My Random Reflections @ 45

This present unitary government that has now moved the headquarters of the Nigerian government to London is foolish, and a means to continue to breed bad leaders or to turn progressive leaders into mumus

 

The new clamour for the restructuring of Nigeria and the advantages for it will on the long run outweighs the useless unitary system that had kept more than 100m Nigerians in poverty, living from hand to mouth.

My Random Reflections @45

By Adeola Aderounmu

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Adeola Aderounmu

This is the 9th edition of my random reflections.

Nigeria is still in a lot of mess. Nigerian musician African China prayed that we should not let this country fall into a well. I am afraid that this country is not only inside a well, it is also drowned in the well.

ANOTHER MESSY, CLUELESS PRESIDENCY

Nigeria’s president is unwell. He is holed up somewhere in the world, most probably the UK. Earlier into his tenure, in several of my articles, l’d suggested that Mr.Buhari ought to be home to his family in Daura, taking it easy and enjoying the rest of his days.

In matters relating to health, it is not everytime we need people or doctors to advise us. Common sense about how our body functions and how it respond to stress and rest should be more important signals. No one can cheat nature. President Buhari should have handed over to Professor Yemi Osinbajo a long time ago. Now he struggling to stage a comeback in the kingdom of hyenas, wolves and jackals. Who was it that described Nigeria as a zoo again?

WE NEVER LEARN

In the time past, Mr. Buhari and his cohorts in the APC/opposition party demanded for the resignation or impeachment of Umaru Yar Adua when he was sick and flew round the globe in search of a magic healing.

There are other issues related to the above. We know that several billions of naira have been budgeted over the years for the State House clinic in Abuja. The fact that ailing presidents always continue to fly abroad for treatment is shameful and extremely embarassing to the black race. What was the meaning of independence again?

 

DASHED HOPES

We know just how bad leadership and massive corruption had sent this country into a well. The hope that came with the APC-Buhari mandate was probably about 20% of that which came with the botched June 12 1993 presidential elections.

When APC promised change that was to come in 2015, the people bought it. They did because the Jonathan government was wasting our time, money and resources. It is now obvious that this regime is not better than the Jonathan regime. With the kind of fluidity that allows cross-carpeting and merry-go-round, the two parties, APC and PDP are in principle the same nonsense.

This government (the APC-Buhari-Osinbajo mandate) so far is a popular disaster. It is not in such a way that one wishes that the PDP government was never defeated at the presidential election in 2015. It is rather in such a way that one looks back with sadness over what had taken place since 1999.

Both PDP and APC have brought shame, destruction, poverty and extreme hopelessness to the ordinary citizens of Nigeria who numbered more than 100 million.

 

HISTORY OF FAILURES

The civilian rule from 1999 to date represents a time in the history of Nigeria where criminals, thieves, looters, assasins and political gangsters remain in control of Nigeria. In terms of prosperity, this period of time is the worse in the history of Nigeria. Previous failures have been recorded during the military regimes 1966-1979, 1984-1999 and civilian rule 1979-1984.

 

CORRUPTION UNABATED

Corruption is also thriving under the Buhari-Osinbajo-APC Mandate, like never before. One month ago, on June 14 2017, Mr. Olusola Saraki was cleared and acquitted of all the criminal charges against him in the law court in Nigeria. If you are looking for the biggest scams of the 21st century, that judgement will pass as a key blacklist. Despite the promise of change, prosecutions for corruption are rare and the buffer provided by cross-carpeting remains a huge joke in Nigeria.

 

POLITICIANS OR CRIMINALS

The entire political class in Nigeria itself is one huge scam. There are no new ways to describe the levels of looting, stealing, mischieviousness, misdemeanour and outright crime against humanity that Nigerian politicians are commiting daily, on a large scale.

 

The incursion of the military into politics in Nigeria through coups and later the civil war, would forever remain a calamity. They left with a constitution that turned Nigeria into a unitary state. They promoted and sustained corruption, nepotism, tribalism. They also flamed religion and ethnicity and brought Nigeria to her knees. The country never rose again and Nigeria is still crawling.

 

NOTHING HAS CHANGED

There are a lot of things we had talked or written about for decades, years and months. There are no changes, so it’s like we are wasting our time. For example, we complained about former governors looting away states’ treasuries through undeserved pensions. Today they are still looting (in form of pensions) several billions of naira monthly.

Several former governors have invaded the Nigerian National Assembly as Senators. They are on live pension even though they have not become handicapped in any way. They are carting away salaries from the National Assmembly and pensions from their former states.

We are talking about a National Assembly that is sucking away between 20-25% of Nigeria’s annual budget through world record salaries and allowances.

Is that change? That is daylight robbery that calls for nation wide protests and revolution.

 

POOR MASSES ALWAYS DEFEATED

Nigerians surely love changes, the latest being the election of Adeleke as the Senator representing Osun West senatorial district. However, what remains sad is the sustenance of the status quo, that is, head or tail the masses have always lost.

 

RESTRUCTURE NIGERIA

Some people think this is new whereas Nigeria gained her independence in 1960 as a well structred entity. Governance was concentrated in the regions and the country prospered. True, the politicians had their shortcomings, but there was progress everywhere in the country depsite all the political troubles. Progress was based on the instincts of the various regions to develop and outshine one another.

Therefore the incursion of the military into politics in Nigeria through coups and later the civil war, would forever remain a calamity. They left with a constitution that turned Nigeria into a unitary state. They promoted and sustained corruption, nepotism, tribalism. They also flamed religion and ethnicity and brought Nigeria to her knees. The country never rose again and Nigeria is still crawling.

The new clamour for the restructuring of Nigeria and the advantages for it will on the long run outweighs the useless unitary system that had kept more than 100m Nigerians in poverty, living from hand to mouth.

The restructuring, now put better as both political and economic restructuring, will not be a magic solution. However, it should in a matter of a couple of decades be a blessing for the upcoming and unborn generations.

This present unitary government that has now moved the headquarters of the Nigerian government to London is foolish, and a means to continue to breed bad leaders or to turn progressive leaders into mumus.

The APC promised to restructure Nigeria and got voted for that purpose but to date the APC-mandate carriers are promoting the useless system of come, chop, clean mouth and go.

 

PERSONAL LIFE

For my birthday, it is been time well spent with family as usual this time in Sweden. We gathered at the family country home to have a dinner. It’s been so for over a deacde now.

Last year, the celebration was in Lagos, a place dear and close to my heart. It appears flood and badoo boys are wiping the state and people away. Shameful!

I am happy despite all the problems. Nigerians are supposed to be the happiest people in the world a few years ago. Are we all still happy? I guess so, especially in the absence of rage and urge to flush the politicians away for good.

I believe in change so I resigned my position as the president of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm after servng for 6 years and organising 4 annual Yoruba Days in Stockholm.

Last year l published a book The Madrilenian, a collection of 8 short stories.

My next book, a story about how an Italian family tried to cope with the post-mafian era has reached an advanced stage and may hit publication in 2018 or 2019. It’s fiction.

In our country Nigeria, the more things change, the more they stay the same. We are in a dilemma.

Life goes on and nothing last…

Live and let live

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

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Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Please Clear This Biological Weapon!

The challenge before President Buhari and Governor Ambode is to order the immediate demolition of the illegally built houses and structures that have been used to block the underground sewage channels in Festac Town. That is the only and final solution.

We are citizens of Nigeria and they owe us this responsibility-to clean our environment. The government should stop killing us with biological weapons!

Governor  Akinwunmi Ambode, Please Clear This Biological Weapon!

By Adeola Aderounmu (Sweden)

One of the most disgusting views in Lagos State is embedded in my local government area. On 4th Avenue, 402 Road in Festac Town is a deep river of sewage flowing like the River Nile.

The sewage accumulating and flowing on the streets is a source of death and therefore represents a biological warfare against the people of 402 Road in Festac Town. Is the Lagos state government or the federal government of Nigeria at war with the people?

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There are a number of theories on why faeces that are flushed from the toilets in this area of Festac now flows directly to the streets on which the people live.

No one can doubt that the plans for Festac Town were destroyed by the Federal Housing Authority when lands reserved for recreations and natural conservation were sold to some useless Nigerian millionaires by some useless government workers on behalf of the federal government of Nigeria.

The consequences and results of the deviation from the original, functional plans of Festac are what we are facing today. There are rivers of sewage scattered around in the estate. In addition, the estate is now over-congested and bastardly disorganised.

Once the pride of Africa, Festac town is now an area filled with shame and filth.

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The sad reality is that it is not only in Festac Town that the citizens of Nigeria sleep and wake up surrounded by sewage. But l’m staying with the Festac problem as that is my constituency.

 

The end of festac

[To watch the video, visit my Youtube channel-Adeola Aderounmu, or my facebook https://www.facebook.com/adeola ]

 

The most obvious danger ahead of the people of 402 Road is that an epidemic is imminent. That is if one is not already in progress because the people have been surrounded by this flowing sewage for several years.

I wish a student from a Department Medical Parasitology of the University of Lagos can understake a medical research project on 402 Road/4th Avenue area of Festac Town. The results will be useful in understanding the statuses of the health of the people in the area.

The probability that the inhabitants of this area are suffering from ill-health and infections like typhoid as a result of this crime committed by government, is high.

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One cannot rule out deaths related to this polluted and heavily stinking environment. Children and the elderly would have been particularlty susceptible.

If the useless government workers who sold land to the useless Nigerian millionaires had not sold the land area adjacent to, and surrounding the 402 Road area, the flow of sewage would not have been disrupted.

The greatest fear is that this river of sewage could be an accumulation of all the faeces flowing from the entire Festac Town estate. My hypothesis is based on my knowledge of the area.

There is a playground nearby which also houses the facility for recyling sewage waste from the estate.

It is the only place in Festac where l have seen the facility. When we played football those days, our football used to fall inside the facility. So we had some catchers whose job was to save the ball from falling into the sewage recycle facility.

I have not fully investigated if the recycling center is functional now but l saw that the area was inaccessible. Why would anyone make a fence around the center? Has someone bought and refilled the sewage recycle facility?

Faecal wastes and sewage are not flowing away from residential areas because the federal government of Nigeria sold the areas/lands where the sewage systems have been chanelled underground.

The foolish people and the useless millionaires who bought the land sealed off the sewage channels.

The challenge before President Buhari and Governor Ambode is to order the immediate demolition of the houses that have been built and used to block the underground sewage channel in Festac Town. That is the only and final solution.

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4th Avenue by 402 Road, Festac Town                  

There are a lot of messes in Festac Town that are now irreversible. But this particular one is reversible no matter how long the houses have stood. They are illegal structures. If those who sold the land on behalf of the federal government can be found alive, they should be rounded up and prosecuted.

There is a report that one colonel in the Nigerian army actually contributed to this problem. Like many people living on the sewage system and blocking the channels, he is alleged to have applied ”cement” on his side of the channels. That was his own permanent solution to the problem. The implication is that for all he cares ”all the people on 402 road can die of diseases”.

On this matter it is very important that the Lagos state government and the federal government do not apply the Nigerian solution. That would be the sucking away of the river of sewage with the full knowledge that the river will overflow again. We don’t want that!

Nigerians are in love with temporary solutions. They love cosmetic solutions. This is because they want the problem to persist so that someone or a contractor can always make money from the contracts of temporary solutions.

Have you ever wondered why Nigerian roads for example are never going to be of international standard? Go figure now.

Anyway, as for this river of sewage in Festac Town, no one should expect that this is the last time they will be reading about this especially if the state and federal government continue to pretend as if this problem does not exist.

This is now one of my struggles.

My intention is to inform the governor of Lagos State and in fact Mr. Buhari the president of Nigeria, about this danger and for them to act without any delay. There is no need for more paper work or talking on this matter. They should get up from their comfort zones and clear this nonsense.

We are citizens of Nigeria and they owe us this responsibility-to clean our environment. The government should stop killing us with biological weapons!

The people living in this area of Festac Town and people visiting them are exposed to diseases that could end their lives prematurely. They can all die of diseases because of the river of sewage. Invariably the government has been at a biological warfare with the people.

Again, if nothing is done soon, l will be reminding governor Akinwunmi Ambode of this problem. If the tenures of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode as Lagos state governor and Mr. Buhari as the president of Nigeria do not succeed in demolishing the houses that are blocking the flow of sewage out of Festac, we will carry the struggle to their respective successors.

Our people must not be left to die of diseases because of the carelessness of goverment workers-those who sold lands that are meant to be reserved and preserved.

It is obvious that the residents have done their best and got tired of writing letters of appeals to the local and state government. I can imagine hundreds of letters to the local government. I can just imagine thousands of letters to the Federal Housing Authority. I can imagine some whispers into the ears of former Governor Fashola about this problem.

My columns and my blog pages will not rest until this matter is solved.  We will remind the state and the federal  government about their wickedness and heartlessness.

How can any government allow her people to live under this condition for even 1 day out of life?

It is unacceptable and as a matter of fact, those who knew about this problem before now and refused to act have committed crimes against humanity.

By international standard, allowing people to die unjustly in the absence/presence of war is a criminal offence and that angle will also be pursued in due time.

I am sure that with time, we will find out those who knew about this problem and did nothing.

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                       402 Road, A Close, Festac Town                            

We are talking about the living conditions of humans here.

I am actually surprise that the people of 402 Road have not made a decision to close down the local govenrment through massive protests. They are faced with a biological warfare and in ignorance have chosen to die because they got tired of writing letters of appeal.

I hope they will find the courage one day to lock down the Amuwo Odofin Local Government so that the sole administrator or the chairman can report to the governor who should tackle the problem head-on or call on the Federal Minsitry of Works and Housing to remove all obstructions in the way of sewage flow in Festac.

We must combine all our efforts and unite in order to rescue ourselves from maladministration.

The people everywhere must move away from the era of writing letters of appeal to actually carrying out demonstrations that will shut down their local councils or even the state government if necessary.

The problems and challenges facing Nigeria are many but we must tarry and remain united in the fight for the good of all.

Evil will continue to rise in the land when all the good people remain silent

Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, please go and clear Festac Town of the lingering biological warfare.

Mr. Mohammadu Buhari, please go and clear the messes left by the federal workers who planted biological warfare in Festac Town.

I stand with the people of 402 Road.

#Istandwith402road

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

[Story and All Images by Adeola Aderounmu]

The Boy With The Golden Ears

When l arrived at the hospital, l met the nurses and did the necessary registration for the day. Then l waited. I waited, and waited and waited. When l got unsettled by the unusual long wait, I asked the nurses when it would be my turn to be attended to.

The Boy With The Golden Ears

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_4years_old

Adeola Aderounmu

In 1986 as a 14-year-old boy, I took the bus and went to the General Hospital in Lagos for an ear operation. It was supposed to be the end to a series of visits and appointments at the hospital. When l was born, my ears were not ready. The defects were so obvious that my ear tunnels were usually loaded with yellowish fluids.

My childhood memories would be totally incomplete without the agonies of my mother who sat and watched my infant head decorated with 2 defective ears.

I remember my childhood, during the primary school days. I was always loaded with cotton wools at home and sometimes l took them to school. Soon l learnt how to wrap cotton wool around a broom stick and stuck them into my ears right and left.

On so many occasions we ran out of cotton wools. What did l do? I turned to the cover of my BIC pen. The lid became my best companion for several years. If l didn’t have anything on me, l had the lid of a blue, black or red BIC pen.

I stuck the object into my ears and excavated tons of fluids from them. When l found cotton buds later in life, l used them. They were valuable, like gold.

When l look back now, l am so grateful to my mother for all the efforts she put into cleaning my ears. I can remember she warned me against the sharp objects. Sometimes she just looked at me with pity because in my case, it was similar to living with someone with an addiction.

I mean with my ear problem, when the urge to put in something into my ears surfaced, there was nothing in the whole world you could do to stop me from inserting any available object into it.

I am also grateful that l wasn’t classified as a handicap because Nigeria could have destroyed me totally in that sense. I was lucky not to be categorized as someone who needed special education because of my hearing difficulties.

Prior to that day-the day of the operation, l’ve learnt to wake up at 5 a.m. in the morning, joined the bus and made the journey from our home in Festac Town to the General Hospital situated at Ikeja. We, that is my mother and l usually get off the molue buses at the PWD bus-stop and then trek beside the bridge all the way to the hospital.

It was an inconvenient journey. It was not totally safe because it was always still quiet with few people on the way by the time we walked beside the bridge towards the hospital. My estimation puts the journey at about a 40 km stretch, maybe 50. It could take an hour and a half with at least 2 or 3 bus connections.

On the day of the operation, my mother let me made the journey by myself. She would come after me later on. I don’t remember the sequence that led to the decision but if you are a mother of 6 children, you soon learn to make them independent at the appropriate age.

I would imagine now that l had won my independence by the time the doctors decided that l would be operated to correct my ears.

When l arrived at the hospital, l met the nurses and did the necessary registration for the day. Then l waited. I waited, and waited and waited. When l got unsettled by the unusual long wait, I asked the nurses when it would be my turn to be attended to.

The response l got was a shock, one that l will never forget.

This is the hospital l have visited several times with my mother. I had become a regular customer. In fact, one day l got a tiny piece of fish bone stuck to my throat whilst eating some delicious meal. I could not sleep that night and my mother had to take me to the ENT.

I knew the Ear, Nose and Throat department at the General Hospital in Ikeja like l knew the palm of my hand.

When they told me that they couldn’t find my file and the documentation that stated that l would be operated on that fateful day, l thought it was a “simple” mistake of misplacement. I thought they would find it and my ears would be operated.

When my mother arrived she was very upset. She gave me a correctional slap to express her anger. I cannot remember any other day before and after this fateful day that my mother had slapped me. She never did.

As a child l was very confused.

The nurses could not find my files. Who should have been slapped?

Now when l think back about the entire scenario, l can guess a few reasons why my files were missing.

One, the nurses were probably in shock that a boy showed up for his own surgery. Where was my mother who could pay the tips so my file does not go missing on this important day?

Two, from another perspective, were they expecting that my family would have made advance contact and advance payment prior to the day of the operation? How well did my parents realize that such opportunities must be “assured” by keeping a tab on the nurses and doctors to avoid disappointments?

Why did my file go missing on the day of the operation?

Three, did the doctors chicken out because they were incapable of carrying out the operation? The last statement is quite unlikely because my memories portray an array of competent, professional doctors with tools and instruments checking my eardrums, ear infections and throat as an out-patient.

Still, why didn’t the doctors remember my appointment? An operation should not be something that one should just forget like that? Why didn’t the doctors come to the waiting-room to look for me? Did the nurses tell them that l was no show?

What actually went wrong? My mother slapped me because she found me sitting calm and collected despite the scenario of likely missing my one-in-a-life time opportunity of correcting my defective ears. She probably knew at once that the chance will never come up again.

Many things must have gone through her mind when she arrived to hear the latest bad news about my ears. They easiest avenue to let go of her frustration was the slap l got. She probably thought l just got there and sat down without making any effort?

What can a 14-year-old do when the old nurses had thrown away or hidden his medical files?

I can’t remember ever getting angry at my mother. She was my god. She was the woman who taught me almost everything-how to read, how to write and then how to cook. My mother taught me humility and perseverance even in the face of difficulties and adversities.

So we went home. There was no operation in 1986. I continue to insert everything into my ears to take out the fluids and to “scratch” my ears when they itched. At some point, l used sticks and brooms to pick out dirt that are fastened to my eardrums.

I thought l had become an expert of my ear. If l was an ear doctor, l would be the best in the world.

I remember one day when I was picking my ear with a broom stick and suddenly somebody ran into me. I bled from my ear and of course that was also another opportunity to insert more things to bring out the blood. My addiction was hopeless.

I have been living in Sweden since 2002. I continued to suffer regular ear infection because of the vulnerability of my eardrums. So one day when l visited the doctor, he recommended an operation. I mean my ears were tested over a period of time and the results l saw were heartbreaking.

I have been straining myself almost all of my life to hear what people say.  The results l saw showed the threshold for normal hearing and my hearing. I have been deaf!

In 2007, 21 years after the nurses at Ikeja General Hospital botched my scheduled operation in Lagos, I finally did my ear operation, in Stockholm. One of my ears was already gone at that time! After the operation it became the better of the two. This means that in the real sense of it, the ear that was better before my operation in 2007 was itself gone! They were just deaf to different degree.

The operation was done at Danderyds hospital in Sweden.

At old age, which is fast approaching, l guess l know what my biggest challenges will be.

I have a bad hip from playing football in my teens and will definitely not be able to walk well. I can use some help. I will also be almost deaf on both ears. I will get some hearing aids but their usefulness for my deafness will be interesting to discover.

I decided to write elaborately on my deafness because it exposes a lot of problems in public health in Nigeria. I don’t know how my case was handled as a toddler. Could l have been operated as a baby and healed for life? That is probable.

But with time, I became aware that despite the availability of good health system in Nigerian up till the 1980s, there were lapses in the system that made it difficult to correct my hearing defect. That part was unfortunate.

An operation was botched. One friend told me my death on the doctor’s table was postponed! But I trusted the health system in Nigeria in 1986, even though the nurses were mischievous.  I blame the botched operation on the nurses. I think they were insincere and that is so sad to remember now.

What is the present state of health care delivery in Nigeria? In one word, disaster!

Nigerian politicians and policy makers must think about the citizens and work hard to ensure that health care delivery system is improved and adapted to the demands of a fully-blown rural and urban populations. The ordinary citizens must be given the benefits of affordable health care system where life is a priority.

As a teenager, I risk my life and travelled the miles. Then l walked the roads to the doctors in Lagos, Nigeria. I am the man with the golden ears.

If any Nigerian politician, including the president, wishes to travel abroad for medical reasons, they should be barred from doing so. In a country of more than 170m people, politicians who cannot deliver should be dismissed. They even deserved my mother’s correctional slaps.

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

The Madrilenian And Other Musings of Adeola, A Book Review

The Madrilenian and other musings of Adeola will provide a delightful read. The book is a collection of short stories and essays.

The Madrilenian And Other Musings of Adeola

By Adeola Aderounmu

COVER_ADEOLA

The Madrilenian and other musings of Adeola

The Madrilenian and other musings of Adeola is a collection of short stories and essays. The titles in the book are:

No Love Lost

The Madrilenian

The Dream

The Kings Are Mad

The African Woman

Why Men Should Cook

Paying It Forward

Spanish Lullabies

 

No Love Lost is a story of a young lady, Lucy, who seemed to have all a young woman could dream of. However there was a vacuum in her life because she has not experienced true love.

One rainy day, she met a young man named Paul whose presence in her life became a stimulant to finding her way. In the end it was a twist of fate for both Lucy and Paul. While Lucy eventually found love, Paul’s relationship with his long term girlfriend-Stella, hit the rock.

The Madrilenian was about a boy who had a troubled childhood. Pablo lived together with his parents and 3 elder sisters in Catalonia. He didn’t get along well with his family at home and he was an introvert at school. Fortunately his social problems did not affect his academic progress, so he was able to get on with his life and later on worked as an engineer in Girona.

The Madrilenian took a dramatic twist when Pablo at about aged 30, went to Moscow on holiday. A new character who would change Pablo’s life forever appeared in the script. The Madrilenian is a story of love, hope and determination.

In The Dream I took my readers into the life of a young man called Olawale. He had a dream. But when he woke up, he had forgotten the dream. So he was very upset and unsettled for about a week or so.

How did he remember the dream? Well, he took a long, quiet walk in the forest. He went close to nature and nature revealed to him what his dream was all about. He also found a letter in the forest and in it he found out some of the basic secret of life.

The Kings Are Mad is a story where I tried to find a way to draw attention to some of the problems in Nigeria. The story can as well be a setting in any troubled African country where the economic fortunes have dwindled over the years especially after obtaining independence from the colonialists.

There were 3 major characters in The Kings Are Mad. Mama Esan is a typical trader in Oshodi whose children are out of school because her husband had been jobless for more than half a decade. She became troubled because she had no permanent place to sell her wares and the downturn in the economy destroyed her business.

It was a similar fate for Chinedu who came from the East to seek better fortunes in the West. In the beginning, things were rosy and bright. But since 1993, things have taken a turn for the worse and he could hardly take care of his family. He was divided in his thoughts-whether to go back to his village or to do illegal business to patch his wretchedness.

The third main character in The Kings Are Mad was Bawa. His family was involved in business and this took him to the West quite frequently. Sadly he found his way to the terror network.

In the end he became a confused man because he misunderstood the difference between religion-which is a man’s relationship with his creator and fighting for freedom-which is man’s relationship to his existence.

In The Kings Are Mad, we saw rulers who didn’t care about the people. They took the people for granted. We saw a people, culturally diverse and also divided in opinions so much that they did not know how to wrestle power from the greedy elites. They-the people-do not yet know how freedom tastes.

The African Woman is a chapter dedicated to the true Nigerian woman. She could also have been any other woman from any part of Africa who despite the challenges that she faced daily still managed to take care of the children and keep the house running.

The African Woman becomes even more relevant against the recent denigration of women by the Nigerian lawmakers who have refused to uplift the status of women in the country. It is about time women are given the same rights as men in Nigeria and in fact all over the world.

Personally, l wish more women would understand the need for them to stand up, unite and fight for what is theirs because in a country like Nigeria especially, freedom and rights will not be served on a platter of gold.

In continuation of the plights of women, l wrote Why Men Should Cook to clamour for support for the family as the most important unit in any society. In many African settings and even as a result of distortion of both culture and religion, many people still think that a man is a strange object in the kitchen.

Why Men Should Cook emphasized the importance of taking turns in the kitchen and how such a hobby/role can actually help a man to find peace with himself and his family. The chapter also argued for the benefits of family planning and planned parental leave.

Paying It Forward is an essay about how to start and pay forward good deeds. In the Swedish society and even in any society at all, it is quite easy to stereotype people. Here l told a few stories of how people have paid forward or appreciated good deeds.

The human race would have less problems and almost no worries if people live their lives with due consideration to the rights and happiness of other people around them

The last chapter in the book is Spanish Lullabies. It is a story of how racism has eaten deep into the Spanish society. In the 1960s or even up to the 90s, Spain may have been the haven for Africans seeking to settle outside the African or American continents.

But things have changed and Africans have been wrongly stereotyped, not only in Spain but in many places around the world. So there are limited opportunities for Africans in the Diaspora generally.

The Spanish Lullabies highlights the plights of some Africans in Spain and how their dreams have been dashed because of racism. Is it a coincidence or a direct consequence of this hatred for the African race that Spain and even Italy are among the worst economies in Western Europe?

In general the book-The Madrilenian and other musings of Adeola-should provide a delightful read. The book will be officially launched in Sweden on June 18, 2016.

A release is planned for Nigeria later in the year and the book will be available on Amazon Kindle amongst other planned E-book release.

May the glory of Nigeria come, soon!

May the human race keep walking the earth, shoulders high!

aderounmu@gmail.com

Paying It Forward: The Way I want To Live

In this story l want to share some real life experiences of paying forward.

Paying It Forward: The Way I want To Live

By Adeola Aderounmu

One day my phone rang 5 minutes after l returned home from a shopping mall. I had done the weekly grocery shopping for the family at a store barely 2 km from our home.

I picked up the phone and the voice at the other end was not a familiar one just as the number also did not turned up any name. Have you been shopping at the store today? The voice asked. Yes l just came home, l replied.

Can you check your wallet if you are missing something? Sure l said and immediately knew something was wrong. Yeaaaa….l said….one of my credit cards is missing.

I have it, he said.

Another 5 minutes l met the man at the store and he gave me back my credit card.

How did you find me, l asked full of curiosity.

When l saw your name, l sent a text message to my son and he looked up your contact information on the address book online. That’s how l got your number, he concluded.

I was short of words. It came to me at as a shock. The speed at which he got in touch with me gave me the conviction that he didn’t think twice about what to do when he found my credit card.

He could have gone on a spending spree and l wouldn’t have known until the next day or the next time l need the card.

I was so convinced of the man’s honesty that l kept using the credit card until it expired. I mean l was not afraid that he could have copied the number and the 3-digit security code at the back.

I was pleased.

When we exchanged pleasantry further with each other, he told me that he migrated to Sweden from Iraq many years ago.

We shook hands and l drove back home. I explained to my wife and she smiled. We were both pleased.

I know that when you talk about righteousness that l cannot claim to be holy. But l am sure that l do the best l can. I try to radiate love and to show people that l care.

I have paid forward so many acts of kindness that have been done to me.

I have asked friends and acquaintances to pay forward, but not all the time. Sometimes l need some things back so l can carry on with a normal life as well.

Just two weeks ago, l was at another shop where they sell stuffs they claimed come from all over the world. I found Nigerian plantain there, so their claim may be true.

On this particular day, an elderly woman was ahead of me and she had paid for all her grocery and stuffs. She was packing her things and had forgotten to remove her credit card from the payment machine.

The machine was positioned so that the cashier does not see if the card has been removed or not. The idea is that cashier do not see your codes when you make a payment.

Luckily for this elderly woman she was still packing her things when l wanted to insert my own credit card. It went quickly because l bought only 2 or 3 items. So l took her credit card and handed it over to her.

She was pleased.

On my way out, l said to her trevlig helg! (have a nice weekend) and she replied tack detsamma! (thanks, l wish you the same).

I didn’t think twice when l had the chance to hand over the elderly woman’s credit card. She has completely forgotten it in the machince.

I could not waste the chance to represent. I mean l grew up in Nigeria and we were raised to be good, to be kind and to be helpful.

In my family especially my father always say, remember the son of whom you are.

I am so ashame of all the negative news about criminals in Nigerian government and the stupidity of Nigerian politicians.

I am not going to be a perfect man or claim that l am a righteous man but l do my best.

Last week, precisely on the 4th of december 2015 l was on my bicycle  about 2 km away from home when l noticed something unusual on the ground, so l stopped.

autumn_morning

Cold Autumn Morning in November, Sweden

If you don’t know how it is in Sweden at this time of the year, then it will be hard to comprehend the cold, dark, winter mornings.

On this day it was cold and raining.  So l had every reason to hurry up to work. I should ignore every object that intends to distract me.

When l stopped my bicycle, l looked down at the dark object lying on the wet ground on this dark morning. It turned out to be a mobile phone. It is a Samsung-Galaxy S5.

samsung_S5

The Samsung S-5 l found on the ground on my way to work

The first thing l did when l got to work was to check the mobile phone out properly. Luckily l could access the phone by just swipping the screen. Luckily too the owner had a facebook account where l saw a home-telephone number.

10 hours after l found the phone it was reunited with its owner.

She was very happy and she brought a gift when she came to our house to collect her phone.

choco_plant_1 (2)

The Gift l got in appreciation

I do not know what she and her husband whom l got at the other end of the phone in the morning have discussed but the gifts she brought gave volume to their thoughts. I accepted the chocolate and the special seasonal plant that she presented to me. (see pictures)

This is the way l want to live.

This type of paying forward is what makes the world go round.

I hope Charlotte is as impressed as l was when a man from Iraq gave me back my credit card which l had forgotten in a shopping wagon as l hurriedly left the store.

I hope that that elderly woman at the global market store was impressed that some of us are in this country not just because of what we gain from the country but also because we are good people who can contribute our bits to make the country a better place to live.

We came here to learn and to share our experiences too. Now Sweden is our home too.

We are good people.

I can recall that l have been good in uncountable ways both at work and at play.

Some people have touched my lives both in Nigeria and here in Sweden. l have tried so hard to pay forward by touching other people’s lives positively. But we soon learn that we cannot please everybody and some people will make good deeds look like divine favours. They don’t pay back and they don’t pay forward.

I have always thought of writing for the rest of my life, because everyday in my head, there is always a chapter that is left unwritten out of my life’s experiences- at home, work, with friends, families and the people l see everyday on the train, on the bus, and everywhere l go.

The way l live and work have given me adequate shield and buffer from the negativity that surrounds me. For examples, all those extra hours l have spent on my students since 1990, without pay, are the ones that count most.

For it is at those times that l have gone out of my comfort zone to give my students the extra help and support that they need.

I am happy when they find the motivation with which they succeed in the moment and subsequently obtaining the momentum that keeps them going throughout life.

This is the way l want to live-full of content and paying forward all the good deeds.

In my view, this is part of the secret of authentic happiness. It adds meaning to our lives.

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

My Random Reflections @ 43

I’ve realised (a long time ago) that the most important bond in life is the family bond. No matter what happens, people should learn to look ahead and move on with their lives. I’ll keep on sharing and l’ll never stop believing that where there is life, there is hope.

My Random Reflections @ 43

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

This is the 8th edition of my random reflections.

l don’t know where the days and years have gone. l appreciate the things that make life worth living including but not limited to good health, family, friends and good-will humanity.

I am also grateful for all the small things that make the world goes round, small things like a smile and all the little favours that are paid forward by good, kind-hearted people everyday.

Since the last edition of this annual reflection there has been a change of government in Nigeria. A former dictator turned democrat Muhammed Buhari is now the president of Nigeria.

Unfortunately the platform that brought Buhari to power the APC is somewhat in a slight disarray. The party did so well to form a formidable opposition that eventually unseated the People’s Democratic Party-the PDP. The PDP failed to deliver on its promises to the masses.

The failed political party was a nest of killers that succeeded the military gangsters in 1999 and misruled the country until May 28 2015. Apart from the civil war years, those 16 years have gone down in history as the most terrible years of the Nigerian life. In the end it was the lazy and clueless Jonathan who was booted away from power

Sadly now, APC in its early days is already facing a lot of challenges.

But the business of governance must proceed and the whole world is waiting for the ministers that will serve in Buhari’s second coming. I have written about the solution to this dilemma in a previous article-A Political Stillbirth. Political parties must have shadow cabinet or government even before going into the election year.

Let no one be caught unaware, many supporters of the PDP and unrepentant jonathanians are just waiting for Buhari and APC to fail so that they can tell the world that the useless reign of PDP was preferable. They would like to prove that in the end, all politicians are the same irrespective of their political parties. They want to prove that the change slogan was a monumental fraud.

Unless Buhari and APC lose their senses of purpose and direction, they dare not perform below the expectations of the populace. They dare not after four years come up with excuses and reasons why they have failed.

One of the fears expressed in my random reflection a year ago was the prevalence of terrorism. That fear is still valid. Boko Haram, the gruesome murderers of the deserts, have gone insane. They need to be purged out of Nigeria without further delay. Bringing back security of lives and property across Nigeria remains one of the urgent challenges of the Abuja-based central government.

By the time Buhari spends 100 days in office, Nigeria may probably have the executive cabinet in place and there may be ministers to manage the affairs of governance. Then a real first report card of the Buhari-Osinbajo reign will be on the front pages of major newspapers.

Let me digress, there are several other things that shaped my life in the past 365 days.

In May 2015 for example, the Yoruba Union in Stockholm-Sweden had its 3rd annual Yoruba Day celebration. It has been a very wonderful experience to be part of the leadership of this group since inception in 2010.

We put up a show that continues to be the standard reference for African cultural events in Sweden.

Earlier in the year l appeared on a life national (Swedish) television program and spoke about Nigeria, Ibadan and the culture of the Yoruba people.

My previous appearance on Al-Jazeera television was nothing compared to this because then l had to pre-record a webcam-meeting for the television program about Nigeria and Sahara Reporters. This was the real deal but l thought it went well and the experience of holding up a Nigerian flag on the Swedish National television will remain priceless.

Sometimes l had given up about Nigeria.

Sometimes l tell myself that Nigeria can be better. So much that a few years ago l wrote an article titled: Keep Nigeria As One Country. There are so many benefits of being a big country with potentials that can transform Nigeria into a global super power.

If the leadership issue in Nigeria is rightly settled, if Nigeria has leaders instead of rulers then the country can truly transform from (local) regional power to the super power of Africa and a contender on the global scene.

In recent years however l have been supporting the re-creation of regions and a political system that will return power to the communities. This is because of the extreme misgovernnce at the center formerly in Lagos and now in Abuja.

Nigeria has been ruled largely by very wicked, selfish, narrow-minded people since 1960. It has not really been significant if they were civilians or military. They were humans with bad attitudes and deformed reasoning. Many were criminals!

The giant of Africa in 1960 is now among the crawlers in 2015. One day l stumbled on the story of a Nigerian girl who was among the thousands of migrants stranded in North Africa after a failed attempt to cross the mediterrenean to Europe.

Her story is the story of millions of hopeless Nigerian youth. They were born into uncertainties and raised against all odds in total hopelessness in a country almost devoid of electricity and other basic amenities of life. They were raised under a socially unjust system.

The story would have been different if governance was organised and if the system worked.

But Nigerians destroy Nigeria at the altar of several vices making selfishness and greed the top crucifix.

For now, in all of these undesirable scenarios, the only choice ahead of APC and Buhari as its arrow-head is to succeed. Otherwise they can call for a new election in 2017 or a referedum should they hit the bottom sooner than later.

Ordinary Nigerians, l am sure, will like to take their future in their hands and form a way forward especially in their various regions rather than be locked in a permanent wedding of failure, terrorism and unending hopelessness.

To find a lasting political solution in Nigeria will always be paramount because of the distrust and tension hanging over the land all the time. It is time to take the message to the people on how they want to live and how they want to be governed.

Until a certain government makes that bold move, Nigeria will always be in need of changes in her political structure: a need that virtues like social justice and unflinching welfare of the citizens could have sealed under a functional system.

As for the celebration of my birthday, for the first time in 3 years, l’m bringing close friends to our home. It’s going to be a small barbecue party.

The biggest gift this year is my brother visiting us in Sweden after attending a course in Germany.

I’ve realised (a long time ago) that the most important bond in life is the family bond. As l drove to the airport some memories and flash backs crossed my mind and my eyes were swollen with tears.

When l think about the journeys, our dreams, our childhood, the brotherhood and the hoods we’ve been through, l’m grateful for everything and l realised that indeed every disappointment can be a blessing in disguise.

No matter what happens, people should learn to look ahead and move on with their lives.

I’ll celebrate.

I’ll keep moving on. I’ll keep on sharing and l’ll never stop believing that where there is life, there is hope.

aderounmu@gmail.com

The Madrilenian (part 3)

I will start a new life. I will create my own future and make love the foundation.

The Madrilenian (Part 3)

By Adeola Aderounmu

DSC_1136

Unknown to Pablo, his sisters took up the task of finding out more about Patricia since the day he invited them for a family reunion. It was a day he ate well and spoke the most to them ever. He had a little drink and spoke about everything that happened to him in St. Petersburg.

What he told them was enough for his sisters to hire a private investigator to locate Patricia in Madrid. This family has adequate wealth to do the things they actually set their minds on together.

Pablo’s sisters travelled to Madrid when the private investigator brought back his reports. They thanked him and paid him the outstanding fees.

Patricia is single, has a decent job and lives quietly on Castellana Drive-a part of Madrid that is about 0,5 mile from Santiago Bernabéu.

She laughed when she met Aleksandra, Cecilia and Viveca.

She spoke to them earlier on the phone and was open to meeting them. They even brought their children and spent a few days in Madrid. Together, they went to Santiago Bernabéu and saw Real Madrid won against Atletico Bilbao.

Since their first meeting in St. Petersburg, Patricia and Pablo have remained in constant touch with each other but like all emerging strange hearts trying to make love work, they were yet to agree on a few things.

Should she leave Spain for Catalonia or will Pablo leave Catalonia for Spain?

They have met once in Madrid and twice in Barcelona in recent months. They always joke of having different nationalities and they think that politicians are crazy citizens.

The future is always undefined; therefore many people always want to remain close to their families.

The family remains the greatest source of comfort and solace both during war and in the time of peace. It took Pablo a long time to realise some of these elements and values of family.

Did he suffer from a sort of disorder that heals with time and age? What went wrong when he was growing up? There is no need to worry about the past. For his family the best gift for the future is the present development in Pablo’s life.

For Pablo it felt good to get have this bond and to look forward to ways of finding the missing puzzle bits in his life.

Patricia promised to think about the proposals that the sisters brought with the wonderful, introduction visit.

Aleksandra is a top executive in Girona. Her vast experience in human resources and consultancy means that she can connect people with newer opportunities in Catalonia and other places in Spain.

The sisters came with a job offer in Girona for Patricia. Patricia may have to choose between all the comfort she has now and a future where she can have a new family.

I will think about it. She said as the sisters headed for the airport and flew back to Girona.

As she thought about what the future may bring, she asked herself, why did l travel to St. Petersburg? Was Moscow not enough for me? But she asked these questions not out of regret but fear.

That night as she lay on her bed looking at the dim lit lamp hanging from the roof, she took herself on the memory lane and thought about where she was coming from and where she could be heading.

Then she conquered her fears. Only cowards are afraid of changes she told herself. I am a Madrilenian and I should not be afraid to fill the vacuum in my life.

I have comfort, but I also still have a need. She tries to find a permanent reasoning that will stir her mood in the most positive way possible.

She went deeper in her thoughts in search of the positive energy locked in her soul.

She must find the conviction that that this change is the next stage of her life.

If this will be my future, so be it. So she decided she will go to Girona, to Pablo and to Pablo’s lovely sisters and their beautiful children.

I will start a new life. I will create my own future and make love the foundation.

She told her family about the latest development. They wished her well and promised to visit her often.

Patricia had been living in Girona for 2 weeks before she found the air that took her to Pablo’s house.

She turned off the location settings on her mobile devices when she left Madrid. She tested her new job, she lived with Pablo’s parents and she started to find her way around the town. Luckily she didn’t run into Pablo all of those times.

Pablo didn’t know that Patricia was living in the same town so he was obviously not looking at every person or object until now when he saw that someone was sitting in his garden, with back to the main street.

When he turned around and saw the face of the person sitting in his garden, he was speechless.

It was the same dumbness and reaction he had the first time he saw her image in the glass at St. Petersburg. She is beautiful.

Patricia was already crying before he arrived. Pablo could not hold back his tears too.

She gave him a gift she brought from Madrid. The packet contains a bracelet with the inscription, The Madrilenian. He thanked her.

They hugged each other and went inside.

(Concluded)

aderounmu@gmail.com