Lagos Flood, For The Rich And Poor

By Adeola Aderounmu

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We can still thank the forces of nature for reminding us that there are still work to be done before the political-worshippers convert their beloved politicians to heavenly gods.

The governor is this, the governor is that, the governor is working, the governor is helping…nonsense talks. Who cares? What are the jobs of a governor? Why was a governor elected? Nobody is forced to become a governor or a politician. You become one because you want to serve.

But because Nigerians are used to politicians who steal and do nothing, they end up praising those who do something and steal at the same time.

Has any governor used his family wealth to develop any state? So, why the praise? Governors spend tax payers’ monies to develop a state (that is if they are working) or they spend federal allocations. Any acknowledgement or praise of that is mental slavery.

Anyway, whatever be the case, here are pictures collected from other places that show us how much work we have to do to keep the floods away.

There are floods of water and sewage everywhere in Lagos.

You can also see the connection between flood and bad roads in Lagos.

A simple google search and you can collect thousands of images about how serious and big this problem is in our dear Lagos.

Keep praising the politicians, kontinuuuu

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Internet images

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

Mr. Ambode, The governor Of Lagos Island And The god Of Lagos

By Adeola Aderounmu

The hottest news from Nigeria this week is the sacking of a church worker by the governor of Lagos state. In a manner akin only to wickedness and evil machinations, Mr. Ambode, whom l have long regarded as the governor of Alausa and Lagos Island, threw out Venerable Femi Taiwo with a 24 hour notice.”

Ambode, the god of Lagos?

Ambode, the god of Lagos?

Venerable Femi Taiwon was the presiding chaplain of the Chapel of Christ the Light, Ikeja. His offence was that he was delivering  a sermon and he did not acknowledge the presence of the wife of Ambode.

So Mrs. Ambode went home, probably cried and reported to his husband, the emperor of Lagos, Mr. Ambode. These people are devilish clowns.

My position here is not the same as standing with the church or any religion whatsoever. I care less because the church and mosques remain instrumental to the destruction of Nigeria.

My position here is standing against fools and arrogant people in government. Mr. Ambode has forgotten that he was a criminal who was sacked from the government. But like all criminals before him, he found his way back to power courtesy of the Tinubu’s grip on Lagos. But he will fall. He will!

The end of festac

Rather than cleaning up Lagos, Mr. Ambode is busy playing god. 

Rather than put his wife and house in order so that his wife stops going around seeking recognition and acknowledgment, Mr. Ambode decided to terminate the appointment of the chaplain.

In my opinion, Mr. Ambode is not only foolish, he is also arrogant. Who does he think he is?  The god of Lagos? Those who are close to him should tell him that he is on his way to perdition.

Even if you want to relieve the chaplain of his position because he was employed by the state government, why not give him 7 days or even 1 month so he can put his life in order while he leaves the employment of the criminal government?

I am sure several Nigerians have thrashed this issue on the social media, so l won’t flog it.

Mr. Ambode, what goes round, comes round.

 

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.

 

The Rule Of Criminals

One of the challenges facing Nigeria and Nigerians is how to achieve or establish the rule of law above the rule of criminals in government and everywhere.

The Rule Of Criminals

By Adeola Aderounmu

Which Way Nigeria?

One is saddened that there is no end in sight for Nigerians being ruled partly by politicians who are absolute criminals.

Ordinary Nigerians are facing very hard and extreme economic hardship and they also have to continue to cope with the reality that some of those who they expected to be part of the solution are actually political criminals.

My recent visit to Nigeria left another deep cut in my soul. What l saw is that majority of Nigerians are still suffering!

The kind of suffering in Nigeria exposes majority of the population to conditions that are completely unacceptable for humans. People have no access to basic facility or infrastructure. This information is not news.

However what may be news is that several millions of Nigerians are now in new category called systematic beggars. People are begging for food and money from those that still have a little to live on.

What l saw in Nigeria revealed that majoroity of Nigerians not only lack the basic things of life, they also lack material comfort. Many people are running around on empty stomachs.

In 2012, l defined mass poverty using Nigeria as a case study.  Since then the mass poverty situation in Nigeria has escalated.

Sadness is rampant. Deceit and mutual suspicion are written on everybody’s face. Today, a few people are tasking the government and police on the high rate of crime. The trend will continue because even the police are stopping people randomly on the streets and robbing them of their possessions!

Things are getting worse in Nigeria. The conditions of living are terrible. There is almost no word to describe the standard of living of the ordinary people. Poor is an understatement. What comes after low or poor standard of living? The living situations are extremely sad and disheartening.

At this sad point in Nigeria’s history, the lowest ebb the country has ever reached, one would expect that the government at various levels will show empathy and concern for the plights that have been inflicted on the people through years of misgovernance and negligence.

Alas! The present government is not helping matters in that direction at all.

As Nigerians are allegedly made to bear the grunt and pain of the decline in crude oil prices, the cost of governance itself remains at the same high level.

Governance in Nigeria is established on a twin culture of waste and propaganda.

The level of corruption in the present government easily contradicts the propaganda that Nigerians are paying for the low price of crude oil and the wastage of the Jonathan administration.

Nigeria does not depend on crude oil only by the way.

In any case if Nigerian politicians stop stealing and perhaps even start to drop some body and material weights, perhaps the effects of the drop in crude oil sales that have also also been aggravated by the Niger Delta Avengers would spread evenly among the population, and we can understand the situation together.

But sadly, as a manner of repetition, let me reiterate that the cost of governance in Nigeria remains high and wasteful.

Nigeria is spending a lot of money on arms of government that are invariably useless. The category that has been in the eye of the storm most is the legislative arm.

At the Senate and the House of Representatives, the revelations that have come to front since the emergence of the Buhari-APC mandate are shameful and scandalous.

A government that is fighting corruption mostly in the opponent camps yet housing criminals at its own backyard is a worthless government. That is what the APC government has become.

The scandals that have rocked the Senate where Mr. Saraki heads the other alleged criminals are enough to level it. But it stands as a monument of stinking corruption.

The scandals that have rocked the House of Representatives where Mr. Dogara heads the other alleged criminals are enough to sweep the house into the ocean so that it does not ever evolve again.

It is shocking that Nigerians know that they are partly ruled by criminals and they are suffering and living with the knowledge of the causes of majority of their problems. But they are not doing anything serious about it.

Something has to give in someday as a way of showing these criminals their ways out of governance.

We also actually need someone to remind this government of its virtual fight against corruption whereas the government itself is stinking and rotten, full of criminals in high and low places.

About 30 something years ago, when l was a little boy, l read an article in a newspaper. The title was: Who Is Fooling Who? I don’t remember the author but it mentioned that many things that are true today.

One of the challenges facing Nigeria and Nigerians is how to achieve or establish the rule of law above the rule of criminals in government and everywhere.

The political criminals are on the advantage because despite the fact that their criminalities are known and exposed, they have so far circumvent the law to their advantages. They have remain strong due to the weakness of the people and their passiveness to corruption everywhere.

The difference between common sense and political criminal sense remains crystal clear.

While common sense makes people leave the public scene in shame after a scandal, the political criminal sense makes people fight back using the weaknesses in the law especially in a nonsensical democracy like Nigeria where self preservation is the norm. Civility suffers.

The difference extends to the point  that with political criminal sense, every scandal is tagged as a political witchhunt. The political criminal sense does not deny the existence of a crime or scandal. It just fights against it.

Invariably, the changed promised by the APC has turned to a sham, more so because of the political criminals that persist and control the APC government.

When l’d visited civil service establishments during my one month stay in Nigeria, the situation and conditions of services are even worse. The morale is down, many things are still being done just like before.

The workers still receive bribes, the police are on the roads doing the usual collection and false accusation.  From the political criminals holding sway in Abuja, to the smallest streets in Nigeria, it is business of corruption as usual.

The things that have changed have brought more hardship to our lives. Things just got worse for the ordinary people. For example, under Mr. Fashola, Nigerians pay more money for darkness. There is promise of light and the bills are already higher for the services that have not been provided. What is 419 again?

The people earn less or nothing at all (when salaries are not paid for several month) but they pay more for everything. There are so many scams perpetrated by the Buhari-APC government that should have resulted to outright outrages.

But Nigerians are praying and fasting even on empty stomachs. Thanks to the magicians called men of God. Rather than build factories, more churches and mosques are sprining up everywhere in Nigeria.

Even in government houses where looting and stealing are taking place, there are churches and mosques in the premises. What is the meaning of den of robbers? Who is fooling who? Who prays in these religious houses and who are the political criminals in government?

It’s always a painful experience recounting the problems of Nigeria. Whereas we know that the solutions are easy. If people start to do the right things, just the right things, Nigeria will pick up.

But after decades of misrule and systemic disorientation,majority of the people are used to doing the wrong things. This cruel reality is what led to the emergence and sustenance of wrong doers and criminals in public offices.

So, the rule of criminals is very complicated.

There are other issues with the Buhari-APC mandate. Along with the painful existence of the rule of criminals, Nigerians are more than ever before battling with tribalism. Sadly too, the influence of religion in government has never been this prominent in the history of governance in Nigeria.

Up to the local government level, religious affiliation is a crucial factor in the curriculum vitae of office-seekers in Nigeria. What l saw in Nigeria shocked me!

That long-lasting solution of just doing the right things in public service eludes majority of Nigerians. But it must re-emerge side-by-side a political system or structure that is functional. That ancitipated change in political system has been called several names, from regional government to regional autonomy and even true fiscal federalism.

At this moment, at the end of august 2016, Nigeria is not working and the rule of criminals dominate the rule of law.

Nigeria needs a genuine political change.

Reference: Mass Poverty In Nigeria (2012) By Adeola Aderounmu.

https://aderinola.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/mass-poverty-in-nigeria-2012

 

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

The Kings Are Mad (Part 2)

Bawa cried when he knew it was normal for men to cry too. People need to set their souls free from the sufferings of their bodies. Tears are the medicine of nature and they cure men from suicide

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

All is not well in this place, this land.

The people have diverse and confusing opinions about the true meaning of life, so it was difficult to find the solutions to their problems.

When Bawa was born and raised, no one provided him with the education he needed. He is from the north part of the land. His parents told him it was enough to obey. Everyday he prayed but he didn’t know if his prayers hit the roof or if they went above the clouds. His family did small retailing and didn’t have to depend on food tickets from the local councils like several urchins in the north did.  

When the expanding family business brought him to Ebute Metta, his life changed. He became rebellious and started asking questions every time he went back to the north. He found a perfect companionship with some co-travelers and a few men who have been away also, even further north. One day he looked at the extent of ignorance in his village and felt extreme bitterness in his heart. Someone told him that men are not supposed to cry but he knew that until that moment, he had lived the life he didn’t choose.  

The colonial thugs who invaded the land several years ago told the foolish kings in the north never to educate their wards. Stupidly, there was an agreement to the insane treaty. How can anyone think they could be kings or rulers for life? Without the royal blood, no one is born to rule. Even royal bloods do fade. 

How can anyone even think that knowledge is the reason for the crises in the Mediterranean?  Knowledge is power, not war. It’s true; humans always blame objects and abstract concepts for their foolishness. Sometimes they say they are looking for a scapegoat, as if one was lost. They always find the reasons to go to war. 

An old man from the east once said to the people, “10 kings own 10 eras”. He said those who forget their history can never be free. He also said “if you fight a war, make sure it is for your freedom”. He added that “peace comes from freedom and absence of injustice”. But the people are reading less and not showing understanding for the wisdom hidden in books. 

The stupid king in the north, just like all the dead kings before him, has also not fulfilled his promises to the people. Like many other places in the land, many people don’t have water, electricity and shelters to cover them. It is worse here in the north. The king and his emissaries have acquired what should have been shared equally among the people. 

When Bawa and his gang members started having their secret meetings, they got the people’s ears. Walls have ears too. They soon sold their souls to the elites, they lost their plots. 

Hopelessness can ruin a man’s conscience. At this point the people have started wondering if cannibalism will be a criminal offence if that becomes an option soon. Evil grew in their hearts due to deprivations.  

This king in the north has no plan. He’s quick to blame the woes in the north on the reign of the king in Abuja. If we had one of us as the king in Abuja, our ancestors will be kind to us and our lives will be better he often said.

But the king in Abuja is really upset. He lacks charisma and hardly spoke but one day he said “ask the king in the north what he has been doing with all the tax returns given to the north and all the pure gold that he receives on behalf of the north four times a year”. Sometimes no one knows what to believe because the king in Abuja usually soaks himself in the pleasures of alcohol and women.

 One day when the people came from everywhere to plead with him, he chased them away with whips and bullets. Then another time when the people found the courage to return, he repented and told them to go home and pray. Sometimes when he doesn’t know what to think or what to say, he simply said he didn’t care.

When the people refused to pray he commanded one of his brothers to do so on behalf of the people. His brother dressed up like a knight and prayed the prayer of a fool. The people thought he was insane but he didn’t care one bit. He knew his brother-the king- was too drunk to reason. But he got a lot of gold for his worthless prayers. 

Now, frustration is growing in the land and the people do not know where to turn or who to speak to. They can never trust the soldiers. They are men of fortunes and when they had tried or pretended to help they did things worse than the kings could ever have done. They abuse drugs and they denied being homosexuals even when it was not yet a crime in the land. Now it is a crime. 

But the soldiers laughed because they know that it is easier to practice homosexuality in prisons. They also knew that going to prisons will not affect their sexual disorders even if the lawmakers still think it is an abomination. Their biggest laughter on this matter came last, because they know that they live in a lawless land. They will never go to jail. 

In the barracks, they wonder who really is mad. Someone said it’s the trait of the kings. One soldier who all of his life, had neither tasted tobacco nor alcohol shouted “we are all mad”! When they asked him the reason for his thoughts, he said, because when we sleep at night, we all lie in the same direction

Then they laughed again because they did not understand his reasoning. He is a soldier from Ebute Metta. He went to bed, worried. How did I end up with these fools, these mad men

In Abuja, the king had slept several times with one eye open and the other closed. He too is convinced that soldiers are treacherous and mad. Sometimes he had unpleasant nightmares. He’s encountering many strange dreams because his heart is not pure. 

One day he dreamt that the dissidents had captured him and cut his throat. Then he vowed never to see the eyeballs of the soldiers from the north. He will never meet with the king of the north again as well. 

The king of Abuja rebuilt his network and brought foreigners to protect him. He decided that he would have 99 vehicles when he is travelling on the road. Among the people, he gave gold and silver to the greedy councilors. He called them his loyalists; they will always speak for him in such a way as to create false hope while his reign of injustice persists everywhere in the land. It was easy to find religious people as members of his loyal groups. 

When the unrest started in the north it was some of the councilors who gave the rebels tools and the courage to unleash violence. They used some of the monies they stole from the land when they were kings in Abuja and started various propaganda aimed at killing the present king. 

Bawa and his friends got along with the treachery when the elites approached them. He started to visit Ebute Metta less frequently. At some point he left the holy books and started to listen to his heart. In their group, as dissidents, they got very rich at the expense of the people in the north. His heart told him that he’s now one of the reasons people remain poor in the north. At a recent meeting Bawa and his group members decided to abandon everything that they believed or were taught. They will make their own rules, now that they have wealth and weapons. 

There had been a long call by some fools to return the kingship in Abuja to the men from the north. The stupid idea of born to rule has erased the ability of the north to think freely. Some of their kinsmen are happy to dine and wine with the king anyway. Many of them knew that feudalism is a form of injustice but they want to find a bigger fault with the king in Abuja. 

The poor people are angry, infuriated and helpless. There is confusion everywhere. There is something the people are not doing. There are things the kings and the elites are doing maliciously. So across the land, all is not well. 

One girl from the west brought a message of fire on the mountain to the land. The people lacked the wisdom to discern her message. They doubt that the gods spoke through women. So the girl went to another land. Then she prospered. One man sang for the freedom of all the regions but they put him in prison and poisoned him. He died. 

Every time someone stood up genuinely for the people, the people watch from afar, disunited. Then the freedom fighter is killed by an angry person or someone sent by any of the kings. The land is flowing with the blood of innocent people. Even the gods shook their heads because the people did not understand the signs and processes of freedom. 

Bawa and his generation grew up in ignorance. At that time they were easy preys for wrong political purposes. Bawa’s exposure led him to some light, but it was half-light. For vision, half-light is more dangerous than total darkness. But those who don’t know that, what is worth doing at all is worth doing well always argue when taught this principle. Bawa doesn’t care anymore about the consequences of disobedience. His views about life are now at conflict with one another. 

Now he, along with the others in the rebel groups, is at war with the society. They will bring down the reigns of the king in the north and the king in Abuja. He doesn’t know what his actual plans are in this senseless war. He and his evil gang members have abandoned their foreign teachings. They have now turned to the evil in their hearts. They are now monsters and their unknown ambitions surprised the north, totally. 

There is trouble in the north. There is pandemonium in the east and the west is choking even with diseases due to congestion and migration. The south is polluted, full of treacherous men and unsafe for existence. 

Mama Esan is trapped, Chinedu is depressed and Bawa is ready to die for the things he does not believe in, the things he does not even understand anymore. 

At the town hall meeting, Mama Esan wept, again. No one could console her. She even refused to be consoled because she needs to set her soul free from the suffering of her flesh. She asked why the kings everywhere have so much wealth, women and property when the people are suffering. How can her dreams come true? Why did things go so wrong? The more questions she asked in her heart, the more sorrowful she felt. 

Chinedu in his depressed mood fell asleep before the meeting ended. In his dream, he saw what life was supposed to be and he woke up with a thunderous cry. The hall was empty when he opened his eyes. 

Bawa was not at this meeting. He will never come back to Ebute Metta. He had decided to remain incognito until vengeance is achieved. He thought the kings are all wicked or mad as people say. But he also hated those who made him cry. 

Indeed, he cried when he knew it was normal for men to cry too. People need to set their souls free from the sufferings of their bodies. Tears are the medicine of nature and they cure men from suicide. He thought his life is upside down and not worth living. He doesn’t know where this will lead him or where he wants to go from here. 

Sometimes the king in Abuja speaks after the town hall meetings to get feedback and make new reforms. When the king spoke after the latest meeting held in Ebute Metta, he was far from reality. This was worse than what the people had thought. So now everyone across the land knew the gods have made him deaf.  They know what will happen next because that is a premonition that is easy to interpret. This gives an unusual hope that change will come soon. 

Sometimes people think that time is their enemy. But time is a good concept. It carries out everything at its appointed moment. Because humans have faint memory, they forget their destinies. Therefore their actions can be in contrast to their desires in life. If you want freedom, you must act correctly or appropriately. Time will bring all things to pass at the appointed moments only if the actions that preceded those moments are just and upright. 

In this entire clamor for change, the south remains indifferent because the people inhabiting the place have become like the proverbial soap and leaves. They are used to their sufferings and living poorly in the midst of plenty. In fact they are like the thirsty fish because their land and water lie in ruins. The king of Abuja was once one of them. 

Bawa the boy from the north does not believe in the gods. He does not know what the people in the east or west have on their minds but what he wished is what the people said the gods have in plan: that when the time for freedom comes, there will be no going back, that all the kings are mad and that their kingdoms, big or small, will pass away. 

(Concluded)

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The Kings Are Mad (Part 1)

Hope is quenched when we die. Maybe tomorrow will be better, Mama Esan thought out loudly pondering what she was going to do next as she stood on her feet. She is awake now. Still a voice echoed in her head: what if it is true that tomorrow never comes. Then she sat down again, and wept.

The Kings Are Mad (Part 1)

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Mama Esan ran out of the house. The rain was heavy. She quickly cleared her stall and salvage the remaining items she could grab. Earlier that day she had hoped that things would get better and that her dreams would come true. The heavy rain destroyed almost everything including her temporary stall, her wares and then some parts of the house itself. The roof is always the first part you can imagine.

Her husband has been jobless for 7 years. The dwindling economic fortunes and the total collapse of infrastructure especially the absence of power supply led many companies to shut done their operations. Some of them declared bankruptcy just as a way of getting out of the unrealistic economic environment. If I want food, it doesn’t mean I have to be able to manufacture a gas cooker or an electric heater, one of the affected CEOs declared, proverbially. Then he went to another land.

All of Mama Esan’s children have been withdrawn from their different schools. No one had expected that the cost of education will be so high. No one thought a time would come when there will be no food on the table. But like a pestilence the day came.

In mama Esan’s existence, hope no longer seems to have a place. For her, only vengeance was sure if she could have one. Mama Esan knew though that her situation was not an isolated one. Many people suffer similar fate as she does. Life no longer presented them with choices. For some people the dictionary can as well be rewritten and the non-applicable words deleted.

There is a man called Chinedu. The first time mama Esan saw her was around 1985. He was just a boy. At that time he enjoyed a lot of facilities. But all of those (fading) facilities and infrastructure soon disappeared completely. The best thing in his life was that he got the education he wanted. This was not possible in every part of the land.

When he left high school in 1990 Chinedu decided to try his hands on business and he started as a learner. He learnt the buying and selling trade and gained his freedom when he became an expert. Then he was able to rent an apartment though he was a bachelor at that time. He had his eyes on the future.

However since 1993 no one knew or understood what went wrong. Perhaps people just denied the knowledge of what went wrong with their lives. Some people said the gods got angrier, and others said their ancestors are now restless. Some people read the new foreign holy books and thought they found new hopes.

If anyone had told Chinedu that he was going to be living from hand to mouth in 2014 he would have sworn to Amadiora, one of the gods he knew before 1985, that that day will never come. He would have called the Alusi, if he knew how, to strike the speaker of the strange words.

Now married with children, Chinedu can no longer afford the cost of running his business. It’s too hard now to tend a family. He is terrified everyday and he had seen some people landed in prisons after attempting to push hard drugs as a way to keep their businesses going. The law is not effective but it always catches up with the people who need protection the most, if they erred. One of his friends died with foam puffing from his mouth. The wraps of cocaine inside of him exploded before he could deliver them.

The power generating plants kept breaking down and the cost of petrol for home and business became unbearable. Chinedu gave up. One day he survived an unexpected explosion. The generator was bad but he didn’t know about it. Now, he’s not sure if he should move back to his village with his family. He can go back to his grandfather’s farmland. He is afraid he may be called a failure. His mind kept roaming, as he ponders on the alternative “businesses” of armed robbery and kidnapping. By resisting the temptations, he thought he had rebuked the devil.

Some people think that the devil exists and that he is male. People think the devil should be blamed for all the negative things in life. When he was a student, Chinedu learnt about the culture and mythology of the people in Ebute Meta. He was held spellbound when he learnt that the devil was not Esu. He knows now that it was the invaders who taught about the devil.

Among all the tribes in the land, the people of Ebute Meta, Amuwo and Araromi have no version of the devil in their existence and traditional institutions. It was also the foreigners who invented the term religion and misapplied it. Ignorance ruined the minds of men and they thought that the white man’s devil is the Esu in Ifa’s mythology. Ifa is not a religion; it is a way of life and the explanation for everything associated with mankind.

It was about time the human race laid the blame for global ruins at own doorsteps. Man is responsible for the evil deeds in the world, not an imaginary demon. Man created religion and a place in his own heart called “devil”. Ifa is not human but it can admittedly be either good or bad depending on the man that applies it. When people find evil in (d)evil, maybe they will be convinced that both terms are the inventions of ordinary mortals.

Many people in Ebute Meta are happy for the knowledge that came their way through basic education. But they are now sad because of their misfortunes. What they have learnt have seen them through many life changing experiences. Their hope is that the prevailing problems they encounter will pass away. But what are they doing about these new problems?

There was a man who left Ebute Meta. He went to a very far place in the land called Abuja. He was in search of fulfilment and his name was Muyiwa. He was killed in a bomb explosion. The bomb was set off by the dissidents in Abuja. No one can see the future unless the gods smile down on them and when risks are not taken sometimes, it’s hard to tell what the outcomes could be. After more than 10 years as a jobless engineer in Ebute Meta, this young man was exterminated. He was just 37, which is 3 years shy of age when they say life begins.

Muyiwa was a brilliant man and he was originally from the village of Eniyansoro. He had been told of a job opportunity in the far place. He thought he’d try out his luck. The debt he owed to get to this place of death will never be paid back. The dissidents from the North have now come to Abuja. People say they are also mad because they do not believe in visions but accepted the foreign teaching that they will be alive as martyrs in an unknown place by killing innocent people in suicide missions.

The king of Abuja is foolish. He believes in the devil so he did nothing about this evil when it showed its ugly head. All his life, all he-the king-wanted is power and he chose to dine with the “devil” because he had a choice. He had learnt from his youth that he could dine with the devil by using a very long spoon.

Many of the previous Kings of Abuja are known to have suddenly perished. Some people say the gods must be crazy in this land because they first make the kings deaf and then they destroyed them. But the gods are not crazy. They are probably amused.

Even so because the various kings in the different parts of the land are hypocrites who pretend about the new religions while possessing deep seated intuitions about the gods and they always thought that sacrifices are better than obedience. So they-the kings-make many ceremonies and they give away many unsuspecting fools as living sacrifices. The biggest human sacrifices have always been in Abuja and towards the North of the land.

Money and gold can make people to stop thinking, so they don’t see the evil that other men have planted in their ways. Another selected delegate to the king’s ceremony died 2 days ago and still people want to blame the devil. If the king can kill one of his brothers, who can be free from his thirst for power?

When people are hungry, they also sometimes unknowingly sell their souls. They have no food because many of them left for the cities. They thought they will get rich in the cities. Now with fewer jobs, many of them have no money as well. So the people also said that money is the root of all their problems. How can the people know that the devil is not a demon and that he does not exist? Men clothe their hearts as devils and propagate evil despite the knowledge of the truth with which they were born.

Mama Esan thought about the religiosity of all the kings that she knew: in Ebute Meta, in Abuja and even in the North. Then she wondered who God is and his relationship to Olodumare. This was the first time in her life that she gained awareness of her own thinking about religion. The present king of Abuja took religion to an absurd horizon. No king before him adopted religion as widely and open as he does today. Yet, it is now that the greatest devastations beseech the land. Mama Esan became really confused.

She was not finished with her thoughts. She knows a lot about many of the books her children read when they returned from school. The stories are mostly sad stories. In history, in geography and even in science books, she listened when her children study about many diseases and how some of them are incurable. She’ll be sad if there are no ways for the children to return to school. We are in a hopeless situation, she said to herself. Then she thought that she had a voice in her head “We become religious because we are afraid of death. Yet we die and become dust”.

She woke up drowned in her sweat. She thought about Muyiwa. Ebute Meta is not a big place. Bad news travel fast. She knew about the travails of Muyiwa and many young people in Ebute Meta. She remembered the day Muyiwa and his friends came to her and ask for some items on credit. She overheard him when he told his friends about a foreign film called Fried Green Tomatoes that he had seen and that his favourite line in the movie set in the 1920s was: no one would leave this earth alive.

One day, in order to start a discussion, mama Esan asked her neighbour: what is the meaning of premonition? One of her children had said that he thought Muyiwa had a premonition he was going to die in a far (foreign) place and that was why he talked about the foreign drama and death.

All that is foreign cannot be evil. The power of discernment is one of the greatest gifts the gods left to the people when they departed from Araromi. Muyiwa was philosophical while his travails lasted. He spoke of the several millions like him and wondered from where their hope cometh. He died along with several other innocent people. His hope never materialised and his body parts were shattered. Life can be cruel even to the kind. The evil in the hearts of men and kings does not discern because they think it is the devil’s work.

With all sorts of religions, vices and crimes are committed in the land. The taste of foreign religions left the people in this land in the rhythm of the shadows of mental slavery. It became more devastating because somehow they were not able to differentiate between rites and faith.

This king of Abuja became a master in the philosophy of modern religion. The dissidents from the North have their own ideas about it. The people are suffering and there is confusion everywhere.

From everything the people hear and see they also fail to realise that their freedom and way back to prosperity will lie in their power to discern. They must know the truth so that they can be free. Else there is a risk they will become slaves to anything that they do not understand.

Muyiwa was one of those who believed that life started and will end on earth. He had a premonition but he didn’t know it. He was a kind fellow and he lived in peace with everybody though his heart was always troubled in his private moments.

Hope is quenched when we die. Maybe tomorrow will be better, Mama Esan thought out loudly pondering what she was going to do next as she stood on her feet. She is awake now. Still a voice echoed in her head: what if it is true that tomorrow never comes.

Then she sat down again, and wept.

(Watch out for part 2)

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