It Was Not A Great Year

When a president or a ruler knowingly acts against the constitution that he swore to defend and behold, he invariably burns the flag of the country and ought to be dismissed by law or by popular revolt the next day. The passivity of Nigerians is heavily condemnable. What a country!

It Was Not A Great Year

By Adeola Aderounmu

Which Way Nigeria?

It’s been a great year is a very selfish 2014 expression made famous by a Facebook app and users. When I think about what Nigerians went through and endured-the spate of bombings, economic hardships and several other ills too numerous to mention-I realized that the slogan A Great Year is egoistic and can be misleading.

My recap of 2014 is here below.

I want to remember 2014 as the year that I put a meaning to the phrase the Nigerian syndrome.

The Nigerian syndrome is the condition in which Nigerians support their rulers and greedy politicians who have contributed tremendously to the demeaning of their living conditions.

It can also be describe as a condition where a crook, a corrupt ruler or a known criminal in government gets massive support from a group of die-hard followers who for personal gains and selfish reasons chose to ignore the negative impacts of the crimes committed.

2014 was the year that l continued to express my dismay at the criminalities displayed daily by government agencies and institutions across Nigeria. There are no consequences and there are no outrages to corruption and crimes even when perpetrated by the current indolent presidency.

Lack of patriotism, lack of dedication, absence of trust and a general bad attitude to work remain systemic in the Nigerian working environments. The one who is not willing to be bad or corrupt has almost no place in several working environments in Nigeria.

In 2014 I wrote about the worrying criminal tendencies of Nigerians in South Africa. It’s very hard to vouch for a Nigerian anywhere especially when they spend money that they cannot account for. In Nigeria it is a cool thing to have such funds. No need to explain your source of wealth to anyone.

In other countries, Nigerians are called criminals when they cannot legitimately account for their expensive lifestyles. In South Africa, the image of Nigeria is dented almost beyond repair. This is hurting to the good people who pursue their businesses and jobs legitimately.

Recently a number of video clips were released by an investigator who succeeded in clamping down Nigerian criminals in South East Asia. Those videos prove beyond doubts that there are Nigerians who are hell bent on destroying the image of Nigeria internationally. The videos provide evidence of Nigerians dealing in hard drugs while pretending to be pastors, tourists or students.

In the piece 50 yards of death I mourned the untimely deaths of 13 people in a boat mishap in Festac Town. It was an avoidable catastrophe. Man-made catastrophes and avoidable deaths are common in Nigeria. For several thousands of Nigerian families whose loved ones departed untimely and unnecessarily it was definitely not a great year. Water transportation across Nigeria needs to be upgraded with safety as the priority.

If you missed Mugabe’s and the Pakistani jokes about Nigeria, then you need to read the article titled The stupid jokes. Mugabe, the life president of Zimbabwe who seemed to have lost his minds took a swipe on Nigeria. Later on he was widely quoted as condemning his own party mixing it up with the opposition. Mugabe also senile-ly claimed that the opposition won the majority votes in the last election.

In 2014 I remembered some aspects of my childhood and all the dreams about professional football. In the heavily criticized The Boys From Festac article, I mentioned a few household names in Nigeria that emanated from Festac stony and sandy football fields and a few names that never went big. I was bombarded by emails and messages afterwards and my plan to write a sequel has not come to pass.

I wrote about a lost paradise for that was what happened to Nigeria. I recalled my mother told many stories of life in pre-and immediate post-independent Nigeria. The journeys by train, the jobs after education, the long walk at night and the peace and serenity that were characteristics of the olden days were never experienced by my jet-age, get rich quick lost generation.

These experiences of how life should mostly be which were taken away before l was born are now what millions of Nigerians have come to participate in in the western world. I will never forget how my mother described the old western Nigerian. Indeed by allowing mad people in power and by allowing evil to rise above good, Nigerians gave away a paradise and killed prematurely an emerging global power and giant.

In the article Terror And A Volatile Mix Of Blind Faiths, I expressed my concern about the way the Jonathan government succeeded in elevating a propagandist form of Christianity by promoting hatred and animosity between Christians and Muslims.

Jonathan’s romance with gangster arm-purchasing pastor Oritsejafor and a painting of the opposition as a jihadist movement were very unfortunate incidences. The APC was forced to produce a pastor as its Vice Presidential flag bearer. Nigerians are pitched against one another in the forthcoming doubtful elections still standing on tribal and religious pedestals.

If Jonathan and Jonathanians have the evidence that Buhari is a jihadist and that he is a co-sponsor of Boko Haram as opposed to what the assassinated General Azizi postulated-that PDP is the backbone of Boko Haram, then what are the barriers or hindrances stopping the arrest and prosecution of Mr. Buhari? What roles do the PDP, the APC and the rotten northern elites have in the emergence and success of Boko Haram? The history books will be loaded when this season of madness is over.

The roles of religious organizations in the demeaning of the quality of Nigerian life are inestimable. They promote false hope as the country runs deeper in trouble waters. The political wills of Nigerians were watered down by reassuring blind faiths. The political and religious rulers are stealing and the citizens are praying. To pray is no harm but to act wisely is more desirable.

In 2014 the exclusive ignorance of Jonathan was elaborated on many fronts. Just like the wicked late Umaru Dikko expected Nigerians to eat from the dustbin to confirm the spread of poverty in the land Mr. Jonathan used the number of Nigerians appearing on Forbes list to indicate that Nigerians are not poverty-ridden.

The WEF conference in Nigeria in the wake of incessant terrorists’ attacks in Northern Nigeria and Abuja was an unwelcome development for many because the security agents are keen on protecting the men in power while the ordinary people are roasted like chickens in regular bombings and suicide attacks. The above were highlighted in one of the several articles l published in 2014.

2014 is not a great year. The politicians are getting away with all their loots and reckless spending. The chief ruler Mr. Jonathan is getting away with several missing funds and most recently with more than 21 billion naira raised on his behalf even against the constitution of the country.

When a president or a ruler knowingly acts against the constitution that he swore to defend and behold, he invariably burns the flag of the country and ought to be dismissed by law or by popular revolt the next day. The passivity of the populace is heavily condemnable. What a country!

In 2014 Nigeria the Federal Ministry of Finance oversaw the emptying of the Nigerian treasury and reserves. The department of Petroleum Resources-NNPC-is managing criminals called oil marketers. They are stealing and looting together in an unending ecstatic orgy of subsidy. This year is not a great year; criminals are getting away as usual and a drug baron just wrote a book of justification.

The latter part of 2014 marked a turn in the expectations of many Nigerian. Even those who funnily supported Jonathan and not the PDP in 2011 are having a rethink. There are 2 main political contenders to the throne of unitary head in Nigeria.

But the issue is beyond that. Irrespective of who wins a presidential election in Nigeria, the position makes a person an automatic dictator. It is a post that makes monsters out of ordinary men and killers out of sheep.

One day it will become popular again in Nigeria that a unitary head is not a recipe for the form of democracy that Nigerians need. It is taking so long to get this message across, but it will come through.

The turn of expectations in 2015 might end up being a false hope. There was hope in 1993: it was quenched by a criminal called Babangida who did the bids of the cabal at the expense of Nigerians.

In 1999, there was hope. It became hopelessness when PDP seized power and continue to reign till date with impunity.  In a country where there are no consequences for criminals in politics, there will be no end to impunity. In the country where the people pray and remain passive, there will be no light in the tunnel. It will be darkness at the end of it.

As a result of over 50 years of injustice some are crying while some are celebrating. Some are working, some are just stealing. Some are hoping and some are carting away the treasuries of the land.

For some, the system is perfect because it satisfies their desires to remain rich like their criminal parents and family members, they’ll give anything to keep the remaining 170m in chains. It is good for some because of the hope of being appointed co-looters.

In 2015 Nigerians can choose to allow these mad scenarios to progress or they can put an outright stop to it. They can create light at the end of a dark tunnel.

To think that this will depend on the winners of the doubtful 2015 general elections is a fairytale taken too far. For in the PDP, we have known criminals and treasury looters.

In the APC the story is similar. The party harbors well known criminals and self-enrichment specialists. I always say Nigerians have to choose between greater and lesser evil and that is an unfortunate dilemma.

I maintain that Nigerians need a political solution. They need a willingness to rid once and for all time all the bad eggs and the undesirable elements in the land. The level of corruption and nepotism in the land is beyond the redemption capabilities of a single political party or one man.

Summarily as it has been for as long as these wasted and lost generations can remember, 2014 will also go down as the year when many things were swept under the carpets. Name any political or economic crime against humanity and you will find it under the rug called Nigeria 2014.

Majority of Nigerians will end 2014 at different churches and mosques. They will be urged at the annual rituals called vigils to let go of the past and face the future. But that is an annual mistake, it is politically wrong.

2014 was not a great year.

A great year might come to Nigeria if all the people come together, close down the country and get rid of all political criminals and their associates once and for all. The sacrifices will be huge and the future will be great for it.

In 2015 Nigerians need to remember the errors of the past so they can have a platform to shape a politically correct present. The plan for the future must be holistic so that the unborn generations can thrive and bless their ancestors.

aderounmu@gmail.com

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A Waiting Mayhem?

In this age of information just like it was in the dark eras a few hundred years ago we continue to see that money is the root of all evil and religion remains the most potent tool when a brother is set to kill a brother.

A Waiting Mayhem

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_2013

Ahead of the 2015 Nigerian elections one of the likely places where ominous signs can trail or follow the process is in the western part of Nigeria.

Three main factors are deepening the cleavages in western Nigeria.

The first is the different political parties that the aspirants belong to. The second is their religions. The third factor is the money flowing from PDP’s Aso Rock and APC wallets.

There are cold wars in western Nigeria between the two main political parties, the APC and the PDP. Politics across Nigeria is generally full of bitterness and hatred. One can have a legitimate reason to be worried about the likely things to come in the Yoruba country.

For instance the APC will like to continue its grip on Lagos and other states in Western Nigeria. Even the Oba of Lagos has vowed that PDP will never rule in Lagos.

Mr. Agbaje will fly the PDP flag in Lagos. Unless my statistics is failing me, the Muslim community is torn between their religion and voting PDP to take over Lagos. The twisted slogan has changed to “not about party but candidate”. It’s a very sad development to even consider religion ahead of the pedigree of a candidate. The Lagos thriller will be interesting.

The greater influence of religion on the mindsets of the descendants of Oduduwa and Orunmila is in the presidential election race.

There have been a lot of undertones loud enough to show that the support for Buhari in the Yoruba country is more of religious sentiments than one can relate to ideology.

Buhari has not proposed any political ideology or manifesto and his party APC has not produced a blueprint to set Nigerians free from their mental and political slavery that Buhari himself helped to build as a dictator.

The total failure of the PDP since 1999 and the Jonathan government in particular since 2009 means that ideologies can wait in a geographical region where stealing is not corruption.

The reverberation and the boomerang effects that emerged when the PDP accused the APC of being an Islamic party were also enormous. If Jonathan sits on evidence linking Boko Haram to Buhari or APC and has kept mum, may the souls of the victims haunt him to his grave.

With all the romance of Goodluck Jonathan with gangster pastor Ayo Oritsejafor and the church in general, not many people have accused the PDP of pursuing a Vatican agenda.

Even when Jonathan led Nigerian politicians to weep in faraway Israel instead of weeping at home for their failures, no one has accused the PDP of pursuing a Jewish agenda.

Then to make sure that it neutralizes the assertion of the PDP, the APC nominated a relatively unknown pastor as the vice-presidential aspirant of its political party.

Those who say religion cannot be eliminated from Nigeria’s politics were right after all. They won the argument. Some of us are just stubborn and hoping that people will begin to use their senses instead of their brainwashed cerebral hemispheres. We lost.

The third factor tearing the children of Oduduwa apart is money. A lot of money continues to disappear daily under the watch of Mrs. Iweala and Mr. Jonathan. Parts of these missing funds are pumped into the hands of Jonathan loyalists in Western Nigeria without accountability. It is like an open tap that has even flown to groups abroad.

In all of these unwholesome dramas, a complete thriller is set up in the Yoruba country. Brothers are now set to kill brothers. The influences of lazy Mr. Jonathan and brutal General Buhari are detrimental to the Yoruba country where reasons have been thrown to the winds. It’s a shame.

Even within a party the hatred is boundless and it smells of insane cruelty. For example gunshots were heard during the PDP primary that led to the emergence of Jimi Agbaje. Mr. Obanikoro is still running from pole to pole and from coast to coast to seek the annulment of the process.

He cannot comprehend how he lost the primaries despite all the funds from Aso rock at his disposal. He succeeded in Ekiti and failed at home. Now he has no portfolio. What a pity! He should team up with Atiku to become the biggest losers group of company.

There is trouble across the Yoruba country. The curious re-emergence of Mr. Fayose in Ekiti continues to brew palaver. The dusts seemed not going to settle and a spill over to February 2015 is not in the interest of the Yoruba people. A plump of a tiny fart can do a lot of havoc in the pant.

Now the APC Ekiti lawmakers are meeting clandestinely. They are on the move constantly. They cannot live in their houses as thugs or security agents can emerge to cut their heads or slice their throats. Is this the dream of the Yoruba country? Is mayhem the way forward?

There are deeper cleavages between the Muslim and the Christian communities in western Nigeria. Buhari was compelled to nominate a Christian as his deputy. How bad will it get in 2015?

How did religion come to play a master role in the election process in Nigeria when Abiola and Kingibe conquered all just in 1993?

For all his crimes, is Buhari forgiven in Yoruba land? Just like that?

Nigeria may be heading to the abyss, for these problems are not restricted to the Yoruba country.

There was a headline that Anglican members in one eastern state are rejecting catholic-catholic candidatures for electoral offices. This is not just stupid, it is also silly.

What is wrong with people in Nigeria? Have they replaced their heads with empty coconut shells?

In all of these wahalas, ideologies are yet to be brought to the fore. We have not heard the programs for education, health, infrastructure, immigration, security and solutions to unemployment.

For the 2015 elections it would have been preferable to have an opposition that is based on ideology and the clamor for change based solely on the failure of the lazy Jonathan government to deliver at the national levels. After all many state governors failed to deliver at the state levels and many local government chairmen are mere crooks.

The upcoming general elections in Nigeria elections are brewing a lot of anger, dissatisfaction, hatred, bitterness and vengeance.

The coming days are going to be tougher for Nigerians. The global price of oil is dropping by the day. The government as it appeared has not saved for the rainy days despite being mainly a single-market economy, relying heavily on the sales of crude oil for sustainability.

Almost 60 years of maladministration may catch up with Nigeria, suddenly. Lack of foresight and lack of planning for the future may catch up with Nigeria. Greed, selfishness and corruption may catch up with Nigeria. Allowing corrupt and silly people including dictators to rule in Nigeria may catch up with Nigeria.

These ingredients-elections under uncertainties, deep seated hatred between and among tribes, religion brainwash-ness, bitterness and a failing economy likely to make monsters out of men-in a country already on a free fall might spell disaster unless a Nigerian-styled fire brigade shock absorber is set off early.

The success of the elections, the outcomes and the acceleration of quick-fixes that may beam of hope will sustain the resilient spirits of Nigerians. It may put the mayhem on hold in western Nigerian and other places.

There is no unifying factor on ground in 2015. In the time past, male football has helped to hold Nigeria together. Nigeria is not playing at the 2015 Nations Cup. The omen up to February does not look good.

Additional characteristics for building a successful future for Nigerians and the unborn generations must be elaborated: long term developmental goals, functional political structures, devolution of power to states/regions, true federalism, purposeful implementations of programs to diversify the economy, focus on education, science and technology, dedication to people and country and the respect for the equal value of the human life. All of these will be useful.

There is nothing that is too late in life. It’s still about 2 months to the elections. Who will embark on the rapid nation-wide campaign to down tone the influence of religion as the countdown to the election days draw near? Will INEC? What about the Ministry of Information?

What will happen in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno during the elections?

Who will put a hold to the financial recklessness at Aso rock? Who will stop the draining of funds from the APC states so that the people can have more benefits?

Will it require Jonathan worshipping in a mosque or Buhari conducting a church service to show ignorant Nigerians that religion is not supposed to be significant in public service?

Did I mention that I don’t fancy any of these 2 candidates? In my dreams growing up in western Nigeria, I did not see a clueless or weak man leading the now sleeping “giant” of Africa and l had no idea a former dictator will become a superhero of anybody in Nigeria.

But a country is the sum of the people’s wisdom or foolishness. Nigeria tamed her men and women of valor and good characters. Stupidity was elevated in public offices.

In this age of information just like it was in the dark eras a few hundred years ago we continue to see that money is the root of all evil and religion remains the most potent tool when a brother is set to kill a brother.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Obasanjo’s Medicine: Shake After Use

Obasanjo’s is shaking after taking his own medicine. He will not be canonized. He ran a corrupt government too. If it took him 8 years to realize he also handed over to corrupt people like him then he may have suffered from a form of premature dementia

Obasanjo’s Medicine: Shake After Use

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Around 1988 my physics teacher at Festac Grammar School Mr. Olatunji, a civil engineer by training told the class a joke. He said there was a man who was given a prescription by the doctor. So the man went his way, bought the medicine and took it.

After a few days his condition did not improve. So he picked up the bottle of medicine and read the instructions carefully. Somewhere on the bottle it stated “SHAKE BEFORE USE”.

When the man discovered the instruction, he started to jump up and down, whirled his waist and shook his belly at the same time. He wanted to ensure that all the medicine he had taken mix thoroughly inside of his body.

You’re guaranteed of getting wiser for every lesson you attended with Mr. Olatunji in front of the classroom. He told us at that time that with his knowledge and education-he should be sitting on the 35th floor of a civil engineering firm.

But he was stuck with us for a while, teaching and giving us hope for a brighter future. To make ends meet Mr. Olatunji also ran a private coaching outfit popularly called lesson. A very clever man with excellent skills in mathematics, I learnt later on that he found a job outside of teaching. I hope life treated you well, sir!

Now I look forward to reading General Obasanjo’s book. But I have seen a few of the previews that early birds have posted online.

Sometimes in late 2007, several Nigerians started the process of canonizing Obasanjo. It was either he controlled the media or the impatient people were doing an early comparison of his tenure as the ruler of Nigeria with that of the puppets that he almost singlehandedly installed after his failed third-term bid.

Some believed that Obasanjo brought in Yar Adua and Jonathan because he wanted to show Nigerians that they would have been better off with him as a life president. There are still many theories on why Obasanjo brought 2 peculiar political invalids to rule Nigeria.

I am trying to place Obasanjo in the positions of both the doctor and the patient in Mr. Olatunji’s narration.

As the former ruler of Nigeria for a total period of about 10 years, are there pieces of information in Obasanjo’s book that he could have applied in making Nigeria a better place for all? Were there prescriptions he didn’t read out loud when he addressed Nigerians for 10 years?

What efforts did Obasanjo make to minimize corruption under his regime as a military dictator and a civilian ruler? Does he have the justification to accuse other people of the same crimes that he committed? What efforts did he make to stop the introduction and implementation of extreme Islamism in Northern Nigeria?

Why did he employ the services of a criminal in the person of James Ibori to spearhead the change that would have ensured that he ran for the office of the Nigerian president for a record third time?

Then when the third term bid failed Obasanjo oversaw that Ibori continued to drain the resources of the people of the Niger Delta in promoting Yar Adua. Ibori, an ex-convict was almost going to become Nigeria’s vice president under Obasanjo’s watch, a road map that could also have placed him in line to the presidency.

Obasanjo is like the people he criticized in his new book. How did he get Otta back from scrap to a multi-billion naira project just after emerging as the military’s choice in 1999?

What happened to all the billions of naira spent on power generation under his watch? I hope I will read about his shady deals in his new book of revelations because from space Nigeria is still one of the darkest places in Africa today. What about the funds meant to equip the police force that ended up with his family members?

Obasanjo and some of the people mentioned in his book like Atiku where co-criminals at the helm of affairs in Nigeria. They even went a step ahead in their criminal pursuits in the international Halliburton bribery scandal. It was only in Nigeria that the criminals involved in this scandal were not punished. The criminal law system in Nigeria is a huge joke.

Obasanjo can win accolades for his book, for the gladiate contents. He likes to play to the gallery and that sort of excitement is what most Nigerians want.

They want to accept one form of evil above another. They want to agree that Obasanjo was better than Jonathan because the law system in Nigeria does not query, try and send people for prison for serious crimes like state murder and looting of the treasury with good governance as the opportunity cost.

How has the larger Nigerian populace benefitted from Obasanjo’s wit and tricks since he emerged as a PDP politician?

I am not thankful to Obasanjo for his contributions to the misery of the Nigerian life. I cannot appreciate him for his roles directly and indirectly in the demeaning of the Nigerian life.

In terms of establishing institutions and empowering people that will contribute to the progress of Nigeria Obasanjo is probably more clueless than Jonathan.

If the law and justice system in Nigeria are fair, would Obasanjo be a free man or a prisoner today? Who takes the responsibility for the political assassinations under his watch? Who killed Bola Ige? Did he provide the hints in his book?

Obasanjo enjoys having his hands and voice in everything. The preview of Obasanjo’s books that I’ve read placed him in the category of the people I described in my column last week-the people with foolish expectations.

He led a corrupt government and imposed another clueless corrupt government yet he’s out there crying over a foreseeable tragedy. What hypocrite!

In the same vein, when I would have read his book, I might still find it difficult to remove Obasanjo from the category of Nigerians on Lagbaja’s scale of mumuism.

Millions of Nigerians also fit in to the patient role in Mr. Olatunji’s story. They are now jumping up and down and wriggling their bellies because they have taken their medicines without reading the label where it state shake before use. We’ll see where this takes them in February 2015.

Obasanjo knew that Jonathan was incompetent as the governor of Bayelsa. Everybody in Bayelsa knew his deputy was in charge when he was a governor. If Obasanjo was not aware of that then he must have suffered from a premature dementia. If it took Obasanjo 8 years to realize that he handed over to a corrupt government like the one he managed, then he needs a quick help.

Millions of Nigerians were basking in 2011: we are voting for Jonathan, not the PDP. It was laughable, yet very sad to read the collective reasoning of a people drained of both mental and physical strengths. What options were available anyway? An endless dilemma it must be.

It sounded as foolish as when Babangida said he did not cancel the results of the 1993 elections, that he only annulled it. It’s the same rigmarole when he said he was stepping aside when he ought to have been arrested and imprisoned for treason.

It was that fateful cancelled elections that Obasanjo benefitted from. He even campaigned on behalf of the treason perpetrators like Ibrahim Babangida. Obasanjo said MKO Abiola was not the messiah.

Obasanjo’s messiah for Nigeria since 2009 was Mr. Jonathan. When did he detect the truth that now set his wicked mind free?

I am making efforts to get Obasanjo’s books to my domain. I look forward to reading Obasanjo’s explanation as to why he collected the Halliburton bribe.  Also I want to know how much he got. Was it a third of $74m or a straight N27b?

I will like to read Obasanjo’s book so I can mock his gullibility-that at his right and ripe ages in 1979 (Shagari), 1993 (Abiola), 2007 (Yar Adua) and 2011 (Jonathan) he was fooled or he fooled Nigerians.

Obasanjo’s is now shaking after taking his own medicine. Too late I am sorry.

When Mr. Obasanjo is done with whirling his waist or shaking his belly, I hope someone can tell him that some people actually read the labels and instructions on their medicines before they swallowed them.

If he ever gets another chance in his life time, one hopes that he reads the label before prescribing or taking the medicine himself.

For now he should stop crying over the milk he spilled as the search for true and exemplary leaders continue in the rising struggle to liberate Nigeria and Nigerians.

aderounmu@gmail.com

The American Dream vs The European Dream

Images and Text Culled From Time Magazine Photos Of 2014

Is this The American Dream?

A man backs away as law enforcement officials close in on him and eventually detain him during protests over the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager killed by a police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 11, 2014. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday that it had opened an inquiry into the weekend shooting of Brown. (Whitney Curtis/The New York Times)

A man backs away as law enforcement officials close in on him and eventually detain him during protests over the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager killed by a police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 11, 2014. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday that it had opened an inquiry into the weekend shooting of Brown. (Whitney Curtis/The New York Times)

Is This The European Dream?

June 7, 2014 - Mediterranean Sea / Italy: Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa. More than 2,000 migrants jammed in 25 boats arrived in Italy June 12, ending an international operation to rescue asylum seekers traveling from Libya. They were taken to three Italian ports and likely to be transferred to refugee centers inland. Hundreds of women and dozens of babies, were rescued by the frigate FREMM Bergamini as part of the Italian navy's "Mare Nostrum" operation, launched last year after two boats sank and more than 400 drowned. Favorable weather is encouraging thousands of migrants from Syria, Eritrea and other sub-Saharan countries to arrive on the Italian coast in the coming days. Cost of passage is in the 2,500 Euros range for Africans and 3,500 for Middle Easterners, per person. Over 50,000 migrants have landed Italy in 2014. Many thousands are in Libya waiting to make the crossing. (Massimo Sestini/Polaris)

June 7, 2014 – Mediterranean Sea / Italy: Italian navy rescues asylum seekers traveling by boat off the coast of Africa. More than 2,000 migrants jammed in 25 boats arrived in Italy June 12, ending an international operation to rescue asylum seekers traveling from Libya. They were taken to three Italian ports and likely to be transferred to refugee centers inland. Hundreds of women and dozens of babies, were rescued by the frigate FREMM Bergamini as part of the Italian navy’s “Mare Nostrum” operation, launched last year after two boats sank and more than 400 drowned. Favorable weather is encouraging thousands of migrants from Syria, Eritrea and other sub-Saharan countries to arrive on the Italian coast in the coming days. Cost of passage is in the 2,500 Euros range for Africans and 3,500 for Middle Easterners, per person. Over 50,000 migrants have landed Italy in 2014. Many thousands are in Libya waiting to make the crossing. (Massimo Sestini/Polaris)

And How Do We Protect Ourselves In Africa?

Medical staff carry James Dorbor, 8, suspected of having Ebola, into a treatment facility in Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 5, 2014.  Ebola ó the reality and the hysteria over it ó  is having a serious economic impact on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, three nations already at the bottom of global economic and social indicators. (Daniel Berehulak/The New York Times)

Medical staff carry James Dorbor, 8, suspected of having Ebola, into a treatment facility in Monrovia, Liberia, Sept. 5, 2014. Ebola ó the reality and the hysteria over it ó is having a serious economic impact on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, three nations already at the bottom of global economic and social indicators. (Daniel Berehulak/The New York Times)

More Images and Stories here:

http://time.com/3572139/time-top-10-photos-2014/

Foolish Expectations

Mr. Robert Marley must be flabbergasted in his grave. There is a place where you can fool all the people all the time by repeating the same jingles every four years and make them have the same expectations of a better life. It must be foolish expectations waiting for good to emerge from evil.

Foolish Expectations

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

I have a friend who strongly believes that ordinary Nigerians who are waiting for Nigeria to improve politically and economically will grow old (or not) and die while waiting.

This friend of mine is one of the several millions of Nigerians who discuss about Nigeria almost every day. Some of us go the extra mile to put our thoughts and arguments into words. That is why we are able to blog regularly or opine our thoughts weekly.

Nigeria is approaching an election year and that makes the discussion about election the hottest for now.

The reasons why Nigeria will not improve politically have not been tackled because Nigeria remains a “geographical prize” presently chased by several crooks and political scavengers grouped mainly into two factions-APC and PDP.

In the past the prize has been chased and won under different dispensations. In politics it is the politicians and their army of sycophants who win the prize, steal the monies in the treasuries and disappear into thin air.

Under military rule, it is the soldiers who steal the monies in the treasuries and carried out counter coups to take turns in looting the treasuries.

Irrespective of the dispensations, the criminals have mostly gotten away with the proceeds of the treasuries, and to this day they continue to live large. Some died leaving billions of dollars of Nigerian money in foreign accounts/countries. There is no limit to stupidity in that sense.

An interesting dimension is the persistent of some people in the Nigerian political scene. It’s not all the crooks who disappear. It is amazing how long some of them have continued to carry out their nefarious activities while the people and the short arm of the law look away.

One of the most shocking aspects of the Nigerian life is the way the people condemn the rulers and the politicians despite the fact that they know that they were criminals before they were selected or bundled into important national and political positions.

In Nigeria the knowledge that a fellow has criminal cases or is incompetent are not deterrent factors to eventual elevation in public life or politics.

For the ones who became criminals while in office Nigerians have not find the way to boot them away or send them to prisons. Instead Nigerians develop a weird follow-follow Nigerian syndrome that is built on nepotism, blind faith and waiting for my turn to chop.

There are several examples that cut across the two major political parties, and beyond.

There are too many examples from the past and the present. The future seemed already awash with dubious characters waiting in line. The Nigerian society continues to thrive on systemic falsehood, alignment with bogus promises and foolish expectations.

This is a repetition. One criminal called James was sentenced in a Nigerian court. He later became a governor and what happened next is history. He raped the state and looted it blind. It took a London court to confirm to the foolish people of his state that they had a criminal ruling them!

This type of obvious stupidity-allowing criminals and extremely bad people to rule and dictate the policies- is spread across the length and breadth of Nigeria.

Nigerians know that occupiers of government houses across the land are not true to their promises and they rank them in order of their corruption tendencies instead of forcing the law to take its course.

There are millions of Nigeria who knew that a former governor in Bayelsa and his wife have been stealing directly and through couriers while ruling the state. They even know the criminal before that called Alams.

Yet when Obasanjo brought Jonathan to the national front to become one of the rulers of Nigeria, Nigerians accepted him. It is not as if Obasanjo is a saint but majority of Nigerians canonized him. It’s part of the foolishness, to raise one evil above the other instead of total condemnation of such in public offices.

Jonathan who never did anything tangible in Bayelsa continued to fool Nigerians 6 years on. His romance with all kinds of criminals-or their offspring attests to the nature of his true personality.

Mr. Robert Marley must be flabbergasted in his grave. There is a place where you can fool all the people all the time by repeating the same jingles every four years and make them have the same expectations of a better life. It must be foolish expectations expecting good to emerge from evil.

I remember watching the campaign trails of Jonathan versus Atiku during my visit to Lagos, Western Nigeria in 2010. I remember the walk down the streets in Iyana Ipaja, Festac Town and some parts of Amuwo Odofin. I can’t forget the disconnection between the people ruling and the people being ruled. It was two worlds apart.

The people who should be in prisons for crimes against Nigeria and Nigerians are always the ones on the campaign trails every 4 years. They are here again. Amazing!

The system is not right.

In 2014 Nigerians expected Jonathan to have solved their problems despite knowing his background as lazy, corrupt, feeble, and lacking courage. They know there is no way his wife would have been stealing so much money if he was not providing them from the Bayelsa state coffers. How much money has been stolen from the Nigerian treasury under Mr. Jonathan?

Since the return of civil rule and the virtual exit of the gangsters in uniform, several politicians and soldiers have been smiling to the bank and building businesses and empires by stealing public funds. Many of them have been receiving contract sums for work they never did. Nigeria’s most notorious ghost worker lives in Aso Rock.

In Lagos State it appears that everything is in the hands of Mr. Tinubu. Many have argued that this is necessary to provide a formidable opposition for the ruling party. Really?

So, Nigerians will get rid of crooks in Aso Rock by supporting crooks in the opposition parties. The people who treat symptoms rather than cure the disease won’t stop praying for miracles. This cycle is programmed to exist for as long as Nigeria exists.

I ponder. So Nigerians will for as long as they exist continue to choose between different forms of evil. So there will be no fresh start someday in Rivers, in Ekiti, in Adamawa, in Kogi, in Bayelsa, in Anambra and everywhere.

My friend does not claim to be a prophet but on this one, he is on point. If this is the mindset of a typical or an average Nigerian then the ordinary people will grow and die waiting for miracles in Nigeria. Their life time will be defined by complete hopelessness.

It is sad. Despite all the knowledge about what is wrong with Nigerian politics, Nigerians will follow-follow and repeat the same process in 2015.

Afterwards they will start to oppose and counter oppose and ask for a new fake change especially on the social networks.

Why can’t Nigerians soft pedal on elections and clean the system inside-out?

What are Nigerians going to do to stop politicians from stealing? What are they doing to stop the wastages at the federal execu-thieves level? What are they doing to stop the representa-thieves and legis-looters?

What are they doing to put a final stop to crimes in all the governors’ offices across the land? What are they going to do to ensure that elections become meaningful and that their votes really count?

How long do Nigerians intend to go before arriving at a point where Ghana-must go bags will not dictate the outcomes of (s)elections?

How do they intend to arrive at a point where the temporary condition of their stomachs is not a reference for thugs turned politicians?

How do they want to rebuild electoral principles/manifestos around education, health, jobs, social welfare, social justice and the protection of life and property? How?

I remember writing an article arguing that the 2011 elections should now hold until a political solution is adopted. I knew fully well that Nigerians were heading to the polls to select fraudsters. In 2015, the same process of selecting fraudsters will take place. The cycle of idiocy will be nourished.

The urgency of seeking political solutions has never been more critical than now when many things have already fallen apart in different regions. The worst hit is the N-Eastern axis under the control of local and foreign terrorists.

Nigerians should be tired of their rulers.

They need to elect leaders amongst them who will lead them in organizing and creating regional societies that will suit their goals and pursuits. This has been a mission impossible, and it is even sadder.

In 2018 slash 2019, people will be shouting, we told you not to vote for Jonathan-he is a liar. We warned you about Buhari-he is a dictator. We told you Atiku stole from the custom department.

We told you we want to control our resources. We told you the government was Boko Haram. We told you the oppositions were behind Boko Haram. We don’t have electricity. My children can’t go to school. Schools are for the rich. I have no job and no social security. There is serious problem of insecurity. The roads are bad. And so on.

My friend will still be right then because the system is just not working for the ordinary people. It was established out of oppression and oppression of the ordinary people will sustain it.

Nations or countries that prosper were mostly built on honesty, trust, patriotism, solidarity, probity, accountability, sincere promises, wise expectations and the pursuits of the common-good of all.

All the above virtues are missing in Nigeria. There will never be progress where there is no trust.

Majority of the citizens of any nation must cultivate these virtues. It must be forced down their throats through proper education or enlightenment campaigns.

In addition to integrity, functional institutions and a return to a system of government that works, these virtues are the hope of a brighter day for all the nations/regions entangled in non-functional unitary Nigeria.

aderounmu@gmail.com