Den Afrikanska Kvinnan

Jag hyllar de afrikanska kvinnorna. Jag hedrar den goda nigerianska kvinnan. Nigeria måste, mer än någonsin tidigare, börja främja kvinnors rättigheter och jämställdhet mellan könen

DEN AFRIKANSKA KVINNAN

Av Adeola Aderounmu

A Market Place in "old" Nigeria

The African woman, forever beautiful and strong

 

Jag bor i Stockholm, Sverige. Jag har varit pappaledig vid två tillfällen, vilket betyder att jag har varit ledig från jobbet för att ta hand om mina barn.

I vad som kan beskrivas som en omvandling av roller har jag skött om mina barn genom att ge dem materiellt, emotionellt och socialt stöd medan min fru arbetat måndag till fredag under den tidsperioden.

Mina reflektioner var mer intensiva under min andra pappaledighet. Här följer min berättelse.

Jag växte upp i en normal nigeriansk familj med bröder och systrar. Det jag kände till om min barndom, är förmodligen typiskt i de flesta nigerianska hemmen.

Våra mödrar var skyldiga att ta hand om hushållet medan våra fäder jobbade hela tiden.

Under vissa omständigheter skötte kvinnorna inte bara hemmen utan försörjde även familjen med det dagliga levebrödet. På ett sätt är det en väsentlig del av våra liv att lägga bördan av hushållssysslor och barnuppfostran på kvinnorna.

Mina erfarenheter som hemma-man i Sverige under en tolvmånadersperiod, med dubbelt ansvar att ta hand om mina barn och vårt hem i allmänhet, har övertygat mig om att denna aspekt av våra liv i Nigeria behöver ändras eller bytas ut.

Men utan ett ingripande från regeringen eller en mycket stark rekommendation från Nigerias kvinnodepartement kan det bli både tekniskt och byråkratiskt omöjligt att genomföra nya riktlinjer, inom både privata och offentliga institutioner, som skapar en högre grad av flexibilitet för föräldrar med respekt i att uppfostra sina barn.

Det förefaller som att denna fråga kommer bli en het debatt som står inför både motstånd och fördömelse eftersom det drivs ett icke önskvärt system i Nigeria, där många människor fortfarande anser att kvinnor är underlägsna männen. Jag kan föreställa mig att förespråka för lika rättigheter och möjligheter för kvinnor utifrån respekt för familjevärderingar i Nigeria, kan vara att efterfråga för mycket. Men det borde det inte vara.

Vi bör tillhandahålla en förlängd mammaledighet till nyblivna mödrar oavsett var de arbetar eller arbetets karaktär.

Dessutom behöver vi göra en studie eller kartläggning om hur föräldraledighet för båda föräldrar fungerar i länder som med framgång genomfört sådana program.

Jag vet att Storbritannien nu lägger mer uppmärksamhet på ett sådant program.  Grundstommen är väl fungerande offentliga institutioner, en genomtänkt regeringspolitik och ett välgrundat undervisningssystem.

Jag tror inte det kommer innebära att en främmande kultur införs ifall pappor genomgår samma upplevelse som mammor, i form av att vårda sina barn under de tidiga formgivande åren eller hela spädbarnstiden.

Efter nio månaders graviditet med efterföljande förlossning behöver kvinnor både moraliskt och känslomässigt stöd och att ge dem förlängd mammaledighet och ett socialt stöd borde vara den minsta ansträngningen samhället kan bidra med.

Jag tror att ett av de troliga skälen att Nigerias befolkning fortsätter att explodera, trots den hårda ekonomiska verkligheten och det ofördelaktiga politiska klimatet, är för att många nigerianska män inte alltid är hemma för att fysiskt se skötseln av hemmet.

När de är hemma är deras prioritet att se på tv, läsa gamla dagstidningar eller att underhålla vänner medan de fortsätter att uppmanar sina fruar att göra både det ena och det andra.

Män behöver förstå smärtan och den besvärliga situationen hos kvinnor och de behöver inse att det krävs mer av en pappa än att bara vara spermadonator eller inkomstkälla.

Betydelsen av familjen som samhällets grundläggande enhet kan inte nog betonas.

Familjebandet och dess inlärda gemensamma värden är grundläggande delar hos den närmaste omgivningen och för nationen som helhet.

Det finns starka tecken idag på att kommunikationsklyftorna inom familjen blir större och det kan i hög grad ha bidragit till de socialekonomiska problemen vi har i Nigeria.

Naturligtvis är splittrade familjer och värderingar nu ett globalt problem.

Vissa pappor känner inte sina barn och många barn känner inte sina fäder. Sexuell obetänksamhet är till och med på uppgång vilket leder till barn i ett odefinierbart föräldraskap. Sällan är det då mamman som saknas.

När dessa luckor väl skapats under de formgivande åren är de vanligtvis svåra och ibland omöjliga att överbrygga. Klyftorna kan komma att fördjupas och bestå livet ut.

Skilsmässa och/eller att leva separat kan inte antas ge rätt till ett vårdslöst föräldraskap.

Många separerade föräldrar i olika länder fortsätter att fostra och försörja sina barn som de skulle gjort om de levt under samma tak.

Mina erfarenheter under pappaledigheten gav mig möjlighet att reflektera dagligen.

Vanligtvis tänkte jag inte bara på min mamma utan även på afrikanska kvinnor i allmänhet som symboler för styrka, mod och beslutsamhet. Jag frågade mig själv flera frågor.

Hur klarade dessa kvinnor av sex barn eller fler?

Klagade de sig någonsin över trötthet till sina män eller papporna till deras barn? Fanns det alltid någon de kunde dela sin smärta och frustration med? Vad gjorde de när de inte fanns någon att vända sig till?

Hur hanterade de all stress och situationer omkring dem? Vad gjorde de när de själva skulle vilja sova men barnen fortsatte gråta efter uppmärksamhet och tröst?

I korthet frågade jag mig själv, hur hanterade de alla dessa problem? Hur klarar de av det nu?

I varje familj fortsätter den afrikanska kvinnan att fullfölja sina skyldigheteter som hushållerska, i nöd och lust!

Jag hyllar de afrikanska kvinnorna. Jag hedrar den goda nigerianska kvinnan.

Jag kan inte heller sluta tänka på de ensamstående föräldrarna.

Jag undrar hur mycket repatriering som kan ge tröst åt dem för deras roller, deras motståndskraft, deras mod, deras tålamod och deras uppoffringar i kampen att hålla ihop hem och arbete.

Nigeria måste, mer än någonsin tidigare, börja främja kvinnors rättigheter och jämställdhet mellan könen. Med jämställdhet och erkännande av kvinnors och barns rättigheter blir det lättare att kontrollera födelsetalet.

Nigerias ekonomi lider av ständiga åtstramningsåtgärder och arbetslösheten förblir mycket hög men ändå har inte födelsetalet sjunkit.

Detta är en onaturlig trend, inte bara i Nigeria utan även i andra ekonomiskt utmanade länder eftersom de biologiska lagarna kräver annorlunda.

Det är särskilt irriterande att läsa eller höra om kvinnor som ger upp sitt vardagsliv på grund av sin karriär eller vise versa. Det finns ett behov att skapa flexibilitet för att tillåta en rimlig integration av arbetet och hemmet, som en källa för både tillfredsställelse och glädje.

Nigeria måste skapa eller se över situationen gällande ammande mödrar och sociala välfärdspaket. Vi behöver inte vänta på ett perfekt politiskt klimat innan vi börjar leva och njuta av våra liv.

Det är inget fel i att påbörja program som ger stöd åt medborgarna i Nigeria, även om den politiska klassen består av obotfärdiga lögnare och korrupta människor.

Det är en annan aspekt i vårt kollektiva ansvar att rädda oss ur sådana missförhållanden.

Genom att noggrant studera föräldraledighetens process i länder där framgång har uppnåtts, kan Nigeria påbörja ett okorrumperat nationellt socialförsäkringssystem som tillgodoser ammande mödrar i alla åldrar och kategorier.

Det borde vara utgångspunkten. Inom en överskådlig framtid blir samverkan med papporna i processen mycket användbart i att återuppbygga familjen och även säkerställa att våra kvinnor inte är överbelastade eller missbrukas.

Slutligen måste regeringen omforma och ge ny kraft åt familjeplaneringspolitiken, samtidigt som de betonar behovet av den.

Fördelarna med en överensstämmelse av familjeplanering av alla och en var kan inte överbetonas.

 

For information, contact

(c) aderounmu@gmail.com

Translated to Swedish by Louise Holmberg

 

 

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Super Falcons’ Dilemma: The Shame Drops on Buhari’s Table!

I salute the courage of the Super Falcons. I salute the tenacity of their actions and their boldness. I stand with the Super Falcons in condemning the maltreatment of women in Nigeria/Africa/anywhere in the world.

Super Falcons’ Dilemma: The Shame Drops on Buhari’s Table!

By Adeola Aderounmu

super-falcons

The government of Nigeria under president Buhari has no shame. This type of government is what the Yorubas call Agbaya. In fact, some people think that Nigeria is on auto-pilot. How else can we explain the maltreatment of the Super Falcons of Nigeria, the champions of Africa?

The glamorous girls won the African women championship. They defeated Cameroun 1-0 in Yaounde since December 3 2016.

The Super Falcons won the tournament for a record 8th time. They dominate the championship in Africa. Winning the trophy is equivalent to the male footballers winning the African Cup of Nations and Nigeria has only succeeded 3 times (1980, 1994 and 2013)

But these beautiful ladies have dominated the women edition and they have continuously reminded Africa and the world of the fighting spirit of the Nigerian woman.

The government of Nigeria, over several years, maintains a chaotic and a well documented embarassing history of disagreements with sportmen and women.  The government of Nigeria ia good at not keeping promises and not rewarding dignity in labour.

The change that was promised by the APC-Buhari mandate was supposed to be a comprehensive process and the change was supposed to address or redress everything done wrongly in the past.

However it appears that the ”change” promised by the APC-Buhari mandate is a scam!

Sadly too, rather than ”change” the APC-Buhari mandate has magnified the problems in Nigeria. The level of embarassment is a new record in Nigerian sport for example.

In recent memory, at a time that government officials and even the families of the president were making hitch-free trips around the world, the Nigerian male olympic team was stuck in Atlanta in the US because of matters relating purely to finance and payments. They almost did not make it to the Olympics game where they later won the bronze.

The case of the Falcons should never have degenerated to the point where the girls would now be demonstrating and ”begging” for rewards at the doorsteps of the National Assembly and Aso Rock. These two places in Nigeria are where the most rot and wastages are taking place. The girls knew where to go.

As the president of Nigeria, Mr. Buhari was supposed to make haste not only to congratulate the girls (which he actually did very well), but also to ensure that their first stop in Nigeria is the Aso Villa for rewards and awards.

When will Nigeria stop rewarding criminals? When will Nigeria start rewarding citizens who are honest and patriotic?

On the plights of the Super Falcons,  Mr. Buhari has failed again. In many ways and in many situations where leadership is in request, Mr. Buhari has failed. The APC-Buhari mandate is failing.

To show the extent of the ineptitude of the APC-Buhari mandate, the minister of sport in Nigeria came out and announced to the world that the government of Buhari did not expect the Falcons to win the continental tournament in Yaounde.

The statement has a lot of weight and if Nigeria was indeed a real country, president Buhari should have been impeached or shown the way out of office by now. But in Nigeria, the rulers are paramount and the politicians are lords of the loots and owners of the country.

If the Falcons had won silver at the tournament in Cameroun, they would not have been given any reward or recognition at all. That was the implication of the minister’s statement. The minister represents Mr. Buhari and he is a significant revelation of the failure of the APC-Buhari mandate.

Even if there was no money at the time the final whistle went in Yaounde, it became a matter of national priority at that point that the president and the sport ministry go shopping. That is what leaders do. That is what visionary people do.

They solve problems. They never pass the burden to the people who should be praised or rewarded. It is extremely shameful and embarassing that government like this exist. The APC-Buhari mandate houses people and rulers who don’t care or give a damn about the sufferings of the people who served and sacrificed for the country.

The news of the plights of the Super Falcon is now global. What does that say about the image of a presidency preaching the change begins with me? Indeed the change must begin with the APC-Buhari mandate. For, you cannot preach change to the people and keep doing things the dirty old ways. Change doesn’t work that way.

Nigeria is rotten and the country is going no where with the types of non-thinkers trying to shape the future of the country. The country is on the way to perdition. The country needs freshness.

I salute the courage of the Super Falcons. I salute the tenacity of their actions and boldness. I stand with the Super Falcons in condemning the maltreatment of women in Nigeria/Africa/anywhere in the world.

I condemn in the strongest term the hypocrisy of Mr. Buhari who is always quick to respond to events in foreign countries and extremely very slow and insensitive to the plights of Nigerians at home. Charity must always begin at home.

I condemn with the sharpest tone the existence of a nonentity as the sport minister in Nigeria.

I stand with the likes of Mikel Obi who gave their all for Nigeria at the expense of place in his beloved Chelsea.

I stand with all the members of the Super Falcons who left their teams at home and abroad to represent their motherland.  I stand with the coaches and technical crew who made Nigeria proud.

I stand with the super falcons and every sport man and woman sweating water and blood in the name of patriotism to Nigeria.

President Buhari’s Festac In Governor Ambode’s Lagos

By Adeola Aderounmu

(Images By Abiodun Popoola)

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402 Road by 4th Avenue, Festac Town. 

In the month of June 2016, I visited Nigeria. One of the most disgusting views in Lagos where l was resident was in Festac Town, the estate that everyone acknowledged had lost his glory.

In general l was appalled by the state of infrastructure in Festac Town.

It is hard to believe that Festac Town is home to the headquarters of  Amuwo Odofin Local Government. It is hard to believe that there are politicians in Festac Town. It is hard to believe that there is a state governor in Lagos State.

A lot of things are rotting away and Festac Town that used to be the pride of Nigeria and Africa is now a desolate, rotten town.

In truth l dedicated a page on my blog to the lost glory of Festac Town. The original glory of Festac Town may never be regained. Still it does not mean that the things that could still be fixed should be left undone.

 

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402 Road, Festac Town

Recently l wrote an article about the problem of sewage in Festac Town and the significance of the problem as a form of biological weapon against the people of Festac Town.

The article titled Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Please Clear This Biological Weapon!  was published on July 25, 2016 both on the Nigeria Village Square and on my blog.

To ensure that the problem gains the attention it needed, l wrote the same article in the National Mirror Newspaper. It appeared on the back page on August 16 2016 under the banner Addressing Festac Town’s sewage menace.

Despite all the awareness that has been brought to the matter, it appears that the government (local, state and federal) did not get the message. A friend of mine visited Festac Town this November and the images that he brought back shows that no effort has been made to solve the problem.

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4th Avenue, By 402 Road

Let me restate that we will continue to highlight this problem for as long as it exists. In as much as we all agree that Festac Town is a federal government estate, we must also never forget that it is situated in Lagos State and there is a governor and there is a local government chairman.

Invariably, the sewage system is bad in many areas in Festac Town. The worst hit area is 402 Road. The residents are flushing their toilets directly to the streets because there are permanent blockages to the original paths created for the flow to flow away.

The residents of 402 Road in Festac Town are breathing unsafe air, they are walking on sewage water/mud to get into their various apartments. The health impacts are huge and children are vulnerable.

The governor of Lagos State is responsible for the welfare of the residents anywhere in Lagos. That insinuation and argument that Festac Town is a federal estate does not hold water. The governor needs to initiate the contact with the appropriate authority and call them out to action.

 

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402 Road, Market Place and Residential Area

Governor Ambode and the people running Lagos must know that Lagos is not Victoria Island and Ikoyi only. They need to look at other places and stop paying lip-service and eye-service to issues concerning maintenance and development.

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402 Road, Festac Town

Photograph/Images By Abiodun Popoola.

 

Footnotes

Again, l repeat that it is possible for the governor of Lagos State to look at this problem and instruct the appropriate authority (federal, state or local) to act.

As it sems right now, the people of Festac are in a dilemma. FHA is not going to come down to make their environment germ free. The Governor does not care if they die of diseases.

As l have stated before, l will continue to write about this particular problem for as long as it exists. I pray for the grace to keep reminding the rulers and conquerors of Nigeria of their negligences and lack of committment to the people and country.

This problem is a struggle and we will keep reminding the conquerors of Lagos/Nigeria that they must serve the people.

 

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

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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

 

 

 

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.

five

                       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 Things We Took For Granted (Part 2)

Let’s love one another in Africa and appreciate the things and people around us always. Maybe if we start with our friends and families, one day the love may go round the world and our lives will be happy and free.

The Things We Took For Granted (Part 2)

By Adeola Aderounmu

Often we forget to show how much we care for our families and friends. Sometimes it is very difficult to express in words or actions how much our friends and families mean to us.

Me and A friend-Onero and his wife

Me and A friend-Onero and his wife

Absence makes the mind to grow fonder. This is so true that we (then) begin to appreciate friends and families when they are separated from us.

Sometimes the separation is irreparable or permanent because death came calling unexpectedly. This can result to extreme sadness or even depression.

Sometimes during this summer I saw my eldest brother again. He came to visit me in Sweden. The last time we saw each other before this visit was also in Stockholm in the spring of 2005. Though l have travelled to Nigeria two times after that we did not meet.

No one will believe that l have never travelled to Abuja or anywhere in the North of Nigeria. It does not even look like it will happen soon. I am that small boy from Western Nigeria.

As l was driving to the airport to pick up my brother l was moved to tears. Suddenly it struck me that a lot has happened since the last time we met. There have been a lot of good things. However since we are getting older we have had our own share of family tragedies which as a matter of principle l never share on the social media. But l made an obituary for my mother in the village square.

Distance apart means that we have not been able to share our emotions regarding these tragedies. Though my eyes were swollen, I could not shut them tight long enough to enable the free flow of tears. I needed to keep my focus behind the wheels.

But in private, I’d wept many times. It’s human nature. In some of my stories I’d written that the men who commit suicide are those who refused to cry. They sealed their emotions and punish their souls giving them up to untimely death.

When people cry on behalves of those who commit suicide, they (the mourners) find the strength to move on because their tears become sacrifices to the gods.

For about 30 minutes which was approximately how long it took to drive to the airport l also reminisced on many of the good times we had together especially in Festac Town where we grew up.

Sometimes l don’t know where to place my memories about Lagos Mainland. Are they real or are they mere fantasies? Why do I always think that my version of the aftermath of the assassination of Murtala Mohammed in February 1976 was the correct version? Why does all the pandemonium in Surulere play back and forth in my head as if they happened yesterday?

At home, when we were boys, I remember the fights and the unnecessary contests for power and supremacy. You cannot avoid these things if you have many boys growing up together in a flat or in a house. I don’t want to remember my violent tendencies because sometimes the repercussions were terrible.

I always remember the football days so much that l wrote the article The Boys From Festac. A follow up to that article is necessary. If someone had told me that l can live without playing football on Saturday mornings and Sunday evenings, l would have responded: don’t go there!

Sometimes l don’t worry to tell people who never saw me play football how good l was because they won’t understand and it is of no use now.

Sometimes too l remember how some people find it difficult to believe my brilliance at school because of my small size and extremely playful attitude. I still wonder too!

If you live your adult life very far away from the closest people you grew up with, the tendency is that when you look back, you’d wish you could turn back the hands of clock.

There are so many things you wish you could do again. There are so many people you long for but whom you took for granted when they were at arm’s length to you. What about the things you took for granted too?

Life will continue to go on and nothing will last, not forever anyway. Life itself will remain transient and temporal.

Recently l heard a story from one of our elders here in Stockholm. Obviously it is one of those stories you heard whilst growing up in Nigeria. But when you are reminded of such a story after a long time, it helps. Mr. Salimonu Kadiri, a respected elder in Sweden spoke about the argument between death and money. It was a case that was taken to the king.

Money argued that nothing can be done without him and death reminded the king that he (death) would have the last say on everyone including the king.

This folklore from Yorubaland has a lot of implications.

People should think about their pursuits of wealth and the opportunity costs.

Perhaps if we sit back a bit and reflect on life holistically….just maybe…we will live our lives differently, spread some love and warmth everyday. Who knows? We may end up living closer to our families and spend more time with the people we love.

We definitely need to appreciate more the people around us including our friends and our families.  If we do, our regrets and disappointments will be minimal if we eventually are (unavoidably) separated from one another temporarily or permanently.

The other day l came home from Finland and made an unscheduled visit to a friend in another part of Sweden the same day. It was 467 km away. I left home late and arrived at his front door at about 10pm. His reaction was priceless. Shock will be an understatement when he opened his door to welcome me and my family. We even ate dinner before we left!

In Nigeria this would have been a normal thing. But in Sweden it is almost a taboo to visit someone without notifying them. It’s rare. On top of that we arrived at night like thieves. I don’t why people look too far and find it difficult to connect the individualistic traits of the western world with the high rate of depression.

When we grew up in Nigeria our lives were mainly communal in nature. We meet people everyday. We share with people everyday and we celebrate everyday. We took these things for granted because we thought we will always have them.

Since we do not have the same powers as the gods, we did not see the future. We were taught the 20 children cannot play together for 20 years. It wasn’t made so clear that the 20 children will have extreme difficulties to re-unite or re-group again once they have said goodbyes.

I see the struggle to re-unite or re-group in alumni or old students’ associations. It’s like a mission impossible though manageable from one event to another when different people show up.

I see the struggle to re-unite with friends. We have all received our fair shares of desperate mails from people on the social media asking if we are the right persons.

Even l have seen the struggle to re-unite families.

We struggle now because we took people and things for granted when we had them right in front of our faces. Some of our struggles are psychological because we are torn between two or three countries and wonder if we will ever make it back to settle in Nigeria. We miss home and the warmth of our friends and families especially.

It is now golden for us in the western world to meet our friends, families and even the people we knew first in this part of the world. Unfortunately, here, most friendships don’t last because individualism and western world syndrome gradually eat into our souls. We are in trouble. Where are our real friends? Where are our true families?

When Mr. Kadiri spoke, it was at a memorial for a man whom many people spoke well of. I’m not sure he heard so much of these good things from his friends and families when he was alive. The people who knew him or who were close to him may have taken things for granted.

How wonderful life would be if people start to say all these positive things to one another whilst they still can!

How can one preach that people should just shun bitterness and hatred towards one another?

I know. It is like a mirage to hope that the human race should place love and care above hatred and war.

Let’s love one another in Africa and appreciate the things and people around us always. Maybe if we start with our friends and families, one day the love may go round the world and our lives will be happy and free.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Goodnight Professor Adetayo-Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku

Goodnight Professor Adetayo Beyioku

By Adeola Aderounmu

My former lecturer and supervisor Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku passed away on April 18 2015. She was aged 67.

Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku

Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku

Mummy as we fondly called her was born on April 16, 1948. She attended Queens College in Yaba between 1960 and 1964. She also attended Walthamstow Hall, Sevenoaks, Kent for her Advanced Level G.C.E in Physics, Chemistry and Biology between 1965 and 1967.

She was awarded the Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology in 1971 by Georgetown College, Georgetown, Kentucky and Master of Science Degree in Microbiology in 1975 by Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois.

She returned to Nigeria and attended the University of Lagos where she was awarded the Doctorate Degree in Medical Parasitology in 1988.

Adetayo Fagbenro-Beyioku joined the services of the University of Lagos as Research Fellow II in 1980. She rose steadily and was appointed Professor of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, in 2003.

Professor Beyioku was a former Deputy Provost at the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos. She was also a former member of the University of Lagos Governing Council.

She was buried according to her wish (after a private ceremony) on the same day she died.

Until her death she was one of Nigeria’s leading voices in the field of malariology.

In various ways, ranging from research, publications, participation in health programs, formulation and implementation of policies to mentoring students mummy was one of those who ensured that the study and knowledge of the malaria parasites remain relevant in Nigerian medical schools and research institutions.

A quick survey of some recent publications in malariology indicates that mummy contributed immensely to our knowledge of malaria epidemiology, immunology, chemotherapy and prevention.

Recent publications with Professor Beyioku’s name:

A current analysis of chemotherapy strategies for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis

Variable geographical distribution of Blastocystis subtypes and its potential implications

Identification and characterization of microsporidia from fecal symptoms of HIV-positive patients from Lagos, Nigeria

Comparative studies of entero-parasitic infections among HIV sero-positive and sero-negative patients in Lagos, Nigeria

Strongyloides stercoralis and the human immune response

____________________

Mummy wrote her name in the Nigerian Medical Hall of Fame. She did with an indelible ink as her name and contributions will be cited in literatures and projects for generations to come.

People will talk about her as a good mother, a dedicated wife, a wonderful mentor and an exemplary lecturer/supervisor.

For a long time to come mummy’s work will be carried out and reflected through her postgraduate/research students. Some of her previous students are now professors, associate professors and senior research fellows in various institutions and universities around the world.

Below are the tributes written by some of mummy’s former students: (in no special order)

___________

Tribute 1  Written by Bolaji N. Thomas, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Immunology & Molecular Biology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY 14623. Email: bolaji.thomas@rit.edu

I write not just as a former student, but as a member of the “family”. Professor Beyioku was an advisor and mentor. We call her Mum because she does that one thing, which others would not or cannot, and does it superbly well-LISTEN. She was the support we needed to go through our programs, the calm when things seem difficult and the laughter needed to break the tension and unexpected awkwardness. I recall the days of chatting over coffee, generating research ideas and brainstorming on how to bring the ideas to fruition; the sense of equanimity and the gentle guidance along the way. I learnt a lot from you. You left too soon but be sure we will keep the banner flying. Goodbye.

Tribute 2 Written by Dr. Adekunle Sanyaolu, Associate Professor of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Saint James School of Medicine, Anguilla, BWI.

This is a tribute to a great mother, Mentor, and Teacher. Professor Adetayo Fagbenro-Beyioku was a dedicated teacher and a loving mother to her children. She made a great impact in the lives of her students and children with her compassion. As a good teacher, she took us, shaped our thoughts and nurtured us in our career path in life. In addition to imparting training, she also inspired us to be good leaders and be compassionate to others. Reminiscing our school days, she showed great interest in our career development and provided advice and guidance to our social lives. Without her guidance and support, we will not be where we are today. We will miss her support forever. Adieu! RIP.

 “Most people end up with no more than few people who remember them, however, teachers have many more people that remember them forever”……..Anonymous.

Tribute 3 Written By Dr. Nnaemeka Iriemenam

Professor Fagbenro-Beyioku was a great tutor and mentor to all her students. Each one of us benefited from her immense and vast expertise. Mummy as we fondly called her nurtured us to be what we are today in the world. Her dedication to service, humility, hard work, and intellect shaped our respective career development. You are highly missed by your students and your legacy lives in our days. Adieu!

________________

To conclude these tributes in honour of our former lecturer and supervisor, l asked one of her daughters (Yele) some personal questions. I wanted to know what she missed most about her mother. She told me that she missed everything about her. That sums up mummy: She was very caring and she meant the world to her children.

It was this motherhood that she brought to her office and to the job.

Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku

Professor Adetayo Foluso Fagbenro-Beyioku

Personally, I remember all the laughter l took with me whenever l was leaving her presence. It touches me how she remembered all the things/information l shared with her during my postgraduate days at CMUL. I remember how at just 29, she allowed me to lecture one of her courses-Medical Parasitology for 300 level medical students.

Mummy’s death came to many of us as a shock and one of us Dr. Ninan Obasi is yet to find the words to express his shock.

Professor Adetayo Fagbenro-Beyioku will be missed by everyone that knew her. She touched many lives directly and indirectly and in special ways.

Mummy is survived by children and grandchildren.

May her gentle soul rest in eternal peace.

Goodnight mummy!

_________

Footnotes

The University of Lagos honoured late Professor A-F Beyioku with Academic Procession/Commendation Service at The New Great Hall, CMUL, Idiarabla on July 31 2015.

This piece is published to coincide with her Final Burial Ceremony (Thanksgiving and Reception) on Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the Divine Events Centre, Shepherd Hill Baptist Church, Obanikoro Bus Stop, Lagos.

Acknowledgements

Thank you for your contributions:

Dr. Bolaji Thomas

Dr. Emeka Iriemenam

Dr. Adekunle Sanyaolu

Thank you for our discussion:

Dr. Ninan Obasi

With additional information from

http://campuslife.unilag.edu.ng

http://www.akahitutors.org

aderounmu@gmail.com