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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Shame:Nigeria’s New Slave Identity in 2017

From now on, will the government of Nigeria be sending all sick citizens to London for treatment?

 

Nigeria’s New Slave Identity in 2017

By Adeola Aderounmu

Nigerians need to be enraged. Their key politicians are causing a global stir.

In week 7 of 2017, major political rulers in Nigeria gathered in London in what appears to be a re-enactment of both physical and mental slavery.

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We are told that this shameful gathering took place in London. The build up to the gathering started about 4 weeks ago.

Nigeria’s president Mohammadu Buhari left Nigeria to seek medical attention in London.

That action itself is a scandal in several ways. First this man became president promising change from what other politicians and tyrants like him have done in the past. He said he would not be travelling abroad to waste Nigeria’s monies. Sadly, that is exactly what he did when he left Nigeria as a medical tourist in January 2017.

Secondly, if Nigeria is really a sovereign country, the president should not be lying down sick in another country. And for vacation, he could have chosen his hometown as a leader who can lead by good examples.

What he has done is the ultimate betrayal any ruler or leader can show to the followers. For example, where should the people go to when they are sick? Who should they turn to in their time of despair?

From now on, will the government of Nigeria be sending all sick citizens to London for treatment?

In my opinion, l will never be able to align with any line of justification for the neglect of more than 150 m people whilst the rulers can jostle out in the blink of an eye to seek medical services and vacation in other climes.

What if London has been managed the same way these reckless, soulless rulers have managed Nigeria?

People who have clear and clean consciences will stick with their folks through thick and thin. Rulers and leaders who have the interests of their people in their minds would provide services that they and the people can enjoy together.

So when you look at this picture and see Nigeria’s first citizen entertaining the third  and fourth citizens in London, you should be ashame to be a Nigerian. You have no soul if this makes you proud or happy. If you are indifferent, you are wicked!

You must not forget that between them, all 3 have a combined stolen wealth that can turn Africa to a paradise. Yes, Africa, not Nigeria.

You must not forget how millions of dollars have disappeared under the watches of these men. You need to go back in time and calculate the monies that have disappeared under the watch of Mr. Buhari from as far back as 1977.

You need to study the family Saraki and the way that family name has contributed to economic ruins, recession and depression in Nigeria. For the sins of the father are the sins of the son. Then when the sins of the son multiply under a new dispensation, you also wonder what kind of people live in Nigeria allowing criminals to run the politics. Protests and actions ought to be vicious and decisive resulting in the total removal of criminals from public offices. The judiciary is a pure sham.

Then you have a man whom the president loved so much that even when the man said he is a criminal, the president said he is not. The change that Nigerians thought would come was just a status quo as Mr. Dogara, also a former PDP stalwart became the master of those overblowing Nigeria’s budget and siphoning them to private accounts.

As you read, budget padding in Nigeria is still a way of life. Nothing has changed. No one is able to control those padding the budget because they all benefit from it.

Nigerians are crying recession, the lawmakers are among the wealthiest people in the world. So l question myself, are we normal in Nigeria?

Things are done almost exactly the same way, so there is no end in sight for the problems, sadly.

I am just looking at the stupidity of this exercise, gathering in London.

You have to read my other blog essays to understand what we are dealing with here because thieves, criminals, looters are exposed everyday. No one is punished. This is remarkable but not surprising because they are spread from the presidency to the governors’ offices to the local government. The problem is hydra-headed and multi-faceted and seriously systemic. It affects almost all Nigerians and it is alarming!!!

The monies or loots that are even recovered become traceless in the national budget or wherever they vanish to.

The most sensible thing to do to show that monies are actually recovered is to dedicate them to projects that people can see and read on the walls. For example:

  • These houses are built with the monies recovered from Jezebel Diezani.
  • This road was constructed using the monies recovered from criminal and thief Ibori.
  • This hospital was built using the monies (that would be recovered hopefully) from Saraki, Dogara and Andrew.
  • This airport was renovated using the monies recovered from all past presidents and tyrants.

Hopefully one government (federal or state) will revive their health institution and save this country from the shame brought to it by this APC gang of shameless rulers. In the old western Nigerian, many people came from around the world to seek medical help in Western Nigeria.

No matter what we do in Nigeria, we may not get anywhere near the rest of the developed world if we don’t go back to the system of government that was glorious and prosperous.

The change won’t be easy and many gainers of the status quo won’t fancy it, but generations unborn will be thankful. Hopefully too, they will be civilized, less greedy and have functional judiciary. They will enjoy if we make the sacrifices.

It is the unitary system of government that has led us back to being slaves in in our country in 2017. It is the unitary system of government that made our rulers and suspected criminals to fly to London to worship at the feet of the Queen again.

No greater shame! No greater form of lose of human dignity! No greater fall for the black race than our rulers looking stupid, yet laughing in a white man’s world whilst several millions of our people are at home suffering and living hopelessness..!

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

President Buhari: You Don’t Feel Our Pains

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

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

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Deceits brought us to this abysmal level in Nigeria.

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

Nigerians are not fool and they are not stupid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What kind of change did you promise?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That much we deserved.

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

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

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

The end of festac

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aderounmu@gmail.com

There Are No Drivers In Lagos

…..one of the vehicles that was supposed to be behind my car did the diagonal turning and collided with an oncoming lorry. There was another accident- two commercial buses collided with each other and an okada passenger flew between the 2 vehicles just before they collided. This is Lagos..!

There Are No Drivers In Lagos

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By Adeola Aderounmu

On my recent trip to Nigeria, l could almost not believe what l saw on Lagos roads. I knew that driving in Lagos had always been a hassle and that some people have ignorantly or maybe stupidly concluded many years ago that if you can drive in Lagos, then you can drive anywhere in the world. That notion is not only misleading; it is also very dangerous.

If driving in Lagos on the other hand means that you can drive anywhere in Nigeria, then l can generalize that there are no drivers in Nigeria. I took time to observe driving in my area and on major roads in Lagos. Not one person driving on Lagos roads that l saw passed the simple driving tests that l conducted.

One of the most amazing, yet disturbing discoveries l made was this: not one driver in Lagos knew how to turn left at a junction. In normal driving, on a two-way road, you drive to the end of the road whilst keeping to your lane, then you make a curve (like going around the last quarter of a circle or ring) to turn left. I did not see one driver in Lagos do this turn correctly.

To make left turns, all the drivers in Lagos made diagonals. They don’t even make it from their half of the road. Long before the actual turning point, as they approach the junction, Lagos drivers make long diagonals that put them head to head with the oncoming vehicles.

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The first time l observed this anomaly, l actually thought it was just a silly driver who was impatient.

Later l found out that everybody drives that way. Commercial vehicle drivers and private car drivers, drove the same way. This is the standard for driving in Lagos.

One day, l had a passenger at the back seat in my car. He said he thought l was driving straight-on after he saw that l actually turned left at a junction. He was not used to drivers using the full length of the road to the turning point before making the turn. He said l would get tired of my sane driving, but l never did because l wasn’t trained to drive like an insane person.

Every time l am making my normal left turn, there are other vehicles, between 1 to 3 that make the turn before me while l am at my normal driving. They think they are good drivers or that they are smarter in getting ahead.

In this essay, l cannot include the menace of the motor-cycles as commercial transportation means in Lagos. Let us save the discussion about that pestilence that is unleashed on Lagos for another time.

As a result of foolishness, recklessness and not-knowing-how to drive of almost all Lagos drivers, I was a witness to at least 3 accidents whilst l drove in Lagos.

Another day whilst l was doing my normal omoluabi junction-turning, one of the vehicles that was supposed to be behind my car did the diagonal turning and collided with an oncoming lorry. How many accidents on Lagos road are due to wrong driving?

This dangerous diagonal turning was one of the most obvious indicators of wrong driving by Lagos drivers that l observed and it remains a major cause of head-to-head collision/accidents at road junctions.

There was another accident due mainly to bad driving that was so serious that two commercial buses collided with each other on 23 Road in Festac Town. It was like a movie when an okada passenger flew between the two vehicles before they collided and he somersaulted on the road. The motor cycle and the okada-driver slided long the road like the movie was not about to finish yet.

In fact, the other useless and reckless driving of Lagos drivers are too numerous to elaborate here. But generally, it is a crazy situation on Lagos roads with human and vehicular traffic forming a permanent compound mess.

More of my observations below.

Lagos drivers do not know how to drive on lanes (but they can claim that most roads are not marked with lines and they’ll be right at that). Still, what happens to straight line driving? What l saw was that most of the drivers in Lagos do not even know about driving on a lane.

Once the roads are not marked, they are driving from right to left to center, just anyhow they like. They fill available space on the road and collide too easily with one another.

Lagos drivers do not keep the distance. There should be at least 5 meters between 2 cars on the road. For some vehicles, the distance behind them should be 10 meters if they have risk of rolling backwards or if they vehicles used for deliveries, having haulage facility/equipment trailing behind them.

In one accident, I saw an okada driver fastened to the back of a jeep and he could not detangle his motor cycle. It was so confusing; l did not even understand it even as we drove past the conjoined vehicles.

Lagos drivers do not use or respect the indicator light that shows when you when you change lanes or make a turn. 99.9 % of Lagos drivers do not look out for indicator lights. When you indicate a turn with your light and hoping that someone is using their brain on Lagos road, you have just made yourself a target for an accident and probably an untimely death.

Rather than using your signs, you and your passengers have to bring your heads out of the car and try to have contacts with the reckless drivers on the road and beg them to let you change your lane or to turn right or left.

In general driving on Lagos road is still very much an insane experience. It may not be the biggest problem in Nigeria but it is surely a significant part of public health question and analyses. It is either the people bring madness to the roads or the roads make people mad. Whichever way you view it, it is bad and sad.

On Lagos roads, there are no rooms for respect and courtesy. Everybody looks angry! People are not driving or behaving normally behind the wheels. Everybody is in a hurry and everybody believes that they should not give room to another driver. It’s as if everybody is chasing the same thing or the same thing is chasing everybody.

In all these negative brouhahas, one begins to wonder about the roles of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC. This agency must be really rotten and inefficient. They are not working. How can they explain the acquisition of drivers’ licenses by all the bad drivers in Lagos? Have all these crazy drivers passed through any driving school? Have they been tested theoretically and practically?

In Lagos the dangers and evil on the road are so numerous that coming back home to your house in the evening is considered an everyday miracle.

So what are the ways out of this hydra-headed problem that has grown so big that it is now the norm to be drive anyhow-you-like in Lagos. Where do we start from in this country where everything has fallen apart and into pieces?

One can also question the roles of the bribe-loving police force in all these extreme dramas, thrillers and horrors on Lagos/ Nigerian roads. They are constant on the roads, pointing their guns at ordinary citizens as if there is a war in Lagos. But their primary concern is their filthy pockets.

The police, the FRSC, the people and even the state government  and its other transport agencies are all contributing their own quotas to the madness and complexity on Lagos roads. Everybody is claiming right, everybody is neglecting their duties and obligations and everybody is doing the wrong thing.

When Nigerians return home from Europe and America with their drivers’ licenses that were earned like war trophies, they are insulted and humiliated to the extent that the authorities make many of them to acquire the Nigerian license that are obtainable without undergoing driving tests.

In their ignorance, the men of the FRSC and the police turn down hard-earned foreign driver’s license. I heard they don’t even recognize international driver’s license. Really? Of course, they will accept the bribe that follows the argument on this.

During my stay in Lagos, l spent a substantial time shouting at some motorists and educating them on a few things that l saw them do wrong. Yes, l did that sometimes when l was behind the wheels and sometimes when l took my usual long walks along the streets.

Constantly proving that l was right, l just refuse to leave my lane for the stupid oncoming okada motor-cyclists and other drivers who really do not have any business on the road. I was hardly in a hurry, so that turned out well.

The first lesson in a driving school says: plan for your journey. That particular lesson will cure about 50% of the insanity on Lagos road. Where are people rushing to? They will overtake you with the narrowest of margin beside you or in front of you! What are they chasing?

There are rush hours and heavy traffic in major cities across the world. But the cars keep rolling. In Nigeria, the traffic stands still not only because of bad roads, but also because of bad driving and total absence of knowledge about safe driving.

So if the people plan their journeys, if drunkards are removed from the roads, and if the roads become motorable say 100 years from now because Nigerian roads are still among the most dangerous road in the world today, maybe more than 90% all the accidents on Nigerian roads will become preventable. Lofty goal l guess.

The traditional custodian of Lagos and the governor of Lagos, where do you go from here? Lagos drivers don’t know how to drive. They just move the vehicles. They need help and deliverance. You need help too because right under your watch, Lagos has fallen apart.

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

all images taken by Adeola Aderounmu

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

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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]

What About Us?

When only few people are protecting the rights and interests of the common people, the cleavage in the society becomes deeper. We against them become instinctive and the survival of the fittest mode of existence becomes even more brutal.

What About Us?

Adeola Aderounmu

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In an earlier essay All They Ever Wanted written in July 2012, l explained what the common Nigerian people hoped for.

I stated that the common people will always be there and all they will ever want is the good life.

In today’s Nigeria the ordinary people are fading out of the picture.

The good life in Nigeria today is measured by wealth only. It is a very sad situation.

You have to actually be a very rich person to get some (not even all) of the basic things of life. Most of them you provide for yourself- water, electricity, quality education and so on.

Name it!

In extreme cases, you’ll build or fix some of the roads that lead to your home using your hard-earned income or labour.

There are evidence that point to the quick disappearance of the middle class in Nigeria.

I don’t know if it is a good or mixed news that middle class is also fading away from places like the United States where poverty is also rife.

Globally, the statistics released recently are scary.

What has worsened the plight of the common people in Nigeria is not just the near absence of the basic things of life, but also that very few people are speaking on their behalves.

When we speak or write, we get shut down by those who think they are doing well and that life is a competition rather than an experience.

The advent of the social media, just like the discovery of oil in Nigeria, may become a curse for the common people in Nigeria.

If caution is not taken, the social media will be dominated by mainly heartless souls who probably rake in millions of Naira monthly to represent their paymasters in good light whereas the true plights of the masses are akin to crimes against humanity.

When the hijackers have not been the E-rats, they have been the lucky ones who now belong to the new definition of the Nigerian middle class-at least in their own opinions.

For, the gap between the have and the have-nots and the differences between comfort and the tragedy of poverty in Nigeria are profound.

Last week l stated that the people need to know the difference between civil responsibilities/patriotism and taking sides with the government.

Government have obligations, and not favours to the people and the country. Government should not be praised, but checked.

When only few people are protecting the rights and interests of the common people, the cleavage in the society becomes deeper. We against them become instinctive and the survival of the fittest mode of existence becomes even more brutal.

Worse still, when the people continue to think that their hopes lie in prayers rather than actions and forceful demands; the social disorder appears to be irreversible.

Several factors have contributed to the establishment of Nigeria as a flashy, but failed country.

All the monies that have been looted in Nigeria since time immemorial are enough to make every household in Nigeria a potential multimillionaire family.

Even 500 million dollars returned to Nigeria should have a profound impact on us, the people. It should. But we don’t feel it.

Rather, tax for common things like bank deposits have crept into our existence. What have they done with the taxes for more than 55 years?

But money alone is not the true measure of a good life.

People actually want to work so they can earn decent livings.  People will like to see trust and commitment of government to the common good.

Think about the entire infrastructure that could have been erected.

Think about the jobs that could have been created. Think about the health sector, education, road, environmental policies, power supply and many more things that the government owed the people.

What about the manufacturing industry?

Just think about it.

Please think about it next time you compare what your kinsmen have stolen with what the others have stolen. Why would anyone calibrate crimes against humanity?

Think about it next time you think that those in government today are not as criminally minded as those before them. Did they not participate in the common rape of our common wealth since 1999?

Since 1960?

Where do you want to start from and where do you want to end just to realise that we the ordinary people are out of the equation?

Is it the environmentally-damaged South or the terrorist-infected North?

Think about your foolishness in defending any form of looting or criminality in government.

Think about the consequences of the unity of the Nigerian politicians and military gangsters in misruling Nigeria because of their personal gains/ambitions.

When you speak for them or when you stand on the same side with them it cannot be that you don’t know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil.

Why are you not on the same side with us, the people?

Why are you right? What makes the rest of us wailers?

I am a common Nigeria. So, what about us?

We put our hope in the Nigerian government in terms of providing better life for us after independence in 1960.

What about us?

Who is going to fight for us now that the value of the dollar has been taken to the sky? Who is going to fight for us when the prices of petrol and gas at the stations are beyond us.

Who will talk for us when we are all called wailing wailers because we have different points of view to your pay masters or families in government?

Is it just enough that you are doing well?

Did you think that we are on planet earth for a race or some sort of competition on who fares better?

What about us?

Our dreams? Our future?

Our aspirations?

What about the place of our ancestors, our homes?

What about our children?

What about us?

aderounmu@gmail.com

So, Where Are The Loots? Let’s TAG them.

Since lies are too hard to maintain Mrs. Iweala has sang a new song and the whole world is laughing at Nigeria. She delivered the recovered loots to Dasuki.

By Adeola Aderounmu

The hysteria that normally trail announcement of loots stolen and recovered have been with Nigeria since after independence in 1960. They come and go…

Nigerians are still dancing to the music of late Fela Anikulapo Kuti. He sang often of bad governments and how they looted the treasuries.

Nigerians are not asking, what happened to all the loots that have been stolen, recovered and relooted.

I am going to repeat something that has happened twice in the last decade under two different dispensations.

When Mrs. Iweala stopped dragging her foot and decided to give accounts for the Abacha loot under Obasanjo’s reign, she gave an account that was very ridiculous. She pointed out to a few things that were already provided for in the budget as what Abacha’s loot were used for.

Recently l saw that she had done exactly the same thing for the reign of Jonathan. She gave a report that the funds (it appears Abacha looted the whole world or what) were used to construct roads.

Since lies are too hard to maintain Mrs. Iweala has sang a new song and the whole world is laughing at Nigeria. She delivered the money to Dasuki.

A few weeks back l wrote an article: Why Are Our Politicians Criminals? On behalf of over 100 million people suffering and living under the poverty line, I am asking again: Why Are Nigerian Politicians All Criminals?

Since Nigeria always have a budget then it means that loots and recovered loots especially should be bonus or boost for the Nigerian economy. Also since the lies of the Nigerian government has become visible, thanks to Mrs. Iweala’s inability to be consistent with her lies, then it was high time to make new demands especially from a government that promised us change.

Dasuki_Jona_Iweala loot

Nigerian government must start to tag what the recovered funds are used for…to prevent relooting

Let me be clear.

Can we have a proper account of the monies that have now been recovered from the Dasuki-Jonathan-Iweala loot? And please let no moron toll the line of Mrs. Iweala, don’t try to tell Nigerians that the money has been used for this or that. We know already that you are lying. So, don’t go there..!

From now on, Nigerians will like to see a TAG on recovered loots.

The images connected to this article are suggestions on how to be transparent on what happened to recovered loots.

Reroads

Nigerians must see how looted funds can be effective life changers for them. APC must show if the change slogan is real or a fuss. Time will tell

Let’s TAG the projects executed with looted funds that have been recovered and let’s not use what the budget has provided for as covers for relooting recovered funds aka Iweala looting method 101.

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One day the Nigerian government will be bold enough to actually retrieve the funds looted by other big political criminals in Nigeria

We are watching the APC mandate 2015-? to see what they will tell us that they have done with the recovered loots. There is no where in the budget that shows that anything will be done  with recovered loots, so that should be a bonus boost to the economy that is today lying in ruins and desolation.

Watch out and read a follow up to this article. It will be titled, 2015 It  Was Not A Great Year.

aderounmu@gmail.com