children? What kind of roles does the society play in the care of the underprivileged, the unemployed, the old, the ill and other categories of the people who one can classify as either dependents or weak?

In what ways can one connect the universal man to the others in the same society? This question is very relevant for countries like Nigeria because of the overwhelming abnormalities that obtain in how the society runs. It’s a totally dysfunctional society where bad politics and stupid policies have ruined the essential foundations of family, society and country.

A universal man who has come of age wants to have a job or do something in order to earn a dignified living or existence. At every point in time, he can live in one house or in an apartment. At every point in time, he can drive one car or ride a bicycle. He can only sleep on a bed. These things and all the other things that a man desires can be naturally influenced by taste and normal affluence.

However those who loot Nigeria’s treasuries do not understand that happiness comes from the perfect integration of work and play. They do not comprehend that happiness is also based on sound health, contentment with family, mutual coexistence with other people and peace with nature and environment.

[Abdulsalami, Shonekan, Babangida, Obasanjo, Jonathan, Gowon, Shagari and Buhari. Under these men, their executive councils, their ministers, several state governors and other accomplices that sometimes include their wives, Nigeria has lost over 600 billion dollars. They should be made accountable. Nigeria needs to make examples of the rule of law for real, and the "heads" are usually where to start so that other parts can straighten out. Never is it too late!]

[Abdulsalami, Shonekan, Babangida, Obasanjo, Jonathan, Gowon, Shagari and Buhari. Under these men, their executive councils, their ministers, several state governors and other accomplices that sometimes include their wives, Nigeria has lost over 600 billion dollars. They should be made accountable. Nigeria needs to make examples of the rule of law for real, and the "heads" are usually where to start so that other parts can straighten out. Never is it too late!]

Greed is the creator of insatiateness. When people working in public positions, Nigerian politicians in this case, start to think that they can build a perfect life based on the amount of money they steal or accumulate, then there is a tendency to open up a bogus life instead, that which is based on falsehood, criminalities and perpetual illusions that money is the sole basis of happiness or solution to life’s puzzle.

This is where Nigerian politicians are today. They found an evil haven in the nature of the crazy politics and ways of life that emerged in post-independence Nigeria. They created a buffer called the immunity clause that allows them to live as criminals in government and eventually they remain free criminals shielded from prosecution even after days of political plundering.

They found morally bad refuge in the useless law system that they helped to manipulate and rendered ineffective. Nigerian politicians who are well known criminals have rarely ended up in jails. Nigerians as a people are totally disorganised and weakened by ethnicity and religiosity amongst other factors that promote mental slavery. They back their own “local political criminals” or they simply adopt the “siddon look” approach. What a tragic sequence!

Does a man need up to 12 billion dollars in his life time? Why would a man steal so much money under the pretence of political service? Such crimes are previously thoughts to be reserved for the social misfits, career smugglers and armed bandits until it became the official pastime of public office holders in Nigeria.

Treasury Looters

Treasury Looters

What kind of satisfaction comes from buying properties that belong to the government and the people under the pretence of governance? Why do Nigerian politicians engage in looting competitions to acquire massive wealth that they cannot exhaust if they were to live their lives 100 times over?

Are these acquisitions growing signs of undetected mental ailments among Nigerian politicians? How much money does a man need? Leo Tolstoy made us understand how much land a man need. It’s just 6 feet.

The minimum federal wage in Nigeria is N18 000 per month. This poverty wage is so low and shameful it can only buy 3 standard meals at an average modern eatery in Nigeria. How does a man who earn N18 000 per month survives from one month to the next? Understanding this type of a question can help us arrive at what an average man needs to survive in Nigeria. It will illuminate the things Nigerians do in order to survive.

It will also in no small extent expand the scope of the mental ailments of the Nigerian politicians who earn more than any other group of politicians globally but still needing to steal or loot so much. Nigerian politicians will rub shoulders with the most corrupt categories of people in the world.

How much money does a man need? Is family a reason to become a thief in politics? How did Nigerians end up employing or selecting criminals as politicians all round and then end up doing nothing to rectify the anomaly?

When a man starts his own family, how much money does he need? How does he plan his household so that his usual income can cater for the need of his wife and children? What are the modern roles of women in Nigerian homes so that a family is able to maintain an economic stability that will keep them away from crime or criminal tendencies? I know that women are breadwinners in many homes anyway.

Irrespective of the amount of money that a man needs as an individual or as a breadwinner, the amount of money that Nigerian politicians earn and then loot will not be justifiable. It has been crime against humanity all the way.

Nigeria is paying her legislators the highest salaries in the world. Yet they receive unlimited bonuses, have access to contracts, and enjoy lazy times at the sittings.

Treasury Looters

Treasury Looters

In general Nigerian politicians earn a lot and steal a lot. A whooping 600 billion dollars may have been stolen from the Nigerian treasury in the past 50 years. About 200 billion dollars of these wasted monies have allegedly disappeared since the return of civilian rule in 1999.

What these looted or wasted monies could have translated into is immeasurable. But with simple logic, it is easy to assume that Nigeria is supposed to be the best country to live on earth. I mean who throws away 600 billion dollars? It’s insane!

The consequences include but are not limited to making Nigeria probably the most corrupt country in the world, one of the worst places to live on planet earth and a place where life expectancy is declining fast.

Nigerian politicians and former military dictators should be made to undergo extensive psychological evaluations so Nigerians can know what is going on in their heads. Answers may be needed for the sake of posterity. Nigeria may take the help of renowned anthropologists to do extensive studies on the mindsets of her politicians.

I’m serious to repeat that this is very important and necessary because Nigerian politicians are definitely not normal people. Their abnormalities are promoted by the absence of functional legal systems that ought to put away political criminals in prisons. It is also promoted by the absence of virtues that define sane societies for example Nigerians do not question the sources of wealth, they simply worship it. In the presence of money, majority of Nigerians simply lose their moral consciousness.

What is a politician or a group of politicians doing with stolen or missing 20 billion dollars or 12 billion dollars or even 1 billion dollars? Why would someone loot 300 million pounds in Nigeria and stash away in a foreign bank? Is the money his father’s savings or his family earnings? These types of politicians ought to have been rounded up and bundled behind bars.

It’s amazing how Nigerians have been enveloped by both the Stockholm and the Nigerian syndromes. These untoward attributes make up (the) almost irreversible tragedies that plague Nigeria as it is today.

How much money does a man need for a life span that is less than 100 years (36 500 days)? I don’t think these retards count their life span in days just to see how short life is!

All the atrocities committed by civilian rulers/looters and military gangsters have already taken their tolls and it is getting worse. Life expectancy in Nigeria is moving below the 40 year mark. Unpublished data in the hands of a medical doctor friend and classmate of mine puts life expectancy in Nigeria between 37-39 years old.

How long are Nigerians going to look on or away before they realise that their future had been stolen and that recovery lies entirely in their hands. The system of government is rubbish. We are just reading about a probable scenario where Goodluck Jonathan may have kept several millions of naira in Aso rock. Is Aso rock a bank or bureau de change? This type of trend is common in Nigeria but it is totally abnormal and crazy.

In every part of Nigeria, people need to organize sensible resistance and find ways to end the reign of the bad rulers and corrupt politicians. The people need to regain their consciousness and take back their regions in (to) normalcy. It’s going to be a very long walk to freedom.

It is known that all days can be for the thief. But no matter how long it takes one day must definitely be for the owner. With the nonsense immunity clause in Nigeria that protect criminals in government and the invalid status of the rule of law that fails to catch up with them, one day it will be time for the people to round up all the corrupt politicians and military dictators and tell them that enough is enough!

That’s part of the hope and probably one of the ways forward as well.

#prosecuteallpoliticallootersnow

#bringbacknigeriasmoney

#bringbackregionalgovernmentthatworksbeforethecoups

aderounmu@gmail.com

Ebola, May Your Days Be Short (A Facebook Note)

Adeola Aderounmu

Which Way Nigeria?

Which Way Nigeria?

I can’t believe I am writing about Ebola. I tried hard to skip it. I couldn’t sleep last night,so you can understand why.

Maybe one day people will put their heads together in that part of Africa-The Sub-Saharan and put an end to mental slavery.

Maybe this is the time to call Nigerian medical researchers together from all over the world. Sadly I was one of them until 2004 when I walked away (don’t worry why I did what I did, life has since moved on).

Sincerely my views are wide and vast. That’s why the article is going ahead; but I don’tknow if I’ll publish. I’ll make the call and probably suspend my story about The Mad Kings.

It doesn’t matter now if Ebola was modified or invented as a biological weapon or not.

What has happened is that the list of Nigerian national emergencies just got longer. Don’t miss the point though that Malaria the number one killer in sub-Saharan African will terminate several lives especially children under 5 years of age before you finish reading these few lines.

Drug discoveryresearch is one of the most challenging worldwide; it could take half or even more than half of a scientist life if he/she does not derail and if the funding is flowing.

Many people are worried that there is no medicine for Ebola in Nigeria for example. They are not even asking, where is the malaria vaccine?

Ask yourself: Who wants to stay on a drug discovery research for 20 years or more with limited or no funding when an ordinary local government councillor can amass a wealth of 10 billion naira in one political season? Where is the inspiration going to come from?

I am even suggesting that the road to the malaria vaccine may be lying on the shelf somewhere at Idiaraba. l hope someone goes looking soon.

I am on the 4th page of my article (Ebola, May Your Days Be Short). You can guess how many questions and issues I have raised as a medical parasitologist / assistant lecturer at LUTH even before 2002. Don’t worry about how my position was terminated at Idiaraba as I struggled to put things together here in Sweden. Worry about your loved ones, and see what you can do to fight for your own freedom in down town Bongo.

Ebola, may your days be short because Nigerians have real issues to deal with. Issues that will shape the rest of their lives.

(copied from my facebook note)

http://www.facebook.com/adeola

Let’s Go And Die, Abroad!

By Adeola Aderounmu

Riliwan Lukman, Umaru Dikko, Abdulkareen Adisa and Odumegwu Ojukwu

Riliwan Lukman, Umaru Dikko, Abdulkareen Adisa and Odumegwu Ojukwu

Nigeria in many ways continues to tag herself to the world as a sort of #jungle, #uncivilised, and a massively #underdeveloped geographical region. The shame of Nigeria escalates daily and the legions of Nigerian politicians finishing their journeys on earth in foreign hospitals remain embarrassing.

Under colonisation (which Nigerians love to bash), and shortly after independence, Nigeria had some of the best public facilities in the world. The economy was good, there was dignity in labour and merit was the main reason for getting public positions.

Institutions like the Nigerian Airways were top rated and efficient. Nigeria also had world class medical facilities evenly spread in the Western, Eastern and Northern regions of the country.

However, in the 70s, after enduring some of the most senseless coups ever and a civil war, Nigeria’s fall from glory to grass was ensured. The fall remains unabated even to this day. Many of the invigorations today with respect to public utilities and service delivery in some states in Nigeria are rather too cosmetic. They are classical fire brigade approaches.

They do not follow the trend of continuity, gradual development or advancement as expected in a normal society. By the standards of the 60s Nigeria is supposed to be one of the best places to live in the world today. But on the contrary, she is ranked among some of the worst places on earth mostly along side war torn countries and countries devastated by terrorism and total absence of governance.

The fact that the infrastructure fell flat in the first place revealed the absence of maintenance culture and a lack of leadership. Nigerians have had largely very bad rulers at all levels of governance.

The abolition of federalism, the glorification of corruption, impunity, extreme greed, loss of patriotism, the elevation of tribalism and the promotion of nepotism played very significant roles in destroying the values, cultures and sense of belonging in Nigeria. The foolishness of Nigeria’s greedy politicians and their military counterparts under different dispensations and the unneeded resiliency trait in Nigerians have totally destroyed the essence of life and the value of it. All these anomalies combined and eroded completely the spirits of nationalism and patriotism.

When people or family members of the people who have contributed to the dilemma of Nigerians die, they are praised and eulogised by fellow criminals in government. The rest of the people are cautious or terrified to speak the truth even of the dead. Death is the inevitable end of all living things and speaking the truth or reality of the lives of the people who are dead does not amount to speaking “evil about the dead”.

The politicians who chose to die abroad are desperate to hold on to lives. Staying alive is a normal attribute for biological creatures. The tendency is to survive and procreate. This is why suicide is regarded as an outcome of mental ailment but this essay is not about the psychology or sociology of death, so I’ll move on.

My point is not to recount all the looters of Nigeria who have died abroad. But Riliwanu Lukman is the latest of the Nigerian politicians who went abroad to die. He was the Nigerian Federal Minister of Petroleum Resources and the Secretary General of OPEC for many years. In all of those years it probably did not occur to him to persuade or collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria to build a world class hospital from a very small percentage of the huge revenue the Petroleum Ministry was swimming in.

Mrs. Jonathan, Mrs Jonathan is an out-patient at a German hospital where she has been operated and regularly checked.This is bad rulership at its peak. Where should ordinary Nigerians go when they are sick or need medical attention?

Mrs. Jonathan, Mrs Jonathan is an out-patient at a German hospital where she has been operated and regularly checked.This is bad rulership at its peak. Where should ordinary Nigerians go when they are sick or need medical attention?

He did not bring up or follow up on any public argument on the need to improve the health services that could benefit all Nigerians. Someone can argue that it was not his job to do that. Would that be because he was too busy or because he had a choice of living and dying abroad? Would that not amount to selfishness? Did he not think of doing a check up or visiting the doctors here in Nigeria when he is on duty as a member of the executive all of those years?

Umaru Yar Adua, Late Umaru Yar'Adua was governor was 8 years before he ruled Nigeria for a short period. He did not build any specialist hospital in his state and he did not start a public debate on the matter even at Aso Rock. He was flown to several countries and finally returned to Nigeria

Umaru Yar Adua, Late Umaru Yar’Adua was governor was 8 years before he ruled Nigeria for a short period. He did not build any specialist hospital in his state and he did not start a public debate on the matter even at Aso Rock. He was flown to several countries and finally returned to Nigeria


Umaru Dikko, another very corrupt man who was alleged to have looted over 300 million pounds when the Naira was still hefty ended it in London recently. The monies that disappeared under Mr. Shagari alone added to this 300 million pounds would build the best hospitals in the world in all the states of the federation in the 1980s when Umaru Dikko and the rest of the criminals in NPN were stealing and waiting for Nigerians to eat from the dustbin to flag-off or signify that they were hungry.

Dora Akunyuli died in India, also recently. She was treated in Nigeria, USA and finally rested in India. It will be difficult to absolve any living or dead Nigerian politician in the complacency that rigmarole daily under their noses.

The packaging and off-loading of Musa Yar’ Adua to Nigeria from German to take his last breathe was an adequate trigger that should have sparked off a public debate about the state of health provision to all categories of Nigeria. No one in Yar Adua’s cabinet started any debate. No one was wise enough to raise the red flag on functional public health care delivery system for Nigerian politicians and all categories of Nigerians in Nigeria.

One would hope that before the end of 2014 that the present administration will purge the shame and build world class hospitals that have the same facilities and professionalism like the ones they run to in Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, USA and London in Abuja and several states in Nigeria. The administration of Jonathan should look beyond the facilities at Aso Rock specialist hospital: not by flying Mrs. Jonathan to Germany for abdominal discomforts.

The National Assembly can probably write their names in gold despite all the monies they have stolen under the rulership of David Mark. They don’t have to think of buying the tallest building in Nigeria like their junior ex-colleague and crook Dimeji Bankole. They should not toe the line of pension scammers like Akpabio and Tinubu.

They can suggest “a law” or pass a healthy bill that the various state governments in Nigeria should work together with the Federal Ministry of Health to copy, construct and equip at least one hospital in their states like the one that Mrs. Jonathan was visiting for treatment and operations.

Babangida, Bad Rulership: Ibrahim Babangida did not build modern or world class hospitals in Nigeria despite ruling Nigeria for many years. His wife was flown abroad for treatment. Even Babangida himself treated a toe injury in France. Where did all the oil revenues go? What did he do with all the missing oil funds?

Babangida, Bad Rulership: Ibrahim Babangida did not build modern or world class hospitals in Nigeria despite ruling Nigeria for many years. His wife was flown abroad for treatment. Even Babangida himself treated a toe injury in France. Where did all the oil revenues go? What did he do with all the missing oil funds?

They can even suggest the type of hospitals that Yar’ Adua visited in Saudia Arabia or Germany before he ended it in Abuja. Nigeria does not have to borrow the money needed; the criminal politicians only have to stop stealing or looting. Then Mrs Jonathan can fly to Bayelsa State for her next appointment. She can even choose River State in time of peace.

It is sad that even former first lady Maryam Babangida finished her race in the USA. After all Ibrahim Babangida stole so much that he is reported to be richer than many small countries in Africa. The 12 billion dollars stolen from the oil money will be indelible. Why was it impossible to pump the stolen or hidden funds into provision of first class medical facilities across Nigeria? Babangida was not even ashamed of treating an ordinary toe injury in France. As a boy of 14, I was ready to have my ear operated at General Hospital, Ikeja in 1986 until my file got missing!

What is wrong with the mentalities of Nigerian rulers? The type of selfishness that makes men not to think of health issues and the transiency of life in Nigeria is unbelievable. They probably think they won’t die and therefore looted monies that could last them a 100 times of their expected life time or more. Is it a crime if their children and unborn generations have to work to earn their own livelihoods?

Let me be the first person to burst their bubbles if they haven’t seen or heard about it in the movies: nobody is going to leave this world alive and nobody is going to take anything beyond this life after transition to glory or disgrace. So what is the essence of the senseless looting and selfish accumulation of unnecessary commonwealth?

One of the tropical gangsters of the Nigerian military who did not understand this logic was Abdulkareem Adisa. He took his exit in London in 2005. He was a former governor, and then a Minister of Transport. Nigeria has paraded different shades of transport ministers and she still has some of the worst roads in the world. These roads are still claiming lives, an average of 400 per day some 7 years ago. Adisa’s transition went from a road accident in Nigeria to lying lifeless in London.

There are too many sad, embarrassing stories of prominent Nigerians dropping dead in foreign hospitals. How do Nigeria wants to appear in the foreign media? Civilised? That is a long thing. A people whose rulers die abroad will be easily classify as uncivilised and barbaric actually.

Chief Odimegwu Ojukwu kicked the dust in London in 2011. As a former war lord and later a presidential candidate, I missed his campaigns and debates. I don’t know what his manifestos said about health for all. Stella Obasanjo ended it in Spain in 2005 due mainly to the negligence of the doctor after going under the knife for liposuction.

Nigerian doctors are among the best in the world. The government of Nigeria should try to retain them at home or bring them from overseas so they can be useful for simple liposuction procedures. Even Olusegun Obasanjo did not build any world class hospital in memory of the sad and embarrassing tragedy that struck him and the country.

Nigerian doctors are superb when the conditions are right. They need the hospitals where they can work and they need the technology, equipment and enabling environment to practise. I can’t forget that operations are sometimes done in LUTH using candle light! Nigeria is so warm yet no sensible Minister of Power had adopted the solar panel as an alternative clean source of Nigeria. Nigeria does not need any partnership with USA or China. Sunlight is free! Where is the intelligence of the black race taking Nigeria as a study case? Even cold countries are trapping solar power during the short summer season.

I cannot over emphasise the pain of writing these few lines, this essay. They are neither new nor news. It is just too sad that it is going to happen again. One politician who could have started a public campaign of building the best hospitals across all the state of the federation in Nigeria is soon going to fly to London to die!

Obasanjo, Former dictator and ruler Mr. Obasanjo did not start a public debate on health care provision for Nigerians. The death of his wife did not even provide the trigger

Obasanjo, Former dictator and ruler Mr. Obasanjo did not start a public debate on health care provision for Nigerians. The death of his wife did not even provide the trigger


Even some of Nigeria’s wealthiest people are usually “rushed” abroad for treatments. Some like Dantata did not make it back from Germany. Arisekola did not make it back from London. There are also no records to show that these wealthy people championed or advocated the establishment of public health delivery of international standard for the masses. The exit of these people is therefore not a loss to Nigeria contrary to some nonsense and propaganda of praising the dead. Everybody dies in the end, poor or rich.

Germany and London are sometimes far places to look at. Is anyone counting how many delegates to the Jonathan stage-managed conference that have died during the proceedings? Someone even said they have been brought to Abuja for rituals! It is a sad commentary on the state of health in Nigeria.

It has been more than 50 years since Nigeria got her independence. Then she became more dependent. What will be the cost of building some of the best hospitals in the world across Nigeria? For a group of politicians who love money and are not ready to die because they foolishly don’t understand that life is transient, what would it cost them to organise as they always do on matters on corruption?

For as long as the laws in Nigeria let them enjoy their lives as criminal politicians, they need to organise in another way just to ensure that they build the best hospitals in different states in Nigeria where they can always go to prolong their last days, for death is inevitable. There is no escape route or country for anyone!

In how many ways do writers, critics and public commentators have to put these postulations forward before they understand? Money does not buy eternal life! It is stupidity, if not madness to steal all the monies in the Nigerian treasuries and hide them away abroad, only to go abroad to die in a probably government-funded hospital.

I remember my cousin pointing his finger, showing me the London hospital where Atiku Abubakar went to threat ordinary fracture in 2007. Are we sure Nigerian politicians don’t fly abroad to get pills against headaches? Have they imagined what ordinary Nigerians go through everyday?

Do they know how Nigerians take care of their own sick family members? If they go abroad for treatment of headaches, dislocations and stomach problems, where should Nigerians with kidney and heart problems go to? Have they thought about this seriously? How many of our brethren are we going to contribute to their bank accounts so that can be flown abroad?

Nigerian politicians and their families need to get that fact about life in their heads. All of us cannot have sympathy for the dead, not especially those who looted the Nigerian treasury and diminished the meaning of our lives. They stole our future, our dreams.

Many Nigerians have also lost their parents, family members, friends and neighbours due to preventable illnesses and sometimes callously resulting from the incessant strike actions of medical personnel. The last dilemma is that anyone can be bombed away at any time in the absence of security for the masses.

More than 90 million Nigerians are living in penury, uncertain of the next meal. What should they do about their health conditions when those whom they entrusted public services into their hands are looting the treasuries and flying abroad for treatment, sometimes to die?

In the end the statement that a people get the rulers they deserved always come as a relevant conclusion. How Nigerians allowed the selfish rulers (both military and civilian) to destroy the foundations of the country is unimaginable. Almost all areas of public systems are in shambles. Name it, education, health, housing, security….

Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Jonathan is the current ruler of Nigeria and time will tell if his wife will be able to attend a national or state hospital before the end of his reign already plagued by the worst cases of insecurity since the end of the civil war. What would it take to ensure that Nigerian politicians are treated in Nigeria?What is the hope of the common people who cannot travel abroad to treat major ailments?. Mr. Jonathan must start the debate and make plans to save Nigerians. Nigerians must be treatable in Nigeria irrespective of their place in the society

Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Jonathan is the current ruler of Nigeria and time will tell if his wife will be able to attend a national or state hospital before the end of his reign already plagued by the worst cases of insecurity since the end of the civil war. What would it take to ensure that Nigerian politicians are treated in Nigeria?What is the hope of the common people who cannot travel abroad to treat major ailments?. Mr. Jonathan must start the debate and make plans to save Nigerians. Nigerians must be treatable in Nigeria irrespective of their place in the society

My knowledge of Western Nigerian, the memories of my primary school days, my experiences of how public services work around the world continue to assure me that unless the system of government in Nigeria is reverted back to the functional regional system which was punctuated in the 1960s, Nigeria may be going no where.

Regionalism is not the magic dose. Nigeria under the present situation has no magic dose any longer. The destructions are deep and hard to heal. The institutions (and I continue to emphasise that) must work again. The people must become patriotic and there must be dignity in labour and rewards for merit and real excellencies, not ceremonial and idiotic excellencies that pervades the landscape today.

Nigerian politics is rugged, violent, abnormal and dominated by rogues and thugs. Sadly too, it is too cheap when the politicians are neither prosecutable, nor punishable. If this nonsense continues (as in not removing the useless immunity clause), and the highly corrupt, extremely inefficient unitary system of government which is critically disconnected from reality and is in discordant tune with the populace persist, then the people have to stand up one day and take their own destinies in their hands. No guts, no glory!

aderounmu@gmail.com