Nigeria Remains A Scalar Quantity at 49

Nigeria Remains A Scalar Quantity at 49
By Adeola Aderounmu
There is almost nothing to celebrate nationally as Nigeria clocks 49 on 1st of October 2009. As a nation Nigeria has failed her citizenry. There was abundance when we took over the reign of governance from the British in 1960. It didn’t take long before greed, selfishness and lack of political will took the better of Nigerians. After the civil war, the politics of hate and the evil desire to acquire questionable wealth became aggravated. Gradually we led ourselves away from abundance and we chose austerity in its place.

We grounded all our agricultural exports and a few people who captured the country from time to time lavished away the gains of our oil exports. Rather than refining locally, we opted for exportation of our crude oil and importation of the finished products. That is a think-tank for the race-intelligence debate. In the process we created the “oil mafia” who alongside with the cabal continued to enslave the rest of us until this day.

In 1993 we abandoned hope and chose fear. In 1999 we opted for the evil of the past rather that sought fresh minds and new concepts. In 2007 we didn’t ask: where are our votes? In 2009 we confined ourselves to the doldrums and we confirmed our place as a laughing stock among the comity of nations. While the rest of the world is moving ahead we are content with the Pre-Industrial Age existence that has been foisted on us by a few greedy and corrupt men and women now led by a very incapable person called Yar Adua.

Since 1960 till date Nigeria continues to exist as a scalar quantity. We have size but definitely no direction. Nigerians apparently do not want to acknowledge that there has been a vacuum in governance since 2007. Even before then it was possible to see the rising similarities between Nigeria and Somalia. Somalia has not been governed for over a decade. In my personal opinion there is no president in Nigeria and that vacuum must be filled as soon as possible before we begin to address the options that could help change things for the better.

Nevertheless we must continue to remind ourselves of the appropriate things that we need to do to get this failing country back on track. The biggest stumbling block to our collective progress is the manner of our politics. Politics in Nigeria is seen as the biggest income earner and the shortest legitimate cut out of a life of poverty and despair. Invariably these mentalities have brought all kinds of people into politics and public life. Commonly, corrupt and very bad people are in charge of Nigerian politics. It is extremely hard to find a genuine public office holder in Nigeria.

It is also difficult to define a starting point for the way forward for Nigeria. This is because it has taken 49 years to destroy almost every aspects of our national life. The final onslaught is now on education and sports. Everything has fallen apart completely! Which of our problems can be the enviable starting block for the much needed national revamping?

What is going to work for Nigeria? Do we still have any hope? Is it possible for Nigerians to experience the bliss of the 1960s say 40 years from now? Let us forget about the 419 vision 2020. It is a calculated attempt by fraudulent minds to loot and steal. Nothing good can ever emerge from the present order of things in Nigeria! Not with the rogues in power.

I wrote about 2 years ago that to continue to wish that Nigeria will be a better place in the absence of conventional norms is complete fantasy. That there cannot be an escape from our entrapment if we do not have normal democracy; one in which the power rest absolutely on the people. One in which the people can decide what they want and how they want it-a democracy of participation instead of siddon-look.

Nigeria needs a democracy that will empower the people to struggle and win against oppression and dictatorship. Until such a time that real leaders will emerge in Nigeria through the ballots that have been declared free and fair, campaigns like the fight against corruption and the useless ongoing rebranding managed by corrupt people as we have it in present day Nigeria are simply hopeless adventures.

Though many of them got to the National Assembly through fraudulent means, the present crops of lawmakers in Nigeria have a chance to write their names in gold. They should ensure that they promulgate the electoral reforms that will ensure that the forthcoming elections are better than the 1993 elections. The process should start today with proper voters’ registration exercise. The goal should be a non-violent culmination where all votes are counted with minimal setbacks or hiccups in 2011 and beyond.

Nigeria needs men and women with sound minds who can institute and defend the pillars of democracy and the correct rule of law. I am sorry that Yar Adua is seriously ill and that he needs regular medical attention. But I am not sorry that he is living in denial and that he didn’t even use the 8 years he had as a governor to alleviate his medical travails. Even the 2 years he had spent as an illegal president have come to represent the worst 2 years by any Nigerian ruler. I am still very angry that he is pulling down more than 140m people. How hopeless can it get for Nigerians?

Indeed Nigeria is a very complex country in dire need of strong institutions and sound minds because the likes of Yar Adua and his present gang are enemies of progress. A mind as feeble as Umaru’s, pursuing a 7-point deadly agenda is the last thing that a failing nation like Nigeria requires at this crucial moment of our history. It is unthinkable we will endure another 2 years with a stolen cum failed presidency. It is disheartening that 2 years from now we may have reached an irredeemable status.

Nigeria is now 49 years. Where do we go from here? We want credible elections. We want accountable leaders. We want to restore our glory in education and sports. We want to bring food back to our tables. We want good roads. We want constant electric supply. We want employment opportunities to improve. We want to have petroleum products at our gas stations. We want water to drink. We want the value of our currency to rise. We want to have good health care system. We want insurance and security for our lives and property. In short we want a proper standard of living that will take us away from being the dwarf of Africa.

A new and fresh round of elections that will bring hope in place of fear and accountability in place of corruption remains the single most important step forward for Nigeria. It is arguable that if we don’t conduct a successful election in Nigeria, then we will not be able to do other things in the right way especially the true fight against corruption.

It is high time we put the right foot forward. The task of building this nation and making it ready for our children and children’s children must start now. A new national re-orientation that will bring out the best in us as individuals and as a nation is essential. Dignity in labour and the elevation of merit above nepotism will be essential ingredients.

aderounmu@gmail.com

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The days gone by

by Adeola Aderounmu

I have missed blogging. I was busy with my books and then I had a visitor from another country. But now I have a little time to review some major things that I had in mind.


Yar adua’s travel

Umaru Yar Adua went to Saudi Arabia again because he hasn’t found the reasons to build a state of the art hospital in Nigeria 10 years after occupying positions of power. First he wasted 8 years as a governor and for the past 2 years he has wasted everyone’s time as the fake president of Nigeria. Yar adua remains a waste of space and time.

The questions remain: why should the ruler of Nigeria travel to Saudi Arabia for treatment?

Why can’t he build a good hospital for himself in Nigeria or why didn’t he do this as the governor of Katsina State?

Those who are ignorant of Nigeria can easily pop-up the race-intelligence question. If the ruler of a country is used to ascertain the intelligence of the other people then Nigerians are in real trouble. Seriously is it not stupidity that such a man cannot arrange his priorities and ensure that modern hospitals are built for Nigerians including himself?

If the ruler of Nigeria goes abroad for treatment, where should the citizens go?

Nigerian Guardian reporter killed
Nigerian Guardian reporter/journalist Mr. Ohu was gunned down in his home early Sunday morning. That was on the 20th of September 2009. May his soul rest in peace. Anyone expecting that his killers will be found should wake up from his or her nightmare. Nigerian Police do not have the resources to unravel any murder. Check the records and you will not find any solved murder case. The former attorney general Mr. Bola Ige was killed and no one was held accountable. Once again the question of security of life and property is brought to the fore by this ugly incident. Why would anyone assassinate a journalist? Isn’t this an assault on freedom of speech?

Total Strike in Nigerian schools
All public schools in Nigeria are now under lock and keys. Teachers and lecturers are on strike. Here we are in 2009 Nigeria, education finally grounded to zero. Meanwhile the children of the rich are in private schools in Nigeria or they are attending schools in Europe and America.

The fake Minister of education Mr Egwu has not even resigned. Does anyone resign in Nigeria in the face of failure? Never! Instead these nonentities are elevated even as they continue to steal and loot.

Nigeria is now 49 years. Where do we go from here? This country is failing…from where cometh our help? Thy Glory O’ Nigeria is slain upon the high places!

Racism In Arts And Two Good Hearts

September 11 2009 is a day that Belgium-based Nigerian artist Godfrey Williams-Okorodus will not forget in a hurry. Godfrey has been championing a campaign against Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) using art as the tool of his campaign. In respect of this campaign, Godfrey’s work has been shown in the British Parliament, Harvard Faculty Club, Cornell University and several other venues in Europe. On September 11 2009 the art works were displayed in a small town called Ypres in Belgium. Godfrey had an exhibition of his own works along with those of other artists.

The organizers of the exhibition completely ignored the presence of our own Godfrey Williams-Okorodus while the officials of the city and organizers of the event made speeches and keynote addresses. As the originator of the campaign, Godfrey was left in shock. He was not even mentioned or acknowledge in the program. According to him, “I have never in my entire professional career felt so low. Of course I would rather die than allow such injustice and I raised a serious fuss and I was allowed to say something. The question I want answered is: can this same treatment be meted out to a Belgian artist?”

The second case was another incident that involved Godfrey and his friend Bode Owa who is a very well known black actor in Belgium. Bode was billed to perform at the exhibition mentioned above but when they got to Ypres they had to stop to get directions to the venue. In the process Bode spotted a wallet in the middle of the road. He picked it up and walked across to some youths to ask them if the wallet belonged to any of them but they answered in the negative.

So Bode opened the wallet and discovered that it belonged to a British man. Together Bode and Godfrey guessed it must belong to one of the tourists who have probably come to visit the graves of British soldiers killed during the World Wars. They decided to try to give the wallet to the owner rather than the police because Bode had a very nasty experience in the past where he took a wallet he found to the police and they detained and questioned him. The police even accused him of taking money from the wallet.

Anyway this time around Bode and Godfrey called the UK numbers on the complimentary cards that they found in the wallet and left messages saying that they found a wallet and they would like to return it to the owner. These 2 Nigerians even went to a pub in Ypres in an attempt to locate the owner of the wallet. They had seen a receipt from the pub inside the wallet.

After the nasty experience at the exhibition a call came through from the owner of the wallet and an arrangement was made to meet up at the exact spot where the wallet was found. The couple that came to retrieve the wallet actually stood in front of Godfrey and Bode but it was beyond their thoughts that these are the guys who have found their wallet.

It was rather comical as Bode was calling on the phone and Godfrey was looking at the whole scene. Bode had his back to the couple as he spoke to them on the phone on this tiny bridge where it should have been possible to see anyone who was talking on the phone.

Godfrey had to call the attention of the couple saying hey! We are the ones with the wallet. The first word that the man uttered in amazement was, YOU!!! That simple word spoke volumes as the man could not believe in his wildest dreams that he would lose a wallet and have it returned by two black men, one of them in dreadlocks. His jaw dropped and he was speechless for a few seconds. The couple did not know how to show their appreciation, the man was so grateful he refused to check the wallet to see if everything was intact in it.

The man told them that he trusted them so that he still refused to check the wallet even when Godfrey insisted that he should. The man didn’t need any proof of honesty for the case at hand. His wife was almost in tears with gratitude. The couples had planned to leave for Spain the next day but when they lost the wallet they cancelled the trip to Spain. But now they can continue their holidays by still taking the trip to Spain.

They offered money, meals, drinks but Bode and Godfrey turned down all. In Godfrey’s words: “their happiness was enough thanks for us”. Bode and Godfrey formed a common opinion that the next time the couple listens to someone saying how much blacks and other races are dishonest they can at least narrate this experience in Ypres.

Godfrey would like all black people to be like him, walk erect with their heads held high. He sent these words “I have been to a lot of places and I have seen countless injustices. That is why I am using my talent to let the world know that as long as I have breath in my body I will not let any form of injustice and victimization pass by me without protesting loudly and constantly be it wars, hunger, brutality etc. Even after I die my works will still be there to fight on. My parents told me as a child, do good and good will come to you”

With contributions from Godfrey Williams-Okorodus, Belgium
Email: okorodus_art@yahoo.co.uk

R.I.P Gani Fawehinmi

By Adeola Aderounmu

Gani Fawehinmi is dead. He was aged 71.

Gani Fawehinmi

Gani Fawehinmi

Gani fought a good fight and his name will never be forgotten. Gani fought for the good of all and he wanted justice and prosperity to reign in Nigeria.

Unfortunately he did not seem to get his way through his activism. Even when he joined politics there was no way for his likes in the useless political space that prevails in Nigeria.

His death is a great lose to Nigeria and Africa as this Dark Continent continues to seek for true heroes and genuine leaders.

Now that Gani is gone, maybe the stupid politicians in Nigeria can begin to reflect on some of his arguments, dreams and aspirations. But I seriously doubt that an illegitimate government has time to reflect.

Chief Gani Fawehinmi was the voice of the voiceless, the advocate of the masses and part of the conscience of the nation.

Now the history books will be revisited and updated. The rest of the year will be used to detail the life and times of this humble man who dedicated his life, time and energy to the cause of the common man.

Again it is a tragedy that the things that he fought for, went to prison for and invariably died for, are still the same or probably worse. Nigeria was not a failed state when Chief Gani blasted the warning signals. But Nigeria is now a failed state at the time of his death.

And things are getting worse. The man who stood alone fighting for the masses is dead. What are the masses going to do now? Seriously speaking the Nigerian people need no reminder that the death of Chief Fawehinmi should serve as a rallying point to now rise up and take back this country from the fools in power.

First is the issue of electoral reform and secondly is the ultimate search for our votes. In 2011, hopefully the electoral reforms will be done by then, Nigerians should ask “where is my vote” if it becomes necessary. In honour of Gani Fawehinmi, Nigerians must demand for proper elections in 2011, pursuits of accountability in public life and the attainment of good life for all and sundry.

These were some of the dreams of the good man who walked by for 71 years. If we continue to abstain from our civil obligations then peace and prosperity will continue to elude us. Rest in Peace Gani Fawehinmi