The Things We Took For Granted (Part 2)

Let’s love one another in Africa and appreciate the things and people around us always. Maybe if we start with our friends and families, one day the love may go round the world and our lives will be happy and free.

The Things We Took For Granted (Part 2)

By Adeola Aderounmu

Often we forget to show how much we care for our families and friends. Sometimes it is very difficult to express in words or actions how much our friends and families mean to us.

Me and A friend-Onero and his wife

Me and A friend-Onero and his wife

Absence makes the mind to grow fonder. This is so true that we (then) begin to appreciate friends and families when they are separated from us.

Sometimes the separation is irreparable or permanent because death came calling unexpectedly. This can result to extreme sadness or even depression.

Sometimes during this summer I saw my eldest brother again. He came to visit me in Sweden. The last time we saw each other before this visit was also in Stockholm in the spring of 2005. Though l have travelled to Nigeria two times after that we did not meet.

No one will believe that l have never travelled to Abuja or anywhere in the North of Nigeria. It does not even look like it will happen soon. I am that small boy from Western Nigeria.

As l was driving to the airport to pick up my brother l was moved to tears. Suddenly it struck me that a lot has happened since the last time we met. There have been a lot of good things. However since we are getting older we have had our own share of family tragedies which as a matter of principle l never share on the social media. But l made an obituary for my mother in the village square.

Distance apart means that we have not been able to share our emotions regarding these tragedies. Though my eyes were swollen, I could not shut them tight long enough to enable the free flow of tears. I needed to keep my focus behind the wheels.

But in private, I’d wept many times. It’s human nature. In some of my stories I’d written that the men who commit suicide are those who refused to cry. They sealed their emotions and punish their souls giving them up to untimely death.

When people cry on behalves of those who commit suicide, they (the mourners) find the strength to move on because their tears become sacrifices to the gods.

For about 30 minutes which was approximately how long it took to drive to the airport l also reminisced on many of the good times we had together especially in Festac Town where we grew up.

Sometimes l don’t know where to place my memories about Lagos Mainland. Are they real or are they mere fantasies? Why do I always think that my version of the aftermath of the assassination of Murtala Mohammed in February 1976 was the correct version? Why does all the pandemonium in Surulere play back and forth in my head as if they happened yesterday?

At home, when we were boys, I remember the fights and the unnecessary contests for power and supremacy. You cannot avoid these things if you have many boys growing up together in a flat or in a house. I don’t want to remember my violent tendencies because sometimes the repercussions were terrible.

I always remember the football days so much that l wrote the article The Boys From Festac. A follow up to that article is necessary. If someone had told me that l can live without playing football on Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings, l would have responded: don’t go there!

Sometimes l don’t worry to tell people who never saw me play football how good l was because they won’t understand and it is of no use now.

Sometimes too l remember how some people find it difficult to believe my brilliance at school because of my small size and extremely playful attitude. I still wonder too!

If you live your adult life very far away from the closest people you grew up with, the tendency is that when you look back, you’d wish you could turn back the hands of clock.

There are so many things you wish you could do again. There are so many people you long for but whom you took for granted when they were at arm’s length to you. What about the things you took for granted too?

Life will continue to go on and nothing will last, not forever anyway. Life itself will remain transient and temporal.

Recently l heard a story from one of our elders here in Stockholm. Obviously it is one of those stories you heard whilst growing up in Nigeria. But when you are reminded of such a story after a long time, it helps. Mr. Salimonu Kadiri, a respected elder in Sweden spoke about the argument between death and money. It was a case that was taken to the king.

Money argued that nothing can be done without him and death reminded the king that he (death) would have the last say on everyone including the king.

This folklore from Yorubaland has a lot of implications.

People should think about their pursuits of wealth and the opportunity costs.

Perhaps if we sit back a bit and reflect on life holistically….just maybe…we will live our lives differently, spread some love and warmth everyday. Who knows? We may end up living closer to our families and spend more time with the people we love.

We definitely need to appreciate more the people around us including our friends and our families.  If we do, our regrets and disappointments will be minimal if we eventually are (unavoidably) separated from one another temporarily or permanently.

The other day l came home from Finland and made an unscheduled visit to a friend in another part of Sweden the same day. It was 467 km away. I left home late and arrived at his front door at about 10pm. His reaction was priceless. Shock will be an understatement when he opened his door to welcome me and my family. We even ate dinner before we left!

In Nigeria this would have been a normal thing. But in Sweden it is almost a taboo to visit someone without notifying them. It’s rare. On top of that we arrived at night like thieves. I don’t why people look too far and find it difficult to connect the individualistic traits of the western world with the high rate of depression.

When we grew up in Nigeria our lives were mainly communal in nature. We meet people everyday. We share with people everyday and we celebrate everyday. We took these things for granted because we thought we will always have them.

Since we do not have the same powers as the gods, we did not see the future. We were taught the 20 children cannot play together for 20 years. It wasn’t made so clear that the 20 children will have extreme difficulties to re-unite or re-group again once they have said goodbyes.

I see the struggle to re-unite or re-group in alumni or old students’ associations. It’s like a mission impossible though manageable from one event to another when different people show up.

I see the struggle to re-unite with friends. We have all received our fair shares of desperate mails from people on the social media asking if we are the right persons.

Even l have seen the struggle to re-unite families.

We struggle now because we took people and things for granted when we had them right in front of our faces. Some of our struggles are psychological because we are torn between two or three countries and wonder if we will ever make it back to settle in Nigeria. We miss home and the warmth of our friends and families especially.

It is now golden for us in the western world to meet our friends, families and even the people we knew first in this part of the world. Unfortunately, here, most friendships don’t last because individualism and western world syndrome gradually eat into our souls. We are in trouble. Where are our real friends? Where are our true families?

When Mr. Kadiri spoke, it was at a memorial for a man whom many people spoke well of. I’m not sure he heard so much of these good things from his friends and families when he was alive. The people who knew him or who were close to him may have taken things for granted.

How wonderful life would be if people start to say all these positive things to one another whilst they still can!

How can one preach that people should just shun bitterness and hatred towards one another?

I know. It is like a mirage to hope that the human race should place love and care above hatred and war.

Let’s love one another in Africa and appreciate the things and people around us always. Maybe if we start with our friends and families, one day the love may go round the world and our lives will be happy and free.

aderounmu@gmail.com

The Things We Took For Granted (Part 1)

When l was growing up in Nigeria l had no idea that one day I will be living in another country and eating meat and chicken that are produced in factories. I miss my poultry in Nigeria..!

The Things We Took For Granted (Part 1)

By Adeola Aderounmu

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As Africans we need to start appreciating the things we have in Africa especially nature’s endowment.  We also need to preserve our culture, our heritage and the true versions of our stories and pass them intact from one generation to the next.

There are so many things we took for granted in Africa. We still take them for granted on the home soil.

When l was a little boy in Nigeria, l had not doubt in my mind that all the food including fruits and vegetables were coming from nature and in natural ways. It is possible to write a book then about Feeding Without Fears in Nigeria.

I remember my involvements and experiences in farming as a school boy. We planted crops as part of practical Agricultural Science. We even tilled the soil and prepare them for cultivation. Groundnut was my favourite. There was no need to cultivate water leaf (spinach); it was growing everywhere-along the roadside, among the bushes and just about anywhere there is soil and moisture.

I remember the poultry l kept at the backyard. My love for the hens and cocks was for them to grow up and end up in my pot of soup on that famous kerosene stove. Some of these adventures must have helped in forming me. I have patience to see things through. I know how sweet the reward is for genuine labour.

In Nigeria we have everything that nature could provide for life in the tropical region. There is rainfall, and there is adequate sunshine. There is a clear demarcation for day and night.

We have all kinds of trees. We have mango trees, the coconut trees, the orange trees, the cocoa plant trees. We have the sugarcane plantations. We have cashew crops and so on.

Irrespective of where these crops are found, one didn’t have to worry about consuming them. It was unthinkable that certain chemicals inimical to human health were consumed with them. We were children, we felt safe.

The good stories about growing up in Nigeria are varied and marvellous.

Now in Europe and other parts of the advance world, it is very disturbing to note how unnatural the foods we eat are. It is extremely disturbing to walk into the stores and find all kinds of labels on the food items.

What is biological mango? What is ecological mango? What is fair trade banana? What is ordinary banana? What is ecological carrot?

Reading food labels and tags on fruits and vegetables is a way of life that emanated from outside Africa. It may be the beginning of fear or wisdom depending on your views about food and nutrition. In whichever case, it is not a pleasant trauma.

As a child, when l bought oranges at Agboju market or when l jumped and plucked Mama Tunji’s mango and ran away to eat it while hiding, l have no idea that one day l will be settling down to first read the labels before buying or eating fruits.

One day a friend who thought that she has found a new knowledge tried to explain to me the difference between ecological and biological fruits and vegetables. What an effort to make..!

In this part of the world we are in some deep troubles because people eat all kinds of things that they don’t even know where they are coming from. How can anyone trust the labels on fruits and vegetables in these days when people are fed pork and horse meat as beef? When meat and fruits are made by artificial methods, how can expiry dates be valid?

When l was growing up in Nigeria l had no idea that one day I will be living in another country and eating meat and chicken that are produced in factories. I miss my poultry! Where are all these fake and giant bananas coming from?

There is trouble here; we eat synthetic materials as food.

Some oranges are bigger than the human head. Some bananas are bigger than the African plantain. We are in trouble.

Fruits with labels? How Healthy are tey?

Fruits with labels? How Healthy are they?

For Africans, it is sad that many of these fake products and synthetic food items have crept into the continent.

In Nigeria l remember the influx of fake chicken and turkey into the Nigerian market. This year 2015 the Nigerian custom continues to fight the smuggling of the fake poultry products from neighbouring countries into Nigeria.

In Nigerian traffic especially in Lagos, everything is sold. The shiny green apples look purely synthesized. Sometimes you’ll think they have been taken for polishing at the shoemaker’s stall.

Nigeria has since become a consuming society and a dumping ground for all kinds of fake food products and dangerous medicines. The failure of governance and the systemic collapse of institutions in Nigeria left much to be desired.

There is no shame greater than the importation of food and crops that can be produced in Nigeria. It was totally senseless to relegate agriculture as the leading foreign income earner for regionally governed Nigeria.

The rulers of Nigeria are weak intellectually. They even import petroleum products! Their dumbness is exposed in their primitive accumulation while sacrificing the present and the future at the same time, all for nothing.

In Nigeria we took for granted all the free gifts of nature. Nigeria is a rich country in all ways and by all ways. Mr. Buhari can continue to misfire-calling Nigeria a poor country-because of his low intellectual capacity and inability to reason out the meaning of rich or blessed with.

The Nigerian climate is perfect for agricultural practises. The countries that have long winter season would probably stop synthesizing food items if they have such optimal climate.

I will not forget that eating fruits while growing up in Nigeria was devoid of looking for tags and labels. There was no doubt about the safety of the crops that my grandfather nurtured on his farmland in Igbogila. I had no doubt buying roasted plantain-boli at the roadside or oranges from the hawkers.

We ate healthy and unless we expose our skin to malaria parasites we hardly become ill. In comparison the reports of catching ordinary cold all year round in the advanced countries is amazingly high.

The present and upcoming generations of Nigerians must be told the true stories. There was trust in Nigeria in the past and there was dignity in labour. Sadly when things fell apart politically, everything else fell apart. The proportions of failure in Nigeria since 1966 especially are unimaginable. It is a sad story.

For Nigeria food production that will completely eliminate reliance on import and adulteration is still very possible. The potentials are still there and though the climate may have change, it is not significant enough to disrupt full blown back to the golden days of Nigeria.

The blueprints that allowed Nigeria to flourish under regional government up till the early 70s need to be reintroduced. It is getting clearer that the APC mandate is a fluke as Nigerian politicians remain hell bent on looting and destroying Nigeria because of the nonsensical unitary system that gives power to one man as if he is a dictator even under a democratic system.

How did the Old Western Region succeed with the regional farm settlement schemes alongside a world class education system? What made the groundnut pyramid in Northern Nigeria so high? Why was the East home to cassava, yam and other cash crops? The answers to these questions that will return Nigeria to her rightful position in cocoa export, oil-palm production, yam and groundnut export are political!

How we let go of healthy living in Nigeria is related to the collapse of the Agricultural sector and it happened due to bad governments. Living in places where natural food are now produced by synthetic methods or gene modification makes one to appreciate the continent of Africa that is blessed by Mother Nature.

In my part of Africa, the tropical zone of Sub-Saharan, nature smiled on us and provided optimally for our living. When we are ready, Mother Nature will still be waiting.

A deep-rooted and sincere reorientation of the citizens will be necessary to rid Nigerians of their affinity for food and things that are foreign. Those who indulge in illegal importation of food stuffs should spend long years behind bars. They are a risk to people’s health and also economic saboteurs for local/indigenous farmers.

The health of the citizenry is the wealth of the nation.

Repeatedly, a functional political method is an integral part of the solutions to all of the problems in Nigeria. This is where the burden falls back on the citizens. They have a collective right to fight the politicians and take back their functional regions and bring back the days before the civil war when there was abundance and prosperity.

It will be a long road to freedom.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Goodnight Professor Adetayo-Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku

Goodnight Professor Adetayo Beyioku

By Adeola Aderounmu

My former lecturer and supervisor Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku passed away on April 18 2015. She was aged 67.

Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku

Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku

Mummy as we fondly called her was born on April 16, 1948. She attended Queens College in Yaba between 1960 and 1964. She also attended Walthamstow Hall, Sevenoaks, Kent for her Advanced Level G.C.E in Physics, Chemistry and Biology between 1965 and 1967.

She was awarded the Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology in 1971 by Georgetown College, Georgetown, Kentucky and Master of Science Degree in Microbiology in 1975 by Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois.

She returned to Nigeria and attended the University of Lagos where she was awarded the Doctorate Degree in Medical Parasitology in 1988.

Adetayo Fagbenro-Beyioku joined the services of the University of Lagos as Research Fellow II in 1980. She rose steadily and was appointed Professor of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, in 2003.

Professor Beyioku was a former Deputy Provost at the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos. She was also a former member of the University of Lagos Governing Council.

She was buried according to her wish (after a private ceremony) on the same day she died.

Until her death she was one of Nigeria’s leading voices in the field of malariology.

In various ways, ranging from research, publications, participation in health programs, formulation and implementation of policies to mentoring students mummy was one of those who ensured that the study and knowledge of the malaria parasites remain relevant in Nigerian medical schools and research institutions.

A quick survey of some recent publications in malariology indicates that mummy contributed immensely to our knowledge of malaria epidemiology, immunology, chemotherapy and prevention.

Recent publications with Professor Beyioku’s name:

A current analysis of chemotherapy strategies for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis

Variable geographical distribution of Blastocystis subtypes and its potential implications

Identification and characterization of microsporidia from fecal symptoms of HIV-positive patients from Lagos, Nigeria

Comparative studies of entero-parasitic infections among HIV sero-positive and sero-negative patients in Lagos, Nigeria

Strongyloides stercoralis and the human immune response

____________________

Mummy wrote her name in the Nigerian Medical Hall of Fame. She did with an indelible ink as her name and contributions will be cited in literatures and projects for generations to come.

People will talk about her as a good mother, a dedicated wife, a wonderful mentor and an exemplary lecturer/supervisor.

For a long time to come mummy’s work will be carried out and reflected through her postgraduate/research students. Some of her previous students are now professors, associate professors and senior research fellows in various institutions and universities around the world.

Below are the tributes written by some of mummy’s former students: (in no special order)

___________

Tribute 1  Written by Bolaji N. Thomas, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Immunology & Molecular Biology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY 14623. Email: bolaji.thomas@rit.edu

I write not just as a former student, but as a member of the “family”. Professor Beyioku was an advisor and mentor. We call her Mum because she does that one thing, which others would not or cannot, and does it superbly well-LISTEN. She was the support we needed to go through our programs, the calm when things seem difficult and the laughter needed to break the tension and unexpected awkwardness. I recall the days of chatting over coffee, generating research ideas and brainstorming on how to bring the ideas to fruition; the sense of equanimity and the gentle guidance along the way. I learnt a lot from you. You left too soon but be sure we will keep the banner flying. Goodbye.

Tribute 2 Written by Dr. Adekunle Sanyaolu, Associate Professor of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Saint James School of Medicine, Anguilla, BWI.

This is a tribute to a great mother, Mentor, and Teacher. Professor Adetayo Fagbenro-Beyioku was a dedicated teacher and a loving mother to her children. She made a great impact in the lives of her students and children with her compassion. As a good teacher, she took us, shaped our thoughts and nurtured us in our career path in life. In addition to imparting training, she also inspired us to be good leaders and be compassionate to others. Reminiscing our school days, she showed great interest in our career development and provided advice and guidance to our social lives. Without her guidance and support, we will not be where we are today. We will miss her support forever. Adieu! RIP.

 “Most people end up with no more than few people who remember them, however, teachers have many more people that remember them forever”……..Anonymous.

Tribute 3 Written By Dr. Nnaemeka Iriemenam

Professor Fagbenro-Beyioku was a great tutor and mentor to all her students. Each one of us benefited from her immense and vast expertise. Mummy as we fondly called her nurtured us to be what we are today in the world. Her dedication to service, humility, hard work, and intellect shaped our respective career development. You are highly missed by your students and your legacy lives in our days. Adieu!

________________

To conclude these tributes in honour of our former lecturer and supervisor, l asked one of her daughters (Yele) some personal questions. I wanted to know what she missed most about her mother. She told me that she missed everything about her. That sums up mummy: She was very caring and she meant the world to her children.

It was this motherhood that she brought to her office and to the job.

Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku

Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku

Personally, I remember all the laughter l took with me whenever l was leaving her presence. It touches me how she remembered all the things/information l shared with her during my postgraduate days at CMUL. I remember how at just 29, she allowed me to lecture one of her courses-Medical Parasitology for 300 level medical students.

Mummy’s death came to many of us as a shock and one of us Dr. Ninan Obasi is yet to find the words to express his shock.

Professor Adetayo Fagbenro-Beyioku will be missed by everyone that knew her. She touched many lives directly and indirectly and in special ways.

Mummy is survived by children and grandchildren.

May her gentle soul rest in eternal peace.

Goodnight mummy!

_________

Footnotes

The University of Lagos honoured late Professor A-F Beyioku with Academic Procession/Commendation Service at The New Great Hall, CMUL, Idiarabla on July 31 2015.

This piece is published to coincide with her Final Burial Ceremony (Thanksgiving and Reception) on Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the Divine Events Centre, Shepherd Hill Baptist Church, Obanikoro Bus Stop, Lagos.

Acknowledgements

Thank you for your contributions:

Dr. Bolaji Thomas

Dr. Emeka Iriemenam

Dr. Adekunle Sanyaolu

Thank you for our discussion:

Dr. Ninan Obasi

With additional information from

http://campuslife.unilag.edu.ng

http://www.akahitutors.org

aderounmu@gmail.com

Buhari, Still A Scalar Quantity

For 60 days, a time long enough to start and finish certain university courses, the government is all about Buhari. Buhari this, Buhari that. What about the ordinary citizens?

Buhari, Still A Scalar Quantity

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

By Adeola Aderounmu

With respect to the non-appointment of federal ministers and with the promise that the exercise will now take place in September 2015, Buhari without any doubt has shown his unpreparedness for the position that he now occupies.

Buhari is still a scalar quantity on the APC mandate-having magnitude but not yet direction.

Nigeria has been through this sad avenue too often, projecting accidental rulers to the apex of affairs. This one was preventable but when the politics of religion and ethnicity got amplified under the last administration, the recycling of old hands such as Buhari was what the APC came up with.

The beauty or significance of democracy is lost on Nigerians failing to bring fresh and dynamic minds into the front.

In any case at it is now, it seems that Mr. Buhari is enjoying the limelight. For all the days of the APC mandate (now 2 months) everything has been about him. No one else matters!

What l’d seen since early June 2015 is Buhari this and Buhari that. That is pure political egocentrism.

The headlines continue to flourish and center only on what Buhari as a person will do or not.

Buhari stop rice importation

Buhari must prosecute IBB

Buhari probes Jonathan

Buhari to prosecute Iweala

Buhari reverse privatisation of NEPA

Buhari won’t interfere with Senate Forgery

Buhari This, Buhari That..!

Invariably, Buhari as an individual has constituted himself into government so far. As at the end of July 2015, Buhari is government and government is Buhari. A tragic start/occurence if you ask me.

For 60 days, a time long enough to start and finish certain university courses, the government is all about Buhari. He is so enjoying the entire attention he probably thinks by now that he is running a military government.

The leadership of APC needs to pinch their man, wake him up to smell the coffee and probably remind him that the days of tropical gangsterism are over.

I don’t think Buhari gets it yet and please we are tired of that phrase of giving time to those who we thought have the experience of what leadership is all about.

It was bad enough to seek a mandate without a team in place. It gets worse when in 2 months, governance stood still at the federal level under a democratic government allowing only one man to call all the shots.

Buhari praise singers are part of the problems. It was the same way Jonathanians ruined their man. Here we go again..!

The acceptance of mediocrity drained Nigeria of her will and strength as a country and the damage done to the cognitive mentality of the average Nigerian as a result of more than 50 years of maladministration appears to be irreversible. Little wonder people seek miracle everyday.

Generally the people are lost for the meaning and purpose of life because government broke them down and handed them over to religious rites. It is an extremely sad situation.

More than 50 years have been wasted because every time some people complain, someone is asking for more time to destroy what is left of the ruins.

Buhari is running the APC mandate, not a personal mandate. He did not win this as a lone ranger having failed several times doing so. To set September for the appointment of ministers is extreme recklessness and an irresponsible act.

In Nigeria in the absence of ministers and head for public parastatals, almost everything is paralyzed. In several federal agencies and offices across the land, things have stood still and the days ahead look bleak.

In a country where the economy is in ruins and the naira keeps tumbling, it is an act of wickedness to leave the ministries in limbo. I had discussions with some people about this matter and I could not quantify their frustrations. To live in uncertainties at a crucial time like this is totally heartbreaking. It adds to the already devastating health statuses of folks down there.

Again, APC need to pinch their man, Mr. Buhari and tell him that Nigeria is suffering from partial paralysis since the day he was sworn in.

He cannot continue to run a one man show until September. That is absolute nonsense and ingredients! It’s pure rubbish. There are 31 days in August. The economic lose will be huge. Life will remain uncertain for several millions. He will keep gallivanting from pole to pole whilst the citizens are waiting for clues on the way forward.

Buhari need some schooling in economics. As the naira tumbles, the people suffer. Nigerians get poorer. The suffering spreads like a mad fire.

Indeed, many of those that would have been nominated to form the executive cabinet are coming from the expired generation and probably a bunch from the corruption conglomerate.

Buhari needs to sit down and set 1-2 days aside as soon as possible to look into this matter. He cannot continue to rule as a dictator for 3 months! He needs to cure his own headache rather than pass it on the citizens. He must send the names of men and women who will work with him to the appropriate quarters for verification and confirmation.

If he cannot do a common selection of credible people from a pool of more than 150m people, please let him step aside immediately. No one has the luxury of time in Nigeria.

Nigeria is running a sick democracy but until that ultimate political change is instituted or when Nigeria returns to regional government, let Buhari stick to the constitution and stop running a one-man show.

It is time to remove his name tag from all the headlines and set in the appropriate ministries and agencies. What is his business with probe if he or the APC mandate sets the anti-corruption agencies free? Buhari’s name is tagged in almost all headlines because he thinks this is a military government. He needs help!

I hope this change we asked for will not be a one chance change o!

This government is turning out to be a joke so far. The hope that it will improve will be sustained and accessed week in, week out. Real change or fake change, some of us promised to remain on the same side as the ordinary citizens, we will not be tired. Some senses need to emerge from this government.

So far, it is a government that has about 2-3 or even 4 press releases about a single incident. Now, one has to wait for the 3rd version to know exactly what they are trying to say. The fourth one nails it after that.

Buhari’s government and the APC mandate are also acting as if they are still in the opposition seat. They need to move away from speculations and plans to execution of plans and doing things instead of talking like parrots. Together, they were on the side for 16 years. Did they not plan?

Before I end this essay, I need someone in the APC mandate forum to tell Adams Oshiomole to stop acting as the minister of information.

If he has any information he can pass them to the EFCC with ease and he does not have to shout about it. He should also note that we the people expect him to also face the law when his immunity days are over.

We don’t need new sensations or sensational headlines.

Looting did not start and end under Jonathan. Babangida and Obasanjo are also there to give accounts of what they stole and what was stolen under them.

Rather than selective persecution EFCC and the other appropriate agencies-the police, the judiciary should be given the freehand to perform. We have waited for several years for justice. Why make it selective? We expect a justice system that will serve without fear or favour and without limitation of time and space.

What Nigerians want to know, see or hear is the money returned to the treasury, the criminals behind bar and perfect processes where justice actually reigns and yields results.

Buhari and his sensational crew, especially Oshiomole, should spare Nigerians the trauma of revelation of sums of monies or barrels of crude oil stolen. Let the law acts instead but take the money back and show the people what you are doing with it.

Mr. Buhari, in Africa the morning shows the day (The Yorubas actually says Owuro l’ojo-morning is the day). So far, the morning of this administration, now 2 months has not been impressive. The people are not in a hurry. They have waited so long for this change and things must happen quickly.

When they were quiet, they were called resilient. Some irrelevant surveys even called them the happiest people on earth because they suffer and smile.

This resiliency and misinformation about the Nigerian state of mind were all the politicians and military men like you needed to destroy the giant of Africa. You (Mr. Buhari) and this old wasted generation made Nigeria the dwarf and laughing stock of Africa. You ruined it together!

Just like Obasanjo, you also have a rare second and last chance but it’s so far, not good.

The Glory of Nigeria must return and for sure, a lasting political solution will be an integral part of the solution that the upcoming generation will be looking into, should in case you fail again as the representative of the fading wasteful generation.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Still On The Matter-The APC Mandate

Any corrupt Nigerian who is holding on to what belongs to the people and government should be made to vomit them. All the ill-gotten material wealth and whatsoever they claimed or acquired or built at home and abroad through their lootocracy must be regained through the appropriate agencies. That is change and a promise kept.

Still On The Matter-The APC Mandate

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Mr. Buhari is yet to announce his cabinet. This issue will not go away until the names and faces of the ministers are made known. There are many theories why the ministers have not emerged.

Not least is the flying allegation that people like Obasanjo, Tinubu and Amaechi among other politicians have their own candidates and slots for some of the ministerial positions. It is also possible that ministers have not emerged because (probably) it is hard to find people who are active in politics who are not corrupt.

So it is likely that Buhari is turning down lists and names of people with criminal records coming from all quarters. The APC is on its way to breaking the Nigerian record of running a government without ministers, a kind of pseudo-autocracy.

Other things have been happening, things that may shapen the APC mandate. If taken to the expected extent, such things will definitely shape the future of Nigeria.

There has been quite a number of arrest or interrogations in recent weeks. As a matter of fact the number of bad or corrupt people interrogated since the inception of the Buhari/APC administration is more than the number that were interrogated during the 6 wasteful years of Ebele Jonathan.

One early disappointment was the acquittal of one Femi Fani-Kayode. The EFCC should cover its head in shame for not being able to bring justice in that case. Femi Fani-Kayode will remain a criminal in the people’s court of justice.

He is not the only living Nigerian who has been part of the destruction and looting of Nigeria. The list and names are endless. One can only hope that the outcome of his trial will not be a predetermined template for all the APC politicians and godfathers that we hope to see behind the dock soon as this war on corruption rages on.

Well, it is very important that what the Buhari administration has started continues to take its course through the agencies that are set-up to do just that. If the cleansing process is aimed at PDP politicians or only those who served under the criminally-inclined Jonathan administration, then there is palaver and k-leg in the matter. That is injustice.

The recent and ongoing revelations into how the economy was destroyed under Jonathan even as Mrs. Iweala continued to dish out rubbish economics and cooked reports to Nigerians and the entire world is rather sickening.

At this point l think Mrs. Iweala needs to be sent to a reputable institution in Nigeria for psychiatric evaluation. With some high level of flawed confidence and unpatriotic arrogance, she supervised the wasting of Nigeria’s fortunes while dishing out stories of number one economy and all that.

How can an individual be so wicked and heartless? What has happened to dignity and self-respect? What happened to the family names that we were brought up to protect and maintain? What has happpened to the audacity of walking away when one’s principles are compromised? Now, everybody including Ngozi is blaming Jonathan. What nonsense! You were all partners in crime! Heartless criminals!

The APC mandate cannot unfortunately close its eyes to these obvious crimes against humanity otherwise APC and Buhari will automatically become criminals too. These crimes must be pursued by the appropriate agencies and investigations and prosecutions brought to logical conclusions. Any other approach is tantamount to the Nigerian government being at war with the citizens.

Those fools from the Niger Delta who are hinting that Jonathan may be sent to jail should please shut up their mouths. The interests of 150m Nigerians cannot be slain because Jonathan is from the Niger Delta. They should please go and sit down somewhere.

The rest of us are watching and observing the processes that we hope will consume even part of those who started it. Who told them that Buhari will not answer the call of justice when his time is over? Has anyone told them that we are not going to see Babangida and Obasanjo on trial?

They should put on their seat belts as the wave of justice takes its course. Some of us have waited all our lives to see justice and any attempt to trivialise or tribalise it is completely unacceptable. What we look forward to is sustenance of justice and to make it a way of life forever in Nigeria.

Rather than shout foul as the investigation of the Jonathan administration proceeds, they should be asking for the extension of the investigation into all the other arms and areas of governance. They should be clamouring for justice in all the states of the federation irrrespective of whether they are under the control of APC or PDP or ANPP or the Labour party.

They outght to continue to remind APC and the Buhari administration that this should not be about Jonathan-Sambo investigation but also Obasanjo-Atiku investigation for their 8 years of corruption and looting. They outght to know that Babangida is alive and hale enough for judgement and justice.

Nigeria is broke and one person that knows that so well (pending her psychiatric evaluation actually) is Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Therefore anybody in Nigeria who is holding what belongs to the people and government should be made to vomit them.

The APC mandate must ensure that all of Nigerian currencies that are stashed away in foreign countries are retrieved and returned to the government. The people at home and abroad who have laundered the funds should be brought to justice.

All the structures that are built abroad by corrupt politicians or their accomplices (in form of family, friends and other cronies) should be confiscated, sold and the funds returned to the Nigerian treasury.

All the structures, hotels, SPAs, estates, cars, and whatever objects that people have acquired using Nigeria’s stolen wealth (or other forms of ill-gotten wealth) that are located within and outside Nigerian should be occupied by appropriate security forces or government agencies and handover to the Nigerian people and government.

We know how much civil servants and politicians earned and we know that all the wealth that these criminals boast of are not achievable in their life time multiplied by a certain factor x…how did they come about all these massive wealth? It can only be through primitive accumulation, stealing and looting.

The APC mandate promised Nigerians a change and we are watching. The sudden activation of the EFCC (though we expect them to nail their cases too) is a welcome development. The independence of the EFCC must be sustained. Again, we are watching. We will keep writing!

I will not finish any article without emphasizing that while it is Nigerians who brought woes upon themselves, it is imperative that a long lasting political solution will be inclusive for the redemption of Nigeria.

Today, Nigeria is running a system of government where almost everything depends on Buhari. Earlier it was dependent on Jonathan and before him on Yar ’ Adua and Obasanjo in that order since 1999.

In the 21st century that type of government is archaic and out of fashion. It is actually a senseless system of government. Whatever changes that have been introduced since May 29 2015 in Nigeria can collapse if Buhari collapse. That is not how to run a government. That is definitely not how to run a country!

Those in the National Assembly must play their roles. We know that they are mostly chasing wealth and power as the Saraki syndrome has shown us. We are still hoping that the likes of David Mark and Dimeji Bankole will be interrogated (and possibly face prosecution) so that they can return all that they stole from Nigeria back to Nigerians.

All the houses and structures they put up or bought at home and abroad while in office must be returned. These suggestions must transform to reality before the expiration of the APC mandate so that the change that the APC promised does not become a total fraud. That was by the way.

The National Assembly is indebted to Nigerians in fashioning a long-lasting political solution that will put the Nigerian political scenario on the right path. They should read the history of Nigeria and help Nigerians to understand that regional government was more functional than the unitary system that was created by the corrupt military.

Governance must be close to the people and for Nigeria everybody’s fate cannot continue to rely on the events in Abuja. It’s like mass suicide.

It took so long to realise that Nigeria is really messed up. If the internet was not developed and if the social media was not made interactive, Nigeria will probably be another story today. Still the division among Nigerians is massive.

Therefore, no matter what the future holds, either in a unitary Nigeria or in the various regions and states of the federation, Nigerians will always need patritotism, dedication to duty, family and community. There will be no true change if everything must depend on the government.

In this changing world occupied by transient beings, the people need to know that it is a collective responsibility if greatness must be attain.

Honesty, tolerance, selflessness, kindness, awareness of nature/environment and pursuance of the common good of mankind are ingredients that must be imbibed by all and sundry.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Stop press: when l woke up on Sunday morning (19-july) to continue/finish this article l read an headline somewhere that Buhari’s ministers have not emerged because those nominated so far are deemed to be part of the corrupt Nigeria

My Random Reflections @ 43

I’ve realised (a long time ago) that the most important bond in life is the family bond. No matter what happens, people should learn to look ahead and move on with their lives. I’ll keep on sharing and l’ll never stop believing that where there is life, there is hope.

My Random Reflections @ 43

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

This is the 8th edition of my random reflections.

l don’t know where the days and years have gone. l appreciate the things that make life worth living including but not limited to good health, family, friends and good-will humanity.

I am also grateful for all the small things that make the world goes round, small things like a smile and all the little favours that are paid forward by good, kind-hearted people everyday.

Since the last edition of this annual reflection there has been a change of government in Nigeria. A former dictator turned democrat Muhammed Buhari is now the president of Nigeria.

Unfortunately the platform that brought Buhari to power the APC is somewhat in a slight disarray. The party did so well to form a formidable opposition that eventually unseated the People’s Democratic Party-the PDP. The PDP failed to deliver on its promises to the masses.

The failed political party was a nest of killers that succeeded the military gangsters in 1999 and misruled the country until May 28 2015. Apart from the civil war years, those 16 years have gone down in history as the most terrible years of the Nigerian life. In the end it was the lazy and clueless Jonathan who was booted away from power

Sadly now, APC in its early days is already facing a lot of challenges.

But the business of governance must proceed and the whole world is waiting for the ministers that will serve in Buhari’s second coming. I have written about the solution to this dilemma in a previous article-A Political Stillbirth. Political parties must have shadow cabinet or government even before going into the election year.

Let no one be caught unaware, many supporters of the PDP and unrepentant jonathanians are just waiting for Buhari and APC to fail so that they can tell the world that the useless reign of PDP was preferable. They would like to prove that in the end, all politicians are the same irrespective of their political parties. They want to prove that the change slogan was a monumental fraud.

Unless Buhari and APC lose their senses of purpose and direction, they dare not perform below the expectations of the populace. They dare not after four years come up with excuses and reasons why they have failed.

One of the fears expressed in my random reflection a year ago was the prevalence of terrorism. That fear is still valid. Boko Haram, the gruesome murderers of the deserts, have gone insane. They need to be purged out of Nigeria without further delay. Bringing back security of lives and property across Nigeria remains one of the urgent challenges of the Abuja-based central government.

By the time Buhari spends 100 days in office, Nigeria may probably have the executive cabinet in place and there may be ministers to manage the affairs of governance. Then a real first report card of the Buhari-Osinbajo reign will be on the front pages of major newspapers.

Let me digress, there are several other things that shaped my life in the past 365 days.

In May 2015 for example, the Yoruba Union in Stockholm-Sweden had its 3rd annual Yoruba Day celebration. It has been a very wonderful experience to be part of the leadership of this group since inception in 2010.

We put up a show that continues to be the standard reference for African cultural events in Sweden.

Earlier in the year l appeared on a life national (Swedish) television program and spoke about Nigeria, Ibadan and the culture of the Yoruba people.

My previous appearance on Al-Jazeera television was nothing compared to this because then l had to pre-record a webcam-meeting for the television program about Nigeria and Sahara Reporters. This was the real deal but l thought it went well and the experience of holding up a Nigerian flag on the Swedish National television will remain priceless.

Sometimes l had given up about Nigeria.

Sometimes l tell myself that Nigeria can be better. So much that a few years ago l wrote an article titled: Keep Nigeria As One Country. There are so many benefits of being a big country with potentials that can transform Nigeria into a global super power.

If the leadership issue in Nigeria is rightly settled, if Nigeria has leaders instead of rulers then the country can truly transform from (local) regional power to the super power of Africa and a contender on the global scene.

In recent years however l have been supporting the re-creation of regions and a political system that will return power to the communities. This is because of the extreme misgovernnce at the center formerly in Lagos and now in Abuja.

Nigeria has been ruled largely by very wicked, selfish, narrow-minded people since 1960. It has not really been significant if they were civilians or military. They were humans with bad attitudes and deformed reasoning. Many were criminals!

The giant of Africa in 1960 is now among the crawlers in 2015. One day l stumbled on the story of a Nigerian girl who was among the thousands of migrants stranded in North Africa after a failed attempt to cross the mediterrenean to Europe.

Her story is the story of millions of hopeless Nigerian youth. They were born into uncertainties and raised against all odds in total hopelessness in a country almost devoid of electricity and other basic amenities of life. They were raised under a socially unjust system.

The story would have been different if governance was organised and if the system worked.

But Nigerians destroy Nigeria at the altar of several vices making selfishness and greed the top crucifix.

For now, in all of these undesirable scenarios, the only choice ahead of APC and Buhari as its arrow-head is to succeed. Otherwise they can call for a new election in 2017 or a referedum should they hit the bottom sooner than later.

Ordinary Nigerians, l am sure, will like to take their future in their hands and form a way forward especially in their various regions rather than be locked in a permanent wedding of failure, terrorism and unending hopelessness.

To find a lasting political solution in Nigeria will always be paramount because of the distrust and tension hanging over the land all the time. It is time to take the message to the people on how they want to live and how they want to be governed.

Until a certain government makes that bold move, Nigeria will always be in need of changes in her political structure: a need that virtues like social justice and unflinching welfare of the citizens could have sealed under a functional system.

As for the celebration of my birthday, for the first time in 3 years, l’m bringing close friends to our home. It’s going to be a small barbecue party.

The biggest gift this year is my brother visiting us in Sweden after attending a course in Germany.

I’ve realised (a long time ago) that the most important bond in life is the family bond. As l drove to the airport some memories and flash backs crossed my mind and my eyes were swollen with tears.

When l think about the journeys, our dreams, our childhood, the brotherhood and the hoods we’ve been through, l’m grateful for everything and l realised that indeed every disappointment can be a blessing in disguise.

No matter what happens, people should learn to look ahead and move on with their lives.

I’ll celebrate.

I’ll keep moving on. I’ll keep on sharing and l’ll never stop believing that where there is life, there is hope.

aderounmu@gmail.com

A Political Stillbirth

Didn’t we warn about the roles of political prostitutes in Nigeria?  The generational bastards-who are carbon copies of their criminal fathers-are now gradually taking control of the change machinery.

A Political Stillbirth

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Though many will continue to argue that APC or the new government headed by Buhari should be given time to adjust and get to work, still the situation at the end of June 2015, one month after the new government was inaugurated, is simply unacceptable.

One of the consistent arguments in recent essays l’d written is the suggestion that Nigeria needs a political solution to most of the problems that plague her.

Political solutions can be taken from different perspectives. For example, the biggest transformation will be to overhaul the system and bring governance to the grassroots so that the people can closely monitor their politicians, scrutinize them and boot them out of office for corruption, non-performance and inefficiency.

An argument for regional government has been rife for many years because of the failure of the pseudo-federal system that is practised in Nigeria. The Senate and the House of Representatives in Nigeria still represent a watse of money and something many regard as senseless organs of govenrment.

The likely stillbirth of the APC government has also now brought into focus another missing link in the physiology of the various political parties in Nigeria.

This missing link is so bad, and in fact so sad it is hard to deny that Nigeria is in the hands of a bunch of opportunists and dunces. I mean that after one month, it is still impossible to consitute a functional government. How else can one qualify those on whose shoulders or laps the mantle of rulership just fell?

This also reminds me of a few lines in some previous essays where l dismissed the campaigns of both the APC and PDP as mere charades.

In the course of building a political party, the starters need to find intellectuals who will drive every relevant question relating to politics, the economy and of course social issues among several others that (should) usually steer the outcome of elections.

In all political parties, there should be departments that represent every facet of governance. The implication is that every political party owes itself a shadow government.

The electorate or a voter should be able to make phone calls to the APC headquarter and request to speak with the department of power and steel, or the department of youth and development or the department of economy and social welfare.

Invariably there should be an expert or a group of experts within the party who manage all the issues and questions affecting the party and the citizens as a whole.

The importance of the hierarchy among these experts cannot be overemphasized.

It should be based on merit, experience, loyalty and service to the people and the community. It is such structures that make the emergence of a new government stress-free in what we called the advanced countries or countries with functional democracy. Such is the reason why the opposition party/government is ever ready to take control of governance when the ruling party collapse.

When Buhari emerged as the APC presidential candidate, why did the officers or experts in the various areas (economy, power supply, transport, youth affairs, justice, and so on) not emerge parallel at the same time based on merit, knowledge, experience, loyalty and political pedigree?

Why is the emergence of this think-tank taking more than one month to be constituted? No one should blame it on restructuring or resizing. Those are useless excuses.

Some of the real answers are not far-fetched.

Buhari was definitely not prepared for office. The hallmark of his campaign was silence but the APC social media prowess propelled him to fame and eventual victory. We have been cornered into forgoing the rigging that went with the elections.

Apart from Buhari’s lack of preparedness for office, there are other factors, some of them as old as the Nigeria that emerged in october 1960. There is always a constant force (many call it the cabal) that usually derail Nigeria just when you think there is a new hope.

Then on her own part, the APC will provide a lot of explanations and reasons why Buhari’s ministers may not emerge until a certain date. They will not tell the world how many variations of ministerial lists that are being submitted by various interest groups, persons and organisations whose sole interests is to continue to profit from Nigeria as the people continue to suffer and wait in vain for the dividends of democracy.

Nigeria is at a standstill. She has been at this point several times before. The present disgusting political scenario is an avoidable stillbirth.

Between 1999 and 2015, 16 years was wasted as corruption occupied Nigeria and PDP sent Nigeria and Nigerians down the drain.

The opportunity to compare what the APC government has to offer between now and 2019 is already been wasted. The PDP infiltrated the change movement through the fake latter days converts like Saraki and co..and it appears that the APC is now in disarray because of the ambitions of some fools in power and the continuous adoption of political criminals and political criminals.

Didn’t we warn about the roles of political prostitutes in Nigeria?

The APC change partially appears genuine but it was not going to be perfect because of the criminality of the politicians. However it is now too easy to condemn the APC altogether already just one month after they emerged. The fears that politicians do not change or that they are the same is being tested.

In any case, if the nonsense that has happened in the last one month remain the characteristics of the APC, if the APC does not find a way to uproot all the vagabonds and traitors in her midst, it means that they have already failed in advance before the examination day.

For the future, even as a lasting political solution is being pursued, the political parties need to put their houses in order, properly.

As they set to campaign, they need to have their officers and ministers in place. It is these officers or ministers (to be) who should be campaigning and answering all the political and economic questions at rallies. Just as VP Osiyemi was known during the campaign, all the other likely emerging people should have been visible and presented.

They are the ones who should be facing the multitude and telling about why they should be voted for and what their political parties have to offer.

In that way, the people already have an idea of who and who that are coming on board. It also provides a way to look at the characters and nature of a government that is emerging or the one that intends to continue in office.

I do not want to agree that Buhari was a bait provided by Tinubu/APC to continue the business of looting at the Federal level. Rather what l see now is a group of people denying Nigerians the completion of a process that would have been easily evaluated for continuity say in 2017 or 2018.

Many people condemned the PDP for 16 years for the ways they ruined Nigeria and Nigerians. Why is it too hard to try a complete turnaround process of 4 years? How can we access the APC government when it has already been hijacked at this stage?

I think Nigerians need a series of massive demonstrations/rallies that will force the resignations of all those who have forced themselves into offices through crooked means. Transparancy and fairness should be encouraged.

The people who are obstacles to the change Nigerians are waiting for need to be confronted head-on right away. The bastard politicians, some with the carbon copy traits of their fathers are becoming generational obstacles.

Some people stood up for 16 years and masterminded the change of 2015. Why should they suddenly be pushed under? If Nigerians allow the generational bastards to take control of the change machinery, then the pages of change as a process should be closed forever.

By 2017 or 2018, if the real APC government must be accessed for performance as a party that is actually ruling, Nigerians must help them bring down all those who are already strangulating the baby before the naming ceremony. This perpetual political stillbirth is dangerous. For the good of all, the political stillbirth must be aborted once and for all.

aderounmu@gmail.com