No Rage, No Change..!

In his eyes, he (Saraki) is fighting a political battle. In my view, he is a thrash that Nigerians have refused to dump in the un-recyclable bin. Saraki and the rest like him in/out of politics are not the shame of Nigeria alone; they are the scum of [the] Africa that we are hoping to turn around.

No Rage, No Change!

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_april_2016

In Nigeria criminals in government do not resign even when they are discovered.

A bigger worry is how these criminals have found their ways into governance especially since 1960.

We have read about, seen, and experienced the misrule of Nigeria since the mantle of reign fell on the citizens of Nigeria after independence in October 1960.

What is sad is that the federal government of Nigeria over the years and till date is still very disrespectful to the citizens, failing to address issues and lacking any form of proactive-ness.

A global scandal swept the world a few weeks back. It is now called the Panama Papers.

What followed in many parts of the world following the revelations is instructive.

One of the major casualties was the (former) prime minister of Iceland. The man did not even try to go to court to ascertain if he was guilty or innocent. He just resigned.

Definitely, the prime minister could afford to put up a team of lawyers to defend him and his family. He could even point out that the country is a developed country and that the people should not worry about his wealth on a strange island.

His conscience was enough for him.

He resigned and took a bow out of governance.

There was another man working for Transparency International in Chile. He was indirectly involved in some revelations bothering on the panama papers. He has resigned.

Some prominent Nigerians got mentioned in the scandal. It is not as if Nigerians do not know already before that these men are criminals.

Nigerians know that but they have not taken the bold steps to pursue and chase these bad men out of governance. They should be facing justice outside of governance. Not within it.

If the men mentioned in the panama papers were getting favours from government thereby getting rich at the expense of the people and country, Nigerians care less.

Names like David Mark for several years have become synonymous with endless, shameless scandals. Names like Saraki have been associated with the spread of poverty in Kwara and now across Nigeria through the senate.

Yet these names and several others in their class continue to steer the affairs of Nigeria.

Nigeria is a special country and Nigerians are special breed.

No one can write enough or fill the volumes when it comes to corruption and the criminal tendencies of the Nigerian political class, their families, employees and friends. It is one of the greatest scandals under the sun-that criminals rule over the largest accumulation of the black people in the world.

There is a grading of political thievery in Nigeria, that much l have explained in several essays.

Then when the blend of tribalism and religion are added, you have an insolvent that is going to last for as long as Nigeria exist unless an unexpected revolution wipe things and people away.

It is not in the character of Nigerian politicians or prominent politicians with skeletons in their cupboards to resign.

Rather it is in the character of the people, due to more than 50 years of disorientation, to align themselves along tribal or religious lines and defend the evil people in Nigeria.

The role of the law in Nigeria is another disgusting aspect of the ease of evasion of justice.

The prime minister of Iceland could have stayed on and fight.

But there is justice and there is conscience. In Nigeria, we lack both.

The politicians and criminals in public offices have no conscience and the people do not understand the real meaning of justice. So the judiciary served them with rubbish as justice.

Mr. Saraki wanted to be tried in the court of law for all his crimes and at the same time hang on to power.

Everyday new scandal emerged about this man who now appears to be bigger than Nigeria.

In his eyes, he (Saraki) is fighting a political battle. In my view, he is a thrash that Nigerians have refused to dump in the un-recyclable bin.

Saraki and the rest like him in/out of politics are not the shame of Nigeria alone; they are the scum of [the] Africa that we are hoping to turn around.

Indeed we know that all the political parties in Nigeria harbour thieves. Our dilemma will remain how to weed all of them before the end of the next century.

If we start now, we are doing our children a huge favour. If we don’t they will curse our graves.

The thieves in politics are too many and too cankerous to deal with under a normal system. If there is a system called flushing, Nigeria needs it.

This panama paper scandal came up not long ago. Our problems in Nigeria are older than more than 50 % of the population.

The panama paper is not our wake up call. It will fade soon.

We, the people have actually resigned long ago and left our fate in the hands of tropical gangsters in uniform and mufti.

Since we have resigned, criminals like Saraki and the others do not see the need to resign.

There is no shame even to family names that are now nonsense and rubbish.

They will fight back tooth and nail; they will hide under the permissiveness of law to justify evil.

Things are not going well for Nigerians right now, so it’s very easy to fight for one’s survival at the expense of the prosperity of the country.

It is very easy to become fatigue thinking about fuel, light, road and other areas that highlight the failures of past and present government.

The problems confronting Nigerians give the politicians an ease of passage, a ride over the will of the people. This has been the way since time immemorial.

In the face of all the problems, Nigerians must know that change as promised by the APC is not forthcoming for several reasons beyond the scope of this essay.

I can recall several golden moments in Nigeria’s history where the opportunity for change were missed including but not limited to the June 12 elections of 1993 that was cancelled by the military gangsters led by one Ibrahim Babangida.

Every time Nigerians needed to react in unity and show their rage, they divide along political lines, along religious lines and along ethnicity.

Nigeria needs a political solution before economic solutions or true changes can be reflected. The system of governance is not working and it is not going to work.

One factor that is missing and which can propel or force changes to begin is the “people’s rage”. It’s long dead.

Nigerians, read this loud. No Rage, No Change.

You can start tomorrow morning by sacking the wasteful, inefficient, needless and scandalous Nigerian senate. Then the change begins!

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

Reflections

When l was 8 years old, my class teacher Mrs. Nwaoha taught me the importance of merit in attaining positions whilst handing me my first experience of taking responsibilities outside my home. Her approach continues to influence my thinking to this day.

Reflections

By Adeola Aderounmu

Aadeola_March 2016

Usually l write my random reflections annually on July 12 to mark my birthday. In recent weeks l have written sporadically in this column (View from Scandinavian in the Nigeria Village Square).

I have not been able to keep to the schedule of publishing every Sunday.

There are explanations for this.

One is that sometimes one feels the urge to just take it easy during the weekend when the week days have been intensive and tiring.

Second is that sometimes l listen to the news from Nigeria or a I read the newspaper and then l found out that what my friend told me is true: the more things change in Nigeria, the more they stay the same.

As a columnist it is becoming more demanding to write about Nigeria in order to keep the content fresh or valid. It is hard to do this.

The problems that Nigerian columnists wrote about in 1980 are still the same problems that we are writing about today.

Nigeria has failed to develop or evolve.

We have not been able to change or raised the standard of our discussions to issues that challenge our growth or development because Nigeria is not growing or developing in comparison to several countries with high standard of living and high life expectation.

We are stagnated on economic issues as the value of the Naira remains a disgrace to the country and the people.

In far away places including America, Nigerians have been placed in strategic positions to help the country remain progressive in various ramifications.

However in Nigeria, for more than 50 years, we convert our economic gurus and scientists to fellow political criminals as soon as they arrive on the political stage.

We don’t move forward.

In politics, at a time that the world is discussing migration politics and politics of job creation, we in Nigeria are still struggling with counting of ballot papers.

Nigeria is a disgrace to Africa when it comes to conducting elections.

Recently it was in Kogi State and last week it was in Rivers State where people in this century and age went about killing fellow human beings just because they were asked to cast their votes.

In 1980 whilst I was in primary 3 my class teacher thought it was time to appoint class representatives who would be good ambassadors of her class. She adopted the merit system.

She based her arguments on performances during classwork and related activities.

It was a peaceful exercise. l emerged as the class captain and Foluso Agboola emerged as the assistant class captain.

It probably wasn’t a democratic process but it is an integral part of democracy, that merit would be considered a factor in producing candidates.

We were rewarded with positions because we deserved it.

Before that process I had seen boys since l was 6 years old or less fighting for place and supremacy and l have no idea how or why they thought they had to fight to claim authority when they have not shown that they are responsible.

Mrs. Nwaoha cleared things in my head forever. Merit first.

In 2016 the Federal Republic of Nigeria cannot conduct elections that involve ordinary counting of votes.

The people of Rivers cannot conduct themselves orderly. They went about committing murders and arsons rather then fishing out men of character and integrity like civilised people.

I weep.

In several essays l have written of the times l wept for Nigeria in my private moment and it is not a joke or make believe. Sometimes l had cleaned tear drops from my laptops.

If an x-ray can reveal a bleeding heart, the beam light should come to my chest.

Nigeria makes me sad.

Stories like those associated with the beheading of politicians and the massacres of citizens in River States are devastating to my health status.

I think about where civilisation has brought mankind and what Nigerians are doing to themselves. I’ll been insensitive and inhuman to hold back my tears.

Stories from the north are not news. The traumas of my childhood just became incurable as l wrote in a previous essay.

I don’t think that Boko Haram or terrorists (individuals or government) anywhere in the world represent the true species of humans. I long for a new biological classification of the animal kingdom. The world needs a new Carl Linnaeus.

The fuel scarcity in Nigeria is still unbelievable. Nigeria is naturally endowed with this resource. I have no words to flog the curse of the black oil. Huge disappointment for the black race is an understatement.

Power supply does not trip off in many countries around the world. Nigerians are undoubtedly among the smartest and most creative people under the sun.

Hence, it is hard to find an answer to the question: why do Nigerians have almost no electricity at all in the country?

Femi, my smart friend in Stockholm, gave an insight, it may be an answer.

He said that even if Nigeria decides to provide electricity on 100% supply mode, the infrastructures are not there to sustain it. O dear!

If that be the case, what about spending the next 2-3 years putting the infrastructure in place and constant power supply for ever more? Is that rocket science too?

I called this essay reflection and my intention was to make it short.

One can be hard on self if the issues and problems with Nigerians are taken too hard/harsh.

Whatever, it will always make me sad to see all the possibilities for growth, for development and for making Nigeria a paradise yet that the useless political class and the thieving ruling class have decided that the status quo shall be sustained.

I could definitely go on to reflect or complain. They want us to be tired of doing this. If we get tired, things might even get worse for the voiceless and the downtrodden in Nigeria.

I wish that good roads, good schools, good hospitals and modern infrastructures will be developed in every local government and every state in Nigeria.

I wish that as many people as possible will know and experience quality life style before they bid the world goodbye.

It is sad to see people who have lived all of their lives in extreme poverty whilst the country Nigeria has the potential to be the best place in the world.

The people paid severely for bad governance and mismanagement.

They are still paying and when restructuring the political system and realigning the country regionally or on true federalism are not even mentioned as probable solutions, there is little hope that we will change the lines of discussions soonest.

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

The APC Mandate: So Far, So Bad!

 

Even if the APC mandate meant well, the realities on ground in Nigeria really hurt. In the daily lives of the ordinary citizens, things continue to fall apart. Some groups like the pensioners have even disappeared from the radar of the government.

The APC Mandate: So Far, So Bad!

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola2_march.jpg

In about 2 months from now it will be one year since the APC mandate won the elections that brought it to power in Nigeria.

Unexpectedly the story has been very, very sad. So far, so bad!

I know the major arguments in favour of the APC mandate. For example we are quickly reminded that the Jonathan administration looted the treasury.

We are constantly reminded that change is gradual. We are also watching as Buhari is fighting corruption (that so far has excluded the massively corrupt APC-chieftains)

Even my close friends want me to appreciate the war on corruption albeit not perfect. I do. Ese pupo

In previous articles with the banner The APC Mandate, l have stated that there was nothing that was wrong with the Jonathan administration that the APC mandate wasn’t aware of before it took over the mandate of governance.

I have also argued that the APC mandate was aware of these problems before it promised Nigerians change.

I went further to state that considering the backdrop of the APC campaign machinery, APC politicians and tacticians ought to have taken all the challenges that they were about to face into consideration before embarking on a campaign, that now seems to be propaganda.

Today-10 months after winning a major victory at the polls-the APC central government is still mainly without direction.

Summarily, so far, the APC mandate is still a failure. It is just the way it is even if this is not what was intended.

The realities on ground in Nigeria really hurt. In the daily lives of the ordinary citizens, things continue to fall apart.

President Buhari has probably spent more time outside Nigeria than inside of it since he was pronounced the winner of the 2015 presidential election. It is now time to sit down at home and fix Nigeria.

If there is a time in Nigeria’s history when the people need empathy from the number one citizen, it is no other time than now when majority of the citizens are angry and hungry.

The level of hunger and the feeling of insufficiency in Nigeria today are unprecedented in the annals of the country.

We know that change is gradual. We know that monies were looted by Jonathan and his cronies. Who does not know that the looting had been across board since 1960?

No, we were not expecting a miracle from the APC mandate. But no one told us that things will be worse than they were 10 months ago. What did we miss when the APC took to the campaign trails?

Nigerians need to buckle up.

Crime rate may surge in the coming days. People have reached the end of the ropes and tolerance levels have reached an all time low.

The ordinary people are going about with rage, anger and huge disappointment on their faces. They are asking: is this the change?

Frustrations have reached a new high in Nigeria.

By now, it is common knowledge that petrol disappeared from the gas stations. There are more pumps in the black market than at the petrol stations. It shows how bad the government has been in managing patriotism and citizens’ roles in nation building.

The supremacy of the black market in different economic interplay speaks volume of the citizens’ non-adoption of the APC anticorruption struggle. It reflects clearly the rejection of the change slogan. This is simply failure of institutions of governance.

A few weeks ago l wrote an essay titled: We Can’t Go On Like This. I can understand when APC loyalists were quick to run to the defence of their lords. Again reality is what matters to me and today the situation has gone from bad to worse regarding the prices/costs of goods and services.

What worries me is that things are getting worse and l am yet to encounter a national, clear, easy to understand blueprint, known to all citizens on how the APC mandate intends to get Nigerians out of this mess that it inherited and bloated.

Former president, Mr. Jonathan blamed his ineptitude on previous administration before him and wasted 6 years of our lives while he and his cronies emptied the treasure monthly.

The APC mandate is blaming Jonathan and already wasting the remaining days of our lives. Unacceptable! Nonsense and ingredients!

Meanwhile workers cannot go to work everyday. They have to select the days they go to work because of the cost and difficulties of getting to work.

Students of tertiary institutions have expended their pocket monies and have to adopt on-off formulas of attending schools.

What about power supply lately? How many times have we complained about blackout? It is now worse.

I don’t understand why NEPA will be allowed to increase the tariff for electricity when power supply has not improved? It is only in Nigeria that this type of indefensible criminality of government is perpetrated against the people.

How come the APC mandate did not know that there is a need to upgrade infrastructure in the power sector. Was that not already a common knowledge?

Some of us know that the upgrade of infrastructure will definitely take years and when that is done, power supply can be improved. It is at that point that the consumers can be asked to pay more.

Now Nigerians are paying more for darkness.

You don’t have a bakery in your house but you get a bill of N10000 and electricity is not even supplied! The APC mandate is definitely perpetrating citizen defrauding.

Whose plight is not worsened since the last 10 months? Is it the pensioners who have disappeared from the radar of the APC mandate? They are not even paid any longer. Is it the unemployed whose hopes of jobs have faded into oblivion with the mass emigration of companies from Nigeria?

Civil servants now receive salaries sporadically. The calender dates are inconsequential. Yet the government continues to devise several ways to tax and impoverish the people. It is shocking!

Politicians don’t feel the problems or they pretend not to see at all which is why a fool will conclude that those complaining about the problems in Nigeria are PDP loyalists.

The wahala that continued to brew at the Senate is a discussion for another day. But it is sad that criminals occupy such positions in government. Now they hide under imported religions to tell us that women are slaves in Nigeria and cannot be equal to men.

Whatever happens, the APC mandate owes Nigeria good governance and improvement in living conditions.

The APC mandate owes Nigeria a lasting political solution.

By all means, the APC must begin to discuss how to move the different states in the country away from their parasitic existences. We need a debate on how the country can move forward and regional government and self-determination must be on the table.

There were so many promises that came with the campaigns in terms of what ordinary people will benefit.

Days have turned to months and months will soon add up to a year. If things do not improve, the APC mandate should at least prevent them from getting worse. That much the APC-mandate owes Nigeria.

Nigeria is in dire need of leaders and leadership.

We cannot go on like this..!

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Echoes Of Idiaraba

I was born after the civil war.

When l was growing up and in my formative years there was no one-teachers, counsellors or psychologists-who told us the reasons for the things that happened in northern Nigeria. Many of those things were unheard of or forbidden in western Nigeria.

The massacres, the beheading and the bloodletting just happened and became part of my/our history.

The other stories from the north like getting married to children as young as 8 years old blew my mind away forever!

Echoes Of Idi-Araba

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_March

Intro

When micro-ethnic wars break out in Nigeria, they are sometimes quickly subdued and swept under the carpet.

That (being swept under the carpet) is going to be the fate of the recent micro-ethnic war at Mile 12 in Ikorudu, Lagos.

The Nigerian government is a master of this game-pretending as if everything is alright at the surface until the next riot or violence breaks out. The response will be the same-quench it and sweep it under the carpet.

Nigeria remains a volatile country because successive government continues to push forward the days of reckoning-that-is when to actually sit down and discuss a viable and long-lasting political solution regarding the colonial debacle called Nigeria.

We have come to the realisation that Nigeria, though with the potentials of a giant, ironically remains an under-developed country as a result of several factors, not least the dearth of leadership at the center and across the states.

 

The Northern Syndrome

My phobia of the north (of Nigeria) developed when l was still in my early teenage years. Now, with the established terrorism in the north (that may soon spread to other places) and recent news of filtering in, in different forms and shades, my phobia may be incurable.

It’s sad but it’s true.

This is not the first time l’m expressing my fear and phobia of the north.

Sometimes people take your experiences and life stories with a pinch of salt. They even argue and bet that you’ll change your mind as if they are you.

The trauma of the teenage years lingers. I may go through my life cycle without ever steeping my foot on the northern part of Nigeria.

When l was growing up and in my formative years there was no one-teachers, counsellors or psychologists-who told us the reasons for the things that happened in northern Nigeria.

Many of those things were unheard of or forbidden in western Nigeria.

Did we even have counsellors or psychologists? Where were they?

The massacres, the beheading and the bloodletting just happened and became part of our history.

The other stories from the north like getting married to children as young as 8 years old blew my mind away forever!

 

The Echoes of Idiaraba

l learnt about the aberration in Yorubaland. I mean, I became more confused when several of the riots in western Nigeria were propelled by disagreements between the men from the north and local indigenes. The question of one Nigeria was laid to rest several decades ago.

So when l was studying at the postgraduate level at the College of Medicine in ldiaraba, there were some days I looked over my shoulders because of the tension between the indigenes and the men from the north or beyond the north. We found out later that Chad and Niger also invaded western Nigeria.

Sometimes l felt that the gods were with me because l’d been home when the massacres took place. But what about those whose lives were taken away just as if one was blowing up fumes from cigarettes?

The episodes have just been repeated at Mile 12, with precision!

When l served in lbadan, there were some places l never dared to disembark from the bus to even look around because my traumatic mind told me that l could be stabbed to death by the herdsmen or a collection of rioters with mixed identities.

Such was the height of my phobia.

For me, as a young boy, and then a young student, the echoes of Idiaraba are the echoes of northern Nigeria and they still make me sick.

I am aware of the pockets of violence even amongst indigenes or local gangs. They just added to the heap of confusion in the lives of an innocent teenage mind.

Sometimes l think about the post-civil war Nigeria and all the unhealed wounds. These thoughts diminish my hope for Nigeria. I am convinced that the ever-fresh Biafra struggles are closely tied to unfinished businesses.

Indeed in my adulthood l have learnt about the unusual constellation of Northern Nigeria but too sad that that the constellation won’t drive away the fears and trauma. It may be too late to help me. I don’t know.

In fairness, considering that the only place where l feel safe-western Nigeria-is under siege from time to time from herdsmen and the foreigners who have failed to respect, revere or reciprocate the hospitality of the locals/indigenes, my trauma can still be aggravated.

One can argue from now to eternity about the underlying factors that brought me to this dilemma. We can sweep issues under the carpets. We can take sides and apportion blame.

Aren’t we expert in these areas?

Our common vision reveals to us what is on the surface. They are mis-governance, poverty, ignorance, deprivation, lack of education and sometimes mis-education of the minds. The list can be grown.

Still reappearing below the surface is the complete failure of nearly all the regimes and governments of Nigeria. There also lie the fundamental questions of the political and physiological structures of Nigeria.

The failure of “governance and politics” in Nigeria is monumental!

What next?

The echoes of Idiaraba are not going to leave Nigeria soon. They reverberate with different tones along the landscape.

They resonate from Idiaraba, to Sabongarri, to Mile 12, to Sabo and everywhere across the country.

No. they won’t leave soon.

In some places these echoes are already the drums and sounds of terrorism and war.

With the drastic curtailing of the Mile 12 episode, the day of the next massacre just got pushed forward.

The usual politics may one day send Nigeria to her ultimate demise. It will be a sad day for Africa, for humanity.

The advocates of regional government or self-determination are not totally wrong. Nigeria needs a lasting and permanent political solution.

The other day, Nigeria’s almost foreign-based president, Mr. Buhari was rooting for the Palestinian agenda. I don’t know if that is contradiction or pragmatism.

One who does not propose a referendum for the Biafra state should not support the Palestinian agenda.

Anyway, there was a road Nigeria did not take. Hence we will never be able to evaluate the roles that proper governance and good leadership could have played in Nigeria as it is today.

We will not be able to answer the question: had Nigerian been governed by sensible people and responsible government, where would the country be today?

Could we have moved beyond ethnic massacres? Could we have moved beyond racial profiling within the country? Could we have relegated imported religious beliefs and local cultural differences to the background in favour of humanity and common sense?

We will never know the answers because up to this day in 2016 Nigeria is ruled by greedy, selfish, myopic and extremely wicked souls.

Nigeria is led by politicians who will acquire the latest cars in the middle of the worst economic situation in the country’s history.

Call them fools, call them idiots, call them what you like, they don’t care anymore. The redemption point got exited long, long time ago!

They’ll even loot more when you say stop. They’ll build more houses and tell you to live, fight one another and die on the streets, you wretched citizens!

I don’t know who to turn to.

But l’ll try the Lagos state government and the custodians of western Nigeria: please take major proactive steps to ensure the safety of lives and property of all the citizens of Nigeria living in your domain.

Some short films emanating from the recent micro-ethnic wars revealed a lot about the extremely low standard of living and poverty in that part of Lagos.

Please do what you can to provide more employment opportunities, basic education, basic housing, basic infrastructure, possibilities for sport and other extra-curricular activities. They are urgent steps that could avail much.

Don’t forget that the farm settlement schemes will be a big boost for western Nigeria! Please start and develop it in earnest, or boost the existing ones, both private and public.

Youth empowerment, community-based mentorship and leadership programs should not be overlooked.

In our hope and dream of a better Nigeria based on integrated regionalism and a greater Africa the peaceful coexistence of the people will play a pivotal role.

Maybe if the right leadership comes someday, the future generation will radiate the ancient glory of regionally integrated Africa.

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

Spanish Lullabies

The only response he got from the officer he met was a stupid question. Since you moved to this town, have you ever seen a man or woman with a skin colour as yours driving a bus for the traffic department?

Life for a brilliant mind cannot rot in a racist Spain where even a successful footballer like Dani Alves got stoned with bananas while playing for Barcelona.

Spanish Lullabies

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_17 jan

When Kofi left the Gold Coast behind he was certain that the grass was greener on the other side. He was hopeful that his life will be better and that his sojourn in Spain will make his dreams come true.

Kofi had learnt that humans just like the flowers could bloom where they have been planted. Still he hoped for a replanting in another land. The most remarkable thing in his education was when he learnt about the equality of men. All men are created equal.

The day he left his home behind, he wept. It was a mixed feeling indeed and he looked forward to the greener pasture in Spain.

That was more than 10 years ago.

When l met Kofi in Stockholm 2 weeks ago, he had just left one of his jobs and was going home to rest before he would continue to the next job.

He worked during the day and then at night.

He was friendly, jovial and did not hide the anxiety of the new lease of life. He seemed happy.

The first time l met Kofi, we exchanged pleasantries as two strangers would do. during our subsequent meetings our conversations grew longer and he was actually fascinated that l am from Nigeria.

I thought you are from Somalia because l know Nigerians are very open and they like to talk.

These comments from Kofi added one more point to the many ways l have changed and lost my Nigerianness. But l forgive him. I intend to keep my humility.

After living more than 10 years of his life in Spain Kofi had to continue his sojourn which has now taken to Sweden.

During the last holiday season his family visited from Spain, spent 2 weeks and went back.

Kofi needs a little more time to be re-settled. Job, accommodation and stability in a new system always take their time and tolls.

His wife almost suffered a shock, or should we call it a heart attack when she saw Africans driving many of the buses in Stockholm city. Facing her husband and pointing a finger she screamed –have you seen that?

Kofi said, yes. I am used to it. I live here now remember.

In Spain the stories have been different.

Even l remember that in 2007 l wrote about my good friends who are from Spain but in whose land a fellow Nigerian was murdered by the Spanish authorities.

Osamuyia will always be in our hearts. He was one of us. He sought the greener pasture. They made him kissed the dust. Gone too soon!

Kofi told about the stories of other people and that about summed up his experiences in Spain.

There is a young woman. Her name is Joyce and she broke the norm when she was employed at a bank in Spain. She was at the counter and most part of her job would involve attending to customers.

The Spaniards avoided this woman at the counter. They never went to her to transact any business. Invariably Joyce became redundant. She lost her job.

Life for a brilliant mind cannot rot in a racist Spain where even a successful footballer like Dani Alves got stoned with banana while playing for Barcelona.

Joyce went to England. She settled well and continued with her professional job.

Listen, you haven’t heard or seen the worst about Spain. But let me add 2 or 3 more short stories.

Julius thought he had it all when he flashed his driving license and professional certificates that qualify him to be a bus driver in Spain.

He put forward an application and followed it up with a visit to the department of transport.

The only response he got from the officer he met was a stupid question. Since you moved to this town, have you ever seen a man or woman with a skin colour as yours driving a bus for us?

We don’t know what Abdullahi did with his life after this rejection.

There was another African brother who attended the university in Mallorca. He gave his all and showed his gifts. He became the best graduating student in his department when he got his degree.

Sadly, our brother Abdullah was not offered the automatic employment he deserved in line with the principle of the institution. He is a foreigner and cannot be qualified for automatic employment.

There were protests. There were demonstrations. In the end Abdullahi left Mallorca and settled successfully in England, just like our sister Joyce.

There are sad stories of permanent racism emanating from Spain and her sister country Italy. It is sad how these stories (several thousands of them) don’t make the headlines.

The world has come to accept that racism is incurable. It appears that some humans will be born with severe cognitive deficiencies such that they are unable to accept the equality of the human race unified as Homo sapiens.

African people are humble; they don’t press it in about their existence before the emergence of other races. True, Africans, their history and civilisations suffered very serious setbacks that are beyond the scope of this essay.

But bit by bit, and piece by piece, we will reconstruct our history and tell the truth.

We know now that the origin of racism lies in self-denial of one’s true origin. Those who love the truth can do their own research. African will rise again.

Kofi sat with me at lunch time and told me 5 heart breaking stories. I can imagine what he had gone through in more than 10 years of ploughing the greener pasture in Spain.

Even a short visit to Palermo was like a trip to hell. An African man driving an almost empty bus because Italians won’t take a ride in a bus driven by our brother was an experience that added to the loads of burden Kofi had lived with in Spain.

One day when Kofi thought he had seen it all, another incident happened on a bus. A young African man disembarked at his stop and went his way. As a young girl was about to take his place on the bus, she got shouted at by an old woman. You dare not! Can’t you see it was an African man who just left that spot!

You can understand why Kofi’s wife nearly suffered a heart attack when she saw Africans working in Stockholm. She must have seen that Stockholm will be paralysed on a day that the African bus drivers down their tools.

Many institutions and even the health department will collapse in Sweden if people with foreign backgrounds are thrown out of their jobs.

Sweden too, has uncountable stories of racist incidences far beyond the scope of this essay. I mean Sweden is the land of the midnight sun, not the land of the saints.

However there are reasons why the economies of some countries like Greece, Spain and Italy are worse compared to other countries like Sweden and Germany for example.

By almost turning down all foreign useful workforces, the Spaniards have done more harm than good to their economy. Why won’t they go borrowing? It now seems that the entire economy is tied to La Liga, where even racism is a major problem. Ask Dani Alves.

The personal experiences of Kofi (though not outlined in this story) and the others like Joyce, Julius and Abdullahi are reference points for our dear continent Africa.

But no matter how beautiful Africa or any other continent for that matter becomes we cannot stop the migration of the human race.

Our forefathers walked the earth and established it. That fact no one can erase.

It is just imperative that we don’t forget or ignore our ancestral homes as we continue to trace the indelible steps of our ancestors. May their spirits guide us right.

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

Ambiguity And 65 Shades Of Crimes

Majority of Nigerians at home and abroad are good citizens of the world. Mr. Buhari must mind his language and steer clear of ambiguity

Ambiguity And 65 Shades Of Crime

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_Jan 2016

Adeola Aderounmu

I just knew it. I knew that the next time president Buhari was going to talk to Nigerians will be from abroad. I really do not understand why he cannot speak to Nigerians in Nigeria.

In my most recent article-We Can’t Go On Like This– you probably didn’t miss these few lines:

Mr. Buhari will rather address Nigerians from abroad rather from his office in Abuja. For me this is one of the greatest mysteries with Buhari-APC mandate so far. I am now sure that something is wrong somewhere-Adeola Aderounmu, Jan 30 2016.

Since his emergence as the helmsman, it is hard to recollect when president Buhari had been behind a microphone to address issues or gave an impromptu interview to journalists at the Villa or an event within Nigeria.

Again, the organized “meet the press” does not count in this case.

Practise make perfect, we were taught since our primary school days.

Lack of practise means awkwardness and when it is about giving speeches or responding to simple questions, one’s hollowness can be exposed, just like that.

For as long as 100 % of what the presidency intends continues to come from Masters  Adesina and Shehu, president Buhari will not be competent to handle press situations when the need arise.

So it happened in faraway London.

I have read the counter-responses from the lovers of APC. Very predictable!

Let’s talk about the issues.

First, Buhari is wasting tax payers’ money. Why do we have a hospital at the Villa in Abuja? Have they converted the state house hospital to a veterinary center?

It is simply a bad example when the president of more than 150m people visits abroad to meet his doctors. What about us? Where should we go when we get sick?

That is not the change Nigerians were promised. That is business as usual! This government is a scam.

The time the Buhari-APC mandate has spent in office is enough for radical changes that would ensure that the first family does not visit London to buy panadol.

The Nigerian presidency and Nigeria (the sleeping and idle giant of Africa) have what it takes to lure Nigeria’s best doctors in Nigeria and abroad to the hospital in Abuja.

The inability to do that is a voluntary submission to slavery and colonial mentality.

Going back to the comment of president Buhari during his hospital visit/vacation in London, my take is that he probably did not use those words.

However the internet is so strong that the interpretation of gestures and unfinished/unrefined comments are too risky to leave to readers/listeners discretion.

There is no room for ambiguity when you are the spokesman for over 150 m people of diverse ethnicities, mentalities and religions.

In fairness, in every country of the world and among all nationalities, there are always a few people with criminal tendencies. There is no cure for that disease in the human race. The church, the mosque, laws and prisons have failed to deter the existence of criminals in any society.

Genetically it has also been shown that a certain genetic disorder (associated with an extra Y chromosome) predisposes certain males to criminal tendencies. That much l remember from one of Dr. Ayodele Edwards lectures’ from the University of Lagos in 1990.

Majority of Nigerians at home and abroad are good citizens of the world. It is unfortunate that the deeds of the minority of Nigerians with criminal tendencies at home and abroad have marred the contributions of Nigerians to the development of the world in Science, Art, Sport, History, Technology and Medicine.

Mr. Buhari must mind his language. He must be careful to choose his words. He should be talking to Nigerians at home regularly and train-up with charisma and social skills. It is never too late for anyone to learn.

Historically, Mr. Buhari is probably the most distant president in the memoirs of Nigeria.

The Buhari-APC mandate must start to clean up all the messes it had created in the last few months.

To save Nigeria from the type of embarrassment that has emerged in London, majority of Nigerians must also start to act for the good of all.

For too long, people have stayed on different sides of the divide supporting and encouraging crimes based on ethnicity and religion. Nigerians have a tendency to rank their politicians in order of their loots-instead of condemning all sorts of criminalities.

In Nigerian conversations, you hear comments like:

Buhari did not steal as much as Babangida.

Obj stole more that Jonathan.

Shagari stole more than Awolowo.

Tinubu used his loot to create jobs.

Abdulsalami was smart but he stole more than everybody and cleaned his mouth.

Amaechi stole more than Wike.

Fashola worked even if he stole for himself and Tinubu.

PDP politicians stole more than APC politicians. They will change when they come to APC.

I must do politics. Me too must steal my own, abi them get two heads.

Seriously?

For every Nigerian politician that has stolen from the treasury or enriched himself/herself through a few criminal activities, Nigerians have a comparative tale of someone who stole less or more. Then some people are waiting for their own turns to steal.

This is a national tragedy, a fundamental sickness!

For as long as the sun shines on me, l will never understand that aspect of the Nigerian mentality-the placement of criminal politicians on a scale and waiting in line to become a political thief.

That is not the way to go.

In the present government, it is not unknown that many of those ruling side-by-side with the president are alleged to have stolen several billions of dollars under previous administrations. One way to escape the ongoing probe of the Jonathan regime is to pledge allegiance to the APC by cross-carpeting.

The Nigerian government and the Nigerian people need to clean up a lot of messes.

Several issues are urgent and they cannot wait. The dignity attached to labour today is almost zero.

Patriotism got burnt up many years ago and the political system does not seem to bring forth any iota of hope in the days ahead.

In today’s Nigeria one of the greatest acts of criminalities is in the Nigerian National Assembly.  It is probably the biggest scandal because those who are supposed to be making laws are robbers and are facing criminal charges.

But the fact that they still go to the complex every day to represent 150 m other people says a lot about the conclusions from London.

If a criminal is my representative or my mouth piece at the Senate, what am l?

The audacity to conclude based on any ambiguity whatsoever that Nigerians are criminals either directly or indirectly is not far fetch from the fact that the Nigerian government always rank among the most corrupt in the world.

Having a National Assembly run by criminals is a stamp on all other criminal allegations.

The people of Nigeria have an image to portray and protect.

But it is obviously a dilemma because it is the people that also make up the government.  Who will cure who? Who has been fooling who?

Whatever be the case the good people of Nigeria have a history of being disconnected from governance to a great extent.

Some people must be able to lead and question for example the 65 shades of committees in the Senate. The Nigerian judiciary has a reputation for slowness and sometimes miscarriage of justice.

The people need to be outspoken to ensure that all the arms of government are upright, up and running.

It is the people’s power than can ensure that a democratic process is balance and fair.

In the hands of any ruling party alone, democracy is the same as autocracy. It can even transform to tyranny and there are bits of evidence in that direction.

It is not enough to show rage on twitter or Facebook.

A few years ago, l already stated that Nigeria is too big for Facebooking when Jonathan took to the platform to start fooling Nigerians.

There are many corrupt people in Buhari’s government. They, along with a few bad eggs amongst us are the reasons why the country was wrongly tagged a country of criminals.

It is so bad even a dumb and shallow thinker like Donald Trump could use our government in his campaign.

Nigerians, you must know that charity begins at home.

If you do not think that the bulk of the corruption tag now stops on president Buhari’s table, then you are in agreement with the London statement that resulted from his clumsiness.

If you think this-the need to clean the messes-is a distraction or a wailing, then let us continue to live together with the tag that we are all criminals. Be my guests!

In Nigeria, the truth must be said; there are more than 65 shades of criminalities. Ask your senators to go home while you clean the mess.

Yes, we can clean the mess at home and start to export freshness.

Soon, and very soon, let’s hope that Nigeria will get a new president or a repentant one who can talk to them face to face, in Nigeria. What we have now is not it at all !

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Can’t Go On Like This

The silence of the Nigerian government on the current economic woes and the extreme rise in the cost of living is too loud.

Mr. Buhari must address the nation and tell the people how much longer they have to hold on. He and the APC mandate must know that ordinary people live in this country too-more than 100m-and they are suffering.

We Can’t Go On Like This

By Adeola Aderounmu

Yes, change is gradual. I know.

However in Nigeria’s case, we are not experiencing change in the positive directions. We need to talk about this and the time is now. Everything is getting costlier by the day and life is unbearable. The cost of goods and services are shooting up astronomically daily.

Cost of Living_Nigeria

The cost of living in Nigeria is increasing astronomically daily.                             (c) Image by Adeola Aderounmu, 2016

 

Yes, l know the government is fighting a lopsided-war on corruption where only the PDP stalwarts are criminals. I don’t need anyone to remind me of that. I don’t need anyone to remind me that suddenly, everything is right about the APC and wrong about the PDP.

I don’t need a reminder that suddenly all the criminals in the APC fold are now saints until l can prove their indictments. So sorrowful actually, that it depends on me and not the EFCC, or the police or the judiciary-the institutions that have been unleashed on the opposition and PDP contractors.

But my father always said what is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

It is so sad that the APC-Buhari mandate took over power without a clear economic blueprint. Before the emergence of the APC-Buhari mandate, it was clear that the Nigerian economy was already collapsing.

It was clear that the politicians regardless of their party affiliation, have been looting the various states and national treasury on an unprecedented scale. It was clear that the corrupt former Minister of Finance and the incompetent governor of Central Bank have doled out funds and monies like Santa Claus.

Before the emergence of the Buhari-APC mandate, it was clear that Goodluck Jonathan has been committing economic and war crimes against Nigerians through his lack of leadership and pure weakness of mind.

Before the emergence of the APC-Buhari mandate, the rest of the world has made it clear that oil prices will continue to fall for a long time to come as inventions and innovations continue to provide alternative to crude oil.

Cars for example are driven by cleaner forms of energy including electricity in many parts of the world. Solar energy use is on the rise even in countries with long winter seasons and shorter days.

The world is changing and moving ahead. The Buhari-APC mandate must be informed about global perspectives and where the world is heading. Crude oil may not be part of the future.

When the APC was on the campaign trail, it did not roll out economic recovery plans and achievable people-oriented palliatives that will cushion the approaching hardship both on the short- and long-term.

Rather the party was busy dishing out sugar-coated promises as if crude oil was going to sell for 200 dollars per barrel in 2016.

It will soon be one year since the Buhari-APC mandate took over government and the most constant thing they have emphasized is that all the problems in Nigeria today are to be blamed on the PDP and Jonathan.

Indeed, the PDP, Goodluck Jonathan as a bad leader and definitely the APC are all accomplices in the problems facing Nigeria.

I don’t understand how anyone can actually sieve out the roles played by the APC politicians since 1999. Are the APC states or APC politicians not part of Nigeria? Is the Nigerian National Assembly divided into PDP and APC divisions?

The bulk can stop at the desk of the PDP between 1999 to 2015. But it was merry go-round for all Nigerian politicians and for the real and fake government contractors.

I did not envisage that a new regime will emerge in 2015 without the vision of what it would take to fix or address the problems. I expected a mandate with several tools, one that can fight corruption totally and address economic and political issues plaguing Nigeria.

I still cannot believe that it took Buhari-APC mandate about 6 months to establish a government full of old, overused politicians.

I did not know that Buhari-APC mandate will do exactly what the PDP government perfected for 15 years of misrule, which is to use political positions and ministerial appointments to pay back for funds invested in campaigns. I thought there would be a change.

I didn’t know that those who want change in the right direction will be called wailing wailers by the press secretary to Buhari. It’s hard to believe that the APC mandate is shooting down all voices of oppositions, even of those that propelled them to power.

The Buhari-APC mandate and all future governments in Nigeria must know that no matter what happens, some incorruptible social commentators will always be there. They will bear the burdens of the voiceless no matter who captures Abuja or the Nigerian states. So start sucking it up and get to work.

If you don’t know, last week a packet of Indomie now sells for N1500. But those who feed themselves illegally with taxpayers money using the federal budget as a tool of stealing don’t feel the economic pains.

Bread_Naija

The price of this bread went from N200 to N250 within the last few days. It may increase further considering the situation in Nigeria and the poor value of the Naira.

Unleash your internet E-rats on us when we tell you that we know that you are fighting a lopsided war on corruption but you have refused to tell us what you are doing about the price of sardine that has gone up by almost 200% in the last one month.

The Buhari-APC mandate need to send people out to the market where we buy our stuffs.

Go to the market and have a feel of what ordinary Nigerians are facing or going through.

For how long will this hardship continue?

In Nigeria whatever has gone up does not ever come down again. With a salary that has refused to grow, this is a dilemma. With a minimum wage of N18 000, it is a hopeless situation.

What we are telling you is that Nigeria is collapsing, the economy is bad. Stop blaming PDP or Jonathan. Get to work instead.

Mr. Buhari for the upteempth time will rather address Nigerians from abroad than from his office in Abuja.

For me, this is one of the greatest mysteries with the Buhari-APC mandate so far. Buhari did not talk or address Nigerians adequately during his campaign. One year later, he is still not talking to Nigerians.

An arrangee media-chat is not the way to go.

I am now sure that something is wrong somewhere. This time Mr. Buhari had to fly to Kenya to make promises of cleaning up the Niger Delta. Before then, it was from the UAE, US and the UK.

Can l predict that the next time Mr. Buhari talks to Nigerians, he will be outside of Abuja? Very strange.

This is my assignment for Mr. Buhari. In the next few days, he should stand or sit side by side the Minister of Finance and perhaps one or two economic gurus from the Central Bank or from Nigerian foremost economic institutions and make a joint public address.

What is going on? When will this end? Where is the change?

We can’t continue like this and the silence itself is too loud.

The silence can also means clueless.

The issues are clear. The problems are obvious.

So, they need to tell us the plans to bring us out of these woes that we continue to pay for even through higher taxes and increase in the price of electricity that is not yet available.

What measures are in place to ensure that the cost of goods and services do not continue to escalate in the face of the misfortune that continue to befall our dear Naira?

What measures are in place that the minimum wage or the regular salaries received by workers do not become useless in the face of continuous rise in the cost of goods and services?

For the hardworking civil servant who has planned to build his modest home with his N5m savings, what are his chances now that his budget has gone up to N15m because of the dwindling fortune of the Naira?

The cost of a plate of rice has gone up. The cost of transportation is up. The cost of living generally is set for the sky.

What are the hopes for Nigerians today?

I can raise a thousand questions on the present fate of the Nigerian worker, the unemployed, children, the elderly and the hopeless across the country.

These are the people that Buhari-APC mandate should be addressing, the issues and the problems that they face.

If the Buhari-APC government continue to blame the PDP without addressing the problems or issues, how does that help the common, ordinary people?

Again, we agree that Jonathan-PDP mandate destroyed Nigeria. Thanks for the information. What are the plans now?

The Buhari-APC mandate must thank the Nigerian resiliency at a time like this. I don’t know if it can go on forever. For we have seen changes in regimes that occured in the twinkle of an eye through mass revolts even in places where government gave hopes to the people.

In Nigeria, no one has addressed the country about a future that is hopeful. No plans, no visions! We just dey carry go as if nothing happen or nothing dey happen. Na wa o

But enough is enough!

Mr. Buhari must addres the nation and tell the people how much longer they have to hold on. He and the APC mandate must know that ordinary people live in this country-more than 100m and they are suffering.

In the short term, all the recovered and returned loots must be heavily invested on the people in such a way as to provide reprieve for the current suffering staring at them daily. Transport, cost of goods and commondities, health issues just to mention three need to be addressed.

On the long term, Nigeria must reach that point as quickly as possible where all the regions and states are productive and contributing massively to the earnings of the country. Nigeria and Nigerians must act as if the oil is finished.

It’s probably time to start cleaning up the pollution in the delta as rightly mentioned by Mr. Buhari in Kenya. Clean the place and let everybody go home. It will take 50-60 years l learnt.

A corrupt-free government, one that is steered from the regions is imperative for Nigeria.

Patriotic citizens who are dedicated to country and humanity are elements of nation building. The optimal utilization of the available human resources will avail much.

A broader economic agenda should cover agricultural export, investment in science, education and medicine. It should include national exploration and appropriate utilization of Nigeria’s mineral deposits scattered everywhere in the land.

President Buhari and Nigeria’s economic and financial gurus must present in earnest a comprehensive and doable blueprint for Nigeria’s economic recovery.

Enough of the silence.

We are waiting!

aderounmu@gmail.com