Goodluck Jonathan is just another waste of opportunity for Nigeria

By Adeola Aderounmu

There is a recurring dilemma with poor administration in Nigeria. No matter what the defenders of Jonathan or the previous useless rulers in Nigeria want to say in their defense they will not be justified. No, they won’t.

My argument…

When Babangida was the dictator and paramount ruler from 1986 to 1994, he was too busy with corruption and it’s institutionalization that for those 8 wasteful years he did not occur to him that Nigerians deserve good health facility.

When Babangida got sick or had a foot injury he would fly to France for treatment. I have always argued that Nigerian rulers are fools. That opinion has not changed. When the ruler of a country like Nigeria flies to France to treat a foot injury or stomach ache, then that ruler is a stupid person. What should 140m Nigerians do when they get sick?

It is not only Babangida who did such. Invariably Nigeria’s corrupt politicians take turn to queue at hospitals abroad when they are sick. This has been on-going for over 50 years. When Nigerians got independence in 1960 caution was thrown to the winds. Everything you can imagine collapsed, either gradually or suddenly.

A few years ago Babangida’s wife died in a foreign hospital.

In 8 years this guy could have used some of the monies he stole to build the best public hospital in the world in Nigeria but he didn’t.

The state governors, the state ministry of health and the federal health institutions do not see the need to make health provision in Nigeria a top priority. It became increasingly difficult to get quality health services in Nigeria. I can only imagine the cost of getting health care from private health institutions. Still the politicians prefer to go abroad.

General Adisa died in a foreign hospital and recently Ojukwu died in a London Hospital. The roll call is endless of how Nigerian go abroad to die because they (when they had the opportunity) did not see the need to build or utilize the facilities at home.

Late Yar Adua during his short spell at Aso rock-the global center of corruption-oscillated between Germany, Saudi Arabia and other countries to seek medical help. When he was governor for 8 years he could have done something to change the situation of health care delivery in Katsina. Even for his own benefit he could have set aside a certain budget to actualize the dream of getting treated in Nigeria. He almost died abroad-but he was package home to die.

Obasanjo’s wife Stella died while Obasanjo was the president. She went abroad to do a beauty operation and never returned. If the health institutions in Nigeria had been given adequate attention-who knows-the operation could have been carried out in Nigeria, it could have been successful. Many people hate to even talk or hear about beauty operations because they think people should be proud of their bodies while not neglecting the concept of healthy living.

Who can forget when Atiku Abubakar went to London to get clutches? This is supposed to be the vice president of Nigeria and a former state governor. Tell me why Nigerian political rulers are not fools?

It is against the backdrop of these ugly precedents and incidents that the recent trip of Patience Jonathan to a foreign hospital becomes yet another sad development in the history of Nigeria. Patience Jonathan is receiving treatment abroad. The presidency can afford to waste tax payers’ money in facilitating the treatment of Mrs. Jonathan abroad.

Of lesser importance is the nature of her sickness. In a country where red is white and black is green no one knows exactly what is wrong with Mrs. Jonathan. This is because the government reported that she is on a “rest vacation” as the media reports food poisoning, to ruptured appendix and food poisoning.

But where should the rest of Nigerians go when they are sick? The presidency is saying that there are no health facilities in Nigeria and that Nigerians can rot away or go to hell! If the unreliable Nigerian presidency is not saying this, then what is the message when Mrs. Jonathan cannot be treated by any hospital in Abuja or Lagos? Or is the message that Nigerian doctors are incompetent? I would seriously disagree with the latter.

One of my best friends lost his mother a few weeks ago. If the health care is Nigeria was working fine, she would still be alive. She had a disease that was treatable and manageable. Several thousands of Nigerians have died has a result of illnesses that can be treated or managed to prolong their lives-but they never got the chance.

Nigeria still has probably the highest maternal related deaths in the world and remains a hot spot for malaria related deaths.

The government of Nigeria represented by the incompetent presidency, the useless lawmakers, the useless governors, and several collections of corrupt people is an evil organization where the occupiers of power care first for themselves (and their families) and almost never for the people. It is sad that the people of Nigeria have not “run over” these governments over the years. It is really unbelievable.

There will be no justification for the people living hopelessly in Nigeria and dying from preventable causes while the presidency and the rest of the politicians merry in Nigeria, merry abroad and die abroad or almost dying abroad as in the case of late Musa Yar Adua.

In every Nigerian family there are people who need medical attention. There are friends and acquaintances who need a little health provisions. Every now and then we see how Nigerians desperately try to raise a certain amount of money to help friends and family members. Often it is too late even as the money comes in as drops. In many cases there are desperations to fly the victims to a foreign country! This is a sad situation.

This is the reason for my argument that the present regime headed by Mr. Jonathan is just another useless regime. This guy has been around for sometime, first in Bayelsa where he cannot point to any reputable or tangible project he did and now in Aso rock. In all of these years, just like the fools who ruled Nigeria in the past, Mr. Jonathan and the corrupt presidency that he represents has not seen the reason to build a hospital or to support one that he and his family can utilize.

Tell me, where is the hope of the common man in Nigeria?

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Teachers’ Reward Is Not Even In Sweden, It Remains in Heaven..!

By Adeola Aderounmu

You must feel sorry for teachers. Or should I say I feel sorry for myself.

No matter what alarms have been rang that the world will be a worse place without teachers, the world has managed to move on with relative progress. Still teachers have not been excluded from that motion, it is just that where it mattered most they have been neglected and treated like fools. If you read between the lines maybe you will make a meaning from my last but one sentence.

When I worked as a teacher in Nigeria I was never qualified for the job but my students and their parents praised my efforts. At one school my salary was a huge joke. I worked in several places at the same time and managed to run my own after-school lessons.

In the end I was quite comfortable because I taught children of rich parents and got paid for my quality services, all still been tagged “not qualified” and paid peanuts at the government school where I continue to work part time.

I lectured briefly at the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos before I settled abroad, in a way abandoning a system that I couldn’t change. I tried not to look back to what could have been. I look forward to what has been a continuation of what I did best, and still doing-teaching young people how to become responsible and how to acquire academic excellence. These challenges are what young people need to open the windows of opportunities ahead of them.

When I had my windows opened, I took the path I’d always love. I left medical research and settled for the classroom. Then I went further and took a Masters degree in Education. What do they say about following your dreams?

But I have come to realize (not that I didn’t before) that teachers are maltreated in almost every society and country of the world. Some places are worse than others.

In Nigeria for example, public education is almost dead. The scope of that discussion is beyond the reasons for this essay. To be educated today as a Nigerian, you’ll pay through your nose or your parents will send you to Ghana or England to get quality education. The teachers in Nigeria can tell the rest about how their jobs have become the ultimate nightmare in the country on free fall since 1960.

In Sweden where you’d expect that the more responsible government will take good and drastic measures to arrest the failing standards and the poor salaries of the teachers the story is gradually becoming a daily embarrassment.

Technology is supposed to be taught in Swedish high school but apparently there are no interested candidates in that field. The number of people training to become technology teachers in Swedish high school is to say the least, a disaster. So over the years teachers of science-who are rapidly becoming short in supply as well- have been teaching technology. The implication is that the quality has been taken away for a long time. The efforts of the science teachers who combine 4-5 subjects has never been rewarded or acknowledged.

But Sweden has managed to remain on top in terms of technological advancement. It is not clear how the current shortages and acute problems in the secondary schools will affect the country in the future.

What has happened in Sweden is that the teaching profession has suffered a serious humiliation.

People are almost sympathizing with you if you tell them you are a teacher! What they are saying is in their minds is “how do you cope with the stress and demands of being a teacher in Sweden and still remain happy to be surviving on such a ridiculous salary”?

A few years ago in Sweden-as I read-teachers probably earn the same salaries as politicians but while the salaries of politicians have skyrocketed, that of teachers remained at sea-level. Engineers and accountants, lawyers and other professionals earn more money than teachers in Sweden. Did someone say that is a global thing and not localized? And how does globalizing such a misnomer make it justified? Is the world crazy?

The message is thus, young people should aspire to become professionals in the field where they will get lots of money at the end of the month. I doubt if any of these other professions involve more stress than the work of teachers, yet they get more money. Is teaching not a professional job?

Even cashiers and security workers get salaries that are comparable or higher than what many teachers earn.

One of my students told me a few years ago that she felt so sorry for me because when she did an industrial attachment (PRAO) as a 14 or 15 year old, she realized how easy it was to work as a cashier in a supermarket. She asked me, why are you a teacher undergoing so much stress when you can just sit down at a counter and give people receipts?

The other day a student told me “teachers don’t earn more than 15 000 SEK.

When these situations arise/arose I have learnt to keep quiet and not defend the teaching profession. These children, some of them I would say, must have heard their parents or guardians talk badly about the nature of the teaching profession, and why they should never become teachers!
What they have not heard and what the society and a country like Sweden has failed to tell is that when teachers are not working or when teachers fail to deliver, the society may likely collapse and very bad consequences will follow.

This is September 2012; many teachers in Sweden have not been told what their salary increase for 2012 will be. This is an agreement that should have been reached since April 2012. Everyday in the Swedish media there are loads of report about the problems with the schools.

It appears everybody knows the problem with the teaching profession and the schools in general. It is therefore amazing that not many people think that teachers should get the same salary as the politicians or as the medical doctors or as the engineers.

People are not seeing the problems as problems per se. People always have this feeling that no matter how badly paid teachers are, the society will be ok.

No one has actually taught of: what if there are no candidates aspiring to be teachers over the next 5 years? No one is talking of the consequences of turning out 30 technology teachers annually over the next 15 years?

Many teachers remain unqualified (like I was for about 20 years, 1990-2010). I don’t think the situation will change soon because the urge to become a teacher has reached an all-time low. Why do some of us see the profession as a dream or a call?

It is obvious that with the present global statuses of teachers schools will not survive without unqualified teachers. In many Swedish schools, substitute teachers are life savers!!! It was the same when I worked in Nigeria. We were needed to keep the balance because of the permanent shortage of teachers.

Humans don’t learn from history, that is why mistakes are repeated. That is why shortcomings are permanent features of our existence.

A lot of changes need to be made in schools globally, no doubt. The challenges for the future are becoming greater even as the world becomes a smaller global village. I know that Nigeria is like a failed country struggling with the ruins of several infrastructure and institutions including health and education. I know that the challenges for Nigeria are great because of the nature of the corrupt central government and the crazy political system.

I have also come to see that in Sweden the government is having fun spending tax payers’ money on parties, leisure and general enjoyment. Many government officials in Sweden are also corrupt as revealed by recent newspaper reports (DN and Metro for example). I have come to see that somehow, the emphasis on education at the primary and secondary levels is turning out to be a big disappointment.

Some reforms may have worked well while some have been catastrophic. When education at the lower levels rests on local councils the disparity in the quality is definitely going to be striking depending on the funds available at those local councils. That is just one problem that can be solved through re-legislation.

The bigger problem will be to motivate the teachers. Motivating the teachers will probably be the biggest step in the right direction. The working conditions can be reviewed, salaries must definitely go up and the dignity accorded the profession through legitimation should be pursued and sustained across all levels-fritid, forsolelärare, grundskolalärare and so on.

Sweden is postponing or delaying the evil days. Delays are always dangerous. A problem has been identified, the teacher union has made propositions for solutions but the society is quiet. At the last survey 65% of teachers in Sweden are not motivated. You would have expected a public outcry but it passed like a bird cry. I think that if the percentage of unmotivated teachers is as high as 65% then parents and guardians in Sweden have been sending their children to school and expecting miracles.

But let this story ends, uplift the teaching profession, pay the teachers more money. Let teachers get the same money as politicians. That’s where we were before. Why did the salaries for politicians increase astronomically at the same time that the pay for teachers stagnated? That should be a global question I guess. Let us here the first answer from Sweden. Let not the first answer be that I have been fired from my job. After 22 years in front of thousands of students, I can tell that though I am 40 years ago, I do my job professionally. That’s why I can speak for teachers worldwide.

Bring back the dignity of teachers and preserve the dignity in their labours.

The Bows: Tinubu and Clinton, Buhari and Obama

PhotoNews By Adeola Aderounmu

Former Governor of Lagos State bowing to General Buhari. This image has drawn many negative comments from some group of Nigerians. The reasons are obvious. First is the issue ot tribe and the other is the nature of Nigeria’s (crazy) politics.

Here is former president Clinton also bowing to Obama. Those who think that what Tinubu did was in order have used this image to press home their points.

Clinton bows to Obama

Clinton bows to Obama

Who Wants Black People Dead? -Morgan Freeman is Alive

By Adeola Aderounmu

…Not that I like to the word “black” to describe people, I wish I have a better adjective to drive home my point.

Like me, you must hate to hear the news about the death of black actors and actresses. On Facebook there is a group called RIP Bill Cosby. The man is well, hale and hearty.

We have read about the fake deaths of Eddy Murphy, Will Smith and now we woke up this morning to people liking RIP Morgan Freeman on Facebook.

This trend is absolute rubbish. And when was Rihanna rumored dead?

Who are the fools behind this ugly trend?

Death is inevitable. However it is insanity to report that people who are alive are dead.

It caused pain and distress to family, friends, fans and well-wishers. Even the victim must feel pain for such criminal reports.

People who like these false pages also have a problem. What about checking reliable news sites for such reports/information?

People should always check for the authenticity of news especially the deaths of famous people before foolishly liking the pages or spreading the false news.

To Reuben Abati: Go and Hug a Transformer!

By Adeola Aderounmu

When late Abacha held Nigeria in his palm, Reuben Abati stood out as Nigerian Government Critic Number one! There was no dispute about whose article would be most read on Friday or Sunday back in the days in the Nigerian Guardian.

I do not recall anyone in Abacha’s government or thereafter calling Abati names. Abati was not even arrested despite all his criticisms of the dictatorship and later civilian governments in Nigeria.

At the height of his fame as a government critic Abati asked Nigerians to stone those in power. Was he testing his fame? This was when the Federal Government increased the price of petroleum products-the old subsidy lies that Abati would come to champion in January 2012.

I was told by someone who knows the Guardian very well that Abati was actually collecting brown envelopes for many of those articles that he wrote those days in the Guardian. Everything has fallen into places now that Abati has shown his real image. It may be true that he wrote many articles for money afterall many Nigerian journalists today still have their own favourite politicians.

I am fond of writing that Nigerians have no heroes today and when the likes of Abati remain the mentor for Nigerian journalists, then hope is quenched!

Last week Reuben Abati who now works for the inglorious Nigerian government blasted internet warriors and the rest of you who are fond of abusing Jonathan on facebook and on your blog pages. I am an internet warrior, I have abused Jonathan on facebook and my blog since 2006 is full of abuses and criticisms for the worst and probably most corrupt government in the world with headquarters in Aso rock, Abuja.

So I take Reuben Abati’s message as a direct war. But this is a terrain I know too well. So he and his bootlickers can bring it all on. I will help them spell their last names. T-H-I-E-V-E-S IN P-O-W-E-R.

Some of us have been here-online- long before Jonathan. I wrote to the late Yar Adua government about the futility of taking on internet warriors. Anyone who cares can browse my articles at the Nigerian Village Square. We-the internet warriors-don’t lose and we don’t come last. If Mr. Abati needs a reminder, I will like him to know that long after the reign of his present master, internet warriors will be here in different forms and shades.

It is be an over flog to remind Abati about the nature of the government he serves. How do you begin to recount the stupidity of the government of the day in Nigeria?

A government whose moral compass was lost even before it started sailing. You can tell, unless you wear the garment of the Pharisees.

Farouk Lawan just returned from Mecca. Under the government that Abati is serving, corruption was magnified and redefined. Only men who have no shame will serve in corrupt and useless government. In Nigeria whatever happened to protecting your father’s name and your own integrity?
If Nigerians heed Abati’s call of just a few years ago, then they should be stoning people like him now. It was his call, maybe we should obey him.

I recall my meeting with two of Nigerian’s finest bloggers (names withheld) about 2 years ago in Stockholm. Of course we talked about Nigeria and the government. They laughed at me when I told them that I stopped reading Abati after the Abuja-land saga.

They laughed because they thought I was ignorant to have been one of the several thousands of Nigerians that Abati took for such a long ride. When Abati appeared in Jonathan’s government, it was not a surprise to them. Both of them stopped reading Abati many years ago. They said they saw the light a long time ago.

No doubts I have also written in the Nigerian Guardian a handful of times. No doubt my articles started appearing in the Nigerian Guardian days after I got Abati’s email from (names withheld).

But Reuben Abati should continue to serve his new master according to his conscience. If he likes let him continue to fire at internet warriors and the critics of Mr. Jonathan. It will show his real colours and the nature of his job.

I have been in the blog industry since 2006. I don’t have the intention of retiring now because Abati is serving corrupt people which confirms his own status as a corrupt man who used his articles to buy his way into the corridor where everyone (according to him) should be stoned!

Some of us will never serve in government. Our middle name is Ilesanmi.

Those who join government only to turn against their own constituencies will not find peace. It’s a natural law. Those who join government and cannot resist the temptation to also become corrupt will live with both personal burden and the burden of history.

I have not met a blogger or a government critic who is campaigning for absolute moral purification. Human nature does not tally that line. This is why we separate private from public life I guess. All we have asked for is that those in government must deliver on their promises and stop looting our common treasury.

All we have asked for is that the wealth of Nigeria should serve Nigerians. Just yesterday Bobola Babalola wrote on Facebook that democracy in Nigeria is government of some people, by some people, for some people.

Abati has now joined the few who are taking the rest of Nigeria/Nigerians for a ride. That doesn’t make it ok. That doesn’t mean that Jonathan, his family, friends, executives, senate and other corrupt people can loot and we have to stay quiet.

Abati in government is not a receipt with guarantee. Abati in government is not a form of immunity.

No matter who serves in Nigeria, no matter who is looting in Nigeria, no matter how foolish or wise the government becomes, social critics and public commentators will be here.

It doesn’t matter how we are addressed, we take on this social burden to tell things as they are.

In 2009 I warned about the flood that has now taken Adamawa (check before 70 000 people perish overnight in the NVS). NEMA almost asked for my head. Even the government as a unit was quiet because it is a useless government, constantly so since 1960. People are dying now after N26 billion was spent on invisible dam projects.

Anyway, the government of Jonathan, in my view, is the worst government ever in Nigeria. No matter how much Abati and his followers rant, the truth about the cluelessness of Jonathan, the waste that his government has come to represent and the calamity of the consequences of his inactions (especially) in Northern Nigeria cannot be taken away like a pinch of salt. A thousand Abati and a fake permanent secretary in Bayelsa (aka ghost worker in Rivers) cannot do that.

aderounmu@gmail.com