Goodbye and Goodluck Jonathan

In the pursuit of happiness in the Niger Area, a functional geopolitical solution will not be the least needed ingredient

Goodbye and Goodluck Jonathan

Which Way Nigeria?

By Adeola Aderounmu

Some of us grew up with the awareness that our parents and grandparents told us to be careful about the things we say with our mouths and the things that we wished for.

Though he has denied it on several occasions and it bears no relevance any longer l can repeat that one of my keen observations the last time l visited Nigeria in 2010 was the campaigns of both Jonathan and Atiku.

I was actually stunned by the promise of Goodluck Jonathan as he begged to do only one term. Yes, I call it begging based on his body language and the way he expressed himself. It sounds like just let me do one term and Nigeria will be paradise again (but not in those words).

Nigeria political landscape has mostly been devoid of men of integrity. A few good men who may have some elements of integrity usually get choked out. They don’t last the campaign or they don’t get the vote because Nigerians are predictable voters.

They don’t even support the people with integrity to the extent where their votes may (now) not be counted. National and state elections are usually scandalous, rigged and manipulated. The 2015 election is reportedly full of malpractices.

In 2010/2011 Jonathan was a clear choice because at that time Atiku’s corruption files were already in the public domain thanks to his corrupt boss Olusegun Obasanjo whose corrupt files were also in the open as they fight for third term-to be or not to be.

That Jonathan was a clear choice at that time arose from many other factors. His criminal tendencies were watered down as he became Obasanjo’s choice after the demise of Yar Adua.

In addition the opposition parties at that time were not formidable.

I have written under several headlines about the laziness of Goodluck Jonathan and his extreme weaknesses as a person both as the deputy governor and then governor of Bayelsa State.

But at the national level, most of these deficiencies were not widely known. Even then Nigerians are gullible when one considers how criminals have emerged as selected or elected politicians over the years.

So this issue with Jonathan’s previous criminal records was not special.

If the anticorruption agencies in Nigeria were firm, committed and credible, Mrs. Jonathan would have at least being arrested because of her roles in fraud and money laundering. There is no way she would have had access to large sums of money or these types of crimes without the help of her husband Mr. Jonathan.

But when they arrived at the national scene after scaling all these hurdles, one would have expected the Jonathans to live a life of repented souls.

They did not.

They threw caution to the wind. They built houses made of gold in Bayelsa. They had probably the largest number of parties and ceremonies since Aso Rock was built. They did what they like and how they like acting like the presidential palace is part of their inheritance.

Jonathan made more than 200 electoral promises and achieved almost nothing. Instead he turned to propaganda and employed professional liars as PR machines.

For some reasons that will become clearer for sure in the days and years ahead security reached an all time low as terrorists took over more than 15% of Nigeria carving for themselves a region in the North East of Nigeria.

One could go on with all that went wrong under Jonathan which his sympathisers will not like to read or hear about. They will fight back.

For them and the Jonathans Nigeria remains a geographical expression and the purpose of winning political offices is for personal enrichment. .

Mostly true, but sad anyway. The question is: should it or does it have to go on like that?

Apart from security, there is hardly any problem in Nigeria today that started with Goodluck Jonathan.

He stated this fact so much it not only became a reference point but also his exclusive reason for non-performance.

I think as soon as Jonathan became the ruler of Nigeria he forgot that the reason why he was the clear choice over Atiku and Buhari was because people wanted a break; l mean people wanted a change from the category of people that have been destroying Nigeria at the center.

Until he became VP to Yar Adua, a relatively unknown Jonathan has only been destructive at the local and state level.

Led by Obasanjo, a man who thinks he knows everything, Nigerians even invaded the social media to ensure that the man who lied that he didn’t have any shoes an a boy became the ruler  of Nigeria.

Jonathan-if the results of the last election are credible and anything to go by-is still a popular figure in Nigerian politics. I mean he almost won a re-election. Since the elections were not completely fair, he could actually claim (as he tried to do lately) that the presidential election was rigged!

He said he wanted one term, that’s what he got.

In my personal opinion, the machinery that installed Goodluck Jonathan was the same machinery that uninstalled him.

It was with great confidence that a few politicians have stated before the elections that Buhari will win. Let those who understand the abracadabra of Nigerian politics go figure that out.

One of my friends who visited Nigeria and left just before the 2015 elections told me that he was sure Buhari would win by a landslide victory. His explanations and reasons were no longer stark as we look together at the figures of the elections.

It is either Buhari was over estimated or Goodluck Jonathan slept for too long.

There could have been a remedy for Jonathan’s curse (the one term curse)

The easiest way and the only remedy perhaps for his one term curse on self could have been a performance-based cure.

Rather than perform Jonathan was romancing criminals of all types. Drug barons, ex-convicts and murderers found favour in Jonathan’s eyes. He played their God.

He continued the trend that Nigerians had known for years. He fell people’s hands.

Jonathan did not fight corruption one bit. He promoted and thrived on it.

He appears not to be in control of the situation. He is misinformed and ill-informed. He is not proactive.

When he departs at the end of the month Nigeria will be in her worst economy shape ever! Nigerian workers are not getting paid, fuel scarcity is back, tears and sorrows fill the land.

No one knows what the APC mandate will be like, only time can tell. But may the likes of Jonathan never see the apex of power again.

Sometimes though l wonder in whose hands the hope of rejuvenation of a country lies. Isn’t it logical that in a country where workers don’t get paid and the unemployed have no hopes of fulfilment-that the way forward lies with the people and what they decide to do or not?

I also wonder if the future really lies in the hands of a new government with old known faces of failure or a revolution by the people.

The people should be demanding for justice from those who ruined their lives and a return of every naira or kobo in the hands of the criminal politicians, at national and foreign banks.

Jonathan and his destructive team are leaving. They could be free or the law could take its toll on them.

Jonathan, goodbye and good luck!

But Nigeria is going no where! Dumb politicians don’t know that.

The people of Nigeria need to throw sentiments away. They need instead the armour of discernment. Nigeria belongs to them and their unborn generations.

Our lives will pass away. Power is transient.

What is more profitable and sensible than barbaric looting and senseless accumulation of wealth is to build a society and a country where peace and social justice reign.

For Nigeria the destruction of lives and institutions have been massive.

The road to freedom is going to be rough, long and unwinding. Along the way the people must pick up constructive education, natural intelligence and wholesome patriotism that will place value and merit above mediocrity.

In the pursuit of happiness in the Niger Area, a functional geopolitical solution will not be the least needed ingredient.

aderounmu@gmail.com

The Corruption Ring

When those in the corruption ring start to sing and tell, we must not let their revelations and confessions go with the winds the way Atiku-Obasanjo open trials of each other were overlooked by EFCC under Mr. Ribadu.

The Corruption Ring

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

The change slogan that was the hallmark of the APC during the recent elections in Nigeria may bring a lot of wahala in the days ahead.

Buhari is not yet sworn in as the president of Nigeria, yet people were already expecting some actions that will change things around overnight.

During the campaign many people interpreted the change slogan to mean the same as miracles. They will be disappointed if they don’t wake up to smell the coffee, and quickly too.

On a global scale, political campaigns are loaded with promises the same way several chewing gums are coated with sugar.

When the sugar is dissolved or melted, the task of chewing the gum starts. The real work or change for Nigeria will start when the sugar coating melts away on May the 29th.

There are loads of hindrances in the way that should wake everyone up to the realities of the Nigerian calamities brought about by more than 50 years of misrule.

On the economy, unemployment, infrastructure, population distribution, population growth control, education, health, social justice, political structure and reform, you name it, Nigeria is saddled with uphill challenges.

Nevertheless the APC government must bring hope and visible developments clearly befitting the change slogan. The APC dispensation must bring success over time or pack up.

On the anti-corruption front, it appears that the wheels are getting oiled already. It is gathering momentum at a time that the true state of the Nigerian economy is becoming obvious.

The consensus now is that Nigeria’s economy is in a mess. It lies prostrate.

In the hands of Mrs. Iweala Nigeria was dished to the world as the numero uno economy in Africa.

But now she says that Nigeria is borrowing to pay salaries of civil servants. I have always thought that Mrs. Iweala is a crook and on my blog (and probably here) I have repeated calls for her to resign.

Even in 1987-1989 when I studied economy in class 3-5 l knew it would have been criminal if any teacher told me within this short interval that the biggest economy in Africa is that which borrows money to pay salaries.

This sad but realistic revelation heightened the call for the prosecution of Mrs. Iweala, Mrs. Diezani Alison and many actors in the Jonathan destructive and wasteful government.

But trust the theatrics of the Nigerian political space where there are no dull moments and no saints. The revelation of some of the corrupt activities of Olusegun Obasanjo suddenly emerged.

There are some many things in Nigeria that many people regard as coincidences.

I prefer to see the connections between the disgraceful identities of Mrs. Iweala as the woman who now borrows money to pay salaries of civil servants and Obasanjo whose rags to riches story was neglected since 1999.

How Mrs. Ezekwesili’s defence of Obasanjo in the infamous May Day interview adds to this sequence of events is also interesting in the political games in Nigeria.

At some point even before the start of the useless and corrupt regime of Jonathan, a certain civil right group in Nigeria challenged both Obasanjo and Iweala to produce one of the Abacha’s loots that was returned to Nigeria. After some foot-dragging, Mrs, Iweala produced a fabricated financial report of some expenditure that was supposed to have been in the budget.

She invariably was trying to say that Abacha’s loot was used for payments of some projects that were already provided for in that year’s budget.

What this means in simple language is that substantial parts of Abacha’s loot or all of it was re-looted under Obasanjo using Iweala’s fraudulent double cash book.

Criminals in Nigeria’s political fields come in different shades, sex and sizes.

During the Jonathan oil subsidy scam and the occupy Nigeria struggle Mrs. Iweala threatened to resign and I urged her to do so in one of my blog posts. Nigeria can never miss looters and liars. They are the ones who need Nigeria to sustain their evil ways.

I congratulate Mrs. Iweala in her roles in the sacking of Mr. Shuaib. What are we going to do about her lies about Nigeria’s economy and wealth now that the truth is known?

At this point when change is the slogan, many politicians and Nigeria’s fair-weather friends (like Obasanjo) are trying to associate with the slogan. Many are trying to paint themselves as saints who should be considered in the unfolding political scenario of the APC dispensation.

One day Mrs. Ezekwesili responded to one of my blog posts-Thy Glory O’ Nigeria-where I stated that all Nigerian politicians are criminals and that while she served under Obasanjo, she had also been a part of the corrupt people that destroyed Nigeria. She came on, defending her integrity and stance.

I am not about to change my mind about my conclusions on Nigerian politicians. Not even now when Mrs. Ezekwesili tried to defend Obasanjo’s corrupt regime.

These people don’t understand that while corruption may be relative, the consequences are the same. Nigeria as a country suffers for it and the people, more than 90% of the population, continue to live from hand to mouth. The consequences of corruption and negligence of duties to people and country are not a joke!

Every N1 stolen or taken from the Nigerian treasury at the federal, state of local levels without accountability contributes to the demeaning of the lives of the people. Hence it is not a matter of whether corruption is relative or not.

In public service people should be content with their take-home pay and allowances which in Nigeria is probably already the easiest route to wealth and prosperity. Therefore when people have taken N1 from the Nigerian treasury without probity, they are criminals just like the one who has taken N1 billion. A thief is a thief!

In a recent article I had suggested that it was not Buhari’s job to prosecute people who are corrupt or criminals. Such a task is for the institutions that are saddled with such obligations.

Indeed the APC regime must be seen to allow such separations of powers and independence of various institutions and arms of government. The judiciary and the police must resurrect to perform their obligations as part of the change slogan.

What we are witnessing in the past few days and that which will shape the nature of the change that was promised are the true situations in Nigeria.

When those in the corruption ring start to sing and tell, we must not let their revelations and confessions go with the winds the way Atiku-Obasanjo open trials of each other were overlooked by EFCC under Mr. Ribadu.The anticorruption agency blew away the chance of a life time letting 2 criminals with publicly published facts about each other go free.

The corruption ring in Nigeria that exists among the politicians and political appointees is a type of organised crime. It is crime against humanity because of the overwhelming consequences on the quality of life in Nigeria.

To take down corruption and corrupt people in Nigeria will be an enormous challenge.

When losers and political criminals from the PDP were decamping to the APC en masse it appears that what it takes to be righteous in 2015 was to disown the PDP and become a hanger-on in the APC.

The unfolding revelations about Obasanjo whose roles in promoting corruption and social injustice in Nigeria has been neglected since 1978 will partly help to destroy that myth forever.

In addition, let us constantly remind ourselves that the original APC is also full of political criminals and dubious characters.

Hence there are several reasons why Buhari must not be seen as the prosecutor and the judge in an attempt to bring back the glory of Nigeria and to rid the country of corruption.

The best he can do is to provide leadership by good examples, allow the institutions to run independently and transparently. He could also watch as the anticorruption agencies pick up men and women from the PDP, APC and other places across Nigeria.

This is one of the rare ways that change can come to Nigeria. So, when the Buhari days are over, it would be good to also serve him with justice. For in principle, no one is above the law.

Change is the result of collective wills. Change is the result of collective responsibilities.

Change will always be in the hands of the people and how they use the power that always belong to them to steer governance.

The people must put pressure on the politicians and always demand openness, probity and accountability. They must ensure that the institutions are strong, independent and functional.

Nigeria’s corruption ring ought to be broken once and for all. All the arguments and unfolding revelations in recent weeks will help to contribute to the change that may steer Nigeria to a better place.

A lasting political solution that will ease the political tensions in Nigeria and one that will ensure the devolution of power away from the centre (such as in a regional government) will be integral in steering Nigeria forward.

aderounmu@gmail.com

The Changing Lanes of Mikel and Fabregas

If John Obi Mikel grows up (in Chelsea) the way I predict, we have found gold-Jose Mourinho, 2006

The Changing Lanes of Mikel and Fabregas

By Adeola Aderounmu

Mikel, Mourinho and Fabregas

Mikel, Mourinho and Fabregas

Mikel Obi and Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea Football Club can make history together if they become champions of the English Premier League this year 2015. This can happen already on Sunday the 3rd of May if Chelsea defeats Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

Such a feat will cap 2 seasons of reform and planning instituted at Chelsea by the special one Jose Mourinho. The little horse that crawled in 2014 is now grown and running.

In the 34th game of the season played on Wednesday 29th away at Leicester, Mikel Obi came on as a late substitute for Cesc Fabregas. I looked at the two of them and l saw how great football can be.

By great, l mean in the sense of history, purpose, achievements and different perspectives of looking at life.

Fabregas has always been a libero/playmaker since his days as a Spanish national U-17 footballer. His ascendance into the football hall of fame was not an accident. His tutelage in Barcelona and development in Arsenal played remarkable roles in forming him into one of football’s brightest minds.

When Febregas and Matic arrived at Chelsea as Jose Mourinho started his second term at the Bridge, Mikel became an irregular player.

Mikel himself arrived at Chelsea at the age of 19 under controversial circumstances that saw FIFA intervened in the Manchester United and Chelsea fight for a young player whom Mourinho described as gold in 2006.

Mikel’s exemplary humility as a Chelsea player has often been overlooked but his contributions though quiet, are immense. Even this season Mourinho still praise the player he converted from a natural attacking role to a defensive midfielder.

By converting Mikel from an attacking player to a defensive player and then departing Chelsea in the middle of it, many critics still think that Mourinho did not allow Mikel to reach his potentials.

In my opinion Mikel will remain a utility player and that makes him a good player. A good footballer must be versatile and formable. Some players never made it far because they are unable to adjust to situations and the need of the clubs.

Mikel has played more than 300 games for Chelsea and l don’t think he is ever going to complain about the number of games he played since the arrival of Fabregas and Matic.

Rather he had stood up every time he is called upon. He has never pretended to be a Fabregas or a Matic. Like a giant he rises up when called upon and holds his place and style of play on the field.

According to Swedish commentators, when Mikel is introduced by Jose Mourinho, it means that the shop is closed. Mikel’s style of play is very effective in holding possession and when necessary has been a part of the Chelsea’s bus parking mode.

In Chelsea’s shirt Mikel has won many trophies. The greatest of them is Champions League Cup. At the Nigerian national team level-where many critics believe that Mikel hasn’t given his best-his moment came when he led the Nigerian midfield to win the African cup of Nations’ trophy in 2013.

Under Stephen Keshi and with a team that also included Chelsea’s team mate Victor Moses and the sublime Sunday Mba, Mikel’s performance in the midfield in 2013 was the highlight of his time wearing the colours of Nigeria. Against Ivory Coast in the semi-final, he literarily pocketed Yaya Toure to gain command of the field.

In his career, Fabregas has won several individual awards. With Spain he has won the European Championship a couple of times and the World cup in South Africa 2010. the playmaker is however still hunting for a Champions’ League Cup glory.

Both Fabregas and Mikel have come to represent further examples of young players who went on to develop their games (even if it is to varying degrees) and shown that football is a progressive sport.

We will never know what Mikel’s career would have been like as an attacking midfielder. We will make do with hypotheses and theories.

From being very young players, both Fabregas and and Mikel’s paths finally crossed each other at the club level when Fabregas signed for Chelsea and formed part of the entourage that came with the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge.

On Sunday the 3rd of May, both players can make history together at Stamford Bridge if they lift the EPL cup together. They have the Crystal Palace hurdle to surmount. Fabregas may be with Matic on the starting line up while Mikel may start from the bench.

Unless I had forgotten Chelsea appeared not to have lost any premier league game at the Bridge under Mourinho. Last season l remembered that they rescued a point against West Brom in the last minute of the game.

If Chelsea fails on Sunday, it won’t matter so much. Picking 2 or 3 points from 3 outstanding games must not be an impossible task for a team that started the season at the top of the table and has kept it calm for 35 weeks.

It is almost improbable and unthinkable that Chelsea will need the favour of another team to defeat Arsenal which is the only team still capable of catching up with Chelsea at the top.

Some questions and issues of pride may arise at the end of the season or remain untouched under pretense. How England allowed his greatest defender to quit the national team under an avoidable situation will remain debatable. John Terry may even get a new contract at Chelsea beyond this season. He may also decide to retire on a high note.

Together with Ivanovic and Cahill, Terry remains the focal point of the gang that has formed the proverbial parked bus in front of Chelsea’s goal line. One Swedish commentator added that it is like the Chelsea defenders are born to block shots!

With active legs like those of Ramires, Matic, Azpilcueta and in form Willian, Chelsea may run home with the title this weekend.

After all the blocking and hopefully some goals that will get Chelsea the victory on Sunday, and when the deeds are done, they may still need Mikel Obi to close the shop for the 2015 season.

If John Obi Mikel grows up (in Chelsea) the way I predict, we have found gold-Jose Mourinho said in 2006.

Has Mikel developed the way Mourinho wanted him to?

No doubt, Fabregas will be there to open the 2016 season. What about the shop closer, the former golden boy of the FIFA 2005 World Youth Champinoship-John Mikel Obi?

aderounmu@gmail.com

Bournemouth in Premier League

By Adeola Aderounmu

Bournemouth? Where is that on the map? That was my first reaction when I stumbled on a game that saw Bournemouth emerge as a premier league club today 27 april 2015.

I am sure no one from Bournemouth will forget the date too easily.

Congratulations Bournemouth. I wish you a wonderful time in the premier league.

Now I know where to find you on the UK Map!

Cheers

# Bournemouth

Buharism

The success and future of Nigeria lies on the shoulders of all her citizens. It is a collective national assignment to ensure that the institutions are sane and functional.

Buharism

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

It is worrying when people start to think that what is needed to clean the political and economic messes in Nigeria is just Buhari alone.

There is no doubt that there is a need for people who are upright in character in public service.

There is no doubt that a country like Nigeria with many bad people in government since 1960 and corrupt people everywhere needs a fresh breathe of life.

A lot of people are expecting that Buhari will prosecute all the Jezebels and Judases in Jonathan’s regime.

There are even expectations that only saints will be able to govern alongside Mr. Buhari.

The euphoria of the different miracles that General Buhari will perform has brought Buharism back to life.

For many people with this ideology, Buhari is like the messiah. For them without Mr. Buhari, there will not be discipline and accountability in the Nigerian society.

These-Buharism and the corresponding ideology-if sustained may spell a doom for the future of Nigeria

What is at stake for Nigeria and Nigerians is beyond one man. The prospects and the hope that Nigeria will rise again is not in the domain of either the APC or the PDP. It definitely cannot rest on Buhari’s shoulders alone.

It will be too risky to hinge the next 4 years and even the next 8 or 10 years on Buhari, APC or the undesirable return of the PDP.

It is not Buhari’s job alone to fight corruption. He is not the court of law. He cannot be the prosecutor, the judge and the jury at the same time.

Personally this should sadden all sane minds-to see the hope of a country as big as Nigeria hinge on one man only.

I am aware that one man must lead. I know that one man can make a difference and that the people who lead or who run political institutions and other institutions are important.

However, the hope of a country cannot be on one man or a small group of people alone because they will not always be there. Life is a passage and human existence is transience.

It is the institutions and the general population that will always be there. It must be possible to always have the people that will lead the institutions in the best possible ways among the population.

For more than 50 years the key institutions in Nigeria have been in disarray and dysfunctional.

Among the dysfunctional institutions in Nigeria today are the police and the judiciary.

If they had been properly maintained and functional, the call for Buhari to arrest and prosecute politicians for example would not have arisen. Buhari is not a policeman and he is not in charge at ICPC or EFCC.

By default, when the useless immunity clause falls off criminal-politicians, it is just proper that the police, the anti-corruption agencies and the judiciary do their jobs. Unfortunately Nigerian politicians disrupted the flow of separation of powers and the Nigerian people got used to a system that is totally malfunctioning.

What the APC mandate can do is to restore proper governance and work hard to enforce the political changes (especially looking into the need for regional government) that will return the glory of Nigeria politically and economically.

The APC mandate can also ensure that powers are separated and that all government institutions (political, economic and all others) start to fulfil their mandates without hindrances and undue interference.

Leadership by example will avail much, definitely. Let the executive, the legislature and the judiciary play their roles according to the laws and the constitution of the land.

Corruption needs to be tackled by the appropriate institutions. It is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that criminals and dubious characters don’t run private and public institutions.

The role of the media and information outlets in this regard is full of several shortcomings.

Sincere and purposeful journalism is lacking in Nigeria, mostly. The media is supposed to be part of the control mechanism for the heartbeat of the nation but unfortunately the brown envelope syndrome is still common and rampant.

Bias news, misinformation and favouritism are common in the Nigerian media.

Another factor that paves the way for corruption and ineptitude in Nigeria’s public institutions is the zoning of appointments and political posts.

Closely tied to the useless federal character system, this zoning will remain a huge clog in the wheel of progress of Nigeria. For as long as these anomalies exist, Nigeria under the present faulty political arrangement will never enjoy the benefits of the best men and women for the positions that duly suit them.

Zoning is part of the national tragedies and it underscores the need to constitutionally adjust Nigeria’s political system. Each region can make use of its best human resources for the benefit of all and sundry. It is better than a central system where it is easy to idle away and sustain corruption.

In the background of Buharism, one must not forget that APC is now loaded with PDP dropouts. PDP ruined Nigeria since democracy returned in 1999. Also there are many cockroaches and skeletons in the cupboards of the APC. There are no saints around Mr. Buhari and he is not going to be a miracle worker.

Nigeria’s rescue mission does not rest on Buhari alone. It is far beyond the APC mandate. It is the people who have waited this long under oppression and useless governments that should get themselves checked.

If governance is built on institutions and of course good people, the system will run itself and things will eventually iron out even if the start is rough and untidy.

Nigeria will not be rebuilt in one day. It will not be rebuilt in 4 years. To maintain and rebuild are constant processes. These are the secrets of the developed countries.

The imperfect APC mandate provides a new chance for Nigerians to think and start again. It must be repeated that the success and future of Nigeria lies on the shoulders of all her citizens.

It is a collective national assignment to ensure that the institutions are sane and functional.

Nigerians must always demand for, and elect men and women who can uphold the virtues associated with civil rule and the common good of all Nigerians.

Buharism in 1983 and Buharism in 2015 is a sign that Nigeria is not producing and nurturing good people for political assignments. It is a fundamental flaw on the overall mentality of the citizenry. It is a sign that Nigerians are not sincere with themselves.

I will state this again: Nigerians should look at themselves in the mirror and take away their garments of evil. For any government in Nigeria to succeed, it is not enough for the people to shout change or (Buharism again). It is very important that people become the change that they want to see.

aderounmu@gmail.com

South Africa: From Apartheid to Slavery?

The people of South Africa are fast becoming slaves in their own land. South Africa owes it to herself and the rest of us who fought for their emancipation to educate the bunch of fools in their countries and by default their children to prevent them from becoming both self-destructive and xenophobic.

South Africa: From Apartheid to Slavery?

By Adeola Aderounmu

For a few days now the biggest and saddest news out of Africa is the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Like a whirlwind the sad occurrences in South Africa overshadowed the election results and controversies emanating from Nigeria.

In March 2014 l wrote a piece titled: Nigerians in South Africa, Victims Or Culprits? At that time the South Africans had engaged Nigerians and other African nationals in some bouts of xenophobic attacks.

When the dust settled, the information l got at that time was that South Africans already promised another showdown with unspecified date and time. The rage was there all the time.

Then in March 2015 l got an email from a South African citizen. He highlighted the several sins and crimes of Nigerians living in South Africa. He also condemned Nigerians trooping to a country where the locals are jobless.

There was a bitter complain in the email, that what was once the pinnacle of Pretoria and Johannesburg, Sunnyside and Hillbrow, have been turned into Nigerian hub of sex, alcohol, drugs and modern slavery.

The writer of the email stated that Nigerians are destroying the image of Africa through their illicit activities in South Africa.

He was also not pleased about my comment that the South Africa police are corrupt. He shouldn’t worry. Recent events around the world including the USA continue to fulfil our fears that the police are not only corrupt, but also rotten in many places. South Africa is not an exception.

What were missing in the email are the positive aspects or the essential roles that many Nigerians and other African nationals are playing in the South African health and service industries amongst several others.

Suddenly a few weeks after l received the email from this angry South African, the stupid king of the Zulus made his hate comments.

xenophobic South Africa

xenophobic South Africa, A man looting the Ethiopian store and another waiting to kill foreigners

The king was angry and claimed that foreigners are spoiling businesses for them-the locals.

Just like the email l received the king also claimed that foreigners are selling drugs, promoting prostitution and competing with the locals for the few jobs available.

The Zulus are the major perpetrators of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa because it was their king that gave the go ahead to kill and pursue. This is why Durban is the worst affected place. It is in Durban that the King’s order originated.

This is not the first time the Zulu king is instigating violence. This is not the second time he is igniting xenophobic attacks by his utterances that usually play on the fragile emotions and the stupidities of his people.

Regrettably this is not going to be the last time sensitive comments about the roles of foreigners in South Africa will be used politically or otherwise to set black Africans against their brothers and sisters from another country.

The Zulus are very problematic people. It appears that the other tribes like the Khosas and the Buas are not in support of this recent madness in South Africa.

The attacks have since spread to other places. Limpopo and Johannesburg are also affected. People are being killed and goods are looted from homes and stores.

As I settled down to write this essay l got reports that a certain Julles town in Johannesburg was under attack. This is a place where many Nigerians run auto businesses in form of mechanical workshops. Many cars in the workshops have been burnt down!

There are several schools of thoughts on the rising xenophobic attacks in post-apartheid South Africa and where this could lead to in the future.

One that is a consistent narrative from different sources in South Africa is that some South African citizens can be categorised as lazy, stupid citizens. They are the ones that are easily manipulated by hate speeches such as the one given by the stupid Zulu King.

This school of thought believes that this category of South Africans is always jealous of the achievements of the foreigners.

In this post-apartheid South Africa the arguments go further that the locals have refused to do something good with their time and energy. They wait on the government to give them houses, water, light and other things all for free.

A careful analysis on this behaviour with respect to the situation during and after the collapse of the traumatic apartheid regime needs to be investigated and reported. It may help politicians in South Africa to come to their senses.

Why have the citizens of South Africa failed to take advantage of the opportunities around them thereby allowing foreigners to perch on these opportunities? What is the role of the lack of education in all these brouhaha? Why are the people generally regarded as lazy?

My investigations revealed that the people behind the massacre and looting in South Africa are those who blame the whites, their fellow Africans and even their government for everything that is not going well with them.

Sadly they have refused to get up to do something tangible with their lives. They enjoy drinking, smoking, sleeping and idling around while expecting that everything should be given to them for free. In extreme cases they loot and take from others by force or through the use of arms.

An average uneducated South African does not understand how foreigners from Malawi or Zimbabwe doing menial jobs are able to make ends meet because they don’t get the logic that little drops of water make a mighty ocean.

They are so myopic they don’t know that Nigerians can make profits with their legitimate businesses starting with little investments. They should come to Nigeria and see how hairdressers, small shop owners and several petty traders keep their families together with the profits from their different businesses.

It appears that South Africa will forever remain hostile to Nigerians and other people in their midst. The xenophobic attacks of April 2015 were already predicted in March 2014 after similar attacks.

Words from south Africa continues to reveal that these attacks will continue but at varying degrees. The prediction is that South Africa may go down one day if the government does not wake up to put her acts together.

If this ever happens, the country that has called itself by the name of an entire region-Southern Africa-will not receive aid or help from other African countries.

The post apartheid children of South Africa will eventually be taught the history and lessons of the apartheid years and that may be their saving grace from the way of perdition that they have chosen.

The successes of South African companies and organisations rest on the shoulders of the educated ones among them and the foreigners that appreciate such gestures.

It must be emphasized that those carrying out xenophobic attacks in South Africa don’t care about South Africa companies and interests abroad. They don’t comprehend it and that is why retaliations of any form will not bother them.

On this matter of xenophobism, retaliations are not the options anywhere.

This is where the roles of the government of South Africa become extremely important. They must (and by force too) educate this bunch of fools and by default their children to prevent them from becoming both self-destructive and xenophobic.

The children of the Zulus, all the children of South Africa must not be allowed to grow up with greed, jealousy and foolishness. It will spell doom for the future of the region. The leaders, l was told need to come clean and educate their citizens better. They cannot continue to threat them with kid gloves because of their selfish political gains.

From the Nigerian angle, l think it is about time Nigerians in South Africa look at themselves in the mirror too and take a stock of their sojourn in South Africa.

There are Nigerian professionals and business people in South Africa. They live and work there and contribute to the development of the country. For them South Africa is home. This is the same for Nigerians around the world, doing great in different ways. This is legitimate and a part of human nature and existence.

Unemployment is a serious problem in South Africa. So when it comes to Nigerians living on the streets in South Africa or Nigerians seeking political asylum and having no means of legitimate livelihood, l think this is an unwarranted incursion into the South African enclave.

It is this category of Nigerians that have been clumped together with other foreign nationals as pests and a burden to the South African society

To make matters worse, the Home Affairs Office in South Africa is making several billions of dollars annually from the illegality of issuing permit.

The government of South Africa has turned the issuance of resident permit to a national income earner. At R3000 for an application that can be turned down several times, this industry has come to represent the face of the South African National scam.

Still there are disturbing images of maltreatment of black Africans including thousands of Nigerians seeking different types and shades of permits.

The government of Nigeria must repatriate her citizens who have become a source of burden and even menaces to the people and government of South Africa.

For the ones who have chosen the drug business or prostitution. It is up to the South African government to sharpen her legal system. The police cannot remain corrupt while the people expect a miracle of sanity. The South African police are very corrupt and illegal businesses will always thrive in the midst of corruption.

The cure for drug businesses and prostitution is a functional law system and not xenophobic attacks. It is not as if the South African citizens are saints on this matter. People should be treated equally under the law irrespective of their nationalities or countries of origin.

One cannot also forget that South Africa is well known for the spread of crimes amongst the population. Johannesburg is ranked high among the most dangerous cities in the world.

Every day young South African rascals steal and even molest other people in the society. Sometimes guns are used and people are killed. Some people l know have suffered in the hands of South African criminal gangs.

South Africa has a lot of work to do. To stop apartheid, many African countries stood up for South Africa. I remember the endless chanting of Nigerian musicians back in the days. They sang and shouted down the walls of apartheid.

The people of South Africa are fast becoming slaves in their own land. What has become of black majority rule in the hands of the ANC? Now the aggression is towards the same people who helped them to gain freedom. There is anger in Harare and there is anger in Lagos.

Nigeria must get fully back on her feet again especially as everyone waits anxiously for the take off of the APC mandate at the national level.

Many Nigerians will return home because they are tired and frustrated in South Africa. Many other African nationals may follow suit.

History will record the next recipients of the fatal blow coming from the ignorant people of South Africa. Hopefully then the people would have identified their real enemies.

At that time when the cycle of slavery is complete and fully manifested, maybe eyes will be opened and knowledge will be common.

My final suggestion is to the people and government of Nigeria.

Arise O’ compatriots!

As your brothers and sisters start to return home, let them be fully reintegrated normally into the society. Their potentials as professionals, business people and entrepreneurs must not be allowed to rot away on home soil.

Hug them. Do not stigmatize them.

aderounmu@gmail.com

The Killing Fields of Rivers State

My question to the people of Rivers state is this: for how long do you want to kill your brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers in the name of politics?

Amaechi and Wike are not used to electoral victory through the ballots. Something drastic must be done this weekend in terms of security to end the spate of political assassinations in Rivers State.

The Killing Fields of Rivers State

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

It is hard to comprehend the intricacies and complexities of politics in Nigeria. For sure it is not a normal scenario.

I am not about to change my mind that politics in Nigeria is crazy.

In recent weeks murders or political assassinations have been committed in Rivers State. It is not certain in which direction the investigations are going or if anyone will be prosecuted.

Lawlessness is still a common denominator for politics and several other areas of the Nigerian society.

Political assassinations are rampant in Nigeria and there are many unresolved cases across the country over the past decades.

Hence the Rivers State scenario is not an isolated occurrence. It is a trend that is not about to end soon considering the forthcoming governorship elections and the intrigues that may emerge thereafter.

If taken as a micro-representation of Nigeria or just a case study on its own, what is happening in Rivers State is an escalation of the stupid political processes that occur seasonally across Nigeria.

Sadly, the murders and assassinations that we have seen in Rivers State are products of the mindsets of many people in Nigeria who continue to see politics as a means to an end. To them politics is do-or-die.

To them, politics is a source of deep rooted hatred and the elimination or assassination of political opponents can even warrant ecstatic celebrations including thanksgiving services in churches and mosques.

Politics in Nigeria is generally heart-breaking and in the Niger Delta, very crude too.

The fund that INEC may have expended in organising elections in the Niger Delta region in Nigeria since 1999 may as well have been used for direct development programs instead of the elections.

Again, I am not saying that this crazy situation is peculiar to Rivers State or the Niger Delta alone.

However since the political assassinations in River State is not ending, it is reasonable to use it as a case study.

Typically, ascension to political position in the Niger delta region (if you like say for Nigeria) has always been by anointment. This means that there is usually a general consensus about who is selected or anointed to contest for a certain political post.

It is so organised (or disorganised depending on which side of Nigeria’s home-grown democracy you stand) that the opposition candidate is also aware that his opponent is already approved for the position.

In the remote places of Bayelsa, Rivers and other places in the delta, it is described as clan-to-clan rotation of political appointments.

If Godspower knows that it is the turn of his clan to be sent to the parliament in 2019, he could as well lobby within his family and probably do nothing in the years running to the elections. By implication he knew that when he gets to the house of parliament (state or local), he will become rich. He will share with his clan if he is not selfish.

In essence the political positions are shared and rotated. Governorship positions are not exempted from this arrangement. The settlement of the Odili-Omehia-Amaechi imbroglio can serve as an eye-opener in case anyone is in search of proof of this arrangement.

In furtherance of this, the Niger delta of Nigeria is not usually a place where elections are allowed to take place at voting booths or the votes from the booths are not significant.

The common practice is to find a secure or hidden location usually away from the mainland where heavily armed people are on guard. It is here that the fraudulent massive thumb printings do take place.

In the Niger Delta, as it is also common in several places in Nigeria, the rigged votes do not usually correlates with the number of registered voters. It is because the rigging is so intense that the perpetrators always forget to take the population of the people into account.

There are connections between the politics of the Niger Delta and the retention of the some of the world’s poorest people in what is arguably one of the richest places on physical earth.

The Niger delta remains underdeveloped despite the oil wealth of the area. The permanently corrupt federal government is partly to blame but the bulk of the blame rest on the custodians of the wealth that have been allocated to the region.

The representatives of the region have taken turns via federal and state government appointments to loot in the various regional agencies that have been formed for the purpose of developing the area.

There is also no commitment by the people who get into positions of authority to develop the local areas and the communities because of the way people are appointed to political positions with the collective mentality that it is the turn of a certain clan to “chop”.

May I remind my readers again that this scenario has a national dimension but with varying consequences and implications.

If one looks at the cases of former governors like Alamieyeseigha, Igbinedion, Ibori and Jonathan as few examples, one can get a glimpse of why most of the regions away from the capitals are still not where they should be considering the oil wealth that are looted away by these fraudulent characters.

Fast forward, Ameachi and Wike are from the same clan- the Ikwere clan.

The people of River states consensually know that it is the turn of another tribe to become the governor of River states. This is definitely not a democratic approach and in principle democracy is alien here.

Historically, political thugs and militants re-gained prominence in this region during the 2003 election season. It was at that time that PDP had already taken control of the region and armed the ordinary people, mostly unemployed.

The Obasanjo-Odili collabo would need to answer some questions if a probe is set up today. Similarly, some politicians should be answering for the escalation of Boko Haram terrorists in the north.

Since Amaechi and Wike are not on terms and Mrs. Jonathan is trying to fulfil a promise of electoral victory for Wike, hell is let loose on Rivers State.

Wike has a constitutional right to contest under the platform of his choice. His ambition is normal and healthy but it is taking place against a practice that is alien to the people who even with the PDP would have preferred a candidate not from Ikwere.

There are allegations that the Jonathans have helped Wike in bulldozing his way to the top of the PDP ticket in Rivers State. It is in Nigeria that you hear such things like “by special arrangement, Satan will see God”. Money can do anything in Nigeria.

Both Amaechi and Wike know how the game is played. However since they are on opposite sides of the divide, they are both clamouring that the votes should count. This is new because both of them are not used to electoral victory through the ballots.

In the recent presidential election, it appears that the Wike’s faction-the PDP won the process of counting rigged votes in the bush and presenting it on photocopied papers to INEC. Typical!

Rivers State has been boiling before and after that. APC has suffered more. Her membership is severely decimated by deaths at the top level. Blood is flowing in Rivers and the federal government is acting dumb.

Adopting violence as a way of resolving their political differences is not the best way for Amaechi and Wike. Both are adamant and egocentric on this matter. Personal vendetta is now above the interests of the parties and the will of the people.

The River State crises are not a “small” problem.

There is tension everywhere. There are soldiers everywhere but no safety nets.

As the 2015 elections days approached, APC rallies suffered violent disruptions. People have been shot and people have been killed.

In public places nowadays in Rivers State, it is almost tantamount to a death sentence to mention APC.

Jega’s led INEC accepted a number of disputable results in the just concluded march 28 presidential elections. One of the obvious ones, even as seen through the eyes of the INEC returning officer, was that of Rivers State.

INEC’s fact finding mission’s report on Rivers State as presented by professor Jega was a cock and bull story. Next time, he should tell it to the marines.

However his submission on Rivers State has both advantages and disadvantages.

Understandably, due to the intricacies mentioned in the first paragraph of this essay, Jega’s tactics was an appeasement of the PDP at their sorrowful hour and a subtle counter attack to the display of madness by one Mr. Orubebe.

The acceptance of the results from Rivers State has set the state on virtual fire because it means that whoever rigged best the gubernatorial election on April 11 2015 will capture the state.

PDP has the advantage in Rivers State as it was able to control and manipulate INEC/INEC’s official on March 28 2015. This does not mean that the APC was saintly during the process. One party just overpowered the other, that’s it.

If the presidential results from River States had been cancelled, the tension may have been reduced and probably for the first time since 1999, the people may just realise that the days of rigging are over.

Again, that is also a probability because it seems that the crazy people are on the rampage and dominant in Rivers State. Who knows which way the wind will blow?

On the other hand, cancelling the Rivers State election could also have led to the cancellation of the entire process because there were contestable anomalies and widespread irregularities.

Nigerians accepted the results; the people chose peace above all. It may mean that they know that man made processes will never be perfect.

Now, some reports from the ground in Rivers State will support a hypothesis that the people are not ready to be subdued by the Ikweres for 16 years (Ameachi 8, Wike 8).  It is this hypothesis that Wike is trying to disprove against APC’s candidate, Mr. Peterside.

But only when the votes are counted at the regular voting booths can the truth be known.

Tribal politics is killing Nigeria and it is about to drown the state of Rivers.

Unless Amaechi, Wike and Mrs Jonathan’s influence are taken care firmly by the law, things may get out of hand in River State.

In Rivers State, APC’s agents were barred from polling booths during the presidential election of March 28, 2015. Who gave this order?

Accreditation started at about noon in several places? Who stage-managed the general delay?

What is INEC putting in place and what are the roles of the security agents to ensure that normalcy prevails in Rivers State on Saturday the 11th of April 2015?

Will the army continue to stand by the PDP only or will they stay away and allow the people to vote?

Who will count the votes? PDP’s or APC’s agents disguising as INEC’s official?

Which votes will be counted? Will they be the votes from the booths or the votes from the creeks/bushes?

The most significant question should be put to the people of Rivers: for how long do you want to kill your brothers and sisters, your fathers and your mothers, in the name of politics?

Not until the Rivers run dry…..

aderounmu@gmail.com