At War With Ourselves

The importance of a lasting political solution can never, never be over-emphasized.

At War With Ourselves

By Adeola Aderounmu

 

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Our lives remain a struggle of different shades. In Nigeria we need a massive overdose of peace.

Each day still comes with its own struggles and puzzles, and whilst we try to live or make a way, we are sometimes confronted by violent assaults from fellow citizens as if the endless non-violent assaults from the political class are not enough.

When tens of robbers decided to storm Agbara in Ogun State 2 weeks ago (week 47), they were not joking. They made a statement of fact. They are at war with the society. After 90 minutes they  made away with millions of naira.

The robbers did not leave until they have inflicted sorrows and tears by also drawing the blood of some the innocent people around. There are diverse reports on the numbers of people slaughtered during the 90 minutes long operations.

Some policemen working in the Estate/ at the bank lost their lives and some bank customers were either shot dead or injured.

The official police response at the time of the robbery must have been extremely late considering that the robbers took their time, a time long enough to watch a football match. Even if the police took a flight from Abuja when the robbery started, they could still have met the robbers and foiled the operations before the robbers got away.

They got away in style. They shot at people at a nearby market killing a market woman in the process and they blew up a car. The language of war was clear and unmistaken.

This particular robbery by a gang that may have numbered 40 is the latest in the series of aggravated assaults on Western Nigeria. In Lagos State for example, the crime rate has soared significantly, especially since the emergence of Mr. Ambode as the governor of Lagos State.

A lot of things have gone worse in Nigeria generally especially since the emergence of the new dispensation at the center. The gaps and lapses since the month of May have exposed one of the ills of the system of governance in Nigeria. It is rather apppalling that Nigeria goes on recess every 4 years after the elections; a recess that usually means that things usually go from bad to worse.

But now that the federal executives have emerged and with the state executives also in place across Nigeria, a lot of people are looking forward to improvements, at least to the levels things were before the downward spiral. Things were already bad enough, why should they always get worse?

The organised criminal act perpetrated in Agbara was not an isolated occurence. In Festac Town, a similar rambo-style robbery was unleashed on the banks recently. It is time for the banks in Western Nigeria to invest more in the security of their staff and customers.

The ambulance response and the way people flooded the crime scenes after the bank robbery is a note for another day. It was just too awful to behold the non-response to crimes and the violations of crime scenes by onlookers and passers-by.

[The police were later reported to have arrested and killed the gang leader and other robbers who participated in the Agbara robbery]

There are constant sources of worries in Nigeria. The wars are many.

It is when you step into one of them consciously or unconsciously that you’ll know how that heart attack kills just as easily as a gun shot.

Growing up and living in Nigeria has already created the automated and life-time sources of worries. Invariably, struggling for common things like water, transportation and even education is a way of life. It is disheartening.

We are constantly at different types of war, it all depends on how you see life.

Some wars are too obvious you cannot miss them.

The war with Boko Haram is official.

Despite several claims that the sponsors are known, the group remains largely faceless. Recently, the Nigerian government published the pictures of people wanted in connection to the sect. Aside that, no one knows how the pictures were obtained or the stories/history of the accused.

Intelligence collection?

While some say that the group was formed by the Northern elites in an attempt to seize power from the South, others continue to finger the international community as flamers of the war in Northern Nigeria. The North did get back power and the terrorists got more brutal. Is it a case of a machine or robot out of control?

Irrespective of the speculations or the conspirations, Boko Haram has decimated the population of North-Eastern Nigeria and it has sent many people to their graves too early.

Millions OF PEOPLE are displaced within and around Nigeria.

The group is at war with Nigeria and it is shameful and ridiculous that they continue to embarass the Nigerian intelligence agency and the Nigerian military.

I think Boko Haram will last for as long as the rulers of Nigeria sees the decimation of Boko Haram as an attack on Nigeria.

The truth is, in this Boko Harm war, unless the funding of Boko Haram is cut away by arresting and prosecuting the local sponsors, or exposing the international ring if that be the case, the group will continue to re-organise and carry out attacks.

It is becoming obvious that the APC just like the PDP are denying the truths of the matter and they continue to play politics with the lives of the people. In the face of deceit, the war will thrive.

It is in view of this that the recent upsurge of the Biafra struggle is also worrying. Now there are claims again of external and internal sponsors for the biafran proponents. Both may be correct.

Africa continues to hold most of the world’s wealth beneath her soil. Stability in Africa will make her emerge as a powerful continent. So definitely the enemies of Africa posing as friends do not want peace on the continent.

But what do Africans want for themselves? Peace or war? Greed or common good of all?

This brings me to the point of the non-violent wars whose consequences unfortunately are physical wars and violence around Nigeria.

By organising corruption, greed and a non-functional system of government the Nigerian politicians have continuously remain in war with the rest of the society.

By some inexplicable means, one generation after the other continue to toe the line of non-functional methods of governance. The greed in people deafened them when it is their chance to effect a change.

In Nigeria’s classical example, the politicians are the same even though they want the people to believe that the political parties count. Since the demise of the UPN, NPN, and the likes of the GNPP, political parties in Nigeria have simply become a group of birds of the same feather in different nests.

What is likely now is that Boko Haram may outlive the Buhari administration the same way it outlived the Jonathan government. This is so because the deadline given by the APC to defeat Boko Haram has expired.

Boko Haram, Biafra proponents, and even the Oodua Republic will outlive the Buhari government the same way they have (under different names and agitations) outlived the different governments over the years.

Nigerians have neglected the voices of reasons that a lasting political solution is imminent for Nigeria. The British formula will not hold water forever.

No one has told us what is wrong with regional system of government. It was amazing for Nigeria whilst it lasted until the regimes became intoxicated with the oil wealth of the Niger Delta.

There are indeed no perfect ways forward for Nigeria but the dirts have been under the carpets for more than 55 years. It’s time to start cleaning and talking.

Once the Nigerian people decide on putting the right amount of pressure on its political class, they’ll be able to force constructive debates and consequently a referedum to decide the political future of the country put together in 1914 for the benefit of Britain and the Western world.

A functional political structure and a working society will reduce the crime rate drastically. It will go a long way to address unemployment issues and tackle many of the societal ills that continue to put Nigeria permanently on the edge.

One hopes that the political class does not take the war, increasing uprisings and agitations with kid gloves any longer. Drastic situations require drastic solutions.

The surest thing in the future is that one day under a certain generation, that political solution which we keep avoiding will stare at people in their faces as the only way forward.

If it is not too late, it will become the only alternative to war.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Advertisements

Life, Still A Passage

Just 2 weeks ago, (actually 3 weeks) l wrote: death either abroad or at home appears to be the only leveler between the corrupt and the saints, the rich and the poor. Life will remain a passage and only fools don’t see the vanity of primitive accumulations.

 

Life, Still A Passage

 

By Adeola Aderounmu

I have made references to my essay ”A Passage Called Life” on several occasions. The essay was first published in the Nigerian Village Square on November 7, 2007.

At that time Ms. Bunmi Etteh was already brushed aside as the speaker in the Nigerian House of Representatives.  One Aminu Safana had also suddenly kicked the bucket.

In that 2007 episode l wrote about the recommendations of the Japanese.

I don’t remember where l got it from but the Japanese gave only 3 recommendations for a fulfilling life. These recommendations are 1. Have children 2. Write a book and 3 . Plant a tree.

I wish l knew where l got this from but it does not matter now. I can make my own inferences.

I remember also an ex-colleague of mine who told me that he was no longer afraid to die. When I asked him what he meant, he said now he has a child and all his fears are gone.

The meaning of the expression is deep and l leave it to my readers,the fathers and mothers out there to interprete.

For my ex-colleague, his thoughts may be in line with what the Japanese inferred.

Can everybody write a book? It depends on how you look at it. I think what will be relevant here it to tell our stories. Ideology and traditions have been sustained even in the absence of books. We can tell our stories and the custodians of history can write them for us.

Since we want our stories to be beneficial to mankind or humanity, we want it to contain good deeds.

It will be hard to read the minds of the Japanese but l do hope they realise the imperfection of mankind.

Not all of us will have children especially now that biological rules have been rewritten. We will not all plant trees because we depend on some institutions in the society to do so on our behalf.

Our stories will be our books if we write them. If we don’t, still we should not fail to share them with those we love and trust.

Then, just 2 weeks ago, l wrote an essay (108 Modern Hospitals Now) and in the conclusion l stated that death either abroad or at home appears to be the only leveler between the corrupt and the saints, the rich and the poor.

Life will remain a passage and only fools don’t see the vanity of primitive accumulations.

In the recent essay l threw a challenge to the government of Nigeria and the politicians as the custodians of our commonwealth. It was my response to the death of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and all the Nigerian politicians who want to go abroad to die.

Why not build hospitals for yourselves and the citizens of Nigeria?

Nigerian criminal politicians and in fact all greedy and selfish people need to be told (because they do not appear to know) that life is transient and nothing last forever.

Was it Akon who sang and mentioned that tomorrow is not guaranteed?

Whilst the poor people and the masses are still clamouring for the dividends of democracy 16 years on, some fools are already scheming for the 2019 elections.

This means that they are already looting and stealing monies in small and big amounts from different corners of the country and piling them up to execute the 2019 elections.

At the same time, they-the politicians continue to earn undeserved wages, award themselves contracts and buy houses from Dubai to the US, from Britain to the Carribean.

The tradition of the Nigerian politicians since the exit of the colonial thugs remain to suppress the people and continue to impoverish them. To an extremely large and unbelievable extent they have succeeded.

Hence no matter how we have preached about the need and importance of good governance, the priority remains their selfish gains and how to make their families and friends wealthy.

It was not a good omen when people jubilated in the streets in those days when dictators or crook politicians died.

Nowadays the jubilation is on the social media. Invariably the majority of Nigerians wish that many of the politicians could drop dead one after the other.

So far, many have dropped dead actually. There is no pity here because like l mentioned in 108 Hospitals Now, we have all lost some of our loved ones due to the recklessness of governance and disorderliness in the society.

Nigeria is on rampage daily.

But our political problems are not solved by death at home and abroad because the spread of wickedness and insensitivity are still irredeemable in the souls of the conquerors of Nigeria.

Today the conquerors are the men and women parading themselves in APC and PDP folds.

I have come to the conclusion that the APC and the PDP are birds of the same feather in different nests.

Fot them there are no lessons to be learnt about the transiency of life. No lessons are learnt from history.

Nigerian politicians do not give a damn. As long as there is yam, they are glad to remain the goats until they drop dead, whichever way.

So once again, as Nigerians continue with their daily struggles looking for food and water to put on the table, one hopes that sense will prevail and that gradually Nigeria will move towards finding a lasting solution to the problems plaguing country.

Not least is the political solution that is even now more urgent.

If a man participated in an election in the morning and dropped dead in the afternoon, then it is not just tomorrow that is not guaranteed but also the rest of today

Life will remain a passage. We are all here, only for a while.

Nobody leaves this planet alive. Live and lets live..!

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

The JETS Club, We Were Members!

In this jet age and in the JETS CLUB, they don’t sell jets, they fly them! Moreover when the king’s house is burnt, the new one becomes even more beautiful.

The Jets Club, We Were Members!

By Adeola Aderounmu

I remember many things from my days as a child and as a young boy growing up in the city of Lagos. I remember many things from my school days as well. At school we had a group called the Science Club. I was a member of that group from my early days in secondary school. So l had the opportunity (a few times) to interact with my seniors and l look up to them.

Attending the Science Club meetings every Wednesday after school was also a way to introduce myself early to my future science teachers. Some of them stayed long enough in the profession to see me off my school days. Many of them left somewhere along the time. The global movement of teachers remains a syndrome to this day and is a point of discussion for another day.

jetsclub

Later on the science club did not exist anymore. The nomenclature became JUNIOR ENGINEERS TECHNICIANS AND SCIENTISTS CLUB-JETS for short.

Suddenly the hall became full every Wednesday when we had extra-curricula activities. I was now one of the senior students and the turn outs were massive from both the junior and senior classes. The new name-JETS was so captivating that everybody wanted to belong there-to the club.

So this week l read about president Buhari and the APC government still hanging on to the JETS bought by Jonathan and the PDP. Who no like jets? Why should Buhari sell the jets?

The other day vice-president Osinbajo went to Kogi state to support one of the most corrupt Nigerians alive-Abubakar Audu-in his bid to become the governor of Kogi state. Did we expect him to trek to Kogi ni? He has to fly in the corruption ballon called presidential jet in order to get to Kogi now. Abi?

How else can you support corruption if you are not dwelling or flying in corruption? Abeg o, naija people, join the JETS CLUB.

How many times have Mr. Obasanjo and Mr. Jonathan visited their friend President Buhari in Aso rock? Do you want them to trek back and forth? Nigeria needs even more presidential jets to fly all the corrupt ex-presidents and all the former and serving corrupt ministers and government official. Why is this hard to understand? Please stop complaining.

Leave the science club and join the jets club o jare, please!

Let APC fly!

Can’t you see that the presidential air fleet is the Nigerian national carrier? Book your tickets online or get connected to the Aso rock villa. Abi?

So you want Buhari to sell the jets? Really? How else can the Buhari government and the APC family fraternise with one another and the corrupt elites in Nigeria? Do you want them on our dangerous roads? We don’t even have a reliable railway line yet.

Did you think that all the overnight trains and railways commissioned by Mr. Jonathan were real? Ask Dr. Okupe for more information. You actually think your rulers are ok?

How did you think the Abacha family got to Aso rock in 2015? Did you think they trek like the refugees? They are not internally displaced people now?

Get it now, Buhari and the APC need the several jets to fly the likes of Abacha’s family in-and-out of Aso rock for dinner, prayer and merry making. Who no like jets?

Ask you minister of transport Rotimi Amaechi what he went through when his cousin from the Niger Delta Goodluck Jonathan grounded his (or maybe it was Rivers State) governor’s jets. It was like his world was turned upside down!

So now as the transport minister, Nigerians wants Mr. Amaechi and his boss Mr. Buhari to sell the jets? In this jet age and in the JETS CLUB, they don’t sell jets, they fly them!

Amaechi will now mock Jonathan in a thousand ways. He will fly around in jets as the minister of transport. He needs many of them just to show Jonathan that when the king’s house is burnt, the new one becomes more beautiful.Ha ha ! The JETS CLUB.

How many times has president Buhari attended events outside of Nigeria? Many, many times of course. If the tempo is maintained he will break Obasanjo’s record and make Jonathan’s flying habit a child’s play. Then you want him to sell the jets. Seriously?

President Buhari needs one jet per day for his trips. He will change them like l change my underwears. Each time has to the different from the previous one. Sell Jets? Sell fire. Abeg carry go, bad market!

Nigerians should praise this APC and Buhari government abeg. Before Emperor Jonathan was deposed, there were plans to buy more presidential jets. It was already in the budget. So if Buhari has not bought any new jets, he has saved money for Nigeria.

Under Jonathan, and probably now sef, the number of Nigerians belonging to the JETS CLUB was used to measure our national wealth and economic growth. As l remember now, l’m wondering, how did all these coconut heads become rulers of Nigeria?

Am l supposed to cry or laugh remembering that Jonathan said Nigerians are not poor because more Nigerians own private jets. To even remember the paperwork that Mrs Iweala did in order to deceive Nigerians and the world on the status of Nigeria’s economy is more disheartening. These people are not normal.

Who can forget the acknowledgements that the various African countries accorded to Nigerian diplomats and government entourage. In Nigeria there is no electricity to boost the standard of living or employment situation but the low thinking politicians continue to fly around Africa and the world in jets. No greater shame!

But for the APC and the Buhari intervention, it appears that Jonathan’s white elephant goal was that every household in Nigeria will own a jet. They already started with the ministers, their wives and husbands and their children.

The social media connected to Nigeria celebrates the looting of the Nigerian treasuries by the politicians by ways of writing and publishing images of ministers and their families flying in jets while the rest of us can trek or go to hell.

The cost of service under Mr. Buhari and the APC mandate? Was it 6 billion naira already? So how much will this corrupt government spend on jets before the end of the year? Before the end of the APC mandate?

If this wasteful government does not know how many homeless or poor people that could have be housed or taken off the streets by 6 billion naira, they should please employ Lateef Jakande immediately.

Since this government does not believe in the youth, they will need an old reliable hand like Lateef Jakande. They need him for the UPN blueprint on housing for all in western Nigeria. How many Jakande type of low cost hosuing estate can be erected with 6 billion naira?

How many junior civil servants who have no access to looting or organised crimes could have been made happier and healthier with 6 billion naira housing estate? Don’t ask google. Ask Jakande!

Anyway, in Nigeria that attitude of putting political party before sense, political party before reasoning remains constant. Therefore the government of APC with president Buhari and Mr. Osinbajo as the flag-bearers are not seeing the nonsense that they have been involved with lately.

Vice-president Osinbajo was in in Kogi to support corruption. What the APC should have done in this era of their stillbirth change is to at least struggle to present a new candidate in Kogi. They did not. They went ahead to fly corruption. It is amazing and very shocking. It is so disgusting one could throw up on the faces on all pro-APC ranters!

President Buhari is still living behind time, mostly showing insensitivity to current issues. He needs to be schooled and updated by his media team and advisers how the majority of Nigerians feel and their expectactions from him.

He must be able to leave the years of tyranny behind as the citizens try to forget the wounds of the military years which he contributed in inflicting.

lt was also an insult and a spite to the families of those murdered by Abacha and to the rest of us who (almost) gave our lives so that democracy can survive in Nigeria. Some people paid the ultimate price in the fight to wrestle tyranny under the watch of Abacha.

As for the JETS CLUB at Festac Grammar School, l wonder what happened to it especially when the 6-3-3-4 system that came behind us crashed with the same speed as it arrived.

What did not crash in Nigeria? Health care? Housing? Basic infrastructure?

I know what didn’t crash.

The sustenance of the Nigerian president air fleet did not crash. Not under Jonathan, not yet under Buhari.

Who cares about the revival of the Nigerian Airways? In Nigeria, there is a flying JETS CLUB.

In Africa we have the giant, the Ethiopia Airline, in whom we trust!

aderounmu@gmail.com

Dark November Blues

The story of Nigeria is a sad story of cyclic idiocy.

Dark November Blues

By Adeola Aderounmu

20151101_155430-3

This weekend l looked at the headlines as l have always done. In fact l usually look at the headlines during the week as well. This way l am in touch with happenings and events not only in Nigeria but also around the world.

If you are a columnist or a blogger there is never a deficiency in what can trigger your opinion for your weekly essay or regular write-ups.

For sometime now l have also been thinking about the possibility of travelling to Nigeria for the first time since 2010. This has affected my mood, my disposition and my thoughts in no small way.

When l’d travel to Nigeria as l have done from time to time since 2002 when l first left Nigeria straight to Sweden, it had always been with mixed feelings. Partly, l am happy to see my families and friends again. On the other hand l am sad because l am reminded of the life of poverty that l always return to.

As far as Nigeria is concern, l am still a man living in poverty. I have written many times that becoming a member of the Nigerian family in diapora is not an escape from the poverty that stare at you in the face in Nigeria.

If one lives well abroad or even in Nigeria and pretends to be immune to the intensity and spread of social, infrastructure and material poverty in Nigeria, then one is heartless.

Personally I have never seen living in Sweden as an escape from the life of poverty that l know in Nigeria. It will not matter how long l live in Sweden. l have come to realise that l cannot dissociate myself easily from the several millions of Nigerians still struggling to live on less than 25 dollars a month or nothing at all.

Today l just need to purge my random thoughts, my november blues out of my mind. That way, l become free and my soul is set free.

This happens because there are so many things running through my mind at the same time to the extent that l doubt if l could say l slept well this outgoing week.

When l’d thought about my future trip to Nigeria l am so sad that the people that l know have become fewer in number. One of the laws of nature catches up with us as we grow older-the old and sick dying and newborns emerging.

My mother will not be there amongst those who l want to fondly remember. There are so many others that will be missing and l will not indulge myself in writing about those who went too soon. In almost all the situations where death has cheated me, l realized that the causes are either related to poverty or direct failure of governance.

But l refuse to elaborate further on those who have been taken away from me because of the rat race existence in Nigeria. I will let the tears l’ve shed wash my sorrows away.

There are so many reasons l write regularly, mostly about Nigeria.

One day someone who had been close to me during my adolescence commented on one of my essays: Adeola may you live to see the Nigeria of your dreams.

I think she aptly captured the essence of my essays. She is probably one of those who realised that l could have gone on to live a quiet life like millions of Nigeria living abroad. Those who write genuinely about the socio-political problems in Nigeria have no obligations to do so. It must be the love in their hearts.

My friend’s comment meant that she has been reading a substantial part of my essays where l refused to give up on living a good life in Nigeria. True, that Nigeria where things are normal and work as they should remains in my dreams.

To some people writing about Nigeria and your frustrations about the criminals ruling Nigeria means that you have an agenda, most likely that you have a political ambition that will make you become one of the criminals in government.

Must everyone steal/loot in government? Most people answered: YES.

That aspect saddens me.

In any case, for a country with more than 150 m people having unlimited natural resources and extreme diversity of languages, culture and heritage, there is a need for more voices and opinions from reasonable and selfless people.

This is urgent because a critical analysis of the Nigerian mindset based on the evolution of the social media and in fact conversations with ordinary people one meets leave a lot to be desired. Usually l am easily devastated by the urge of many more Nigerians to participate in politics because they want to become criminals like their fathers, mothers, uncles, friends and neighbours.

Who is going to bring about the Nigeria of my dreams?

Who is happy that several millions of Nigerians remain in absolute poverty living from hand to mouth? Who is happy that their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers are placed on minimum poverty wage of N18k per month? Who is happy that unemployed people may receive N5k per month as poverty unemployment allowance?

Is it not in the same country where some people stole several billions of dollars and remain free men and women? Is it not in the same country where a few men and women called politicians and their counterparts in the military have access to unlimited funds that they can loot, steal and divert for personal uses?

What is security vote? Nobody is even looking at that anymore. I heard it is several billions of naira given to a governor to provide security for the state he/she governs. I heard the governor does not have to give an account of the state’s security votes. Really?

So a governor can divert security vote to his personal account  for 8 years and get away with it just like that. Is this why insecurity is one of the biggest problems in Nigeria?

This country Nigeria is a country built on destructive tendencies in all ramifications!

So the story of a failed country goes on.

The senators are still earning as much as possible doing almost nothing. Sometimes they shout YA or NAY and millions of naira get wired to their accounts. Just like that! Then, they will decide one day to give 5 thousand naira to unemployed graduates. What a fantastic mess? Absolute rubbish and senselessness!

Ministers will finally emerge in the mid-November blues and they are mainly the same old suspects of corruption from the APC or the old PDP converts.

Then the judiciary and the presidency will play the probe game back and forth. They will decide who can be probed or not. Listen! Probe Jonathan! We can’t probe Obasanjo..! We can’t probe Babangida..! Abacha was not corrupt..!

Each government continues to blame the previous administration instead of hitting the ground appropriately to work. The story of Nigeria is a sad story of cyclic idiocy.

I am just wondering.

What can be the worst outcome if Nigerians storm the streets across the country and ask for the sack of all the federal and state senators and legislators and then place them on N5 000 a month until they find new jobs?

On the proposed N5k for unemployed people, my take is that rather embarking on such a disgraceful and dehumaninzing gesture, the government of Nigeria (at all levels) should double their efforts and committments to alleviating the suffering in the land.

There are what we call short-term plans and long-term plans.

Some short-term plans are achievable within 12 calender months when sense is applied. But when you spent more than 6 months to form a common cabinet or executive at state and federal levels, then it doesn’t make sense anymore. It means you are happy with your election or emergence and the people can go to hell!

I think 100% of the unemployed people will be happy to donate their proposed poverty stipends of N5 000 to the motherless babies home if for example electricity is constant in Nigeria say from January 2016 and for ever more.

With a common infrastrucure as electricity many of the unemployed people will become gainfully employed by either engaging in private businesses or becoming  absorbed by organisations and enterprises whose monthy profits are mainly used to provide power and other avoidable costs of running businesses.

Even the olden days agricultural development and settlement schemes of western Nigeria availed much. The blueprints must still be somewhere!

There are endless suggestions on either side of the take.

Long-term plan means tacking the fundamental issues that not only affect the political instability in Nigeria but also addressing the economic and development implications at the same time.

The Boko Haram war, the new face of Biafran uprising and the endless agitations in the South-West and in the Niger-Delta will not go away simply because President Buhari has a military background. You can’t purge away these uprisings and wars by a wave of the hand. Agidi o ran!

Boko Haram was underestimated, see where it is heading. Now people are wishing Biafra a sudden death..! what a pity!

That is why referendum exists.

Nigeria needs one now before the country explodes fully.

At this moment, the most reasonable way will be for Nigerian politicians to eschew their selfishness and adopt regional government as quickly as possible. It will not solve all the problems but it will a bold step in the right direction.

aderounmu@gmail.com

108 Modern Public Hospitals Now

What about the infectious diseases unit? What about children’s wards across the country? What about the maternity wards? What about us?

108 Modern Public Hospitals Now

Adeola Aderounmu

Södersjukhus in Stockholm. Nigeria must upgrade to International standard  pix: Acrona

Södersjukhus in Stockholm. Nigeria must upgrade to International standard
pix: Acrona

The governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Henry Seriake Dickson is one of those people disgracing Nigeria and giving the country a bad name. Recently he spoke out of sense as he tried to rationalise the demise of a criminal politician who died recently in Nigeria.

Mr. Dickson blamed the death of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha on the federal government of Nigeria. He has been part of the federal government and now a state governor, so by his own submission that makes him a murderer too.

News had it that Diepreye Alamieyeseigha may have remained abroad or even flown back abroad (depending on which account of his death is true). We are told that his final journey was influenced by the issuance of the threat of repatriation by the British. Diepreye escaped from the UK without facing justice for his crimes.

Why was Diepreye receiving treatment abroad? Why was his life expectancy dependent on the hospitals that are in foreign countries? While he was the governor of Bayelsa State, what effort did he make to build or upgrade the health institutions in Bayelsa so that if he and his family members living in Nigeria got sick, they could go to the hospital for treatment?

This is what politicians and policy makers in foreign countries do. They make sure that while managing their corruption at the barest minimum, that the institutions that will serve them and their people are in place. The hospitals are one of those institutions. Functional public schools, good roads and water are fewer examples of an endless list of the basic things of life that give humans the dignity they deserved.

Nigerian politicians have no respect for the citizens of the country. They don’t think the people deserve the things that make life worth living. They are so myopic and wicked that they do not know that they need to provide amenities that will serve them and the rest of the population when the need arises.

Recently l wrote an essay titled: Let’s Go Die, Abroad..!

It was a reaction to the growing number of shameless Nigerian politicians and the so called statesmen travelling abroad to end their lives in several hospitals across the world. Some of them are lucky, they return to Nigeria alive.

A former Nigerian president Umaru Yar Adua was bundled, packaged and repackaged in several countries around the world when he was sick. For 8 years he was the governor of Katsina State before he became the president of Nigeria and no hospital was built or upgraded to care for, or manage his specific chronic ailment. The rest is history.

If not stupidity, how else can one describe such a situation when people who loot public funds cannot even think of providing something that could prolong their lives in their nearest vicinities.

We are all humans and we will always be prone to diseases, ill-health and other forms of frailties especially as we age. It will not matter how much money we have legitimately or how much some people have looted. Is there a way to let Nigerian politicians know that looting is not an antidote to diseases?

I am sure many of us have written about the shame of Nigerian politicians dying in hospitals in foreign countries and returned as packages to Nigeria for burial.

Still, it is worth writing about again especially as it appears that the shameful act remains unabated. The death of the Ooni of Ife in the UK is regrettable.

We argue and we try to prove it that civilisation started on the African continent. We argue and we try to prove it that intelligence in the group Homo Sapiens is independent of race.

But the rulers of Nigeria are weakening our lines of arguments in many ways. For example when they steal and loot money meant for public uses and when they travel abroad instead of providing for their health needs in Nigeria. Why must Nigerian rulers travel abroad for treatment and admission at hospitals and clinics?

As a way of elaboration, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha  was one of the several corrupt Nigerian politicians who looted the treasuries in one of the states in the Niger Delta area. Since the Nigerian form of fighting corruption is dependent on who is in power in Abuja, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was granted state pardon after he escaped from the UK dressed as a woman.

If not for the fact that fighting corruption in Nigeria is selective and heavily biased, the likes of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, and in principle 99% of those in present day PDP and APC should have been arrested and their cases dealt with in Nigeria. Why must it take the British or the American government to arrest Nigerian political crooks? How much money is Nigerian forfeiting in the process?

Nigerians have come to terms that their politicians can or must be corrupt. The new wave is that many Nigerians are seeking indictments in order to be convinced that a politician is corrupt. When a man serves as a state governor for 8 years and still travel abroad for treatment or medical check up, what kind of indictment are you looking for?

When a national assembly loaded with corrupt people give passages to corrupt ministers-to-be, where do you go for the indictment?

When a man cannot be probed because he sponsored the presidential campaign with security votes among other looted funds, then we say he is not corrupt. Today it is the PDP that is under the spotlight, well no problem. Every dog will always have its own day.

But Nigeria is in a constant mess. The way we live separates us and we see the demarcation between them and us. Death either abroad or at home appears to be only leveler between the corrupt and the saints, the rich and the poor. Life will remain a passage, and only fools don’t see the vanity of primitive accumulation.

Let me repeat, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha  could have built a modern hospital in Nigeria where people like him and the citizens of Bayelsa can be diagnos and treated with dignity.

Nigerian doctors are ranked amongst the best in the world but they work in several countries around the world helping to maintain the health care system globally.

How many times are we going to write about the need to ensure that our doctors, scientists and other professionals are provided with conducive environment and structures to work with in Nigeria?

Death is one of the few certain things in life. So what is the use of looting, stealing and stupidly accumulating wealth and then refusing to build hospitals in Nigeria or refusing to equip the ones that have been built?

Now this is my challenge to the Buhari-APC mandate before the end of May 2019.

Look around the various states in Nigeria. Give yourselves the marching order to equip and upgrade the existing hospitals to the standards of the hospitals you usually visit abroad. If anyone suggest that this is not possible, that person is probably an enemy of progress.

In additon to the first mandate, a second one is that every state in Nigeria must have at least 3 big modern public hospitals.

Some states like Lagos may have may even need more than 5 big public hospitals because of the extreme high population of the state and also as a result of the frequency of accidents and number of sick people.

The Buhari-APC mandate may want to forbid any serving politician from seeking medical abroad say from 2017 when some serious work and upliftment should have been possible.

At the existing hospitals, an evaulation of the situation needs to be done. All the units including the Accidents and Emergency should be upgraded. If this happens before the next senator is invloved in an accident, then he/ she can be treated anywhere in Nigeria.

The recent sojourn of Akapbio in a foreign hospital is absolute stupidity coming from a man who boasted that he built a world class hospital in Akwa Ibom. I am yet to get a report on why he was not treated at the world class hospital in Akwa Ibom.

What about the surgery units? For how long will hard earned income and donations be packaged to India for correctional surgeries? How many Nigerians have died because of manageable diseases that they could have lived with until old age?

What about the infectious diseases unit? What about children’s wards across the country? What about maternity wards? What about us? Where should we go when we face life-threatening diseases? Is there anyone reading this who has not lost a mother, a father, a brother or a sister due to preventable health situations?

What about making sure that the upliftments are taken as priorities? What about developing a health care system that will not put the cost above the importance of life in Nigeria? Does living long have to depend on how much money one has and which hospitals one can attend?

When the lives of the people can be prolonged by how much money they have, then the essence of living in such a country is lost. It is a disaster by all standard!

Nigeria needs to improve the health care insurance process and health care delivery system.

This demand for 108 modern public hospitals is not an exaggeration and it may even not be enough to meet the needs of 170m people. But the 108 hospitals in questions are the publicly available hospitals to stop the sojourn of Nigerian politicians abroad. They will also meet the needs of the citizens at large. And don’t forget to bring back our doctors from abroad. Bring them home..!

In the meantime, don’t also forget that our return to regional government is a must because it is the only way to purge the major unrests across Nigeria including the Boko Haram war for which the APC-Buhari mandate has shown it may not win.

The 108 hospitals challenge is on. Now I start to count…

aderounmu@gmail.com