Boko Haram and One Hell of a Country

By Adeola Aderounmu

Nigeria will have to do a lot more on her immigration policy. Chadians and Nigerien infiltrating Nigeria and unleashing mayhem on Nigerians is completely unacceptable. Northern Nigeria is a ready-made fertile ground for jihadists and for once those who introduced the sharia system of government in Northern Nigeria are beginning to see the foolishness of their actions.

In the name of politics and political gains, the Northern states in Nigeria introduced the sharia system of governance which is contrary to what the national constitution stipulates. Nigeria is a secular country and the introduction of sharia under the Obasanjo administration is a very costly mistake. It was an act of madness which MUST be reverted as early as possible. Obasanjo did nothing to stop the foolishness and stupidity of the Northern Governors which incidentally include Yar’ Adua who is now ruling Nigeria after forcing his way to power through illegitimate elections.

Bokom Haram is the latest addition to the “hell” that Nigerians are going through. This is a national problem and the effects are profound in the North of Nigeria. The illegal immigrants from Chad and Niger and the massive pool of unemployed Northerners have now become a national emergency.

Bokom Haram would have to be wiped out literarily. I am sure of this. But the real battle will include addressing fundamental issues relating to the Nigerian constitution, education, social infrastructure and national orientation. What does the constitution say about religion and secularity?

When we have addressed the issue of returning the Northern States to normalcy, it will bring social justice and fairness to the various citizens esp Christians living in Northern Nigeria. I mean the south of Nigeria is still secular and no southern states have declared their territory Christian Nation. So if Nigeria is one country, there should be a way unify the country in an absolute manner. If the Northern States continue to have Sharia constitution, then Nigeria is definitely not one country. It will be an illusion to address her as such.

Religious crises are parts of the hallmarks of Northern Nigeria. Bokom Haram is the latest addition to the madness in Northern Nigeria. Over the years we have seen how Christians and other innocent citizens have been slaughtered for no reasons at all. There was a time a problem in far away Denmark led to the slaughtering of Christians in Northern Nigeria. To avoid a Miss World Show from being staged in Nigeria, Christians also paid with their lives. They were murdered by riots in Northern Nigeria.
The level of ignorance and illiteracy in Northern Nigeria is extremely high and shameful. This is the same Nigeria that has been ruled for several years by military men and civilians from Northern Nigeria. These rulers do not have plans to educate the civilians in the North, at least not to the standard that is obtainable in the East, South and West of Nigeria. This way the few privileged ruling class in the North can conveniently suppress the illiterate population. Worse still is the ease with which these illiterate populations are harnessed and used for religious and political violence and riots.

In this manner, the Bokom Haram found a fertile ground to infiltrate the vulnerability of the people and the states in the North of Nigeria. It is a sad situation. Years of neglect, underdevelopment and ineptitudes has caught up with the North. It has infected the entire country because everything is now slow and almost standstill. The country is almost entirely paralyzed due to strikes and inefficiency of institutions.

Due to the mentality of the illiterates and politicians from Northern Nigeria, I don’t know if it is possible to completely prevent religious riots or uprisings in Northern Nigeria. It is a very complex situation as ignorance is a real disease. But a few things can be done over the next few decades for the future of Nigeria.

Education should be given more attention. Massive and unprecedented efforts should be made to educate all the children born in Northern Nigeria and of course in Nigeria as a whole. Such an effort will minimize the high level of illiteracy and consequently ignorance about religion and religious tolerance. Civics should be taught in Nigerian schools. Tolerance, co-existence and the acceptance of other people’s views should be emphasized.

Imagine that 80% of the Manufacturing companies in Kano have closed businesses. Kano is the commercial center of Northern Nigeria. This means that probably millions of youth in the North are unemployed or idle. Urgent steps must be taken to address unemployment across Nigeria. Electricity is almost absent in Nigeria and this is affecting businesses. What is wrong with Nigeria? Electricity must be restored by all means so that business can come back to Nigeria. Individuals and private people also need electricity to do many things.

Provision of basic infrastructures ranging from housing to water and safe environment (in addition to the electricity mentioned above) is now even more than National Emergency. It is something that must be done NOW!


Mohammed Yusuf

Mohammed Yusuf KILLED

Mohammed Yusuf (www.bbc.co.uk)

Image from BBC

Detained Nigeria sect leader dead http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8177451.stm

Mohammed Yusuf has been killed in Police Custody. Extra-judicial killing?

2009 Nigeria: Abuja Scavenger Makes Usd1.00 Daily

By Adeola Aderounmu

A few days ago in Abuja a group of women waylaid the FCT Minister. Apparently these women representing families that have been deprived of electricity supply for several weeks decided to embarrass the Minister as he was leaving his electric-powered house for his comfortable office in a long convoy.

Somehow the Minister Adamu Aliero managed to get the NEPA manager in Abuja to the site where he was being detained and interrogated by the helpless but determined mothers and wives. The NEPA manager promised for the umpteenth time that electricity will be restored to the area. But he said that the power supply for the next few months will probably be between the hours of 7-10 am daily.

I was shocked when the women agreed with such a proposition. But then can anyone blame them? They are probably aware that some parts of Nigeria have been in darkness for several years. With Nigerian total power generation fast approaching 0 MW, they must know that they can’t ask or get too much from a very slow poison government (VSPG). So the anticipation of electricity for 3 hours per day will be a privilege if NEPA works out a solution. However, I seriously doubt that they will get 3 h/day supply of electricity.

I spent most of 2001 fighting a war against NEPA. Residents of 23 Road/402 Road Axes of Festac Town would never forget how I risk the lives of their children to NEPA Alausa, NEPA 512 Road and NEPA Agboju almost every other day. We even stopped at LTV Ikeja on our way. We made the newspapers, we made the TVs but we labored in vain. I know NEPA very well; it’s an acronym for DARKNESS and STONE AGE.

I have also seen a report that showed how wastes are disposed indiscriminately in Abuja. Senate committee members’ pretending to be doing their work were threatening to summon 3 ministers to the house of assembly as if the assembly has done any tangible thing in 2 years apart from sharing money. The FCT minister, the health minister and the minister in charge of the Environment don’t have to worry. Once the senate committee members are settled by the concerned contractors and agents, they will shut up.

In that same report you could see recycling facilities that have been built for upwards of 20 billion naira performing below capacity or not functioning at all. One of the inefficient sewage handling facility runs on 8 million naira diesel monthly. How true is that? 8 million naira monthly on diesel! Where are the contractors who built malfunctioning waste-handling facilities?

One Nigerian man, an Abuja scavenger makes 200 naira daily from toiling and searching for useful materials on the expanse of land housing Abuja rubbishes. By selling plastics or other useful materials, this scavenger makes approximately Usd1.00 daily. This is not a revelation. It is well known that this country flowing with milk, money and honey has about 70% of the population living below the poverty line, and about 54% of the population living on less than a dollar per day. It is just remarkable that while politicians, looters and contractors are making several billions of naira/dollars in less than 1 year, there are people making less than N70 000 annually! Some people do not make money at all and they have no known form of social security.

Was I the only one who heard Adamu Aliero saying that the (Human) Rehabilitation Centers in Abuja needs rehabilitation? This was in response to how the FCT can help homeless and less privileged people in Abuja. Adamu came across as a very confused person. What does it mean to say that a rehabilitation center needs rehabilation? Who is not confused or indolent among the entire members of the VSPG?

I don’t think Adamu knows what is called “from waste to wealth”. It is unfortunate that the (easy) oil money, corruption, irresponsible acts, ineptitude and mediocrity in governance do not allow us to have people who appreciate the existence of other resources in Nigeria. That waste in Abuja and elsewhere in Nigeria are money spinning industries that are lying in desolation-double wahala if you ask me. That scavenger can be gainfully employed if the recycling facility is working. He would even be a tax-payer! How much damage have we done to the Nigerian economy by relegating Agriculture, Education, Science, Medicine and Technology?

The present administration in Nigeria is one that is a complete failure. Unfortunately for ordinary Nigerians things are even going to get worse because at this moment the attention is now on 2015 Elections. 2011 Elections are almost over and governance is at a standstill in 2009. David Mark who constantly reminds me of how Nigeria became a failed country has canvassed for automatic tickets for all senators and Iwu the chief forger must have finished compiling the fabricated results. The cycle of idiocy has just been renewed, 2 years in advance.

It takes a combination of foolishness and stupidity to believe in something called vision 20-2020 in a very corrupt and unserious country. What happened to shelter for all by the year 2000? In this backward moving country, MDG have become Millennium Death Goals. Nigeria is too corrupt to achieve goals and targets. We must strive (even if it means against all odds) to counter the maneuvers of the politicians who have failed to deliver until now. We can do it, it is possible.

The channel from a failed state to a sustainable state is convoluted and only a purposeful leadership can navigate clearly to take us there. Miracles apart, it will at least 50 years and we are not even on the starting block yet. As we endure the last 2 years of this extremely wasteful and disgraceful illegal regime, we must prepare for the future of our children’s children. As we approach 2011 let all responsible and well-meaning Nigerians come together and form the most assertive (single) medium of CHANGE known to mankind. It may be the last chance for this generation to take back what is theirs from a formidable gang of rogues.

Mr. Onovo: Another Bad Cop?

By Adeola Aderounmu

Mr. Onovo said he would continue from where the former IGP, Okiro stopped. Where did Okiro stopped? Is this is joke? Mr. Onovo should apologize to all Nigerians for making such a very careless and frightening statement

The statement is a very dangerous one. Nigerians should ask Mr. Onovo for the implication of this statement. Mr. Okiro was a very bad cop. There was no improvement of the Nigerian Police Force under his command. Why would any sane person continue with failures? Words like turning the Police Force around for good would have given a ray of hope.

Under Mr. Okiro, the “National police (and security forces) were reported to have committed politically motivated and extrajudicial killings. Some security forces allegedly killed individuals while trying to extort money from them. Police and military personnel used excessive and sometimes deadly force, and there were reports of security forces committing torture. Police and security forces raped and committed other forms of sexual violence on women and girls. Many prisoners died from treatable diseases due to inadequate medical care”-(Source: The Fund For Peace )

The truth is that the rot in the Nigerian Police did not start with Mr. Okiro. Since Nigeria is under the tutelage of political gangsters, we didn’t expect any magic from a corrupt man and a liar like Okiro but the guy took the rot to a whole new level. With a bad cop like Okiro, Tafa Balogun became a tip of the iceberg. Barely 24 hours to leaving office, Mr. Okiro was soaked anew in new charges of corruption.

In 2008, reports released by Nigerian Human Right Organizations stated that the Nigerian Police was the number one violator of human rights in Nigeria. To this moment, the Nigerian Police have not refuted the statement. It is true. So Mr. Onovo will continue with such a legacy? Really?

Personally I am very, very afraid of the Nigerian Police. Each time they stop me on the road for normal vehicle checking, they always collect money from me. I have heard many stories of how innocent people have been shot dead and framed up. What am I supposed to do when they point their guns on my head? What are we supposed to do as ordinary Nigerians when the one who should protect us is threatening us with guns?

I have no iota of confidence in the Nigerian Police. In the last few weeks the reported cases of robbery, assassinations, kidnapping and general crime rate across Nigeria has escalated at an alarming rate. I don’t blame all of these on the Nigerian Police, not at all. This is a country where there is no plan for anyone not connected especially politically and where social security is zero.

I have written times without number that no single problem in Nigeria can be solved in isolation. In Nigeria, governance is non-existent. 2011 is already stolen. Another 6 years of deep-seated corruption, looting and further infrastructure decay has been sealed. Therefore it will be unfair to single out a department for outright bashing. I was just worried that Onovo promised to continue with failures.

The Nigerian Police Force, like the rest of us and our public institutions, is suffering from neglect. The Police Fund disappeared under Obasanjo and we don’t know what has happened to the family members of Obasanjo who allegedly stole the money. What has been done in the last 10 years to ensure that the Police stay one or two steps ahead of the criminals and robbers?

What are the roles of the Nigerian Police in the peculiar Nigerian Political arrangement? Have the Nigerian Police also decamped to the PDP? Specifically, with Ekiti in mind, in what ways have the Nigerian Police joined the PDP in destroying the foundations of our democracy?

Is it possible for the police to redeem its image as a drunken, red-face, money collecting gun trotter? How will the police ensure the protection of lives and property under Mr. Onovo? How can the Police become my friend? In 2011, as everyone continue to decamp to the PDP, what will be the role of the police in ensuring that my vote is counted?

Finally, Mr Okiro may have laid the foundation for the anticipated failure of Mr. Onovo. Hear him: Nigeria is one nation, no matter where you come from. We have to fight and die for the country and I will want all of you to support the president.

If Onovo supports Yar’ Adua (which is expected because he was appointed by Yar’ Adua), he will probably stand on the wrong side of history. But all men have a choice of how they want to be remembered in true historical scripts. This is like one of those movies-you can predict how you think it will end by looking at the names of the actors. 2011 and 2013 are around the corner. The end

The Nigerian Floods: A warning from me since 2009, 70 000 Nigerians May Perish Overnight..!

By Adeola Aderounmu

Over 70 000 may die in Benue State of Nigeria if the Volcanic Lake Nyos in Cameroon erupt before you finish reading this article. According to reports over 30 000 livestock are also at risk in Benue State alone. This lake is adjacent to Nigeria and its eruption may affect Benue, Kogi, Enugu, Adamawa and Taraba States. By implication about 40m Nigerians may be at risk.

This problem has been brought to the fore probably before 2006. The Obasanjo administration raised a technical committee which submitted a report on the situation. In January 2009, it was disclosed that a sum of N26 billion has been committed to the construction of a buffer dam at the Nigerian side of the Lake. The buffer dam is supposed to reduce the impact of the eruption.

At least two agencies of the United Nations have voiced their fears about the latent dangers of the lake. According to the United Nations Environment Programme the world would witness the greatest humanitarian crisis on the African continent should the lake erupt.

When I saw the buffer dam that is reportedly being built by the Nigerian Government I was shocked. Three years after the threat was revealed the dam is probably the same size as the 6-yard penalty box area of a football field. The contractors complained of lack of funds! So what has happened to the N26 billion released in January? Has it been shared by the contractors and the different state governments that are at risk?

This is Nigeria…we are never prepared for any disaster. Though we have been faced by many reported and unreported disasters our approach remains the fire brigade approach or the post-disaster approach where we seek cosmetic remedies. Again, this is Nigeria.

In 1976 the Federal Government of Nigeria established the National Emergency Relief Agency (NERA) to coordinate its disaster response activities. The Agency was purely a relief organization focusing only on post disaster management. In 1999, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was established to replace NERA and to manage disasters in Nigeria in its entire ramification.

What has NEMA done about this current threat to 40m Nigerians? Has NEMA monitored the situation and the reports made by the technical committee set up by Obasanjo? Was NEMA part of the committee? How is NEMA monitoring the state of preparedness of all organizations and agencies which may contribute to this particular disaster management? If the disaster occurs now, what rescue operations are in place? Does NEMA have any comment on the state of the buffer dam that is nothing but a serious national embarrassment to Nigeria? Has any useful information been posted on NEMA’S website relating to this predicted disaster? How do the concerned people get access to such information? I did a quick browse of NEMA’s website and I’d probably missed the information.

I don’t know if we should send our sympathy in advance for the danger that is ahead of the people of Benue and probably the other states mentioned as possible risk areas. This is because if I know Nigeria very well, the bulk of the N26 billion is probably in a foreign bank by now. If this is Nigeria-where the most corrupt people that I know reside-the ugly buffer dam will mostly likely remain in comatose while the contractors and the officers of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and water Resources will disappear into thin air anytime soon. I sincerely hope that someone will prove me wrong.

This country needs serious help and deliverance!

Everybody is on Strike in Nigeria

By Adeola Aderounmu

ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) is on strike
Doctors are on strike
Radio and Television (RATTAWU) workers are on strike
NEPA (National Electric Power Authority) staffs are on strike

What kind of country is Nigeria really?

It is in this same country that politicians cart away billions of naira annually by ensuring that their own exaggerated salaries, allowances, and bonuses are paid as promptly as possible. The politicians are sharing billions of naira daily through their takeaways while the rest of the population continue to struggle between thick and thin to get their own rewards for their different labours.

ASUU is fighting brain drain and the decay of infrastructure in the public Universities. ASUU has been doing that for ages and the agreement they had with the Nigerian government in 2001 is the crux of the matter in 2009. Sometimes it is very difficult to understand the real problems. For example, how can agreements made in 2001 remain unfulfilled in 2009? It’s sickening!

I am sure that the other strikes are also related to unfulfilled promises on the part of the Nigerian government. NEPA staffs are also threatening strike actions! Isn’t that funny? There is almost no electricity in Nigeria and the PHCN or NEPA staffs are planning a strike. It appears that they know something that the rest of us don’t know. We’ll see where this takes us next.

The bottom line is that I see a government or successive governments devoid of both mission and vision. A delusionary government that wants to be one of the top 20 nations in 2020….someone should tell the rulers to shut their mouths and stop deceiving themselves. In 2020 the government will be looking at 2050. This can only be prevented through drastic changes in government attitudes and drastic measures that will promote sincerity of purpose and visionary leadership.

As the country remains in paralysis mode, the current emphasis is now how to capture government houses in 2011. Two years to the next election, evil plans have already been laid to rig elections and once again ensure that the votes are not counted.

INEC has not been restructured and the important recommendations of the election committee have been set aside to continue to ensure that autocracy is the norm rather than democracy.

Nigeria is not yet a serious country. When she is ready, first she will fight corruption and get rid of it from her system. Second, she will arrest and jail corrupt men and women and thirdly, she will lay the foundations for strong democratic structures.

Starting from the top, Nigerians need to be re-orientated on how to build a strong and vibrant nation. Surely selfishness, corruption, election rigging and looting are not parts of the prerequisites that will determine the 20 biggest economies in 2020.

Certainly an inactive, illegitimate and non-vibrant leadership is a big minus for a sleeping giant of sub-Saharan Africa. Pity!

Between Obama, Ghana and Nigeria

Between Obama, Ghana and Nigeria

By Adeola Aderounmu

I have no problems with Obama going to Ghana. My problem is the hypocritical stance of the US government. Democracy is on a strong footing in Ghana. Ghana is a model of good governance and Ghana might as well (to some extent) represent some of the hopes that we have for Africa. Therefore this visit to Ghana is in order.

However I will like to take Obama to task on some issues that affects Nigeria. There are serious allegations against Obama’s United States that the US is a major contributor to the corruption and bad leadership in Nigeria. Nigeria is a leading producer of crude oil and the United States has been implicated in the crises rocking the Nigerian corrupt government and the genocides that have been perpetrated in the Niger Delta.

I want Mr. Obama the president of the United States to take these allegations seriously because if he is not going to Nigeria, it might perhaps also be as a result of the shame resulting from the activities and the role of the United States in the government of Nigeria and the Niger Delta oil crises.

In 1993, Nigeria conducted the best election in her history. The winner of that election was denied of his mandate. As a matter of historical fact MKO Abiola, the winner of that election was killed in prison when he received visitors from Obama’s United States. It remains a mystery why such an act was committed in the presence of the representatives of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was the president of the United States and our own president-in-waiting died when delegates from Bill were visiting.

I will like Mr. Obama to respond to the situation. Let him take a look at the history books and also a run through the list of the United States delegate. What is America’s story in the death of the hope of millions of Nigeria-MKO Abiola? Former Nigerian military gangster Abdusalami Abubakar was charged to court for this murder. Was he standing trial then on behalf of the US? President Obama should tell us what happened.

There is an allegation that the US always support any presidential candidate in Nigeria who will oppress the people if necessary just to ensure that the oil quota that goes to the US from the Niger Delta remain constant or that such a candidate promises a prospect of increase. Nigeria’s former dictator wiped out en entire community for the sake of the black gold and the US or the UN does not see that as a crime against humanity. The US did not press for the trial of Gen Obasanjo. Instead Gen Obasanjo was rewarded with a UN job to Congo. What a world!

This year, Mr Yar’ Adua who was selected as Nigeria’s leader 2007 in the worst election ever in human history has also committed genocide in the same Niger Delta region. The British and the US have not condemned such act. In fact Britain through Gordon Brown is a major arms supplier to Yar’Adua. Yar Adua had committed genocide and he is killing civilians including women and children. Mr. Obama has never condemned the genocide and Gordon Brown will rather talk about Mugabe.

The US was very slow to codemn the elections that brought Yar’Adua to power because they know that he is there to protect their interest in the Niger Delta. George Bush wanted the US marine in the Delta, almost setting up an African center. American interest in Nigeria is primarily the oil and not the welfare of the people.

Really, I don’t blame the United States at all. In my native language, we say that if the wall if not open, the lizard will not find a space to hide. Nigeria is a corrupt country no doubt and the rulers are just there to line their stomach and pockets. These notorious acts serve any imperialist perfectly. They need block heads and looters to sustain their own interests.

Therefore Mr. Obama should go to Ghana in peace and stop telling us why he is going to Ghana. The US can siphon our oil and give aids to Ghana. Nigeria does not need aid!! Ten Nigerian politicians can give 20 billion US dollars to Africa. With people like Babangida, Yar Adua, Obasanjo, Odili, Ibori, Anenih, Tafa Balogun, Gbenga Daniels, Bukola Saraki, Dimeji Bankole and David Mark just to mention a few, 20 billion dollars is a piece of cake in Nigeria!

Obama should watch out for Nigeria politicians in Ghana, they may be approaching him with loads of Ghana-must-go bags! They will surely contain dollars enough to entice Obama to Nigeria as early as next week.
My pain is that with 140m people, only a few hundred gangsters have taken us into perpetual slavery. When illegitimate and corrupt governments in Nigeria are backed by the British and the United States, the Nigerian masses are invariably helpless.

The destiny of Nigeria lies in the hands of Nigerians.