Postcards From Legoland, Denmark

LEGOLAND, Denmark

LEGOLAND, Denmark

By Adeola Aderounmu

Happiness is one of the most important things in life.

When I set out on this holiday trip with my family, I knew my next article would be written in Denmark and I would like to find some inspirations, taking the time off my holiday mood and punching my keyboards. I write from Lanladia-Legoland.

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Lanladia is a small settlement in Billund which is about 265 km from Copenhagen. We took a long road trip all the way from Stockholm. That was the plan.

Before we left Sweden we made quite a number of stops on our way. We spent the first night at a small town called Vetlanda in Småland, in the heart of Sweden. Actually we visited a friend of my wife and her family and spent the night at their country home. It’s situated on a farm area. The children had fun with the kittens and the cows on the farm.

Vetlnda Farm House

Vetlnda Farm House

We also saw a friend of mine Olutayo Adegoke before we arrived at the farm house. It was an impromptu stopover but he was glad to take a short break from his work as we had lunch in a park near his office just outside Nörrköping. It was almost incredible when Tayo told me he would be travelling to Nigeria that night. What a stop we made!

Adeola Aderounmu and Tayo Adegoke

Adeola Aderounmu and Tayo Adegoke

The next day our first stop was Avesta, also a small town in the South of Sweden. There lives Kelechi Udeh, a youg man I knew from Festac Town. We had lunch again in the open and near a car park at the center of the small town. We mingled with Kelechi for about 45 minutes and off we drove. He told me he is very happy to be settled in Avesta and I was marvelled how a Festac Town found happiness in a small town. Variety will remain the spice of life. It will always be in order to bloom where one has been planted.

With Kelechi Udeh in Avesta

With Kelechi Udeh in Avesta

We reached Malmö in the early evening. Tolu Taylor agreed to host us for dinner. We were not going to say no. Tolu, a big brother, was my senior at Festac Grammar School. Adeolu Sunmola who was my junior and my student at the same school joined us. Onyebuchi Echigeme completed the mini reuniuon of the Festac Boys in Malmö when he later joined us for dinner at Tolu’s house. Indeed, Festac Town and the people from Festac are always close to my heart.

With Tolu Taylor and Adeola Sunmola in Malmö City

With Tolu Taylor and Adeola Sunmola in Malmö City

We spent the night in Malmö and drove off to Denmark the next morning. We left home in Sweden on Tuesday morning and arrived Legoland in Denmark on Thursday shortly after lunch. We have driven close to 1000 km without encountering a single pot hole. I called European (E) roads paradise roads.

with Onyebuchi Echigeme

with Onyebuchi Echigeme

When this essay goes to publication we will probably be on a homeward journey. If our plans work fine, we will make surprise stops at Gothenburg and Örebro to vist more of my friends and incredibly it’s all about the Festac Town connections. They were built connections built from 1977 to 2002. They will last for life. In Copenhagen, we will be lucky if Mary Owolabi is home when we make our journey out of Denmark. She spoke of other plans, but we’ll see what happens.

The children are having a blast. I read one day ago that Denmark is now the home of the happiest people on earth. It’s a good thing to be here when it happened. LEGOs are made or born in Denmark and it is a good experience for the children to see where some of their toys come from and how they come to life in Billund, Denmark. They are old enough never to forget the experience. The adventures have been awesome.

What will be hard for them to know is my heart felt wish or desire for the country where I was born. Unfortunately our experiences together in Nigeria in 2010 were mostly unpleasant. We spent 2½ hours at MMIA before our luggage were complete in our care, ran on generators for 2 weeks, nearly suffocated in heavy and static traffic, had limitations to where we could go and things we could do. The best thing about Nigeria was the warmth of our families and friends.

I have read the news, followed my twitter stream and stayed in touch with global events. I have read so many conspiracy theories on the Malaysia Airline plane that crashed in Ukraine. There are always more sad news than good news or maybe the good things are not always newsworthy. I am mostly worried about the things that are going on in Nigeria, a paradise lost.

Yea, Malala came to town. She was in Abuja to press for the release of the Chibok girls. Then the “bringbackourgirls” campaign group entered a one chance roforofo fight with the corrupt Nigerian presidency. Mr. Jonathan was at the fore front of a “fight” for once in a lazy presidential life time. I learnt he was bitter when he was refused the chance of meeting the Chibok parents.

I know there was an allegation of a missing $20 bn from a government that is now trying to borrow $1bn to fight Boko Haram. Who are the clowns in Aso rock? Everyday several billions of dollars are lost to oil theft only in Nigeria. Everyday too, Nigerian politicians loot several billion of dollars in the executive, legislature, state governments and local governments. That’s the way to explain their sudden riches and capabilities to buy up anything including the former tallest building in Lagos/Africa. They can buy customized private jets anytime they want. How much do they earn legitimately?

The government that steals so much money should be ashamed to even ask for the least borrow-able amount from any creditor. The same government is paying huge sums annually to foreign PR firms and lobbyists to help it repair its battered image and to label Nigerians in such ways as to promote the corrupt government. Only dubious creditors will be willingly to lend money to government that is supposed to be richer than it-the creditor. They call it business when they do.

There is no greater PR than eradicating corruption and serving the people rather than selves. The extremely low level of mentalities of the Nigerian politician leaves one in awe and shock. From the view of the rest of the informed world, it is mockery and easily set Nigeria among the countries ruled by nonentities. The classification, “among the most corrupt” is too easy.

There is at present a wave and fear of impeachment going on in Nigeria only in APC controlled states or in states where a governor brought a PDP-stolen mandate to the APC fold. My bigger expectation is for the Nigerian revolution that will totally impeach, sack and sweep altogether what is probably the most corrupt government in the world with headquarters in Aso Rock, Abuja.

Unless such happens, several million Nigerians will never experience the real meaning and essence of life. The witch-hunting and cosmetic approaches of politicians against politicians who are themselves the major problem with Nigeria are not close to the cleansing solution that Nigeria and Nigerians need. The Promised Land is getting farther.

I knew since 2011 that governance is on a long recess in Nigeria. The trend is common and predictable. Once an election period is over and the new captors of Nigeria settle down to amass, steal, loot and drain the treasuries, the struggle that will sustain or produce the next conquerors of Nigeria quickly goes into motion.

In the last three years, such a condemnable trend has produced the largest number of political prostitutes ever in Nigeria’s history. It is part of the reasons the wave of impeachment became the strongest weapon today, for rather than service to the people and fulfilment of electoral promises it was business as usual and psycho-egocentrism peculiar to the Nigerian political class. It is therefore too easy to line up impeachable offences against those on the other side of the power divide.

Nigeria’s politics is driven by insatiable lust for money and the highest bidders always buy the consciences of the ever-hungry looters called politicians (and sadly the populace too). In all, they are all birds of the same feather and 99.9% of them from Aso rock to Badagry and Sambisa local government areas ought to be spending time in jails by now. But we know that the institutions are dead in Nigeria, the worst hit being the powerless police and the strikingly corrupt judiciary.

The in-thing in Nigeria today is rice politics and stomach infrastructure. Nigerians have short memories and those who are old enough have learnt nothing from history. Even as a boy in primary school I was aware of the consequences of the politics of stomach infrastructure championed by one Shehu Shagari in the late 70s slash early 80s. The NPN was a short-sighted political group that distributed rice, clothes and even apartments to members to ensure that they rig and won the elections back in the days. The rest is history.

That history that includes the extensive reign of tyranny and dictators is what Nigerians have not learnt from. That the PDP, APC or any other party can distribute rice directly or through criminal sponsors is an indication that Lagbaja’s theory of 200 million mumus is a fact. I am short of words or expressions. The situation is not normal; Nigerians are caged, mentally and psychologically!

No matter where I go, no matter what I do. I will always argue for and on behalf of more than 90m Nigerians suffering in silence, disconnected totally from governance and having no idea of the meaning of life, how much more the good life in this temporary passage called earth or world.

I will always argue for social justice, the common good, and a clear understanding of the meaning and essence of life which is not far from the principle of live and let live. I know that illiteracy and total ignorance play huge roles in some parts of the country. I know that the North is a catastrophe based on narrations of friends who went up North.

What I saw in rural Oyo State during my service year in 1995/96 broke my heart. I saw very young and immature people having more children than the number of meals they can have daily. Even most of the adults have no clear scope of what types of life they were living. There is a lot of work to be done across the nations within Nigeria eventually. Education is a top priority now and in the future no matter what becomes of Nigeria or the regions enclosed within it.

My hope for Nigeria and the nations within it is that they will rise again and be on the path they were on the eve of October 1st 1960. The hope includes the rise of functional regional institutions that will usher or return good governance politically, economically and socially. Security of life and property through functional regional security is not the least of priority in a terrorist infected geographical space.

Nigerians are broken almost beyond repair and they need more than a miracle. Nothing short of a revolutionary ideology can save the day, nothing! It must be possible to wipe away corruption, nepotism, tribalism, looting and anything at all that stands in the way of the common happiness. There must be a way forward to build trust and comfort.

Happiness is all that matters in life. The excessive wealth piled up by Nigerian politicians is a reflection of their ill mental statuses, insensitivity to the plights of the deprived and an absolute lack of the understanding of the meaning and essence of life.

There must be a way to knock some senses into the politicians and public office holders that in a transient world, the senseless accumulation of wealth through direct stealing or looting is barbaric, meaningless and inconsistent with expectations of public services directed at humanity. If it takes a revolution of ideology or the over anticipated Saharan revolution, so be it. Silence on the part of a people being oppressed and misruled is not golden.

“Postcards from Denmark” is dedicated to:

1. A friend, Gbenga Akinbisehin (1973- July 16 2014). I heard about your death as a checked in at Malmö, you left too soon, too sudden. You’ll be missed.

2. Every non-corrupt Nigerian working genuinely hard everyday and never having the right to holidays. Your freedom will come.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Big Rewards For Political Prostitution In Nigeria

By Adeola Aderounmu

The wave of swapping political allegiance in Nigeria is out of this world. There is no need to assign a Guinness book of world record to it. It is super unique and there are just no other countries as contestants.

Last year five governors (s)elected on the platform of the PDP in Nigeria left their party and joined the APC. What would have been more honourable and sensible was to denounce the mandate they stole through the PDP. They kept their mandates while seeking desperate means of self-preservations. It’s purely unethical and somehow also a criminal act. People who rob Peter to pay Paul will always be diabolical.

Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers has been leading the pack of aggrieved governors and he is still at loggerhead with Mr. and Mrs Jonathan on several River state and national issues. When you read or hear about some of his ordeals, they are like in the movies. It is either he narrates the “police-and-thief episodes” or the “cowboys-on-the-mountains” version. But the series are endless and this makes Amaechi a good real life actor. One day Hollywood may come knocking for him because Nollywood will not be able to afford him.

But seriously, governors like Amaechi (and other swingers cum politicians) who have been swinging or running helter-skelter, changing political parties like their underwear would have done humanity a big favour by delivering services to their people and bringing them out of poverty and extreme hopelessness. Rather than serve with their whole hearts, they keep oppressing the poor and selling propaganda across Nigeria and even paying corrupt bloggers and social commentators to kiss their asses. Politics should be about service to the people, not ego or blandishment of persons.

But trust naija where looting remains the shortest criminal way to wealth, the name of the game is survival, not service. The other PDP governors that defected to the APC with stolen mandates are Alhaji Ahmed Abdulfatah (Kwara), Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), and Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto). Nyako was given the shakings of his life penultimate week. He knows who not to blame while his sweat is un-dry.

Just a few days ago one Fayose was returned to Ekiti state house riding on the back of unlimited funds looted by the presidency in Abuja. He had been bundled out of the PDP, went to the APC and then returned to the PDP. In all of Ekiti, there is no one leader to stand tall among the people. There are generally no leaders in Nigeria but rulers abound. No one could stop the return of a looter to the same treasury he once looted. What has become of the children of Oduduwa? Orunmila must be shaking his head in disbelief.

It’s typical Nigerian syndrome, that those who steal more money have greater opportunity to own the government houses across Nigeria. As it is for the PDP, so it is for the APC, they just loot the treasury away while doing very little or sometimes nothing.

Does anyone remember Atiku Abubakar? He probably holds the title of the “chief prostitute” amongst Nigerian politicians. Between 1980 and 2014 he had been a founder or member of PFN, PDM, PDP, AC, PDP and APC. There is no doubt that this behaviour exemplifies lack of seriousness. It shows an unrepentant strong desire of a political prostitute to serve self rather than humanity.

Examples of Political prostitutes in Nigeria

Examples of Political prostitutes in Nigeria


Femi Fani-Kayode (FFK) is among this category of Nigerian political prostitutes. During the reign of Obasanjo he became a minister, first of culture and tourism, then of aviation. Under Yar Adua, he was investigated and arrested by the EFCC. Like many uncountable political-criminal cases, his trials relating to corruption and money laundry will drag until eternity. Then, they’ll fade away too and he’ll continue to claim innocence. In Nigeria, with the useless nature of the Nigerian judiciary, a James Ibori will always be innocent.

Mr. Fani-Kayode is now back in the PDP claiming that the APC is full of dictators. Thanks to Mr. Fani Kayode, we now know that the APC is also pursuing a jihadist agenda. Are we supposed to thank the moron of a corrupt general who cancelled the June 12 1993 elections? Perhaps the PDP is also no longer a nest of killers; it’s safe for some people to return.

Since the renewed romance with Aso Rock, Mr. Fani-Kayode will now have to disown all his “rubbishing” of Jonathan’s government including referring to it as the worst in corruption in the history of Nigeria. He will need Abati’s lesson notes. Nigerian politicians are too shameless.

You also have to wonder what the presidency and the Nigerian military are doing about Boko Haram and APC with all the intelligence and secrets at the disposal of FFK. Obviously FFK has also told us about the man without balls before he went back to his camp. Can Femi help Jonathan get his groove back? Can he help him to regain his balls?

But we know that the balls won’t matter once 2015 is secured by the PDP, for then FFK will likely become a minister again, under the same government (if PDP wins) he labelled as the most corrupt in Nigeria’s history. The toothless EFCC and the corruption-prone judiciary can suck it up in advance if they like.

One of the additions to the ranks of political prostitutes is the former governor of Kano State Ibrahim Shekarau. He’s done the full cycle in his prostitution journey moving from ANPP, to APC and now to PDP. Obviously his political experience can make him useful as a serving minister but it carries a previous taint of allegations of links to Boko Haram.

The ranks of people with alleged links to Boko Haram in the Jonathan government are increasing daily. What is FFK going to do about PDP and the Boko Haram appeasement tactics? Another mischievous angle to Shekarau’s appointment is that it is one of the several nonsensical political gimmicks in Nigeria. His impulsive appointment as a minister without a portfolio is coming on the heels of fundamental changes connected to the emirate in Kano, Northern Nigeria.

The journeys along the line of political prostitution can never be justifiable. It confirms the age-long fear that the major political parties in Nigeria are the fingers on a leprous hand. Some, like Atiku have done the cycle uncountable times. If you have sound principles and a convincing political ideology that are based on honesty, service to humanity and selflessness, there would be no need to change your political party like you change your underwear.

Again, the goal is clear in Naija’s peculiar but rotten politics: always put yourself in the best position to make political gains that will lead you to the treasury you can loot with impunity. The justice system will look away or help you get away if trials come.

It’s impossible to highlight all the unprincipled men ruining Nigeria but Femi Pedro the former deputy governor of Lagos State has been around too. From AD to Labour Party to PDP and now back to APC. I actually wrote about Femi Pedro here in the village square (see Nov 3 2007).

Someone responded then that he had dug his political grave when he left Tinubu’s party. That person saw the future. You wonder if Nigerian politicians are the hungry people actually. Their insatiable lust for wealth, power and ego is either evil or a special brand of psycho-egocentrism.

Olagunsoye Oyinlola must be really feeling princely. Even Jonathan is begging him to serve the PDP. Of course like the rest of the poli-thieves, the guy will keep serving his stomach. How can Olagunsoye missed the fact that Mr. Fayose got unlimited funds stolen in Abuja and his dreams came true in Ekiti in grand style?

I have no doubt that almost all Nigerian politicians are “dead on arrival” on money matters. They’ll kill for it. The forthcoming Osun state governorship election is already a box office thriller everyone is waiting for. Tax-payers money is about to go to the drain again!

Even common aides are shifting bases. Wonders will never end in Bongo! I can’t dwell on the two ordinary aides of Adams Oshiomole who are now political prostitutes in the PDP. But I can emphasise again that as long as the government treasury remains the shortest cut to sudden wealth in Nigeria, and in the face of non-existent honest mentorship manifesto in any of the political party, then the master-and-discipleship relationship or the governor-and-aide concept can rest in pieces.

What has been the saving grace for all categories of political prostitutes is simply the total failure of the Nigerian judiciary system. For we know that under normal circumstances many of these criminal-minded politicians would have been successfully prosecuted and many would have spent time at various prisons.

If punishments for political crimes and other crimes related to abuse of public offices had been in place before and after 1960, Nigeria would have been a paradise and probably the best place to live on earth. Currently, and sadly too, as an outcome of the sum of the activities of all these politicians and their military-junta counterparts/accomplices, Nigeria is ranked amongst the worst places to live in the world. It is still probably the worst place you want to have children!

Ironically, sometimes one wishes that the people can listen to these rulers and crooks very carefully. Just like Reuben Abati suggested in one of his many write-ups before tasting the forbidden fruits that revealed the real Abati, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has also been quoted more recently as saying that Nigerians need to start stoning the politicians because of their corrupt practices.

Imagine if the Nigerian people start to stone all the crazy politicians looting the treasury at the local, state and federal levels. Maybe that will put Nigeria on the right path again if they are not replaced by similar crooks! There is also a problem of new set of crooks taking over from expired crooks.

Every 1 kobo that is stolen from any treasury in Nigeria contributes to the systemic poverty and these crooks can even steal 12 or 20 billion dollars in one swoop. It’s amazing the magnitude of corruption and impunity in Nigeria that allows the criminals to live large and rise above the law system. I cannot over emphasize this treasury-rape syndrome.

Nigerians are letting the politicians get away. Nigerians are allowing themselves to be fooled by the political parties and all the criminals that saturate these parties. The people are totally subdued mentally and even physically despite their numerical advantage. They act not in the face of obvious oppressions because their friends, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and other family members are involved in the crime or are waiting to benefit from the insane system.

The political parties in Nigeria and their imaginary manifestos have never been significant especially after the second republic which saw to the demise of parties like the UPN popular in western Nigeria. Even the days of SDP and NRC provided Nigerians with distinct options.

Nowadays, the common people are happy to mortgage their future and that of their children for a 5kg bag of rice and peanuts as proven again (recently) in Ekiti state. The handicapped police are totally inefficient and the judiciary is absolutely corrupt dispensing justice on a cash and carry basis. In essence the institutions are grounded. This combination produces a dilemma of the highest order in Nigeria.

Come 2015, it won’t matter the prostitutes or group of prostitutes that seize Nigeria when the institutions are not working and at a time when the people are already deflated and defeated by both politicians and terrorists. Even if we turn on the fight for regional governments, it won’t matter if we allow the political prostitutes cum rapists to return to their different regions to continue the rampage and rape locally.

For Nigerians, the roads to freedom within Nigeria or in the different nations that may emerge remain a very long one. Nigerians have one more walk to do. It will be the longest walk of their lives. Freedom from political and mental slavery will never be given on a platter of gold. It must be earned.

Such freedom will not come from the “dead on arrival idea” of a useless rotational presidency coming from the secluded and retired minds caged in a carnival-like arena in Abuja.

Nigeria’s longest walk to freedom which will rid the country of sycophants and low-grade mediocre and hopefully re-establish the institutions that will serve humanity and posterity will come from a united, purposeful and well orchestrated revolution of sound minds and committed citizenry.

aderounmu@gmail.com

US Army, Nigerian Army and Boko Haram Playing Hide and Seek In Sambissa Forest?

By Adeola Aderounmu

I don’t know who is having a laugh or a rough time now among these 3 gangs. I mean the US promised intelligence and provided it. At what cost I don’t know and I’m sure many people do not care the cost as long as the “Chibok girls” are found and Boko Haram esterminated from the surface of the earth.

But many people have been disappointed and they are like: you mean the girls have not been found! You mean the US in Nigeria is not doing the magic? wao!

Well, sources have it that the US provided images on the movement of Boko Haram to the Nigerian Army. But what is the Nigerian Army doing? The Nigerian Army is avoiding the locations where Boko Haram operates. So rather than use the information from the US assistance to curb Boko Haram, it turned out that the Nigerian Army is using the information to actually avoid Boko Haram. This is very serious but laughable.

The Nigerian Army over the years have sold many of its weapons and ammunition to Boko Haram. Boko Haram is a big threat to the Nigerian Army that is full of treacherous fellows. We knew that before the US came, but now we have a confirmation that they are not only treacherous but also fearful.

This is the same army that stopped the war in Liberia, Sierra Leone and made impacts in Congo. At home the Nigerian army is a failure. But this is not a sudden occurence, it was a systematic breakdown coming from the failure of governance and the roles of the Northern elites.

The Northern elites remain pleased with Boko Haram if that is what we bring them back to the presidency in Nigeria in 2015.

The way this whole mess is playing out and with the murder and massacre of Nigerians in Northern Nigerian and Abuja, the Northern elites will wake up soon to realise that they have been chopping off the fingers that feed them knowingly or unknowingly.

Governance in Nigeria is a huge joke anyway with the ruler Mr. Goodluck apparently not feeling safe outisde the Aso rock and bursting off any visit around troubled areas. He is so scared of the Nigerian army he feels like one of them can sniff his life away. This is the state of loyalty of the Nigerian army to the Nigerian nation.

Goodluck Jonathan is a coward, but playing smart in a small confine. He should have rounded up all the former and serving generals and civilians who promoted, supported and financed Boko Haram. He was so slow things got out of hand. He may have been part of a terror cell himself which will seem logical too. I agree it is more complicated than that but doing nothing at all because of selfish interest and political power is costing Nigerians innocent life. Add to the injustice and madness of corruption in Nigeria, this is hopelessness for the common people.

So, no the girls are probably gone a long time ago. Boko Haram had all the time in the world to diaply arrogance and “freedom”. The hide and seek game is very insultive to the collective inteligence of informed Nigerians.

I don’t know how Nigerians can co-exist in 2015, it will be one of the greatest miracles of all time if Northern Nigeria (now harbouring PDP “settled political prostitutes”) goes along with a Jonathan presidency in 2015. How are they going to conduct elections around Nigeria with bombs dropping daily? If elections are held only in certain parts of Nigeria, will that count as national elections? How far will Boko Haram take this war as the Nigerian Army plays the handicapp? The thriller will be another box office hit.

FAAN Or NAHCO: Who Employed The Criminals Pilfering At MMA?

By Adeola Aderounmu

The theft of valuable and cherished personal belongings from the baggage of passengers arriving at the Murtala International Airport is a big deal.

It is time to call out the management of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the directors and management at Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc to answer questions on why travellers’ items continue to grow wings on a daily basis when they arrive at the International Airport, Ikeja.

Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos

Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos

One anonymous Mr. Lagbaja spoke on behalf of NAHCO when Premium Times made enquiries about the pilfering of baggage at Lagos airport. His comment was typical: no passenger had come forward to report the matter to NAHCO!

OK! We are doing so now. I am making a report on behalf of thousands of people who have complained about these criminal activities over the past decade.

The truth of the matter is that there are criminals working at the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA) and they are responsible for the theft of items from travellers’ bags daily.

Arik airlines spokesman Ola Adebanji said that missing items from aircraft was commonplace worldwide citing instances from the US. I think it would have been better for this man to keep quiet rather than exposing his ignorance on public relation management.

Then the NAHCO employee continued, our Mr. Lagbaja said that if such incident occurred, the passenger had the right to report the matter to the airline he or she used for the trip. “We advise the victim to formally report the incident either to the airline or the Consumer Protection Unit of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority at the airport”.

Why don’t people report the theft of their personal belongings that occurred before the baggage hits the conveyor belt? The answer is too simple. People don’t believe that reporting the thefts will bring back their belongings. Almost every traveller knows that it is no-brainer to tackle FAAN or NAHCO workers at the Airport on missing items.

The question and answer sessions that will go along with the reporting which may include making a police report can cause a fragile traveller to develop a heart attack. So, indeed nobody will be willing to make any report. No one has the time to drag issues with airport authority on missing items. It is different when the suitcases or baggage do not arrive. Then it’s normal to take up such cases with the concerned airline.

FAAN

FAAN

Somebody or some people at MMA, FAAN or NAHCO should be getting sacked if the seriousness of the matter is to be handled appropriately. The undeniable fact is that criminals open the baggage of travellers and they pick out items that now include hand-held computer tablets. These disgraceful acts take place usually between landing and when the bags hit the conveyor belts.

Some of my friends who visited Nigeria recently (this year 2014) had tales of woes to tell about the items that were stolen from their baggage. I am not talking about one person only; I am talking about a group of people whose items were ransacked between landing and the conveyor belts. Gifts bought for friends, family and even children went missing.

This week, I read how several passengers are also lamenting about their missing shoes, bags, gift items and other accessories that they thought should be saved in their travelling bags. The report was in the Premium Times of June 16 2014. How did criminals get on the employment services at such a sensitive place as the International Airport?

There are so many investigations that need to be done regarding these persistent criminal activities. For example, what is the connection between the length of time it takes for the baggage to hit the conveyor belt and the numbers of items/ goods stolen?

Are the long delays in delivering the baggage to the conveyor belts connected to the fact that these men and women who are off loading the aeroplane need so much time to open and pilfer travellers’ baggage?

NAHCO

NAHCO

Is it part of the employment contract that you must be sticky-or light-fingered to work at that department at the airport? Who takes away all the stolen items? Are the stolen items delivered or remitted to the bosses and directors and shared among all the “criminal” workers?

What is going on at MMA? What is going on at FAAN? What is going on at NAHCO? Who are we going to hold responsible for the missing items? The workers? The Directors? The Board?

When some of us complain about these things, we always hear some people say “noo o!!” that was before! Nobody is stealing again at the airports! We have heard similar stories before at the sea-port; we hear…noo o! No more port rats! Then importers started welding their cars and vehicles like armoured tanks before they hit the international waterways heading to Nigeria!

But the denials on the part of Nigerian airport authority or NAHCO are the usual lies! There are definitely still criminals working at MMA, just the same way the sea-port rats never left.

It is not acceptable when airline or airport officials state that these criminal activities are common around the world. There is a difference between lost and found items or forgotten items and the items that are deliberately removed from travellers’ bags by airport workers. The act of pilfering is not common around the world. In any case there can never be a good reason why criminals should be employed and allowed to remove things from our bags at MMA.

Are there cameras at the terminals to follow the arrival of aeroplanes at the terminals? Are there cameras to follow the progress of baggage until they hit the conveyor belts? At what point exactly do these “airport rats” have the courage to open bags and suitcases and remove items? Who is the head of this organised crime at the airport? Is it something that is approved by the directors of FAAN and NAHCO?

Someone heads the human resources department where these criminals were approved for employment. That person’s integrity is also at stake here. So also are the managers or directors in charge of landing and transportation of baggage from the aircrafts to the arrival hall.

Again, many people are too busy and do not have the time to bring about their cases to the appropriate authorities. This is because once the items are gone, there are no means to trace or find them. People are tired of the way things work in Nigeria. They don’t trust the system and they just “conform” and move on with their lives.

The severity of this painful experience of pilfering cannot be over emphasized. My friends lost so many valuables that they were almost crying when they narrated their stories. This cannot continue and this essay should not be treated as a rant. There is a need for action and I hope that the directors or board members who are tagged in this essay will find a reason to call an emergency meeting to address the embarrassment that the staffs of MMA/FAAN/NAHCO are causing them and their reputations.

Some of us have great difficulties to work out the functions of the various uniform people at the airport. We get totally confused by the several people doing the job meant for one computer or a simple machine!

We need answers (and not denials) from the management of both FAAN and NAHCO.

FAAN is a service organization statutorily charged to manage all commercial airports in Nigeria and to provide service to both passengers and airlines. Its managing director and chief executive at the corporate headquarters in Ikeja Engr Saleh Dunoma must ensure that stealing from passengers’ baggage ends immediately. He cannot claim to be new on the job.

Mr. Wendell Emeka Ogunedo is FAAN’s director of security services. Dear Mr. Ogunedo, how secured are our baggage when they arrived at the airport in Ikeja?

Hajia Salamatu Umar-Eluma is in charge of FAAN’s human resources. Ma, does your office run a background check on those people moving our baggage at the airport in Ikeja? Is it NAHCO’s fault that our things are stolen?

Barrister Ikechi Uko is the director of administration. Can he tell us how security measures will be administered to stop this mess? FAAN must work together with the other agencies at MMA to ensure that they put an immediate end to pilfering at MMA.

NAHCO’s mission is to be the leading service provider in the African market. Unfortunately all the core values of NAHCO are questionable with this permanent trend of stealing from passenger’s baggage. There is no integrity when bags are opened and things stolen from them. There is no respect for individuals when NAHCO workers steal from passengers.

The chairman of NAHCO Mr. Suleiman Yahyah must call his workers to order. Nigerians need to be sure that the stolen items are not ending up on his desks!

The vice-chairman is NAHCO is Mr. Denis Hasdenteufel. How is he working together with the chairman to ensure that criminals are not working for NAHCO AVIANCE?

Altogether there are about 12 directors at NAHCO. Their areas of responsibilities and job descriptions are other areas that would be of interest when some of us look for information on NAHCO’s website. It is clear however that NAHCO is responsible for aircraft handling, amongst other services that it provides at the airport.

An average traveller does not really know the interrelationship between FAAN and NAHCO or their terms of agreement. People just want to be sure that when they travel to Nigeria that their bags are not tampered with. As a people heading to Nigeria we don’t want to develop any panic or heart attack just because some thieves working for NAHCO or FAAN are going to steal our personal belongings or the gift items in our baggage.

Those who manage the Lagos Airport must stop living in denial. They should wake up; smell the coffee and live up to their responsibilities. What is important is for them to educate their workers. NAHCO for example must ensure that its core values do not exist only on papers, but in actions. By all or any means, those whom we entrust with our baggage must stop stealing our personal belongings.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Disgraceful Election Set To Hold In Ekiti State, Nigeria

By Adeola Aderounmu

Governorship Election will hold in Ekiti State Nigeria on Saturday June 21 2014.

So many things have happened that simply makes this election a shame or a disaster waiting to happen.

During his campaign the ruler of Nigeria Mr. Jonathan promised to develop Ekiti if the PDP candidate Mr. Fayose wins the election. This is such a stupid comment and it is difficult to ascertain the mental state of Mr. Jonathan is what it takes to develop Ekiti is for the PDP candidate to win.

Mr. Fayose and Mr. Fayemi have been alleged to be distributing raw and cooked rice to woo voters. There are so many pictures flying around on the internet and especially on social network that shows how rice has been used as one of the campaign instruments.

Rice allocation

Rice allocation 2

ricee

riceee

A lot of monies that will not be accounted for have been spent by both the PDP and the ACP, the two main parties hoping to “seize” power in Ekiti.

Now, the latest in the series of the disgraceful countdown is that the Nigerian Police is now storming Ekiti with guns, ammunition and dogs. When “armed forces” and dogs are unleashed for the purpose of election, you can tell how the mentality of the average Nigerian works.

police ekiti 2

Elections in Nigeria are do or die processes because the next governor of Ekiti as in the case at hand is going to be the custodian of the state treasury. This battle has very little to do with public service but a lot to do with ego and personality. It has a lot to do with the potential looters of public funds in Ekiti State.

police ekiti

These are the tragedies of the nature of politics and public service in Nigeria.

During and after the elections, the death toll will be interesting to know.

When is this country Nigeria going to grow up?

(POLICE IMAGE From The Punch Newspaper twitter page, https://twitter.com/MobilePunch )

Criminals and Looters in Government Are Not Distracted

By Adeola Aderounmu

It is the people of Nigeria who have turned all their attentions away from what brought them to the present predicament that threatens the totality of their existence. The thieves in government have kept their focus intact.

In almost every part of the world one of the most talked about phenomena these days is undoubtedly the “bring back our girls” campaign. It is this sort of scenario that some opportunists (individuals and groups) have waited for to bring them back to public space and to win sentiments borne plainly out of hypocrisy and eye/lip services. Some are simply capitalising on the situation to give their own agenda a lift.

Meanwhile as the government of Nigeria was perambulating and talking rubbish everyday and buying the time it doesn’t have, the business of stealing and cover-ups in government are going on as usual. It is possible because stealing according to Mr. Jonathan is not corruption and because the people are suffering from the Nigerian syndrome. I have defined the Nigerian syndrome in a previous essay.

One thoughtless fellow called Maku spoke on behalf of the government and said that it is the main opposition party that is organising the “bring back our girls” campaigns. I didn’t know that all the people bouncing on the trampoline of the campaign around the world including notable celebrities in Hollywood now belong to the Nigerian APC. The APC of Nigeria must be the biggest political party in the world.

The people of Nigeria are easily distracted. This is a recurring dilemma for them. They cannot keep up with the loads of distractions provided by the failed and selfish governments since 1960. They don’t asked questions once you load them with deceits. When they asked questions, they move onto the next thing without seeking answers to their questions. Stupid answers are often satisfactory. These are parts of the reasons why nobody has found the courage to call Babangida a thief and initiate his prosecution for all the missing oil money during the gulf war.

Invariably, from one failed government to another the stories are similar. Oil money is always missing. If it is not at the NNPC, it will be among the execu-thieves. This oil money is so slippery it can also get missing at the state and local levels. As a tradition, oil money is always missing in Nigeria.

Now Nigerians have forgotten about the unanswered allegations of several billions of dollars that the Jonathan government also cannot account for. This confused government set up a committee to look into the matter. That in itself is a partial admittance that something is missing anyway. Then in the middle of the entire wahala Mr. Jonathan went on air during his chat to tell the world that “America will know” if billions of dollars is missing.

Ibori_loot-

Why did Jonathan set up a committee to ascertain the allegations made by the central bank? Mr. Jonathan should just have asked “America” since “America will know”. Anyway the senate committee has now dismissed the allegation and concluded that “no money is missing”. This is despite the fact that there is absence of proper coordination between Nigeria’s financial bodies concerned with the sale of crude oil. We can now turn off the sound of Fela’s music-Oil money is (not) missing.

In any case the Nigeria house of representa-thieves and legis-looters are not unfamiliar with the way the corrupt government of Nigeria operates. Nigerians have myopic memories and are long-suffering. Nigerians are the most distracted group of citizens in the world. They suffer from their own syndrome-the Nigerian syndrome.

Many arguments, verbal or written efforts to make Nigerians reason are lost on many grounds not least on the tribal cards. Don’t argue with an average Nigerian on the tenets of good governance. The Nigerian syndrome is yet incurable. Yea right, the problem of looting did not start with Jonathan…why should we complain now? Why did you leave out Obasanjo? What of Shagari? The reasons not to start and finish the war on bad governance have been integrated into the cycle of idiocy in downtown Bongo.

The ethnic card will even be used to justify the crimes committed by one governor Akpabio. This man has ruled for 7 years in Akwa Ibom and as he prepares to leave the seat of government, he ensured that his financial future is secured. In Nigeria, criminals continue to parade the government houses in different forms and shade.

The selfish and self-serving Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr. Akpabio (This man has no record of mental or physical disability to support his pension. But he will get:N200 million per annum, basic, N100 million, medical allowance, 5-bedroom maisonette, Accommodation allowance of 500 per cent of annual basic salary, Medical allowance not exceeding N12 million per annum for one surviving spouse)

The selfish and self-serving Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr. Akpabio (This man has no record of mental or physical disability to support his pension. But he will get:N200 million per annum, basic, N100 million, medical allowance, 5-bedroom maisonette, Accommodation allowance of 500 per cent of annual basic salary, Medical allowance not exceeding N12 million per annum for one surviving spouse)

There is definitely going to be an argument that he was a good governor or that he could have looted the money anyway like Babangida and others. In Nigeria a critic may never win any argument. The Nigerian syndrome is vast.

In Uyo and across all of Akwa-Ibom, I’m looking forward to the following campaigns, #akpabiobringbackourmoney

#no-pensionforakpabio

#socialjusticeforall

#socialsecurityforakwaibomites.

Nigeria remains in a big mess today for several reasons that some of us are not tired to write about every week. It is very important that the collective intellectual consciousness of the people do not give in. It must not dwindle. It must tarry and persist. For in relenting, evil will continue to rise and subdue good totally.

Nigerians must know that there will be no messiah in Abuja, not now, not in 2015. The system of government is so ill-structured that Abuja would not be a major factor for the eventual freedom and stability of Nigeria. Hence it is very important that we don’t forget to tune up the ways that may end the senselessness in government whilst we point out the persistent evil and crimes in the land,

Nigerians must ensure that the non-corrupt intellectual class rises up to do the needed. In several states in Nigeria, former criminals, former thugs and former riff-raff hold sway in governance. Government has been used to reward insolence and barbarism. In government it has remain impossible to be above board. All who come into it exit it as criminals or with criminal tendencies. It’s worse for those who came in as criminals. Regardless they all ruined Nigeria!

akwa ibom

In every region, in every community, in very part of Nigeria, there is a need to change the mentalities of the people. I am aware of the agitation of the people from Western Nigeria. They are seeking self-determination or autonomy. But they must know that some people amongst them were part of the problems with Nigeria. They have been part of this nonsense going on in Nigeria since the fake independence in 1960. Therein lies a huge danger ahead should Western Nigeria emerge today.

The autonomy of Western Nigeria should not be sought as a license for the elongation of criminalities in the Oduduwa region. Before dawn, the Yorubas should have a full functional road map and blue print that will ensure that their self-governance does not lead to self-destruction.

In the end all the geo-political regions of Nigeria should be allowed to determine their own future. The benefit or probability of marching on Abuja/Aso rock by criminals and terrorists should be zeroed.

I strongly hold the personal view that irrespective of the aims of the Northern terrorists, and irrespective of the primary goals of their sponsors, the dismantling of the useless unitary government will promote the emergence of regional autonomy and make a complete mess of their ambitions. Who will march to Abuja or throw bombs in Abuja if there is no government there to be overthrown or if the power in Abuja is ceremonial?

I reiterate that no group of people would allow its own race to self-destruct or to be persecuted unjustly when the conditions for social justice and fair play are the rules and not the exceptions. A word is enough for the wise goes the Yoruba adage. When received, it becomes whole within.

Talking about social justice, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I hope that Mr. Akpabio has made plans to ensure that all the unemployed people of Akwa Ibom will enjoy some benefits. If the people of Akwa Ibom have no social security in place, they have the right to sack all the dummies who rubber-stamped Akpabio’s looting largess.

If the people of Akwa-Ibom remain quiet and passive, they are drowned in the Nigerian syndrome. They are probably distracted as the looting continues. They are not alone, Nigerians are all guilty of the lack of will to sack corrupt governments and make them face proper justice. They are guilty of being at home with a system that is not working. It beats my imaginations!

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(After publishing this story, there are now more information that some ex-governors in Nigeria started this criminal activity of milking the states they ruled over, so Mr. Akpabio is not the only governor with criminal tendencies. There are many of them in Nigeria)

NIGERIA’S FINAL 23 FOR BRAZIL 2014

List By Stephen Keshi

NIGERIA’S FINAL 23 FOR BRAZIL 2014

GOALKEEPERS: Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim

DEFENDERS: Joseph Yobo, Elderson Echiejile, Juwon Oshaniwa, Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Kenneth Omeruo, Efe Ambrose, Kunle Odunlami

MIDFIELDERS: John Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, Ramon Azeez, Michael Uchebo, Reuben Gabriel

FORWARDS: Osaze Odemwingie, Ahmed Musa, Shola Ameobi, Emmanuel Emenike, Babatunde Michael, Victor Moses, Uche Nwofor