Nigeria @ 56: The Lucky Bastards!

It is better for Buhari to sacrifice his ego than for all of us to allow the APC-Buhari mandate to sacrifice Nigeria. President Buhari should be on his farm tending his cattle or country home playing with his grandchildren. If not now, when does he want to rest?

Nigeria @ 56: The Lucky Bastards!

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Nigeria enters her 56th year as an independent country in deep sorrow. Nigerian politicians who are largely responsible for the economic woes, recession and depression in the country are discussing how to sell the national assets. These politicians fit the expression The Lucky Bastards!

Who sells his father’s house or property without due consultations if not a bastard?

But the real reason Nigerian politicians are the lucky bastards is because they live in a country where there is no rage, yet people expect a change. That’s actually a huge joke.

There are not so many countries in the world where criminals rule the people and get away with it. There are too many examples to draw from but just the flash of news that the case against Mr. Saraki will be dropped, for example, reminds one that Nigeria is not a real country.

In real countries, there would be rage, occupation and sacking of criminals in government by force. The people will see to that.

Nigeria at 56 remains that geographical area where some people captures the center and oppress the rest-more than 100m. The exact population of Nigeria is not known as the northern part of the country is largely exaggerated in terms of the actual human population.

Whose assets are up for sale really? Who has the right to sell the people’s assets without a referendum or a long-term discussion on the benefits and disadvantages of selling national assets?

The common man on the street does not even know what a national asset means. In his world there is no difference from the crimes that has been perpetrated against him through looting of crude oil proceeds or mismanagement of revenues from other sources and the anticipated looting of the proceeds of the sales of Nigeria’s national assets.

The street implication of the sale of a national asset is simply the story of the prodigal child. The people who looted the country into recession are the ones selling and pocketing the proceeds of the national assets. Unless a referendum is done, or a national debate orchestrated, the street meaning of the sale of national assets will stand.

At 56, Nigeria is crawling. It is a big shame and a serious embarassment to the country that (ridiculously) brands herself as the giant of Africa. As far back as the early 90s, a lot of us joke that Nigeria is the sleeping giant of Africa.

In what ways can we now describe Nigeria? The dead giant of Africa will be appropriate. We have the bunch of lucky bastards to thank for that.

But seriously, who could have thought that the second year (now approaching) of the APC could have landed Nigeria into further mess? Only a few of us saw this coming. I remember how we were told to give the APC time. I remember how l always write that Nigeria has no luxury of time.

In several essays l kept complaining about the deviation of the APC from real governance.

In January 2016 l wrote that we cannot go on like this when the prices of goods and services hit the roof. If january 2016 was compared to september 2016, the january month was still a child’s play in terms of the hell that now prevail in Nigeria.

I was in the country to see things myself. It’s a sad situation.

Some people argued that some of us are impatient, that we should give the APC time. Now these people are quiet and they have disappeared from the social network because the APC has failed them. They are embarassed.

To be sincere, we are all embarassed. I am embarassed. I supported APC on the eve of the 2015 elections.

But when some of us write about Nigeria, we should not be seen an anti-government or anti-establishments. I think we go out of our ways to provide that check and the slim life wire that the hope of the common man hinged upon.

Total silence will lead to escalated genocide perpetrated through diverse mechanisms: hunger, road accidents, corruption, deprivation, inequality, injustice, lack of health, lack of education, lack of electricity, rise in social injustice, maladministration and outright war on the people as in the South East and the Niger Delta region.

I write about Nigeria because l’m hoping to one day live in the country that my mother described before she passed to glory. That country where she commuted by rail, walked Yaba to Ojuelegba and Oni Street Surulere by night, left her job to concentrate on family (thinking that things will always be the same, rosy) and procreated (not knowing that poverty could ever knocked on anyone’s door in western Nigeria).

I want to live in the country of my mother, the one that western Nigeria gave her. That’s why l write about Nigeria.

But the lucky bastards stole my future away in Nigeria. They refused to plan for my today. Not even one of them (from 1960 to 2016) will accept that they have done wrong. Rather they are still looting! Unrepentant criminals!

I am a long shot from the dream of living in the country my mother described. The distance was made longer when the APC lost the track very early in the navigation process of the APC-Buhari mandate.

If l am to live in the country that my mother described, the only thing l can ask for at this time in addition to good governance, is the resignation of President Buhari. He has failed and there are no signs that he will succeed before the end of this first term in office. If a miracle happens, he will bring Nigeria to the place it was when the corrupt PDP was sacked in 2015. They are all corrupt up till now. The lucky bastards!

If the APC-Buhari mandate maintains the status-quo, their first term report sheet will end with Nigeria buried in the sand. A country may not be left to govern!

There are so many reasons why president Buhari should resign. More than one year in office, he continues to blame the PDP for his failures. As a teacher, l would have sent (student Buhari) to the special education department. He needs help. He cannot lead successfully.

In the interest of the country at large and to rescue what is left of the first term of a tumultous and corrupt regime, the APC needs to do very quick analyses of her campaign slogans, manifestos and programs and find out what has gone wrong. The country is more important than individual interests or ego.

In an attempt to get back on track, the party should ask Buhari to step aside to allow for fresh minds and active millennium-compliant brains to help the country get back to productive ways again. In 2 years, a lot can still be put together. Someone in the APC needs to stop blaming the PDP. We all saw the problems before the change slogan was activated. Give us a clear blueprint!

Many people, at private discussions, have laughed about my suggestion that Buhari needs to step aside because politicians don’t resign or step aside in Nigeria.

President Buhari’s case is different, he is old and should be in his country home playing with his grandchildren. If not now, when does he want to rest? He needs to go home to Daura and let us retrieve our country from ruins.

It is better for Buhari to sacrifice his ego than for all of us to allow the APC-Buhari mandate to sacrifice Nigeria.

In more than 15 years of writing about Nigeria l have seen the country sailed without the men who thought that Nigeria cannot continue without them. The list will grow with time.

The APC must remember the first item on her manifesto/program. One of the long-term solutions to the several problems plaguing Nigeria is the political solution. We miss the country where our parents and grandparents thrived before the civil war. It is there (to the regional governments)  we must return and start to rebuild.

A country that is a fool at 56 is as good as dead!

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

Advertisements

Aging With (Dis)grace

It is imperative that the government formulates a standard policy that caters for the old people in the population irrespective of their family situations.

 

Aging With Disgrace

By Adeola Aderounmu

20160917_222041-1

During my last trip to Nigeria, l saw the persistence of the signs of a society that was ailing badly. It is no big surprise when the recession and depression that the people have lived with for several decades was then officially pronounced on the country.

I always fear for the old people in the Nigerian population. You can tell that there are many things in Nigeria that gives one deep thoughts.

One day during my stay in Nigeria, l saw an old woman sitting in front of her apartment. She sat and gazed. It was easy to see through her. She pondered, l am sure, about the life she had lived in the past and just how incapable she had become.

When l went to high school in the 80s, this woman was one of the most active women l knew. At a time she had a stall where she sold prepared food to several families in the neighbourhood. At another time she walked around carrying the food on her head. Things change too quickly in Nigeria!

Today, she is one of the several millions of old people scattered across Nigeria living from hand to mouth. Invariably the Nigerian society still largely believes that the burden of maintaining the old people should rest of the children, the grandchildren or someone within the realm of the extended family.

However, there are a few exceptions to the last sentence above. For example, if you grew old as one of several Nigerian criminal politicians or their spouses, you have already stolen enough money to even take care of your funeral and unborn generations. Another example that is genuine is, if you and your family are doing well in a legitimate business, you probably have a secured old age (if you plan for it).

Those who don’t do well at old ages in Nigeria are the norm. They include several pensioners who laboured at government offices and in the end had their pension looted by some greedy man or woman at the pension’s department.

The Nigerians who age with disgrace include the category of the old woman who now sits and gazed and seemed unaware of her immediate surrouding. She was probably hoping that one of her children will call on the phone or come home to settle some bills and take care of the next few days.

The category of Nigerians aging with disgrace is massive. Widows or widowers who suddenly lost their spouses could age with disgrace. It’s relative and dependent on several factors, some of which are beyond their control. A wealthy man can die suddenly without a will and his widow from that moment could go on aging with disgrace.

Sometimes, even in the presence of a will, the Nigerian widows still suffers because the extended family have no regards for the woman and chose not to respect the will. I am in the process of writing another essay on the status of women in Nigeria and l hope to elaborate more on their sufferings and frustrations.

There is absolutely nothing wrong when children or members of the extended family take care of their aged-ones. It is part of the african culture. But it is not all old people who have children. Likewise, it is not all extended family that are functional. Hence it become imperative that the government has a standard policy that caters for the old people in the population irrespective of their family situations.

How can Nigeria handle the plights of the category of her citizens aging with disgrace?

One method is through education. Every Nigeria needs to be educated about pensions and savings. I was happy when l saw a book written by one of my former students Mr. Babatunde Raimi. The book ”Planning Your Retirement” contains step by step measures that people can take in order to secure their life financially after retirement.

This will be a tough challenge because many Nigerians do not believe in saving money or taking insurance policies. It is not unusual that people are skeptical about savings because life-expectancy is short, unemployment is high and job insecurity is rampant.

The financial institutions have been unreliable. Some banks have declared bankruptcy and people have lost their earnings and savings.The short life-expectancy is a summation of the low standard of living and the general poor conditions of health/medical delivery system.

There are several old people, some illiterates, who ran their own businesses and then folded-up as old age sets in. They need help on how to plan their future irrespective of whether their small businesses will continue or not. Before they get old and become less restricted in their physical movement, they need help to plan their retirement.

We can also think of the people who are illiterates but ran successful small businesses during their productive years. If they cannot read, how can they be reached? How can we help them to plan their retirement?

The population of Nigerians aging with disgrace can be reduced drastically if the Nigerian government can stop the pension thieves once and for all. Pensioners don’t get a lot of money anywhere in the world but in Nigeria it is worse because the value of the Naira is shameful. Added to the high cost of living, a pension that is promptly paid and regular albeit little, still avails much in a place like Nigeria.

It is all too common to read about how pensioners have been robbed by federal ministers or some highly placed civil servants. There cannot be a rational basis why pensioners are unpaid and starved whilst their monies are tucked away in a private account of one criminal supposedly serving the government of Nigeria at the state or federal levels.

Nigerian pensioners live with shame and disgrace at their old ages mostly because the government continues to fail them as senior citizens. Those who steal or cart away pension funds needs to sleep in prison for several years. They don’t deserve plea bargains.

In Nigeria, let us not forget that the problems we faced are numerous and gigantic. I don’t think there is anyone who has all the list of problems documented. My arguments and essays are plain. When everybody starts to do the right thing, everything will fall in place for the good of all. But this message is hard to get across board. Our diversity has become a pain, rather than a blessing.

Finally, it seems clearer now that the political system of government in Nigeria is part of the hindrances to growth and development. Therefore the calls for restructuring, true federalism, regional govenrment and even regional autonomy need to be addressed squarely and the best option adopted so that peace can return to this geographical region presently called Nigeria.

When there is peace, planning becomes easier and progress is certain.

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

 

President Buhari: You Don’t Feel Our Pains

For now, people like President Buhari who cannot ask the stinking corrupt politicians under his watch for their resignation letters because in principle, they are all the same and Mrs. Iweala who wants to preach the old testament after the new should please leave us alone and let us deal with our pains with respect.

President Buhari; No, You Don’t Feel Our Pains

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Deceits brought us to this abysmal level in Nigeria.

In my opinion it was an insult to Nigerians for President Buhari to state that he feels the pains of Nigerians whereas there are no public actions or utterances to support the assertion. So what he said was not close to the truth at all.

Nigerians are not fool and they are not stupid.

When people voted for change, it was not as if they were not aware that there were several APC treasury looters and criminally-inclined PDP-decampees that migrated to the APC.

The votes were in trial that there may be a fresh start under our (strange) democratic arrangement. Now, the people are more than convinced that Nigerian politicians are birds of the same feather thriving in different nests

When various allegations of corruption have been levelled against prominent politicians under the APC-Buhari mandate, it became a rude shock to many Nigerians that President Buhari remained camera-shy in condemning the alleged criminals that were under investigation or even attending trials. Together they continue to steer the affairs of a failed country-Nigeria.

It is very sad that under our current statuses of economic recession and personal depressions, the APC-Buhari mandate failed to curbed corruption amongst its own. So the status-quo that we the people feared and put on trial by voting or supporting change is maintained and this government is no longer a trusted one.

Concretely, when the National Assembly’s leadership and membership were exposed for some of their crimes, we the people expected the presidency to make a direct pronouncement and denouncement of the crimes.

How can President Buhari now says that he feels our pain and remain on the same side as alleged criminals? Is party affiliation more important that fairness and justice for all? This is not a military government Pa. Buhari!

How can you feel our pains when you failed to take side with the people even when a rare opportunity finally came in form of a judicial inquest of the National Assembly?

What kind of change did you promise?

For those of us who abhor the inclusion of religion in politics, the pain becomes severe when we see the president lining up with corrupt people on prayer grounds. The bait of religion is the worst form of hypocrisy on earth.

Even when Mr. Dogara, an alleged criminal, added salt to the injury and deeply knowingly insulted 170 m Nigerians by saying that padding was not a crime, President Buhari did not request for his resignation letter. Instead they rolled together in Aso rock mocking the people. What a shame on Nigeria!

No, President Buhari, stop the lie and end the deceit. You don’t feel our pains.

As we continue to groan under the economic hardship in Nigeria, there is still nothing from your end to show that you feel our pains.

No, the APC-Buhari mandate does not feel our pains. When a regime is loaded with confessional, self-made criminals who boast about their loots, their budget-padding abilities and their abilities to twist the law in their favour, it is deceit to state that such a regime feels our pains.

One of the ways that would have been indicative of change would have been to turn a new leaf when the APC-Buhari mandate emerged in 2015. So far the APC government is a failed government.

Rather than address issues squarely, the APC-Buhari has resolved to continue to blame the PDP governments especially the one led by one Mr. Jonathan. But that blame game is only partially correct. We-the people-knew that both the APC and the PDP in various ways contributed to the recession that Nigerians are now suffering.

We knew that Mr. Jonathan did not save for the rainy days. Who else could have reminded us but the finance minister who supervised the wastage and looting until the end?

Now see where we are now, suffering like never before.

Together, they want us to believe that they feel our pain. Where are they-Amadiora and Sango-when you need them?

For now, people like President Buhari who cannot ask the stinking corrupt politicians under his watch for their resignation letters because in principle, they are all the same and Mrs. Iweala who wants to preach the old testament after the new should please leave us alone and let us deal with our pains with respect.

That much we deserved.

These people stole our lives, our common wealths and they are still robbing us of what is left of our common dignity.

How many of the pains in Nigeria does Mr. Buhari feels?

In my immediate environment, l have complained of the river of sewage flowing on the streets and nearby roads for years. I have written openly to his man in Lagos, Mr. Ambode and  many people told me l have to call out Abuja to reach FHA or even Mr. Fashola. People are dying of diseases everywhere and l have to personally run after the state and the federal government to see the reason. Who is feeling my pain?

The end of festac

In my state of birth and residence, the Apapa area generates income that helps to sustain the entire country. The federal road that leads to the Apapa-wharf area is an eye sore. It continues to lead many to their graves. I feel the pain, we feel the pain, and the federal government takes the money!

Do we all see the villages and towns that are spread around the Niger Delta area? What about in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria? The people living in these regions are in pain. Their environments have been destroyed. The government of Nigeria at all levels does not feel the pains of the ordinary citizens. It is only the ordinary people that feel the pains. No one feels the pain of the farmers and fishermen who have lost their means of livelihhod.

Even the militants and the terrorists don’t feel the pain. They have been fed over the years under different aegis and acronyms by a corrupt system that would rather select and deal with a handful of people rather than address problems holistically once and for all.

The story of our pains are endless. Which of them does President Buhari shows empathy for by keeping the company of budget padders?

Education that ought to be free now cost a fortune. Where is the money? Soon, ASUU will go on strike. The children of politicians and other people doing very well are attending schools abroad. How can they feel our pains?

How many of our pains does President Buhari feel? Unemployment? High cost of essential commondities? Bad federal roads everywhere? Flood after rain? Absence of compulsory education for children? Insecurity? Lack of public health care?

If President Buhari actually travelled abroad to fix his ear problems and l have spent all my life living with 2 defective ears, how does he feel my pain?

If president Buhari, other Nigerian politicians and big men can fly private jets to wherever they want to go and the local airlines cancelled and postponed my trips because of the nonsensical way the country is managed, who is feeling my pain?

I can count in more than one thousand ways why president Buhari and the rest of Nigerian politicians both in APC and PDP do not feel or share our pains. They are all liars and budget padders.

Beyond our pains is what would become of the future of this country Nigeria.

We cannot shout enough that a political solution will invariably lead to economic resuscitation of the country. It will take time but it appears to be the best option that has a life-time durability.

What APC hopped upon in the last 18 months was a fire brigade approach to fix the economy and so far they have failed with all the trials and errors. The failure is to the extent that the APC has started re-adopting some of PDP’s policies that it discarded when the APC-Buhari mandate emerged.

In any case, Nigerian politicians needs to act before it is too late. We all need the political will to pursue a long lasting political solution. It is a national patriotic call.

The people who go to Abuja for politics are doing so for personal benefits. The risk they take is getting more expensive. One day, they may return home and find that nothing is left. With the way things are going out of hand in certain parts of Nigeria especially in the North-East and in the Niger-Delta area, there will not be a better time than now to sit down and fashion out a political solution to Nigeria’s problems.

National debates will avail much. It is time to reason along the line of a system that will for all time be the basis of the economy of the regions and states of the federation.

The wasteful spending of the federal government of Nigeria in keeping all the current unnecessary and jargonistic unitary structures of government does not reflect that the federal government feels the pain of the people.

The waste is huge for a system that has never worked and that will probably never work.

As a result of their selfishness, Nigerian politicians are living in a world of their own. They exist in their own bubbles of delusion. The people are suffering and dying in thousands daily. The people are in pains that no one in Aso rock can ever feel or imagine!

It is impossible to feel the pains of Nigerians with a myopic view. Let’s take our eyes off the crude oil for a while. Let’s take our eyes off the proceeds of the Apapa Wharf for a while. Let’s reason together and build something that our children and children’s children will be proud us before we destroy everything totally.

In the meantime, as the law continues to fail to serve justice, we the people demand that the criminal politicians who are rubbing shoulders in the local, state and federal government institutions should stop padding budgets and stop stealing of what is left of a country in deep recession.

aderounmu@gmail.com