- THE OFFICIAL COLLECTION
2. FROM PRIVATE LENSES
2. FROM PRIVATE LENSES
30 Years Reunion of Festac Grammar School Old Students, Klass ´89 (Photo News)
By Adeola Aderounmu
(This article may be updated)
It was a good day for friendship. The type of friendship that feels more like a family bond. My former schoolmates at Festac Grammar School that l fondly named Klass ‘89 gathered 30 years after at Radisson Hotel in Lagos to celebrate a wonderful reunion.
I was missing in action physically. But l got a lot of the actions through our Whatsapp group. Even my cousin Toyin Okikiolu gave me a live call. l have missed her and all our former school mates. I reminded her that she is my little sister but she will always argue, my dearest aburo.
Here you will see some of the images from the reunion.
I am sure it was a moment for sharing a lot of happy things from the past and the present. If I was there, l would cry tears of joy.
On the live video, l could hear them calling at me, “Gadhaffi”, “Gadhaffi”.
I salute all my mates worldwide for what we have accomplished. I am so moved by those who flew from overseas primarily for this purpose and to spend a little time with friends and family afterwards. What a wonderful way to spend the end of 2019.
I salute the organizing committee for this great reunion. What a landslide! I congratulate all the active and non-active members on this accomplishment. Every little comment and every little effort to this reunion played its part.
There are areas of improvement and l am sure we have learnt great lessons on the way and on the great day itself. “Learning by doing” is a mantra that works for any facet of life and a reunion is no exception.
This article is a celebration of accomplishments, for individuals and for the group. 30 years after school, we have come a long way.
Cheers to another 30.
Many roads in Lagos states ought to be shut down as disaster zones. There are accidents, deaths and several untold hardships on these roads daily. Those who are responsible for these roads ought to be arrested and prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
By Adeola Aderounmu
I took all the pictures you see in this essay between June 26 and July 10 2018.
Civilian rule returned to Nigeria in 1999. This means that Nigerian politicians in both the ruling APC and the opposition PDP have spent together 19 years in governance and still cannot put right what the military gangsters destroyed.
So the systemic failure in Nigeria today is due largely to the lack of performances since 1999. We can argue that the stretch is longer but that is another discussion for another day.
The state of the federal roads in Lagos state which is the economic capital of Nigeria is very appalling and disgraceful.
The state of the roads in Lagos state is heart breaking, depressing and sorrowful. (I will treat some parts of Ogun state in another essay).
I do not share the notion that a certain government is trying or that a certain governor is working. That’s all bullshit!
In the last 19 years at least, there are no more tenable excuses why the roads in Lagos should be so terrible.
Sincerely if l could make the decision, l will block all the roads you see in this essay. Human beings should not be allowed to travel on these roads. They are permanent death traps and l wish someone in the the world somewhere has the power to shut down all these dangerous roads in Lagos and elsewhere in Nigeria.
Whoever is responsible for these roads since 1999 ought to be arrested and prosecuted without delay. Since 2015, Mr. Buhari and Mr. Fasola are solely responsible for the federal roads in Lagos and they should be tried for crimes against humanity for all the deaths that continue to occur on the federal roads.
Without delay, the Badagry Express Way should be shut down!!! That is not an expressway. It is not even a road!
Mr. Ambode is culpable too because he is the number one citizen of Lagos state for the past 3 years! What has he been doing? Don’t tell me he is trying! He is not the governor of Lagos Island, is he?
If there are reasons why Mr. Fasola and Mr. Buhari have not constructed and maintained the federal roads in Lagos, why is Mr. Ambode not talking about it to the media and to the world just like l am doing now.
For one month at least, l’m going to pay for this essay on instagram and facebook. Then l will see what reactions we get. If possible, l will continue to sponsor the advertisement for this essay just as long as the problem remains and l will keep a tab on Lagos to see current situations.
How on earth can this be the situation and there are no outrages? What is wrong with Nigerians? What is wrong with Lagosians?
All the roads for transportation, state, local and federal must be in perfect shape and good maintenance. No road must be left untouched because the people of Nigeria deserve the best that life has to offer. You can’t do 50% of the roads. You can’t of 99% of the roads. The 1% left undone can cause death and other unwanted scenarios. You must be perfect. All roads must be fixed and that is the work/function of government.
The government is not doing the people any favour by doing what it is supposed to do.
Mr. Buhari, Mr. Fasola and Mr. Ambode must put their heads together now and put politics and election aside for once. Lagos roads and all roads in Nigeria must be fixed. It is your job. It is your work. No one is begging you. You are servants to the people and serve you must or get the hell out of the offices you occupy.
What l saw of Lagos roads revealed to me that on the long run, Nigeria must do away with the useless and senseless unitary system of government as soon as possible.
I do not expect Mr. Buhari to know the roads l travel in Lagos. Even a federal minister knows little about the roads in Nigeria. But a governor and a local government chairman will know better. Therefore it is best to review how power can be taken away from that useless office in Abuja and taken back to the grassroots where people can see and solve their problems regionally and locally. It is just pure common sense!
I have been writing about the ills in Nigeria for almost 2 decades and l could go on here again in this essay but let’s save the tautology and hope that my message is clear: FIX ALL THE ROADS IN LAGOS AND END THIS SHAME!!
There are so many things about 2016 that broke my heart into pieces.
In Nigeria today, ordinary common sense, profound reasoning and life changing positive reflections have been thrown into the gutters.
When money is taken out of the ratio, the next most influential factor for getting political appointment in Nigeria today is religion.
2016: The HeartBreaking Year
By Adeola Aderounmu
”To even imagine what lies ahead in 2016 under the prevailing global crash in oil-prices and other revolutionary advances in the world is totally heartbreaking”-Adeola Aderounmu, December 2015.
The immediate quote above was how l ended my last essay in 2015. It was titled, Not Another Great Year.
I was among the people who expressed utmost pessimism for what the future (2016 and beyond) had in stock for Nigerians. Our people in their gullibility prefer to hear such obvious omen from their pastors and imams at worship centers.
2016 wraps up for majority of Nigerians on a very low note. For several millions expectations were dashed and hopes were turned to hopelessness. It’s a cycle too easy to predict.
Way back in one of my end of year messages, probably 2012, l have stated that God will not save Nigeria. That postulation remain intact. In 2017, there will not be a divine or conjured intervention for Nigeria.
It is Nigerians who will decide when they have had enough of irresponsible government and selfish rulership. The fate and future of Nigeria will not be decided by the Church like one of my friends argued with me when l visited Nigeria this summer. If the future of Nigeria will be great, it will not depend on the Mosque either.
For in Nigeria today, ordinary common sense, profound reasoning and life changing positive reflections have been thrown into the gutters. When money is taken out of the ratio, the next most influential factor for getting political appointment in Nigeria today is religion. For the almost monolithic “religious” states, tribe is the decider. Nigerians have lost it, they have descended too low.
The trend had been upcoming and today it is well established. In the monolithic states, there is a system of rotation that ensures that the embezzlement of public funds is rotated among tribes every 4 years. If the public office is at a very local level, then it is different clans that rotate the looting of the local treasury.
Are we stiil wondering why more than 100 m nigerians live in penury, almost exclusively from hand to mouth?
In my local government, the enactment of a church beside the mosque was a reassuring signal that Christians will not be kicked out of the premises soon.
The last time l checked though, the people l met at my local government were complete outsiders. They know nothing about Festac Town and you can tell they are political leeches. They do not know the layouts of Festac and they have no idea how the community came into existence and the dreams we had when we were children.
Lagos state now provides a recipe that is replica of the failed country called Nigeria.
When religion, friendship, tribalism, hypocrisy, ineptitude, arrogance, stupidity, inefficiency, man-know-man and other vices are promoted above service and integrity, there will never be progress. Peace may even become a scare ideology. Rivalry and sometimes war will prevail even with the slightest of provocation. This is where Nigeria is today!
On a more personal note, since the summer months, l have written and called attention to the environmental issues that affect the people of Festac Town. Sadly the governor of Lagos State love the lslands more than the Mainlands, and Festac Town can rot because he does not give a damn. Both the governor of Lagos state and the ignorant sole administrator of Festac Town have pretended that they are deaf.
They don’t care about anything that does not bring returns to their pockets. How do we define political leeches again?
I think the people of Festac should be allowed to run Festac so that the people can know who to turn to when things don’t go right. The council should never be in the hands of complete strangers especially when they have used their religion as a jackpot. This is so sad and the rulers of Lagos have failed too.
Likewise, we continue to clamour that one man cannot rule Nigeria. Nigeria is a failed project under the unitary system. When the government is brought close to the people, it will be relatively easier to know who to hold responsible when projects failed and when infrastructure collapse.
Today in Nigeria, it appears that everything wrong with the country is the fault of Buhari. It is indeed true but it’s just that he is not the origin of the problems. His role has been more as a catalyst in destroying what is left of Nigeria. This is the second time he’s doing so.
The system of government in Nigeria will never work. It is designed to fail. The complain we are making today are the same complains that writers and critics made more than 40 years ago. The system of government is the same. Things got worse.
It is now not known how to convince the people that prayers don’t bring about technological development. It is not known how we can convince the people that religion and vigils do not solve national problems.
I don’t know in how many ways we can try to reach the people and tell them that it is what we do or not that affect the progress of our country. The outcomes of our actions and inactions are independent of prayers. Prayers don’t help a nation to escape poverty, food production does.
Prayers don’t help a nation to become healthy. It is the function of the health policy of the government and the investment in medicine and health care that do.
Theology does not take any country to the moon or mars. Science and research do.
Another year 2017 is here and Nigerians will start it with a crossover at churches and mosques. No matter what the calender says, it is just another day and another rotation of the earth about the sun. Science says it’s a revolution of the earth around the sun, therefore there’s actually nothing new about rotation and revolution.
It is very hard to know how Nigerians, more than 150 million people can be reached and convinced on the meaning and essence of life. It is pretty hard and frustrating.
Recently some hopeless people gathered in London to celebrate the release of a criminal called Ibori. The likes of Ibori are numerous in Nigeria. They are the ones running the country. They should be happy because they are the lucky bastards. In some countries where corruption is not tolerated, their graves will be unmarked after they must have been summarily executed.
It pains and infact it hurts to see the foolishness of Nigerians on a global scale. People like the supporters of lbori and the praise-singers of other politicians help Nigeria to wash her dirty linens in public. The global shame is indelible and embarassing.
There are so many things about 2016 that broke my heart into pieces.
Many of them are repetitions of the inexplicable circumstances surrounding the governing of Nigeria, the attitudes of Nigerians, the behaviours of Nigerians and the irreconciliable diversity of the notions of the Nigerian state or statelessness.
Let me be clear, Nigeria is being misgoverned. This is not news. The country has been on a roller coast to hell since 1960. Therefore when the APC-Buhari mandate promised changes, Nigerians bought it. But it has been business as usual, and the status-quo after 18 months shows that this government is ideologically clueless. The economy is lying prostrate.
After the crossover ceremonies at the churches and mosques, who will tell Nigerians that the crossover is meaningless without the necessary actions aimed at progress, prosperity and the common good.
We must change the system of government even if we cannot change every other thing. We need to bring back governance to the doorsteps of the people. It won’t matter who we usher to Abuja in 2019 because one man will not rule Nigeria successfully.
Lets fight a common fight now. Let’s write about it, let’s talk about it. Let us enforce it. If we can, let us occupy the streets and the citadel of corruption called Abuja and call for a rapid response to the change in the system of government. It’s the biggest gift we can bestow on the unborn generations.
At the regions, there will be closer monitoring of infrastucture and health provison. Educational needs will be tailored to local situations. Even housing will be structured based on regional population and peculiarities. Power can be generated using local needs instead of senseless national jargons. These won’t happen overnight, but our grandchildren will be happy we started a journey with their needs and prosperity in minds.
If all we want to leave to our children are our imported religions and ill-acquired wealth, then let’s all brace up for a 2017 filled with pain, anguish, sorrow and disappointments. we are used to them any way.
For as long as we continue to lie and pretend that the unitary system of government will get us somewhere, these outcomes, to different degrees in different homes and communities will remain our common denominators.
By Adeola Aderounmu
(Images By Abiodun Popoola)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photograph/Images By Abiodun Popoola.
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.