When Looters Are Called “Shining Stars”..

By Adeola Aderounmu

I read with dismay that Ms. Oduah is a shining star in the Jonathan administration in Nigeria.

At least by the judgement of one Yakubu Dati the spokesman for the Aviation Industry in Nigeria.

This man is not alone in his foolish conclusion. It is a major challenge for the people called Nigerians because they think that you must be a criminal once you are in governance. I mean family members will question their “persons” in government who do not steal. Nigerians have malformed mentalities with respect to public offices and public service.

For the most, you need to be a hard thief to climb the political ladder in Nigeria. I mean before or after you are indoctriminated into the lootocracy business.

Now we know what shining stars do. They steal, loot and acquire wealth primitively. It is possible because of the presence of total impunity and the absence of justice.

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Boko Haram Continues to Ridicule The Nigerian Army

AdeolaAderounmu

On October 12 2013 the Nigerian Army through one Commander of the 3 Division Special Operation Battalion Damaturu, Colonel A.O. Abdullahi said that his command will not give Boko Haram the opportunity of invading the state again.

But on the 20th of October 2013 Boko Haram murdered 19 people in Borno. They dressed-up as officers of the Nigerian Army and murdered their victims.

This is not the first, second or third time Boko Haram has done some killings just to ridicule the Nigerian government.

I can’t remember exactly when but even Mr. Goodluck Jonathan boasted once that Boko Haram will be gone in a certain month of “June”. I think it was after that they Boko Haram bombed the UN office in Abuja.

It was after his boasting that the Jonathan government started marking events amidst tight security or low key because of the fear of attacks of Boko Haram.

It does not matter what the Nigerian military has done or is doing, what is constant is that Boko Haram rules in Borno and they do what they like and how they like.

I don’t think there are schools in operation anymore in Borno. Boko Haram is ensuring that schools are burnt or students and teachers are killed.

Borno state is both a dilemma, and a source of national embarassment to the Nigerian government. Under a state of emergency, Boko Haram remains potent and deadly.

Some police officers from Eastern Nigeria are currently protesting deployment to Borno State. That is the height of ridicule that Boko Haram has brought the Nigerian Army and the clueless Jonathan administration.

Where does this madness lead Nigeria to?

The Rogue Ministers of Nigeria

Adeola Aderounmu

It is no longer news that Nigeria’s Aviation Minister spent a whooping N225m on the purchase of special cars that are supposed to be used for her protection.

It is a tradition in Nigeria for government officials (starting from the presidency actually) to steal and waste public funds in Nigeria.

This is a useless tradition that has been promoted in various forms and shades and which no serious minded Minister or President is willing so back-pedal on.

In various ways and by various means Ministers and presidents (past and presidents) steal, loot and embezzle public funds.

In this particular case, Nigeria is passing through strings of air crashes and mishaps, therefore it came as a rude shock that the Minister, one Stella Oduah was carrying out inflated purchases of armored cars as planes are dropping from the skies.

Just to know that the Nigerian government is among the most corrupt in the world, no one has heard any condemnation of the purchase from the presidency. It will probably not come from the man who has bought more presidential jets than any serving or former African presidents. These Nigerian rulers are all criminals and crooks.

Stella Oduah is not alone. It is just her time to be roasted. The phenomenon-of stealing or buying armored cars is a Nigerian thing. These people want to protect themselves from the people! Yes, they think that they are under threat and that their lives are at risk.

But who created the risk?

Stella may probably survive the press and other real and fake anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria. The reasons why she may survive are not far fetched. Crime in governance is an acceptable part of life in Nigeria. Most people who have plans to be part of government in Nigeria will do the same as Stella. People just think that their reason for joining government is to steal.

Many Nigerians are waiting for similar opportunities. This is the tragedy of present day Nigeria where crimes are exalted and criminals elevated.

If the current “organised-noise” around Stella results to her deployment or removal, she will probably not face criminal charges. She may even be contesting as the next vice-president in the “old” PDP in 2015. The more you steal, the more juicy you next appointment.

In the end other criminals who they call president, governors, lawmakers, legislators and Ministers will continue to steal until the next random bubble. Nigeria is no ordinary country. Truth is dead. Trust was murdered many years ago.

How Okonjo lweala Sacked Yushau A Shuaib

By Adeola Aderounmu

If you are in doubts about the stupidity of civil or government service in Nigeria, you should follow the recent development that led to the sack of a civil servant called Yushau A Shuaib. Let me explain.

I have never met Shuaib before and I am not looking to our meeting. But I remembered that he wrote a rejoinder to my story about how 80 000 Nigerians could perish overnight due to a certain dam that was neglected or abandoned somewhere in Nigeria.

In that article, I’d asked several questions on the preparedness of NEMA should the accident occur. In his rejoinder, Shuaib defended NEMA and did his job as the press officer of the agency.

I did not overflog the issue but today we all knew how Nigerians perished in that flood and other floods around Nigeria. The bottom line is that government or government agencies are ill-equipped for management of disaster. Worse still is that the government of Nigeria due to neglect and low-mental abilities are the architects of these tragedies. A dam or functional drainages could have availed much is many of the Nigeria flood disasters.

Anyway moving on, 2013.

As I later found out Shuaib writes every now and then also on the Nigerian Village Square. In one of his recent stories he criticized the Nigerian Finance Minister, Okonjo-Iweala. It’s hard for me to actually believe that one government officer can criticize another albeit a senior and a minister whom he described as Nigeria’s most poweful woman-invariably. I didn’t know that there exist one who was more powerful than Patience Jonathan.

What Shuaib wrote about Okonjo-Iweala in that story (Still on Okonjo-Iweala and Controversial Appointments) are the things we already know about Nigeria: appointments are based on ethnic groups, favoritism, nepotism, man-know-man, tribalism and all sorts of useless codes that are peculiar to Nigeria.

Okonjo-Iweala is not the first Nigerian Minister or influential person to appoint or recommend her tribes men and women into top positions. This has been the stupid norm in Nigeria. Shuaib’s men from his part of the (useless) country have done the same and are probably still doing that at this moment.

Even the president pulled his men from his tribes and region into positions of privilege across Nigeria. Some of Jonathan’s tribesmen that I know were pulled from their oversea postings to come back to Nigeria to serve with him.

If I describe Nigeria’s politicians or top public servants with derogatory words like stupid, useless, corrupt and senseless, you know some of the reasons.

Shuaib’s sin did not make him a saint among the ranks. Though some people will give him a pat on the back for daring to criticize the government he serves. That’s a rare Nigerian attitude. I’m still in shock he actually took Okonjo-Iweala to the dryers.

Shuaib was damn right in his article. He could probably have added that what Ngozi Okonjo Iweala did is the same that everybody is doing in Nigeria so that the attack is not targeted at only Ngozi.

I’m wondering if Ngozi will try to sack me or if she has ever wondered who this online warrior is. I have criticized her many times because I know she is a big crook. If she can tell me where she and Obasanjo kept Abacha’s loot, I may start to believe her. She’s a bloody liar.

Even Ezekwisili has taken her time to comment on my story about how she plundered the ministry of Education. Nigerian ministers, commissioners, president and top public servants are all crooks. Otherwise they would have stopped looting and start ensuring that social justice and equality are promoted.

Today in Nigeria under the watch of people like Ngozi-Okonjo Iweala, ASUU is on strike and education is brought to a halt. Their children and families are abroad so what do they care? Health care is grounded as these fools in power continue to mismanged Nigeria’s money. Ask me, who is managing Nigeria’s wealth as the looting and non-accountability continues? Who is the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning as more and more Nigeria drops below the poverty line?

It won’t make sense for any Nigerian top politician or Minister to try and convince me that he or she is not a crook or a thief. I mean only those who are targeted are exposed. As long they remain relevant to their niche or accomplices, the cover up is huge.

So Ngozi may also come out to deny the story that she sacked Shuaib. I made the title of this story up of course! I am a blogger! I mean, when Shuaib had not written about Ngozi, his job was intact. When he wrote about Ngozi, his life turned upside down and then he was sacked. Then someone will tell me that Shuaib was sacked by the government and not Ngozi as if government is a person per se. If Ngozi did not react to the story by calling Shuaib on the phone, then I can say Shuaib was duly sacked because he is no longer relevant in service.

These are the types of things that make Nigeria a real jungle. You criticize a Minister, the minister does not like the criticisms (which is different from the Minister issuing a statement to defend herself) and you get sacked! One would have expected an educated Minister to show that what Shuaib wrote were malicious and not to confirm our fears that this is what happens in Nigeria and that change and hope are not in sight.

Dictators are everywhere in Nigeria and NOI is one of them.

Shuaib should never think that I have written in his defense. I am sorry that he lost his job but I know with his connections, he may be back in government big time someday or he may try his hands in the private sector. He will succeed because he has the connection and the pedigree. Even the opposition government can offer him a big deal because he is leaving service loaded with government secret. He will be useful in election smearing campaigns.

And tomorrow someone may write that Shuaib was sponsored! In Nigeria impossible is nothing!

Nigerian Ghost Workers

By Adeola Aderounmu

One of the craziest news from Nigeria this morning is the alarm raised in Akwa Ibom that there are at least 8000 ghost workers in the state civil service.

This is not news in Nigeria.

Over the years ghost workers have always existed and they will always exist for as long as corruption and stupidity remain unpunished.

The economy department of the various Ministries know about the ghsot workers. The various heads of departments know about the ghost workers.

The truth is that the human resource department, the economy department and the head of the various department must know about the criminality in Akwa Ibom state. It is a national trend in Nigeria.

These funds are what some people have used to build houses, build hotels and buy fancy cars. They claim that ministry work is lucrative because they steal from government the same way government itself steal from the people.

Don’t be fooled! The 8000 ghost workers in Akwa Ibom are not going to disappear. What will happen with this open knowledge is that the people who will benefit from the scandal and eventual cover-up will increased.

Ghost workers don’t disappear in Nigeria. They will always be there as long as the people who are responsible from this case are not dismissed and made to refund the money they have stolen. Their properties will not be confiscated, instead they will be promoted.

Most of the people who rule in Nigeria are thieves and criminals, and this is why people get promoted even when they are known to be crooks and boot lickers.

Nigeria is no ordinary country!

Crazy things are normal in Nigeria.

By tomorrow nobody will be talking about this news and the scandal will continue.

Change will come with functional judiciary and sincere police force. Change will come when a radical wind of change blows acrosss Nigeria. Change will come when people can put patriotism above self, and when merits and dignity are attached to appointments and labour.

For now, the madness continues, unabated!

People are stealing right from the presidency down to the last man in the council, ghost workers are just by-products of the systemic decadence.

aderounmu@gmail.com

twitter @aderinola

How The Nigerian Government May Have Sponsored And Financed Terrorism

By Adeola Aderounmu

When late Musa Yar Adua became the ruler of Nigeria in 2007 in one of the several disputed elections in Nigeria, one of his “achievements” was granting amnesty to the Niger Delta militants. His 6 or 7 points agenda including the vow to improve power supply never saw the light of the day.

The origin and the spread of militancy in the Niger Delta creeks are based on different arguments and different school of thoughts. The arguments are also influenced by political inclinations.

I know some people who earn their livelihood by taking dangerous sea trips to fish in Nigerian internal and territorial waters. Therefore what I know for certain based on eye-witness reports is that the militants became more “useful” when Obasanjo was aiming for his second term in office.

The allegations wrap Peter Odili in the game plan and the summary was that when the elections were over, the militants became more potent than ever before and also found new ways and tools to become more relevant than the pre-Obasanjo era.

The things that happened around that time would lend more credence to this narration from a close person. For, at that time in the history of Nigeria more people became aware of attack on national pipe-line and spate of kidnapping, first of expatriates and then of Dick, Tom and Harry.

When I was a young boy, at my early teenage years to be sure, I remembered that I swore never to step my feet on the soils of Northern regions of Nigeria. I think my opinion at that time was based on the news and images that I got about Northern Nigeria.

I started reading newspaper at the age of 8 and today I am still glued to my news-magazine subscriptions despite the availability of the internet and online news sources. So, I must have been well-informed about the “terrorism” of Northern Nigeria that came in different shades-religious, tribal wars and all sorts.

I remembered how I “worked” hard to make sure that my service year did not cross the borders of western Nigeria. I knew what I wanted and what I never wanted was to be part of the inexplicable madness of Northern Nigeria where my neighbour could be the one to slice my throat.

I envy those who went up north as the Northern images formed in my teen years is still with me and once I decided to leave Western Nigeria, it was on an international flight. If things were different-I would have been a good traveller not only across the world but also in my country of birth.

Nigeria got her independence in 1960. However, and so, so sad, Nigerians have not been able to successfully steer their country. As I prepare to send this story for publication, the signs became more ominous with the staggering internal rifes across different political parties.

You hardly hear of ideological debates. All you hear and see are egocentric views and mentally deranged arguments and struggles that show extremely low levels of human cognitivity. In summary, Nigeria is completely derailed and hope is lost.

From one government to another, impunity rose, corruption soar and the plundering of the country’s wealth by both people, local and international institutions and governments continue unabated. It appears the goal is to leave the country in an irreversible ruin.

Every time I write about Nigeria the intelligent questions haunt me and I don’t want to be the one to state that the largest accumulation of black people in the world resulted to one of the most useless forms of government on earth and an unbelievably resilient followership.

When Yar adua granted amnesty to the Niger Deltan militants, the signals were obvious. It appears that to be heard in Nigeria; you also have to be harmed. The militants gained access to government houses. Some of them got some of the best houses in Abuja and in their home states. Militants under Yar Adua became kings and lords.

When Goodluck Jonathan appeared, militants simply took over Nigeria. They got juicy government contracts and government appointments/jobs.

In short, as a militant, you can meet with the president easily compared to if you were a university professor trying to get a grant for a special research project. As a militant, you can get a scholarship award easier than if you are a hard working students with poor parents.

Over the years in Nigeria, mediocrity was lauded as a virtue. It grew with time and today you really have to be almost a “nonentity” to rise to position of power.

Aggression, violence and instruments of murder have been used to steer Nigeria for long and eventually these crimes came to the surface and became their “rule of law”. Good people became endangered species in Nigeria.

It was therefore easy for Boko Haram to rise. The origin of Boko Haram is still under debate especially considering the possible infleunce of foreign elements/powers. What is sure is that they became more prominent in the post-Yar Adua amnesty days.

Boko Haram may have existed when I made up my mind as a teenager not to step on the soil of the blood-spillers. They may have been their when the power hungry rulers of Northern Nigeria promised to make Nigeria ungovernable for Mr. Jonathan.

You see, in Nigeria treason is not even a crime. You can say these volatile words and walk free. You can annul and cancel elections and walk free. In the same way, you can rule anyhow and steal anyhow and nothing “go happen”. It is part of their rule of law.

Let us not be deceived by what appears to be the roles of established government worldwide in the rise and spread of terrorism. The Federal government of Nigeria will not be the first to directly or indirectly sponsor terrorism.

The role of the United States in the rise of Bin Laden’s led Al-Queda in Afghanistan are well documented. When Gadaffi of Libya became the target of the United States and NATO, terrorists were armed to aid the displacement and eventual murder of Gadaffi, just to mention a few examples. People are still studying the Syria scenario.

The now established terror groups in Northern Nigeria can partly be attributed to the failure of the various governments since 1960. Before 1999 the majority of the dictators and rulers of Nigeria were from Northern Nigeria.

They deliberately impoverished their people intellectually. They ensured that their people were educationally deficient so that the Northern elites will always have their ways among the ignorant populace. Today, the pay-back price is inestimable.

Ignorance is a disease. Northern Nigeria is that place that will go to war for events or happenstance that are not related or connected to Nigeria. When religious conflicts occur in other countries around the world, death tolls can be higher in Northern Nigeria than the affected countries themselves.

You will never find a greater cost for ignorance except the emergence of full-fledge terrorism itself. Northern Nigeria was a ready-made fertile ground for terrorism, thanks to dictators and thoughtless politicians from that area.

The militancy in the South of Nigeria followed a similar pattern. The governors of the oil rich states have over the years looted their people blind. What will remain inexplicable is how the looters and thieves from this region always have the backings of the people they steal from.

The Stockholm syndrome should be renamed the Nigerian syndrome. A situation where the people will defend or support their “thieving sons and daughters” should open a new area of research in human behaviour, psychology or anthropology based on the Nigerian examples.

Even the vocal leaders of the Niger Delta and those who served as ministers in federal and regional institutions like OMPADEC and NDDC ought to be brought to books. They coveted to themselves all the funds earmarked for the development of the Delta. They took from foreign coorporations and from state and federal government without accountability.

Therefore the fault is not only at the door steps of the unitary government headed by corrupt rulers since 1960. However it is well known that if the head is rotten, then the entire body is bad. That’s where the buck always stops at the door of the central government.

The Niger Delta militants are now waging “wars” that lack ideology. They have seen how “easy” it is to become super-rich and influential in government through the use of guns and gun-powders.

They have seen how their members have spread all over the world yet still siphoning amnesty funds like leeches and parasites. Oh! I hope I am not the only one who knows that militants at home and abroad earn more money every month that many teachers and professors labouring in Nigeria!

What these mostly non-combatant militants have not seen is the end to the spillage in their environment. What they have not seen and probably not looking forward to is the implementation of all the policies and promises that have been made by governments and agencies connected to the Delta.

They have grown to love the quick money and get rich anyhow style. Like their masters-the local chiefs and like the government of Nigeria, the future doesn’t count for them.

Truth is, for more than 50 years Nigerian rulers stole and carted away the treasures of Nigeria.

Truth is, everything was neglected including education, health and other simple basic infrastructure. Hence, in Nigeria, it actually ought to be a total war on bad governance. All patriotic Nigerians should actually be out there asking the government to surrender, pack and exit.

In Nigeria, the new full-grown terrorism and militancy are delayed responses to the now more than 50 years of absolute waste of independent status.

It appears that the 3rd generation of pro-independence Nigeria are also wasting away. With the spread of militancy and the popularity of terrorism, one can presume that knee-jerk responses on the part of Nigerian government have made these twin calamities into wars that the Nigerian military will not win.

The end may likely come when the system of governance change radically. Those who have tried to fight off terrorism in the absences of functioning governments and social justice always fail.

It’s been 53 years of stupid rulership. Leadership does not not exist in Nigerian politics or military dictatorships. Nothing (except corruption and vices like impunity) is working with the system of governance where the man at the center decides for the whole country.

This ineffective system of governance has rendered almost all Nigerian government institutions paralysed-they are places for self-enrichment and not performance.

With evidence starring at us daily, we see that the Police are corrupt, the Judiciary is corrupt, the ministries starting from the presidency in the federal system to the departments in the local countries are all means for self-enrichment and endless political hullabaloo.

Nigeria will benefit immensely from a sudden change of system of governance. This means that the unitary system of government needs to be abolished as soon as possible. Doing so will automatically punctuate the ambition of the Northern terrorists and their sponsors who seem to be making the capture of Aso rock their goal.

Nigeria can do without Aso rock by appropriately returning power to the regions. Most of the stupid intra- and inter-party wars lacking ideology will disappear with the change of the system of government.

Regional governments will restore the old Western Nigeria and the other recognised pre-independence regions with minimal frictions for re-adjustments.

The change of the system of governance will not return Nigeria overnight to the paradise it was in the olden days. It will serve as the first step among several other steps that are needed to start the long journey back to normalcy.

Citizen re-orientation programs which will include patriotism, dignity of labour, promotion of merits, top- level discipline, committment to job, family, community and nation/country are among the virtues that will be needed in the various regions that will be re-instated or reconstructed.

aderounmu@gmail.com

twitter @aderinola

Lampedusa , The Road to Death…

Adeola Aderounmu

African rulers especially those in the West, East and the Horn of Africa should really be ashamed of themselves.

How they push their citizens to deaths in the Mediterrenean (dead) sea is a big shame on them.

Economic hardship continues to lead many Africans into desperate attempts to get out of Africa at any cost-even death.

It is unthinkable how the same type of “madness” repeats itself with accuracy. Something is wrong with the rulers of North Africa where boats are taken regularly to Lampedusa and other small European-claimed Islands that provides first contact of migrants to Europe.

Then Europe responds as if it cares only for the same response to greet the next waiting tragedy.

In totality everyone connected with this tragedy is acting like they care.

Everyone condemns the deaths but no one cares to stop to next one.

Many African rulers are not thinking of improving security and economic situations in their territories. Many of them and the politicians generally continue to steal, loot and care “less” for their citizenns.

The next set of desperate migrants are already looking for ways to cross into Lampedusa depsite this new tragedy. The next Libyan or Tunisian dealer is already looking for customers and the government in these North African countries don’t give a damn about the suicide missions.

So the cycle of madness continues.

The problem is not Italy’s problem. It is the problem of all the countries in Africa where these migrants come from-Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Ghana, Cameroun and so on.

Often the migrants lie about their countries of origin depending on the ease of getting sympathy or asylum in Europe.

When the world is ready, they will inform the North African government how disappointed they are about the flow of deadly traffic from the waters of North Africa.

When the world is ready, they will inform useless African rulers about how they have impoverished and deprived their citizens of good life.

The advanced countries are probably “ok” with the flow of the willing slavery business that is now totally voluntary! What a sad irony!

Those advanced countries that continue to collude and connive with African leaders to misuse or cart away the treasures of Africa are also parts of the problems.

The biggest chunk of the issue rest on the mentalities of African rulers and how they have enslaved their people beyond the transatlantic slave trade era.

If people are happy at home, they will not find the need to take suicide missions across the waters of North Africa.

These migrants should actually be forming pressure groups at home to force regime change that can bring about positive decelopments in Africa. The problem is that once people capture power in Africa, a certain “spirit” of selfishness take over them and they become blind to the realities of the others.

So in a way, the situation is complex and the way out is difficult.

Summarily, as Europeans continue with their hypocrisy on this situation, Africans especially the would-be migrants should be asking themselves: how long do they want to dive into the deadly waters before they realise that their continent that is full of treasures and opportunities can be turned around for their own good.

(unedited)

aderounmu@gmail.com

twitter: @aderinola