Brazil 2014: This Time For Africa?

By Adeola Aderounmu

World Cup Africa

Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Cameroon and Ghana will fly Africa’s flags at the world cup which starts on the 12th of June in Brazil.

Egypt went to the world cup in Italy in 1934. That was the first time an African country featured at the championship which started in 1930 in Uruguay. Since then 13 countries in total from Africa have participated at various editions of the mundial. The other 12 countries are Morocco, Zaire, Tunisia, Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Angola, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo.

When Africa’s representatives at the world cup for 2014 arrive in Brazil this summer they will be chasing an unfulfilled dream-that an African country is ripe enough to win the world cup.

To make this dream come true, Cameroon will have to cross the hurdles in Group A where they will do battle with the host Brazil, Croatia and Mexico.

Cameroonians are playing in their 7th world cup. This is an African record. But what has Cameroon got to show for previous appearances? The best exploits came in Italy in 1990 as the career of Roger Milla was winding up. Cameroon was beaten in the quarter finals by England. After Italian 90, Cameroon quickly transformed and became “not indomitable”. For an African country to win the world cup, consistency must be shown.

Ivory Coast is a country also in need of consistency and even more, delivery. This country must emerge from Group C that include Colombia, Greece and Japan.

The men representing Ivory Coast and led by Didier Drogba are the popular golden generation that has won nothing to show for the name tag-“golden”.

This is the third straight world cup for the so called golden generation. They failed to emerge from the groups in 2006 and 2010. Any country that wants to win the world cup must be able to emerge first from the group. It will not matter if the group is mildly classified or if it is termed the group of death.

One country that shaped the organisation of FIFA’s world cup after the 1982 edition was Algeria. In 1982 Germany and Austria “sold” their last game “to each other” so that Algeria could be eliminated. You need to find and read that story if you love the history and football. In 1982, the Germans and the Austrians brought huge shame to football.

Football scandals or match fixers are not restricted to Asia or any particular geographical part of the world. Rather it is something that has been a part of football at every level and in almost every country for as long as the game has been in existence. The roles of FIFA officials in recent reports seriously brought the game into disrepute, again. Yet, this is a game people love no matter the problems related to scandal or “arranged outcomes”.

After the 1982 games, FIFA decided that the last games in each group will be played simultaneously. Algeria will try to emerge this time from a group including Belgium, Russia and South Korea. If they find the form again like they did in 1982, they have a chance of making Africa’s dream come true.

To put Africa’s name on the map as a world cup winning continent can also become a dream come true through the hands of the Ghanaians. Ghana is also making a third straight appearance.

In 2010 on the African continent Ghana reached the quarter final stage where they fell to Uruguay. That match will not be forgotten easily in the stories of FIFA senior world cup.

Luis Suarez had to become a “goalkeeper” at some stage to save the ball from going into the net. It was a sad day for Africa as Ghana failed to convert the extra time spot kick that would have sent them to the semi-final stage. Our dear brothers lost on penalties.

This year in Brazil, Ghana must scale Germany (the match-fixers of 1982), Portugal and the United States in order to prove that African countries can show consistency and make serious claims to world cup glory at the senior level.

African champions Nigeria will also be making another attempt to show the world that an African country is indeed prepared to win the world cup. Nigeria must emerge first from a group that includes familiar foe-Argentina, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Iran.

This is the second time Nigeria is going to the world cup on the back of a Nation’s Cup victory. The first time was in 1994 when Keshi was the captain of the team and Clemence Westerhof, the coach.

In 1994, inexperience was the bane of the Super Eagles as they were bundled out in the second round by the Italians. In 1998, Nigeria was again bundled out in the second round by Denmark.

In 2002, Nigeria had a disgraceful participation in Korea/Japan. In 2006, Nigeria was missing at the German edition. Back in South Africa in 2010, Nigeria failed again to emerge from the groups.

Through the years, bad planning, maladministration and useless preparations have ensured that Nigeria just added to the numbers of the countries going to the world cup.

To date, especially since the Algerian exploits of 1982 and the Cameroonian efforts of 1990, the performances of African countries since 1934 (though sporadically filled with some other brilliant moments) have not matched the expectations of the people of Africa.

Brazilian legend Pele predicted that an African country will win the world cup at the turn of the last century. It did not happen. Even at the time that the profiles of African players rose both on the continent and abroad, it has been impossible for Africa to deliver on high promises.

In South Africa when Ghana crumbled, Africa returned to square one of the struggle to win the world cup.

The organisation of football on the African continent needs a range of face-lifting processes. In North Africa, it appears that the organisation has always been solid. There were a lot of set backs in some North African countries as a result of the Arab spring. But some countries (like Algeria) are reported to be making big strides even attracting players from France to the Algerian league. One hopes that Egypt will rise again.

If Algeria makes progress in Brazil or if her football becomes a reference point irrespective of how they end this tournament, fingers will point at the growth or promises shown at the domestic league.

Among the other African countries representing Africa at the forth coming mundial, Nigeria will be of concern to Nigerians, definitely. Since the first appearance of the country at the world stage in 1994, it has been a permanent impossibility to uplift the game on Nigerian soils.

Nigeria as country or Nigeria comprising of several regions has a population that could turn anything profitable into a goldmine. Sadly like many other things that Nigerians have failed at, including governance itself, football in Nigeria has not been revived since its collapse I would say in the mid 1980s. I may be wrong with the actual date but I remembered how it was fun to watch Leventis United, and Abiola Babes when I was in early secondary school.

Today the English Premier League, the European Champions league and other foreign leagues are very famous in Nigeria with huge followership. The gains that Nigeria should be making in marketing of her own football is totally diminished or drowned.

This essay is not about recounting the problems with Nigerian football or Nigeria as a failed country. It is not about Nigeria as a dead giant of Africa. If one does not draw the lines, the discussion will move from football to every aspect of Nigerian life. It’s very hard to separate the lost glories of Nigeria in almost every aspect of human endeavours.

For one month between June and July 2014, Nigerians will expect the boys that will be selected by coach Keshi to deliver. Many of these boys are plying their trades abroad. Invariably they have been polished by other systems. The exposure is brilliant but when the days and years are running out, many of these boys cannot return home to wrap up their careers like the Brazilians or the Argentines do.

They do not have to finish their careers on the Nigerian soil but the argument is that the level of football in Nigeria in terms of planning, organisation, administration, execution and overall sustenance is not yet in the right hands. Nigerians know these things but for them everything is politics.

As long as there are functional leagues abroad (even in neighbouring African countries like Benin and Togo) where Nigeria’s talents can be nurtured or even de-processed by making them change their roles on the pitch, it is fine with those in the glass house and their pickers in Abuja.

The biggest indicator of the gigantic problems facing Nigeria’s football is the failure of Nigeria since 1985 to transform the glory of the young players (Eaglets especially) into something that the world can emulate at the Super Eagles level.

For an African country to win the world cup will not depend of luck or unexpected favours from some quarters. It will depend a lot on management of the game on the continent. That’s where CAF comes in. This body needs revamping and dynamism. It needs a new life.

The progress of African football will also depend on national organisations like NFF of Nigeria. What are they doing to promote the game in all spheres (on the pitch and off it)? Are there serious plans to encourage more youth, more women and anybody interested in the game to pursue their careers knowing that they have a foundation to rely upon?

Africans must also overcome the mental incapacitation that FIFA rankings can infuse on the mind. The best place to play football is on the pitch. Moments like this-in Brazil provide the opportunity to send the FIFA ratings to the dustbin. Football is dynamic and it moves from one game plan to the next.

The future of African football, its organisation and management on the African soil will play significant roles and the world will see these upliftments when an African country eventually wins the world cup. It’s been a long wait but it must happen in the future. July 2014 is part of the future.

aderounmu@gmail.com

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Yoruba Union in Stockholm Celebrates 2nd Annual Yoruba Day (Photo Essay)

By Adeola Aderounmu

The Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Sweden successfully hosted its second annual Yoruba Day celebration on Saturday the 10th of May 2014.

This celebration of Yoruba culture and tradition has been lauded by several guests and participants as an improvement of the maiden edition which took place on the 11th of May 2013.

The first annual Yoruba Day was reported here in the village square at this link:

[http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/photo-news-yoruba-union-in-stockholm-celebrates-yoruba-day.html]

Just like the maiden edition the special guest of honour was the Nigerian Ambassador to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, Amb. Benedict Onochie Amobi. His wife, Her Excellency Mrs. Sheila Amobi was also in attendance.

Among other dignitaries were Sola Mansur Amao, Engineer Olatunde Aluko, Prince Jeffrey Ajani, Mrs. Clara Rogo, Mr. John Rogo, Princess Adetoun Lasebikan, Mrs. Susan Amao, and Mrs. Egbo of the Nigerian Embassy, Stockholm. Mr. Dominic Emene the president of the Nigerian Union in Stockholm was also in attendance.

Adeola Aderounmu giving the welcome address

Adeola Aderounmu giving the welcome address

During the celebration, the members of the Yoruba Union had 2 sessions of Yoruba Cultural dances and a short drama on traditional marriage in Yorubaland was the last event of a very eventful evening.

The president of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Adeola Aderounmu gave the welcome address and also had a 15-minute lecture titled: Ile-Ife, Our Ancestral and Spiritual Home.

Adeola presenting the lecture on Obatala, Oduduwa, Creation and Modern Yoruba History

Adeola presenting the lecture on Obatala, Oduduwa, Creation and Modern Yoruba History


In the presentation, he highlighted the position of Ile-Ife as the origin on all Yorubas worldwide. He also gave a brief account of creation through the hands of Oduduwa and Obatala.

Adeola introducing the members of the executives of YORUBA UNION Stockholm, Sweden

Adeola introducing the members of the executives of YORUBA UNION Stockholm, Sweden

During his own speech Ambassador Amobi congratulated the Yoruba Union for sustaining the Yoruba Day celebration and for the progress that has been made since the previous edition. He also mentioned the immense role played by the Yoruba Union in Stockholm during the IFE Dynasty and Ancient Art Exhibition at the Modern Museum in Stockholm.

Amb. Benedict Amobi giving a speech at the Yoruba Day celebration in Stockholm, May 10 2014

Amb. Benedict Amobi giving a speech at the Yoruba Day celebration in Stockholm, May 10 2014

Ambassador Amobi condemned the rise of terrorism in Northern parts of Nigeria and Abuja. He mentioned that the government is working to stem the rise of Boko Haram. He also condemned the kidnap of school girls from Chibokdignitaries

cs charly adagbon

Below are some of the pictures showing the successful hosting of the Second Annual Yoruba Day by members of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Sweden.

Happy Viewing:

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During the Yoruba Day celebration there was plenty to eat and drink as the buffet covered several of the Yoruba traditional dishes. The atmosphere was brilliant and ignited by dance, merry and happiness.

For more pictures/images visit our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/yorubaunion/

Our website, http://www.yorubaunion.se

Mail us, info@yorubaunion.se

Videos on Yoruba Union STOCKHOLM Channel on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/YORUBAUNION

Leasing Nigeria? No, Thanks!

By Adeola Aderounmu

To understand the background to the title of this essay, you’ll probably have to go back to the days before you joined facebook and find the article that I wrote in 2007 titled: Shall We Lease Nigeria For A Ten Year Period? It’s available on the Nigeria Village Square website.

Leasing Nigeria

We argued back and forth why we should not get to the point where Nigeria will be handed over to the imperialists or colonialists.

But 7 years after the article was written, in the second week of May 2014, Nigeria was partially handed over to the US, Britain, France and China, at least in the area of National Security. It happened voluntarily. The cost on Nigeria’s already sapped resources will be inestimable. The strings that will be attached will strengthen the reign of the imperialists and neo-colonialists.

All of this madness could have been avoided if the federal government of Nigeria is wise and just. Agreed the problem of insecurity dates back to the pre-Jonathan area, still what Nigerians have experienced in terms of “leadership” (what I prefer to call rulership) since the ascension of Goodluck Jonathan is simply rubbish. When a ruler tries to separate stealing from corruption, then hope is not just dim, but also lost.

I also read through one of my stories in the village square titled: 1999-2015 Pdp Years May The Worst Years Of Our Lives” and I reflected upon it against the backdrop of the rise in terrorism and the extreme polarisation of Nigeria along North-South divide and Christian-Muslim alienation.

In the essay I gave useful recommendations on what Jonathan can do in 4 years to revamp Nigeria or set it on the course of rejuvenation. Invariably a corrupt Jonathan who has surrounded himself with liars and corrupt people made no sound efforts to move Nigerians out of the poverty zone. In fact, the man who had no shoes as a young boy can no longer identify with the poor. How time changes!

Since 2011 Jonathan could have avoided distraction and focus on governance. He could have tried to chase a quarter of the promises he made on his campaign trail in 2010. Rather than choose nobility, Goodluck rode on high horses and supervised the raping of Nigeria. He commends the rape of Nigeria by all his ministers who have been alleged to be corrupt. Today Goodluck Jonathan is not a man of little credibility; he is actually a man of zero credibility.

The rise of the insurgencies in Northern Nigeria has been traced to the political parties in Nigeria over and over again. Many unconfirmed stories are also talking about the influence of foreign governments. But the allegations against the ruling party (just the way the Niger Delta militants were used in the 2003 electoral season) still stand to be disprove. The mix of the allegations with the eventual evolution of the extremist group into an uncontrollable monster finally exposed the incompetency of not only Goodluck Jonathan but also the entire machinery of governance in Nigeria at all levels.

So, we got to the point we have been afraid of. The Nigerian army that quelled wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali could not end the insurgencies in Northern Nigeria. The Nigerian government that helped disrupt the reign of Apartheid in South Africa suddenly became helpless at home.

The breakdown of command from Aso rock to the forests and mountains in Borno state leaves one in search of the true history of Boko Haram. The role of the snitches in the Nigerian Army deserved to be investigated. This breakdown leaves more questions than answers in all the cases of evil, murder, arson, kidnapp, assasination and general absence of law and order in the face of emergency rule in Northern Nigeria and Abuja.

Nigeria has gone too far promoting ineptitude and sycophancy. The system of governance is wrong and deserved a change. Unfortunately the change is not in the making by the bunch of jokers currently enjoying “holidays at great cost” under the pretence of a so called “staged national conference”. Those parasites should be sent home.

It’s really difficult to ask the Nigerian legislators who are also massively corrupt to start a process that will re-engineer and restructure the geographical distributions in Nigeria. But the request must pass. Nigeria cannot rely on foreign intervention because of terrorism in Nigeria which now poses as a great threat to national security. It is time to revert back to regional government.

The regions should be strengthened at the same time that the corrupt center is dismantled or stripped of most of its powers. Mr. Jonathan confirmed that using 50% of his powers will make him a dictator. That sort of system is too useless to sustain. He is already worse than a dictator by the way.

One obvious fact facing Nigeria in the face is the lack of unity and the near impossibility of one dude ordering people around from Abuja. Indeed there are states and local governments in Nigeria but they are all too dependent on the federal unitary system. This is a massive handicap in government. That chain needs to be broken and the old regions need to be restored or reconstructed. This reconstruction may be wisely done as not to play into the hands of the international community that seeks to weaken the regional power of Nigeria.

If powers are not concentrated in Abuja, Boko Haram would not be heading there. If the North-Eastern region runs its own government, it will resist and fight back insurgencies with all its might. There might not be any insurgency at all because the people will realise that they have to choose reliable people during every election and they will look forward to peaceful changes when they have faced disappointments. There is a lot of silence from Northern Nigeria. If they run their own government all the silent people would render their voices. But when necessary the federal forces can always help the regions to regain stability.

The Nigerian government is delaying reforms. The Nigerian government and the politicians in particular are acting out of selfishness and they cannot imagine a life without corruption. They cannot imagine a life when the people would have freedom. The evolution of Boko Haram is changing the course of history in Nigeria while the lack of action continues to heighten the probability of a violent disorder and eventual breakup.

Many have argued that a peaceful process of re-organising Nigeria politically is far better than the revolution that looms with the rise of Boko Haram. The history of foreign interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places came with sour tastes. It is always better to make peaceful resolutions than to engage in violent-induced changes that can consume anything or anyone.

History is a great teacher and to ignore the lessons of a bad history always allows it (a bad history) to repeat itself with devastating consequences.

aderounmu@gmail.com

[Photo Taken From Nigeria Watch]

The Ignorance Of Jonathan On Poverty And The World Economic Forum

By Adeola Aderounmu

If the forum goes ahead as planned, there will be tight security all around Abuja while the conference last. The security will be heavy and water-tight at the Sheraton Abuja Hotel, Transcorp Hiton Abuja and the Abuja International Conference Centre.

Somehow this conference in Abuja will showcase the low cognitive mentalities of some African rulers. The government of Nigeria will ensure the security and safety of foreigners. It is the same government that has not been able to protect her own citizens and is yet to issue any official statement on the circumstances surrounding the missing school students in Northern Nigeria.

WEF_Adeola

Who abducted the girls? How many of them were abducted? Who are the gangsters responsible for this human trafficking? What efforts are being made to curtail or prevent a re-occurrence of mass kidnap of children, men and women? Why was it possible to carry our double terror attacks at the same spot at such a short interval of time? The answers to these questions lie with the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, men of the armed forces and the investigative arm of the security agencies, not with some “money-siphoning committee”. Silly!

The other angle to the economic forum came as a bang on the 1st of May 2014. The ruler of Nigeria revealed himself as one who has no sense of economics and growth measurements. What benefits is Nigeria getting from the WEF when poverty is measured by the number of people appearing on Forbes list of rich people or by the number of people who flew private jets to Kenya? Jonathan does not get it; his level of reasoning is so kindergarten and appalling. Now we know how Nigeria’s economic has overtaken that of South Africa-it is by private jets and Forbes report.

Poor Nigerians! They are in a permanent mess! With his line of reasoning, like a mad king, there is no way out. All those comments about Aliko Dangote, private jets and giving money to a Nigeria shows that Nigerians have thrown away their hope of a better future with the type of rulers they get at all levels of government. The relegation of intellectuals and the elevation of agberos and touts across all strata of governance in the affairs of Nigeria are revealing very devastating consequences.

When some people argue about not blaming the ruler of a country for the lack of security in the country then I don’t know who is going to accept the blame or responsibilities. Somebody must take responsibilities for the security breakdown in Nigeria and that person whom the bulk stops at his table is the ruler of the country.

It was not the South Korean PM who tilted the ship that capsized yet he took the blame and the responsibilities and stepped aside instead of finding blame or passing it around. So, I am sorry the security problem in Nigeria is for the government to solve irrespective of whether the government knows the sponsors or not. Innocent people are dying everyday! Children and women are kidnapped and used as slaves and sex objects.

Let me hasten my essay, Boko Haram successfully bombed a car park area in Abuja twice in a period of less than one month. The group vowed that it would remain in Abuja to unleash more terror attacks. Nigerians are asking for the arrest and prosecution of the sponsors of Boko Haram because Mr. Jonathan has mentioned several times that he knows the sponsors.

What investigations have been done by the police and the other security agencies? When will the arrest or interrogation of suspected Boko Haram terrorists begin? Is the judiciary independent enough to run these cases if this government gets the “liver” to start this show? Are the skeletons in Mr. Jonathan’s cupboard the hindrances to the end of terror in Nigeria? Who or what is he afraid of?

Who are those in his government that he said are “Boko Haram” members? Why is the Nigerian Army playing a double role in this whole deadly drama? People are asking the Nigerian army “if you can lead and win in Liberia and Sierra Leone, why is it impossible to lead in ordinary Northern Nigeria? Who controls the Nigerian Army today? What is in their way? Why are they being killed and slaughtered by Boko Haram so easily?

The WEF is ill-timed. Nigerians are asking about missing students and several murders and senseless killings by Boko Haram terrorists. Nigerians are asking for protection, they won’t get it! Nigerians do not have security for their lives and property. The luxury of security will be given to foreigners and coincidentally to Boko Haram terrorists who said they are already in Abuja. Are they lodged at the various expensive hotels in Abuja?

If this World Economic Forum conference is rolled away from Nigeria, the consequences and embarrassment (if this government ever get embarrassed) might help to start finding answers to the several unanswered questions that now include the global #bringbackourgirls campaign.

Who knows? The implications might be heavy enough to wedge stricter security measures to keep all Nigerians (and foreigners) safe while not ignoring the effects of the appropriate use of the rule of law as short term palliatives.

On the long term, it would be of historical and educational significances to look at the circumstances that led to the rise and success of Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria especially the role of underdevelopment, ignorance, poor education and outright failure of governance in the region notwithstanding the several years of hold on power by the selfish rulers from the Northern Nigeria. The lessons learnt can be useful for the future generations. Two post-independence generations of Nigerians are already wasted! Tragic!

aderounmu@gmail.com

[photo, world economic forum and AFP photo]

Don’t Endorse A Failed Government In Nigeria; Cancel the World Economic Summit Now!

This is the letter I wrote to WEF at the following email contacts explaining why they should not go to ABUJA.

Africa@weforum.org,
forumusa@weforum.org,
contact@weforum.org

By Adeola Aderounmu

The government of Nigeria will guarantee your safety. You are global executives and you run governments.

For your sake the lazy government in Abuja-Nigeria will close down the city and there will be no movement for people and animals. As you read this letter, Abuja is now shut down for you!

When you are there you will experience peace, tranquillity and safety for your lives. That is a guarantee.

You will be amazed by the high level of security that the Nigerian government can provide itself and the rest of you coming for the conference.

The Nigerian government will convince you why the conference or meeting must hold. The strongest argument is that if the conference is cancelled then the terrorists (Boko Haram) can claim victory and success.

When you have finished your conference, life will return to normal in Abuja and across Nigeria. Boko Haram will start to strike again, insecurity will return to normal and there will be fear and confusion in the air.

The lazy government headed by Goodluck Jonathan will withdraw all the security forces/agents from the streets and station them around Aso Rock and homes of government officials again. The security that you will get as attendees of the WEF event will not be retained or transferred to the ordinary citizens on the streets. Jonathan told Nigerians openly that he does “not give a damn”.

The crux of this letter is to engage you in a deep reasoning of why you need to cancel this Nigerian event.

You must not fall for the trap that cancelling the Abuja meeting is going to be a victory for Boko Haram.

Rather it can be the wake up call that the lazy Nigerian government need to understand that the roof is on fire and that innocent lives are wasted everyday due to non-performance and outright negligence of duty by the federal government of Nigeria.

If this meeting goes ahead, it is an endorsement or a support for a government that has done almost nothing to guarantee the safety of lives and property under its watch. If this conference goes ahead it is an endorsement for one of the most corrupt regimes on the surface of the earth. This conference or meeting going ahead will confirm our fears about the conspiracy of the International community to destroy Nigerians by aiding and glorifying corruption and corrupt governments.

Goodluck Jonathan has not performed. He is a man in support of corrupt practices that are widely known by all and sundry.

It is time for him to make a public statement about the real circumstances surrounding the story of the missing or stolen girls. It is time for him to explain what he meant when he said there are terrorists in his government.

Whatever message you want to take to Nigeria by your physical presence is something that can be done without your physical presence. Take your conference to another country and engage Mr. Jonathan and his crew via a video conference.

Don’t come to Nigeria because the government can guarantee your safety while the over 160m population can be decimated at any time, t, and moment, m.

If you ignore this letter, you will be endorsing the inaction of the lazy Jonathan government that has done nothing about the missing girls in Northern Nigeria. If you ignore this letter, that means it is alright with you that Boko Haram bomb Abuja before and after your conference, not while you are there.

If you come to Abuja, you have endorsed a failed government, you have endorsed corruption and you would have promoted the cause of Boko Haram-to avoid tight security while you are there and to unleash mayhem as soon you are gone.

History will judge all our actions and inactions.

Adeola Aderounmu
aderounmu@gmail.com
Stockholm-Sweden