Status Quo: The Way Things Were

On the status quo of Nigeria, things have not changed at all.

Status Quo: The Way Things Were

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Last week l lamented the crawling nature of Nigeria as an independent country at 55. It was a mixed reaction on the social media. Many Nigerians celebrated the day as if Nigeria is the most developed country in the world. I can understand that where there is life, there is hope.

One man was bitter about the nature of Nigerian prisons. He nearly wept openly in his video post that went spiral among some users of the social media. His lamentations are genuine as Nigerian prisons remain a place where the guilty and the innocent are blended under life threatening circumstances.

However for those who painted the picture of a Nigerian paradise, they must know that refraining from telling the true nature of things is part of the hindrance to national or state development.

A general picture that all is well will continue to make the rulers celebrate in their enclaves while the real life situation shows (for example) that more than about 500 people may die due to road accidents only in the next 24 hours.

We are told that N70 million was spent to celebrate a failed country-Nigeria. No problem! Jonathan the prodigal son was alleged to have spent several billions annually. He has since denied the allegations, quite swiftly too. So in the era of the APC mandate N70 million is a chicken change. As far as no one is giving a breakdown of how the N70m went down, it is still part of the organised crime perpetrated by the government of Nigeria.

Meanwhile, as security remains a critical issue in Nigeria, several innocent lives continued to be wiped away due to terrorism. In the days of Jonathan, a man we knew as weak and incompetent, the condemnation was rife and totally in place. In the days of Buhari, a lot of people have been quiet and pretentious.

Don’t be silly Nigerians! Even if we supported a change of government, it should never stop us from demanding that Buhari must be held accountable for all that happens under his watch. Why the sudden state of timidity? Who cares if Buhari thinks that the press is too inquisitive? Does he want to suppress our freedom of expression again? The resilience of the internet warriors will shock him into convulsion.

How can it be right to criticize Jonathan for deaths in the hands of Boko Haram while we now lack the balls to criticize Buhari who could not spare a few minutes to visit the hospitals where victims and corpses have been deposited? Buhari will soon be sending his kitchen servants to watch and analyse the capital market and make reports on the economy.

It will not be an easy task to adjust all the errors that have brought Nigeria to her knees, crawling after 55 years of independence. Certainly one way not to proceed is to continue feeding Nigerians with lies and propaganda.

The APC mandate and the Buhari government whilst trying to fix Nigeria must be seen to be honest, sincere and trustworthy. No government will be perfect, just as no individual exists without faults.

Again, the Buhari government needs to come out clean, sincere and move Nigeria ahead while accepting when it has done wrong and making amends to avoid repetition of same errors and the errors of the previous government. Nigeria cannot afford another government driven by lies and propaganda.

In New York this past week, it was a show of shame for the Buhari government. It goes a long way to show that Buhari has a very weak team in charge of his itinerary and logistics. A couple of meetings were missed or screwed up. And the government lied!

In these days where ignorance is a disease and not an excuse, it would have been wiser for Buhari to stay in Abuja and call in sick rather than flying to the view of the world to show incompetences, lack of decorum, and lack of knowledge about global affairs.

As l see it now, the change of government was necessary but the parade of ineptitude that l have seen in recent days are very avoidable. This is where Nigerians should be concerned about what we have always written about.

It is time to build a functional political structure so that the competence of the institutions and the know-how of a competent workforce can always see Nigeria through, even when the ruler or leader has some shortcomings. Right now the shortcomings of Buhari are massive and the more he is exposed the more the shame and lies his government will have to cover.

For the future Nigeria has a lot to prove. In the past graduates like Yar Adua did not last while Jonathan was a huge joke. But by consistently asking for what is right and rejecting what is bad and evil, one day, say in 2019, the upcoming generation of Nigerians can enthrone an all-rounder citizen to lead her affairs at the center. The idea that the regions should be autonomous and running should not be relegated. It will raise Nigerian from her knees and make her a giant again.

My persistent call for the arrest and trial of all corrupt people in Nigeria will not dwindle in the face of the Diezani trial that may commence in London. Nigerian rulers and sadly Nigerian insitutions are still entrapped in slave mentality.

Why does it have to take the audacity of the British to arrest a thief like Diezani? How much money did Nigeria lose to the British after the Ibori trial? How much of Nigeria’s stolen oil money will be left in the British treasury when Diezani’s trial is over?

Is the Nigerian judiciary going to wait for the British to arrest all Nigerian criminal politicians? Is Buhari waiting for the British and the Americans to arrest all the Halliburton criminals? They will arrest them or their children in due time because they can confiscate the monies stolen and pay a token to the Nigerian government. Who’s the loser here?

This is a sad situation, l mean the slave mentality of the Nigerian government is very shameful.

On the status quo of Nigeria, things have not changed at all. The ministerial list flying across Nigeria contains familiar names. There are names of governors for example who have not given due accounts of their stewardships in offices. Is this the list that took 3 months to compile? Seriously?

Why all the lies? Why all the deceits from Buhari? This list could have emerged 24 hours after the APC mandate came into effect.

A lot of people were expecting new names and fresh hands of people who can never be suspected of corruption or looting. Buhari took the familiar path-ministerial positions are the rewards for campaigns, sponsorships, godfatherism and loyalty to political parties.

As we see clearly now, there were no saints working behind the scenes afterall. It’s largely the same old corrupt bunch being recycled by Mr. Buhari and the APC.

When he came back on, Buhari made it sound as if it will be different. His handlers need to tell him that lies are bad and too many lies and not facing reality was the beginning of the downfall of the Jonathan government. Oh! that government has no iota of morality, it was looting on a free fall.

We have a status quo, a hard to change country. What is different (but yet to be proven) is that it may be slightly more difficult to steal like the days of Obasanjo and Jonathan where the goats and the animated yams interlocked.

There is no better time to strengthen the institutions of government than now. Nigeria cannot continue to rely on Britain and the US to arrest or prosecute her political and public office criminals.

That would look like a Tom And Jerry game: they let Nigerian criminal politicians transfer money to their domains, arrest them and confiscate the money. If the arrest and trials are done in Nigeria the conditions will change to the benefits of Nigeria.

If that happens, there will be less corruption and the future can be hopeful. This hope will depend largely on an independent and fortified judiciary amongst other institutions (like the police with a vigour) that will be bold to take this struggle against corruption to the desired level.

When the problem of corruption is faced head-on and minimized, other things including the diversification of the economy will fall in line. Then Buhari will take his eyes off the petroleum sector because there may be a more lucrative groundnut pyramid to give attention to, in a world where the campaign is less dependency on crude oil. Renewable energies are coming, please tell Buhari so. The price of oil may dwindle more.

Nigerians need social justice and a sane environment. Without them, the dreams we have of a better country and a place where freedom, peace and justice reign will remain a mirage.

Buhari and APC should leave the status quo, stop telling lies and let go of propaganda. For a second let them think of the Nigeria where they want their children and grandchildren to live and be happy.

At 55, Nigeria Still Crawls

Without complete and due accountability, without a system of government that removes power from one man in one place now called Abuja, Nigeria will crawl even when she celebrates 100 years of independence.

At 55, Nigeria Still Crawls


Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

The present status of Nigeria is still fragile, more like in the heartbreaking mode.

Week 40 of 2015, 4 days to Nigeria at 55 and Mr. Buhari is not in Nigeria. There are no ministers to run the various ministries and federal departments. There are no blueprints or references or working documents to measure the performance of government.

This is lack of respect for more than 160 m people! It is disregard to the principles of democracy and good governance. It is a way of creating confusion in the land.

Candidly l don’t think Mr. Buhari knows the difference between civilian rule and military rule yet. It is disgraceful that the APC and Mr. Buhari cannot produce ministers more than 100 days after their mandate came into effect. They are not ready to lead the country and if care it not taken Nigeria’s economy will suffer greatly. The people will become poorer.

Surely the saintly, angelic ministers must appear someday. But how the APC-mandate under Mr. Buhari will unfold will be of historic significance.

No one has spoken openly about how public education will be revived and made affordable. No one has spoken about housing, standard of living and the welfare of the citizens. No one has spoken about how to move Nigerian hospitals away from religious or revival centers to structures where lives can be saved and cherished.

The pictures emerging from New York showing how Mr. Buhari and Mr. Obasanjo are mingling with Mr. Gordon are extremely insignifcant to the welfare of Mama Taju and Baba Chukwudi who are waiting in Ilasamaja and Onitsha respectively for the blueprints on the education of their children and how their future can be ensured.

Buhari OBJ Gordon

Buhari OBJ Gordon

This has been the pattern, that Nigerian rulers and the conquerors of Abuja continue to maintain a distance from the people. The reliance on the ineffective unitary system of government and the insincerity of the state and local governments are perfect scenarios for misgovernance and maladministration-the hallmarks of public service across Nigeria.

I remember the assault on us when Nigeria became 25 years as an independent country. There were all sorts of sponsored jingles on the national TV channels and radio stations.

Arise, salute the nation, come join the celebrations, Nigeria is 25, Nigeria is 25. Every day, every time, this jingle was imposed on our minds and melted into our subconsciousness.

Nigerian rulers are ruthless and they lack respect for the citizens. The jingles in 1960 and the jingles in 1985 orchestrated by the civilians looters and the military gangsters respectively were part of the greater plot to enslave Nigerians.

Sadly in the days approaching 2016 the majority of the Nigerian population are living as slaves. It is even sadder that the people who are living as slaves do not realise this. They have become so pre-ocuppied with different survival strategies that they do not even have the awareness that they  are living the lifestyles they didn’t choose, one which the power to change will always be in their hands.

The immediate post-independence generation is gradually fading away without winning back the Nigeria of their dreams. They allowed the criminal politicians and the military gangsters among them to get away just like that because of tribal or ethnic sentiments among other unacceptable reasons that promote evil over good.

Similarly the entire post-independent generations are entangled in a struggle between hope, promises and fading dreams. They grew up seeing their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, their friends and families carting away the treasuries from the local, state and federal governments.

Some of them are direct or indirect beneficiaries of this social malady. The majority are on-lookers shouting every weekend in mosques, shrines and churches. Some are disconnected totally from reality and thereby choose to kill, maim or kidnap others. They turn their anger and frustrations on fellow citizens using religion as a platform. Religion will remain among the most dangerous inventions of man.

As a result of the network of political gangsterism in Nigeria, the fight for a common country with fairness for all was lost a long time ago. It does not appear that the struggle for the emancipation of the masses will be fought again unless the civil society become organised and united.

When I am doing fine and when my family is doing better than our neighbours, l don’t care. This slogan is the hidden Nigerian anthem.

The selfishness and the evil in the hearts of men in any country are stumbling blocks working against the spirit of patriotism and the achievement of the common good of all.

There are radical ways to bring Nigeria back on track.

The government must work for the people and the people must work for the government. The political system must be right and the institutions of government must be functional.

All the things that have crumbled must be revived at the same time. Education, Health, Housing and Roads among a growing list of the things that have made life less worth living in Nigeria. Family planning and citizen orientation will avail much.

At some point the people must find the trigger to orchestrate the fight for what they want and how they wish to live a better life. The government full of corrupt people and treasury looters will not offer it to them on a platter of gold.

It must be emphasized that only an insignificant proportion of the Nigerian population have had it well. Even then they have co-existed with the wretched population in the same environment that is full of abnormalities.

All the sad situations in Nigeria are well known. Some people want critics to proffer solutions and we reply by saying the answer lies in good governance and accountability. It is as easy as doing what is right, condemning what is wrong and making sure you leave every situation better than you met it. How hard is that?

We have added that the political system and the political structures are not working. They give room to the emergence of criminals in public services under a unitary system that makes dictators out of democrats and tyrants out of soldiers.

Nigeria is always at a crossroads, the choices that the people and the government make each time are always on the wrong side of history. For example, Saraki is on trial and the man has not even resigned! Nigerian politicians are special breeds of criminals, hard-heartened and die-hard looters.

What decision can Nigeria make at this time? Another easy question!

After Saraki’s trial and wherever the law leaves him (free or in prison), Nigerians have a collective responsibility to continue this process of cleaning the political and public arenas.

There are Halliburton criminals in Nigeria and they are friends of Buhari, even travelling the world with him! Buhari is not even ashamed of what ordinary citizens are ashamed of. He is not yet a good ruler! It still looks like the birds of the same feather.

Nigerians have the power to occupy the entire country until the judiciary orders the police to produce all the Halliburton criminals in court. Let’s see where the judiciary will leave them when their trials are over.

Why should Nigerians even stop there? There are several hundrerds or thousands of politicians and military gangsters living in Nigeria and abroad who have looted the treasuries. Do they have 2 heads while Saraki has one?

Again, Nigerians have the right to occupy their country or the judiciary until justice served to one is served to all.

There are many ways to move Nigeria forward and two signals that need to be clear are that stealing is corruption and that no one is above the law.

One way not to move Nigeria forward is the ruling government playing the role of the opposition. The APC leadership has perfected the art of responding to PDP’s disruptive PRO machinery. The government that should lead is stupidly playing the opposition because of its lack of creativity and initiative.

As all these play out, if some people remain above the law, more than 90% of Nigerians will continue to live forever as slaves no matter the style of governance.

The way to make Nigeria great is to make every single citizen account for their time and service to country and humanity. Without complete and due accountability, without a system of government that removes power from one man in one place now called Abuja, Nigeria will crawl even when she celebrates 100 years of independence.

Olu Falae’s Kidnapp/Abduction Is An Act Of War

By Adeola Aderounmu

Update….Chief Falae is now a free man again. We are waiting to hear the true version of what happened. Fulani or Yoruba or Igbo kidnappers???

Baba please let us hear. 24.sept 2015 update.

Previous Post below:

Olu Falae is missing.

Olu Falae

Olu Falae

One thing that the police confirmed is that Fulani herdsmen invaded Olu Falae’s farm. They attacked him and his workers.

Until there are information to prove this theory wrong, then one is bound to react on the statement made by the police.

If it will turn out to be an inside job, we don’t know yet.

Therefore our reactions are based on what we know now.

The only confirmed aspect of this story gives the impression of a foreign assault on Yorubaland and a direct invitation to war.

The national security agencies and the state police command must make the finding of Olu Falae their common priority.

What has happened to Olu Falae is completely unacceptable.

The Hausa Herdsmen or the Hausa people that may have abducted or kidnapped Falae must produce him alive, immediately.

If anything happens to him, no one will be able to guarantee the security of the Hausa community in Western Nigeria.

This is why Buhari must speak the language that his people understand.

Our common hope is that the police and the other security agencies will see to the end of the dilemma ASAP.

Whatever any Yoruba citizen has written about the seriousness of this kidnapp/abduction must not be taken with a pinch of salt.

The well-being of the Yoruba people is parmount in the Yorubaland. When one of us is unduly harrassed or subjected to this form of unnecessary humiliation, then we are all harrassed and humiliated.

I am shocked beyond words that some idiots and useless elements within Nigeria will abduct a yoruba elder from Yorubaland.

If the abductors are Hausa herdsmen, someone should remind them of the genesis of the Nigerian civil war. This is even worse because the man is on his farm in his own country-Western Nigeria.

The government of Nigeria must ensure that the fools are apprehended as soon as possible and that Baba Falae returns home.

There are no alternatives to this demand.

Saraki: Between Politics, Justice And The Common Good

Last week l asked Buhari why his cronies in the Halliburton scandal are still walking free. This week, Saraki’s supporters are asking why the judiciary is digging up Saraki’s criminal cases. Justice served to one must be served to all!

Saraki: Between Politics, Justice And The Common Good

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

There are good reasons why Nigerians should let the law takes its course on Bukola Saraki. If that means that he will be sent to prison for a while or even for the rest of his life, Nigerians should let it be. But many will disagree.

Yet, in my own opinion this is another opportunity to start the long-awaited process of social revolution in Nigeria.

Some people may think l am naive because of my expectations from the country called Nigeria. No l am not. I am just waiting for that final trigger that will gradually or suddenly eradicate all the criminal-parents and criminal-children of the criminal parents in Nigerian politics and military set-ups. These criminals together stole our future on the Nigerian soil.

As you read, they continue to steal the future of the unborn generation.

Nigeria has a long way to freedom as l always write at the end of my essays. The decay in Nigeria’s political arena remains massive and unprecendented.

The systemic decay since Nigeria’s independence in 1960 led to misrule, emergence of criminals in government and application of inappropriate political and military systems in the (mis)rule of Nigeria.

So in Nigeria today we have a confused generation coming on the trails of the persistent wasted generations.

My emphasis of labelling Nigerian politicians as criminals will be relevant until the cleansing process consumes all the consumables. I thought we should have cleansed the system by 2009 but now in 2015 Nigerians are still struggling daily with criminals in political offices spread across the country.

The struggle to cleanse the system will probably continue even when my confused and divided generation is long gone because the confusion and insincerity traits in Nigeria seems to have become genetic.

Sometimes some people ask, what is wrong with black people? They mean what is wrong with Africans? But it is this same people who become part of government and continue with the sickening syndrome of looting Nigeria and enriching themselves and their families.

So, indeed, what is wrong with Nigerians?

Don’t look too far. Some student rulers (not leaders) from western Nigeria made a student union budget recently and made the headlines for the wrong reasons. They blew the expenditures out of proportion and made room for looting. They are just students but already criminals!

This is a confirmation that corruption and political madness have become genetic traits in Nigeria and thereby pass-able from the wasted generation to the confused generation.

Criminality, an offspring of the decayed and corrupt system is seen as a legitimate right in Nigeria. Despite our weekly shout-outs, criminality and corruption continue to fight back, in massive doses.

On Bukola Saraki there is no need to be divided on the issue.

Nigerians have always failed to seize opportunities that could lead them to a social revolution, one that could bring some measure of justice and sanity to the polity.

True, Bukola Saraki is not the only criminal in public office. Almost all Nigerian politicians are criminals. So he can feel violated not because he is not guilty but rather because the police have not been given the go ahead to arrest Babangida, Abdulsalami and Obasanjo. In addition to corruption, there were state sponsor murders under these men!

Why is Saraki suitable for arrest and not the rest of the corrupt politicians in Nigeria?

This is where every government in Nigerians has failed! This is where Buhari-led APC just like Obasanjo-led PDP is adding to the endless problems in Nigeria.

You cannot handpick a criminal in the midst of thousands of criminals. It is wrong to start with one criminal when you have the net that can pick 10, 20 or even 30 at the same time.

You cannot chase one criminal out of a million. If an arrest warrant was given say to 10 or 20 alleged criminals or murderers irrespective of whether they are in service or retired, Saraki and his supporters will shiver even more.

Handpicking criminals and selectively prosecuting them are the hallmarks of political witch hunt. Saraki’s current war will be seen as a political vendetta no matter if that is true or not.

He has disobeyed all the tenets in the APC book since his deceptive cross-over from PDP. His dilemma is right in the face of the law.

However to handpick Saraki alone from a massive pool of criminals in the system is not fairplay.

This is where Buhari and APC are going wrong and perpetrating a system inconsistent with the war against corruption slogan. Make it real, make it total and don’t make it personal.

Last week l reminded Buhari of his friends and cronies in the Halliburton scandal. Why not open their cases parallel so everyone can see justice is universal and respecter of no one?

Irrespective of the interpretation of the Saraki dilemma, my position is that no matter how long it takes the law must be able to catch up with a criminal. Let all criminals go to prisons for a long time or forever. Let it be so.

Rather than try to shield Bukola, his confused supporters eating from the crumbs on his table or from the looted funds via the Nigerian Senate and the organised civil society owe it as an obligation to press the same judiciary and the police to ensure that known criminals like Babangida, Obasanjo and all the other hitherto untouchables are lined up next.

NANS supporting Bukola Saraki is just rubbish. NANS standing behind a criminal is yet another indication that corruption and criminality have become genetic in Nigeria. The children running NANS are part of a confused generation. What a sad situation!

To be clear, we always know that time is not a factor in criminal cases. The Bukola Saraki case justifies what some of us have us argued for. Bring criminals to justice no matter how long ago they committed their crimes.

Buhari and APC should stop playing with fire and time bombs. Stop the selective prosecutions! Bring the Halliburton criminals to justice as well!

I know some people support Saraki because they oppose Buhari and they are still in fetish love with Jonathan. Some of these people suffering from political hangover will even accuse Tinubu as being behind the Saraki’s dilemma instead of asking the judiciary and the police to extend their operations to cover all suspected political criminals.

Some people oppose Saraki not because they want the law system to work but rather because Saraki went against the desire of the APC in the National Assembly.

In 2007 around december 12 the EFCC took hold of one criminal called James Ibori. It was in those days when Facebook has not become widely used among Nigerians and the awareness created by the social media was still in incubation.

I wrote a piece on the NVS the next day after Ibori’s arrest on how EFCC should continue to pick up the remaining criminals and hoping that if they do that over a period of 2 years, Nigeria will be cleansed up to a large extent anyway.

But Ibori was let off the hooks in Nigeria. Again, it makes me look naive. I am not. I just want the best things to happen to Nigeria.

EFCC has proven to be largely a toothless bulldog. At some point it was Obasanjo’s tail in the hands of Ribadu-the servant of Adamawa.

EFCC is submerged in its own corruption cases. The ICPC too.

What happened to Ibori after his arrest is now history. Everyone who was not born yesterday knew that it took a foreign country to put him behind bars. It is just like an irony because the country where Ibori is currently jailed is loaded with looted monies from Nigeria.

There have been several cases after Ibori. Plea bargaining set many criminals on free foot in Nigeria. They pay a certain percentage of their loot, usually an insignificant sum to the Nigerian government and they walk free.

Sometimes even in the absence of plea bargaining many criminals have walked free or served ridiculous jail terms.

How should we reason at a time like this?

It seems that our awareness have reached a common threshold compared to when some of us where shouting alone at the top of our voices in 2002 or in 2007. How some of us have written on the same topic about Nigeria for several years is even worth reviewing.

When are we going to have the reach we desire so that one day Nigerians can collectively see the difference between good and evil irrespective of tribal inclinations or political affiliations?

Yes it is going to be a long way to freedom if Nigerians allow Saraki to escape justice in the court of law. Let him go there and argue his innocence.

This is the way forward if we want Babangida, Abdusalami, Obasanjo, Fani-Kayode, Akpabio, Tinubu and even Buhari in the same court of law so that they can give accounts of their stewardships in office.

Saraki’s dilemma can open the door to a social revolution. Nigerians, let it be. Ask that the justice be served round and sustained.

Why can’t we see it this way? Why can’t we seize the moment that can orchestrate the revolution of the people by asking the judiciary and the police to never stop until justice for one becomes justice for all?

The Road To Perdition?

Buhari is enjoying the rape of the Jonathan administration whilst his friends and cronies in the Halliburton international scandal are having dinner with him daily. What a scandal! What a shame!

The Road To Perdition?

Countries that are rated as best performers or least corrupt around the world do not have leaders who have declared their assets. They do not have to. They have functional media and investigative journalism that reveals anomalies in wealth acquisition and properties that are not correlated with earnings.

They have a tax system that monitors property. They have a police system that monitors private and public citizens. The judiciary works and the entire system, mostly, is functional.


I stand to be corrected that in places where such systems operate and work for the citizens, that they are not better gifted intellectually than Nigerians or even Africans. So if one argues that Nigeria cannot have such a system after 16 years of democracy, it will be a submission to the nonsensical white supremacy or self-acquired inferiority complex.

Heads up now you Africans!

Assets declaration (especially if it is constitutional) is a useless distraction. Only a thief or one who plans to be a criminal or a system that expects criminals in government will encourage such a stupid clause in the constitution. Imagine that there is also an immunity clause in the Nigerian constitution. Is that not a contradiction?

Declare your assets but you will not go to jail even if you have stolen them. Recently I asked why criminals are the politicians we chose in Nigeria.

When a man declares his assets without further explanations on how he acquired the assets, then the asset declaration is even useless. You have a house in London. Is it your family’s inheritance? Is it a gift from the Queen of England? Did you save so much money as a civil servant or you did a business that was so profitable that you were able to afford it?

In non-abstract mathematics, answers are useless without the processes or methods to show how you arrived at the answers. Even medical research findings must come with methods and procedures.

Declaring one assets does not mean that one is a not a criminal or a public treasury looter. In a rare case that one is able to save all the excess salaries and greedy allowances that the (criminal) politicians in Nigeria pay themselves while the ordinary citizens crawl in penury, it still does not make it fair. It’s all nonsense and ingredients!

One thing that the Nigerian people ought to know is that the system of government even now under Buhari is still built on deceit, lies and obvious propaganda. It is shocking how loyalists to any government pick up one tiny detail or some pieces of deceits and mould it to extreme achievements.

Is this where you want to be as a (sleeping) giant of Africa? Seriously, is this the life you choose to live?

Nigerians need to wake up from the state of permanent slumber. They need to wake up from government-induced comatosis. For once they should try to follow up on events, activities, investigations, promises, remarks, comments and all that affect their lives.

Nigerians tolerate a lot of nonsense and they are easily taken for rides by their governments-federal, state and local. It pains so see that those who benefits from a prevailing government of the day or still looking for that opportunity to partake in the looting or sharing of any part of the national cake help to propagate deceits or to close the chapters on matters of national interest.

When the problem starts from the top, it is hard to nip it in the bud.

Buhari’s government has been boxed into a corner. It is several of Buhari’s personal friends and Buhari himself who have destroyed Nigeria such that even after 16 years of the so-called democracy, Nigeria remains in LIMBO.

Buhari is setting more bad examples of how not to govern if Nigeria is to rise again. Nigerians were deceived to think that a saint has emerged. The first test of Buhari’s anticorruption crusade was to show all his friends in the Halliburon scandal the road to kirikiri. He failed.

What did Buhari tell the judiciary? What has he been doing to the police? They have failed to arrest and start the prosecution of all the criminals in the Halliburton scandal. Buhari is rather enjoying the rape of the Jonathan administration whilst dinning daily with his international criminal friends. This is a shame! It is a scandal out of measurable magnitude!

All the Halliburton criminals that have visited Buhari in Aso rock must have gone with one message or the other. Could those messages include a blackmail of revealing all the financial mess involving Buhari when he was petroleum minister and when he was in charge of PTF? Do all Nigerian rulers live with criminal tags hanging over their necks?

Nigerians do not follow up on issues that affect their lives negatively. They do not follow up on the issues that should be brought to logical conclusions so that lessons can be learnt and life can be better for all. Nigeria has a pool of criminals now generally classified as UNTOUCHABLES.

The Nigerian media is so useless in this regard. The brown envelope syndrome is as old as Nigeria and the media outfits today are controlled by one political godfather or the other. The rest belongs to the PDP or APC-alignment. There is almost no free press within Nigeria or on the web. He who pays the piper is the common slogan for almost all of them.

There are ways to bring some degree of sanity to the government while some of us are still waiting for the ultimate political solution. Citizen responsibility and patriotism are lacking in Nigeria. Once a man is ok, the others can rot for all he cares. This attitude is killing the spirit of the country.

One man will say that Buhari is less corrupt than Jonathan. Another will say Abacha stole more than IBB. Then one will conclude that Obasanjo is their Baba. They are all speaking on tribal sentiments or based on what they or their families have benefited from all the useless dictators. I say all of them are criminals.

Until that day when tribal marks are taken off political criminals or military gangsters, Nigeria as a country may remain on the road to perdition.

Since Nigerians have refused to fight a common war for the good of all, the country remains in disunity. It remains in the hands of those who know nothing about positive governance and how to make a mighty country out of all the abundance of wealth and human resources scattered in all the nations that make up Nigeria. This is one of the greatest tragedies of modern era-that a country so blessed parades some of the poorest people in the world.

Before you forget Nigerians, please remember that a criminal built a first-class hospital in Akwa Ibom but went abroad after sustaining injuries in a road accident. When he comes back, ask him why he went abroad after building a first-class hospital in his state.

More importantly, put him and his contemporaries on trial. It is time for them to account for their time in power. Don’t forget the man who made a website for N78 m in a world where is still free!

One governor called Amosun sacked some teachers and educationists in western Nigeria for doing their jobs. Have the teachers been recalled? If not, all the people living in that state are fools! Their children’s future will remain in jeopardy and they may be on the road to perdition.

So many governors cannot pay workers’ salaries and they have not been impeached or even resigned out of shame. Nigerian wonder!

One governor budgeted N200 m for prayer warriors. Adamawa is definitely under a spell if that money has not been recalled to build houses for the homeless.

I recall an outgoing season of madness in Nigeria and I know that as September is running out, Nigerians are stuck with a boring Buhari-reality show. One day the members of the stain-free executive will arrive on a saintly mission as we have been told.

If they miss the opportunity to work with the lazy, money-sucking National Assembly to restructure Nigeria politically so that it becomes governable again, the road to perdition will acquire more turns.

Why Are Our Politicians Criminals?

The overbearing nature of the systemic corruption becomes the burden of the people, the states and the country. Invariably corruption is accepted as a way of life in Nigeria.

Why Are Our Politicians Criminals?

By Adeola Aderounmu

Which Way Nigeria?

One of my earliest articles in the Nigerian Guardian Newspaper (precisely in 2002) was titled: Why Politicians Steal. Since then I have made references to that article several times.

It is still very shocking that nearly all Nigerian politicians are criminals.

In my opinion, since they are all stunningly rich whilst in office and their lifestyles/wealth accumulation afterwards does not reflect their salaries or allowances, l am going to conclude that they are all guilty until proven innocent.

Why are they all criminals?

There are no easy ways to explain how Nigeria got to this point. It reminds me of the irreversible reactions from my chemistry lessons.

In Nigeria you almost cannot get anything done anywhere in the country unless someone’s palms are laced with bribes, kickbacks or advance fees in form of fraud. Hence the overbearing nature of the systemic corruption becomes the burden of the people, the states and the country.

Invariably corruption is accepted as a way of life in Nigeria. It is the system and the way things work.

In Nigeria government and governance collapsed a long time ago giving way to corruption as a highly organised syndrome in the society.

It must be the organised nature of corruption that makes it possible for a respected former governor like Fashola to be in the news for the wrong reasons in recent weeks, no matter if these are the handiwork of his enemies or detractors.

Someone submitted a quotation to drill 2 boreholes for N139 m and the state approved it. The state (represented by Fashola) and the contractor (representing the people) are both criminals.

This is just one example of the thousands of contracts awarded across Nigeria monthly.

Through contracts, inflated wages and allowances and in many other ways Nigerian politicians remain criminals in their dispositions.

Why are the local government chairperson criminals? Why are the state governors’ criminals? Why are the state and federal lawmakers’ criminals? Why are all the former presidents and former heads of states criminals? Must they be criminals?

I heard that when completed projects are commissioned in Nigeria, that contracts are given for the purchase of the pair of scissors used in cutting the tapes or bands. The average cost of the pair of scissors usually ends up at N150 000!

The person who got the contract, the person who approved it and the public official (chairman, governor or president) who used a one-time pair of scissors that cost N150 000 are all criminals.

Next time anyone needs a pair of scissors to cut tape in Nigeria, please send me an email or give me a call. I will send one for free. My only request will be that the N150 000 should be donated to the motherless babies home in lsolo because someone will add the N150 000 to the expenditures anyway.

Nigeria politicians remain criminal because that is what the system requires, sadly. It doesn’t have to be so. I heard that if a man or a woman tries to be honest and trustworthy, that he or she can be murdered by friends or colleagues.

People who try to be honest at places of work or in public services are soon disowned by friends and families.

When good people become endangered species, the result is what reflects in the daily lives of the ordinary masses-the downtrodden.

Nigeria is rotten in uncountable ways. People who are not willing to play ball are neglected, cast aside or even never given the opportunity to emerge as public servants or contributors to the success of the society.

In this sense the country Nigeria has been a tragic occurrence since the years that precede the civil war years.

But are there ways to get out of this ugly situation? How can the people be cured of their permanent fixation on corruption as a means of succeeding in the country? Nigeria does not have a specific dose of ingredients or actions that will cure her.

It is very difficult to know what should come first in an attempt to move this country away from these criminalities that fill the minds of all and sundry. The majority of the people have never known a system that works correctly.

The majority of the people have been wrongly orientated for most part or all of their lives.

Education is no longer universal in Nigeria and civics, history and citizen responsibilities are off the curriculum. People grew up seeing that their existences are like a rat race and the ultimate goal became to be materially better than your friends and neighbours no matter how you do it. This is so tragic!

The only thing that has mattered in Nigeria since the collapse of governance almost 5 decades ago is how one takes the shortest cut to wealth. Family values collapsed as many parents became incapable of raising normal children in an abnormal country. Even politicians mentor their wards and godsons to be criminals like them.

But there are still many people who are representing Nigeria positively in various ways at home and abroad. There are good families and there are good parents.

Yet, one is worried about the several questions that beg for answers and solutions.

How can the majority be educated or given the appropriate orientation that will help to reduce or eliminate the criminal tendencies in them either in private or public institutions? How can Nigeria one day revert to that point where a proposal for a borehole will reflect N1m or N2m if that is the correct cost rather than an exaggerated N70 m?

The alternative costs to Nigeria’s corruption-ridden contracts and looting of treasuries are inestimable. Does the Lagos State government for example know how many Lagosians that can be housed with N70m? Then multiply that by 2…Then let us imagine the scale of corruption nationally!!!  Tragic! Painful!

There must be a particular action that will set the ball rolling.

How can Nigeria stop choosing criminals to serve them? How can Nigerians stop seeing criminality as a normal way of life? How or when will this falling country be able to finally round up all the political criminals still parading themselves around town as saints?

I can reiterate two things that l think are important for Nigeria and Nigerians.

First is the political solution that all beneficiaries of the political nonsense in Nigeria do not want to discuss. Just now Nigeria remains a game and whoever captures the center controls everything.

At this moment it is Buhari and APC who decide who a criminal is or not. To some extent it seems the EFCC is wriggling its tail in recent months after many years of nonsense job done. The EFCC itself is rotten! The judiciary is lame.

A correct political system will remove the power at the center and allow the different regions to develop at own pace. Some 50 something years ago Nigeria was among the best countries in the world under the regional system of government. Why is it so hard or impossible to implement the system that works best? It baffles the intelligent minds.

A correct political system will settle the nonsensical discussions and arguments about the useless federal character to a large extent. Resource control can be discussed so that another idiotic war does not break out.

The second issue is independent of the first. It is about the institutions of governance, how they can be managed correctly and productively.

For a dysfunctional unitary system (as it is now in Nigeria) or a decentralized regional government, it is still important that criminals are not in positions. This is a dilemma for Nigeria or the states.

Under any kind of system, the persistence of criminals everywhere and in political offices anywhere in the land will continue to show in the low standard of living, the high cost of living, lack of electricity, lack of social justice, lack of social amenities, lack of public schools, low life expectancy, high mortality rate, increase in number of uneducated people and many other vices that are characteristics of a poverty-ridden country/a failed country.

One solution that has never failed in history is the genuine revolution masterminded by the downtrodden masses who have lost everything to the oppressors and losing their own lives became the ultimate price for the freedom of their children and children’s children.

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.