Fatal Distractions

Clemens Westerhof said qualifying for the African Cup of Nations is a birthright of the Super Eagles of Nigeria. Guess which country is conspicuously missing in action again as you get wallowed with religious issues.

Fatal Distractions

By Adeola Aderounmu

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This past week, as usual, l have listened to some Nigerian radio programs, read Nigerian headline news and followed keenly Nigerian discussions on the social media.

These past few days have been dominated by matters relating to religion, the opium of the Nigeria masses.

In southern Kaduna, there are evidence to show the persecutions of christians. Genocide under the watch of Mr. El-rufai should hopefully lead to his trial and total annihilation from politics in the future (if Nigeria should suddenly become a normal country).

This is the country where a criminal like Ibori became a governor and other top level criminals have also gone to occupy both local, state and federal positions. Nigerians hail them and forget their sins.

Invariably though, it would appear that the cold war in Kaduna’s politics and tribal game of thrones got matured and became blown open. The brewing had been there forever.

Some people have also warned about the APC and some people have stated that the APC-Buhari mandate came with an lslamic agenda. The unfortunate massacre in southern Kaduna at this time, and the silence of Mr. Buhari on the matter is either a bad coincidence or a credence to the allegations against the APC-Buhari mandate. Either way, it does no one no good.

The other distraction bothering on religious matter plaguing Nigeria at this time concerns one of the pentecostal churches in Nigeria and their super general overseer. The man Adeboye is so powerful he is a god to his followers. For people like him who became gods to their followers, laws were made. For him specifically, a law was discarded.

There are more fatal distractions. We all got used to the religious gangsters in the North. Boko Haram, nototrious for abduction and rape of women remained established. Nowadays they hardly make the news for their religious views. After fulfilling their sexual orgies, they continue to find both soft and hard targets daily across north-eastern Nigeria especially. The bombing of Adamawa is still so fresh.

You can imagine how many times you will hear the falsehood that the potent terror group has/had been defeated. It’s like you cannot get rid of a monster that you created by yourself.

So, if you are interested in research on a people who love to be distracted and deceived, take a trip to Nigeria. If you also want to analyse a people who are easily distracted, come again to Nigeria.

For those who have their eyes on the ball all the time, they know what time it is now. This weekend the most important sport tournament in Africa, the African Cup of Nations started in Gabon.

When l told one of my colleagues that Nigeria did not qualify for the competition after he wished me goodluck for the tournament, his eyes nearly popped out of his face in both disbelief and shock.

As he walked away from me, l could not find the expressions to explain why Nigeria was missing in action. When he returns to work after his leave in 4 weeks, the tournament would have been over. So, my shame is postponed for 4 weeks.

But who remembers this?

When former super eagles coach Clemens Westerhof was in charge, he said that no one should ever worry about Nigeria qualifying for the African Cup of Nations. He puts our minds to rest forever on the matter. In his words, he said ”to qualify for the ACN is the birthright for the Super Eagles of Nigeria”.

Since 1994, other nations may have become better, that means Nigeria should have become the best too over the years. But that was not the sequence, sadly. Nigeria as a country may have gone to bed since 1960.

Nigeria is missing in action and many of us, thousand of miles away from home are  covering our heads in shame. Our people at home remain distracted by the major impediments to their growth and development, religion and religion-related matters.

Rather than bemoan the decline and even the dearth of national sport activities in Nigeria, our people are discussing religion. They did not even come out to fight for the super falcons. They did not use the opportunity of the super falcons’s protest to call for accountability in the sport ministry.

Our people are boasting of exporting religion especially churces back to Europé and America. Our minds are definitely wasted. How can our hearts not ache for this growing tragedy?

Apart from sports, there are many things too numerous to mention that should draw the anger and engagement of our people. What can happen if we hypothetically take this energy and committment away from religion and place it on one of Nigeria’s prominent problems, say lack of electricity for example?

Lack of electricity is a major contributor to the recession in Nigeria. Despite all the monies that our criminal politicians have stolen and continue to steal from the treasury Nigeria would still not have gone into a recession if only there is constant power supply. Today is not the day to prove that theorem.

The sacking of Mr. Obazee shows that things can actually happen if the Nigerian government and the people become sincere to themselves. A swift change was made as a result of personal ego and ambitions. Why is it difficult to effect the changes that would rub on the common good of all?

The hullabaloos  about religion, lslam and Christianity, are never going to be over in Nigeria and sadly too, the problems will stay because our energies are focussed on the wrong issues. The people are permanently distracted because the truth did not even set them free and it also appears to be too late to make religion a private matter for the people of Nigeria.

If l had a magic swerve or swagger, l would redirect the rage (waited all my adult life for it) to the biggest problem with Nigeria which is the political problem.

Nigerians will know no freedom until the country’s number one problem which is the politicial problem is solved. Religion will never solve Nigeria’s problem. The best that religion can do is to break up Nigeria, violently.

Mr. Buhari and the self-serving executive and legislators sitting down in the comfort of their mansions in Abuja will not solve all the problems in Abuja. How can they solve the problems of the people of Idanre, Okokomaiko, Akwa, Chibok or Moniya?

There is no greater insanity of a political system where almost anything that affect 200 m people depends on one man.

The knee jerk responses will remain the hallmark of this reactionary, redundant system of government in Nigeria. The greater proportion of the third generation of post-independent Nigeria, about 100 m people, is already wasting away in abject poverty, extreme penury and hopelessness.

With the failure of governance and Nigeria currently in recession and therefore a failed country, the churches and mosques will still be there to receive this miserable proportion of the population living from hand to mouth and suffering amidst abundance resources.

Religious institutions will not be converted to factories to provide work and wipe away hunger and frustrations. The Nigerian government will continue to neglect civil responsibilities while sending folks on tourism to Mecca and Jerusalem with taxpayers monies.

Life will always be short and not many people count their days or months to actually know this. Instead we opted to even devalue those days on earth. We demean the essence of life. It’s the same cycle of idiocy.

Just when we thought our clamour should move towards cooking by induction if our electricity is improved, we got a rude shock that the people  are now cooking with firewood even  in western Nigeria, the part of Africa  that was most advanced in the earlier parts of the 20th century.

What a tragedy!

Believers are rejocing over the sack of Mr. Obazee. Nigeria is definitely a one chance ride for all. Well done all for keeping up with the distraction games. Even with your academic intelligence (and too bad for those deprived of the right to education), it helps your politicians to continue to enslave you in your belief that the solutions to your problems lie in religion rather than the use of common sense and the application of social and civil responsibilities.

My colleague loves the game and even though he left South America many years ago, he kept his eyes on the ball and he knows the game. He loves it and he believes in Nigeria. He often spoke of her exploits at Atlanta 96 especialy the game against Brazil.

I’m glad his eyes didn’t pop out of his face. But our people back home are still busy killing in the name of religion. They are busy wallowing and hallowing in the name of imported religions and missing the simple essence/purpose of life- to live and let live.

No greater fatal distraction!

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

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Jose Mourinho’s Second Chelsea Sack

By Adeola Aderounmu

Mikel, Mourinho and Fabregas

Mikel, Mourinho and Fabregas

Jose Mourinho is a good manager. The results put him as probably the best manager to date in the history of football.

Many say he did it all with great clubs, but l doubt that. Porto was not a top club when Mourinho started to make his waves with them.

Fast forward 2015 Mourinho made one of the biggest mistakes any worker could make. He complained too much about his tools.

The team doctor Eva Carneiro had nothing to do with the 2-2 draw with Swansea at the beginning of the season. His outburst and reactions were over the top.

How that spilled into the players’ head and mentality is another story.

Chelsea players have not played for Mourinho this season. They are the ones who earned the bad results, not Mourinho. A coach cannot go to the pitch to play the game and he has limited options until the transfer season is re-opened in January or during the summer.

The sacking of Mourinho is one of the biggest players revolt in history.

But it was coming and to not see it is to pretend that failure is success.

He would have learnt some of the hardest lessons of his career with the bunch of arrogant, tired legs at Stamford bridge.

He must learn to be more diplomatic and never to call the name of his players during a match preview or review. Don’t blame your players in the open. Talk to them individually and collectively when necessary.

Mourinho made his errors but the poor results and the performances of the players went over the limits. Many of them paying tributes to Mourinho on social media are actually supposed to be covering their faces in shame. I won’t name them. Mourinho will do so in his many books which l am sure will be bestsellers.

I wish Mourinho success in the future and l hope the lessons are learnt.

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

The Changing Lanes of Mikel and Fabregas

If John Obi Mikel grows up (in Chelsea) the way I predict, we have found gold-Jose Mourinho, 2006

The Changing Lanes of Mikel and Fabregas

By Adeola Aderounmu

Mikel, Mourinho and Fabregas

Mikel, Mourinho and Fabregas

Mikel Obi and Cesc Fabregas of Chelsea Football Club can make history together if they become champions of the English Premier League this year 2015. This can happen already on Sunday the 3rd of May if Chelsea defeats Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

Such a feat will cap 2 seasons of reform and planning instituted at Chelsea by the special one Jose Mourinho. The little horse that crawled in 2014 is now grown and running.

In the 34th game of the season played on Wednesday 29th away at Leicester, Mikel Obi came on as a late substitute for Cesc Fabregas. I looked at the two of them and l saw how great football can be.

By great, l mean in the sense of history, purpose, achievements and different perspectives of looking at life.

Fabregas has always been a libero/playmaker since his days as a Spanish national U-17 footballer. His ascendance into the football hall of fame was not an accident. His tutelage in Barcelona and development in Arsenal played remarkable roles in forming him into one of football’s brightest minds.

When Febregas and Matic arrived at Chelsea as Jose Mourinho started his second term at the Bridge, Mikel became an irregular player.

Mikel himself arrived at Chelsea at the age of 19 under controversial circumstances that saw FIFA intervened in the Manchester United and Chelsea fight for a young player whom Mourinho described as gold in 2006.

Mikel’s exemplary humility as a Chelsea player has often been overlooked but his contributions though quiet, are immense. Even this season Mourinho still praise the player he converted from a natural attacking role to a defensive midfielder.

By converting Mikel from an attacking player to a defensive player and then departing Chelsea in the middle of it, many critics still think that Mourinho did not allow Mikel to reach his potentials.

In my opinion Mikel will remain a utility player and that makes him a good player. A good footballer must be versatile and formable. Some players never made it far because they are unable to adjust to situations and the need of the clubs.

Mikel has played more than 300 games for Chelsea and l don’t think he is ever going to complain about the number of games he played since the arrival of Fabregas and Matic.

Rather he had stood up every time he is called upon. He has never pretended to be a Fabregas or a Matic. Like a giant he rises up when called upon and holds his place and style of play on the field.

According to Swedish commentators, when Mikel is introduced by Jose Mourinho, it means that the shop is closed. Mikel’s style of play is very effective in holding possession and when necessary has been a part of the Chelsea’s bus parking mode.

In Chelsea’s shirt Mikel has won many trophies. The greatest of them is Champions League Cup. At the Nigerian national team level-where many critics believe that Mikel hasn’t given his best-his moment came when he led the Nigerian midfield to win the African cup of Nations’ trophy in 2013.

Under Stephen Keshi and with a team that also included Chelsea’s team mate Victor Moses and the sublime Sunday Mba, Mikel’s performance in the midfield in 2013 was the highlight of his time wearing the colours of Nigeria. Against Ivory Coast in the semi-final, he literarily pocketed Yaya Toure to gain command of the field.

In his career, Fabregas has won several individual awards. With Spain he has won the European Championship a couple of times and the World cup in South Africa 2010. the playmaker is however still hunting for a Champions’ League Cup glory.

Both Fabregas and Mikel have come to represent further examples of young players who went on to develop their games (even if it is to varying degrees) and shown that football is a progressive sport.

We will never know what Mikel’s career would have been like as an attacking midfielder. We will make do with hypotheses and theories.

From being very young players, both Fabregas and and Mikel’s paths finally crossed each other at the club level when Fabregas signed for Chelsea and formed part of the entourage that came with the return of Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge.

On Sunday the 3rd of May, both players can make history together at Stamford Bridge if they lift the EPL cup together. They have the Crystal Palace hurdle to surmount. Fabregas may be with Matic on the starting line up while Mikel may start from the bench.

Unless I had forgotten Chelsea appeared not to have lost any premier league game at the Bridge under Mourinho. Last season l remembered that they rescued a point against West Brom in the last minute of the game.

If Chelsea fails on Sunday, it won’t matter so much. Picking 2 or 3 points from 3 outstanding games must not be an impossible task for a team that started the season at the top of the table and has kept it calm for 35 weeks.

It is almost improbable and unthinkable that Chelsea will need the favour of another team to defeat Arsenal which is the only team still capable of catching up with Chelsea at the top.

Some questions and issues of pride may arise at the end of the season or remain untouched under pretense. How England allowed his greatest defender to quit the national team under an avoidable situation will remain debatable. John Terry may even get a new contract at Chelsea beyond this season. He may also decide to retire on a high note.

Together with Ivanovic and Cahill, Terry remains the focal point of the gang that has formed the proverbial parked bus in front of Chelsea’s goal line. One Swedish commentator added that it is like the Chelsea defenders are born to block shots!

With active legs like those of Ramires, Matic, Azpilcueta and in form Willian, Chelsea may run home with the title this weekend.

After all the blocking and hopefully some goals that will get Chelsea the victory on Sunday, and when the deeds are done, they may still need Mikel Obi to close the shop for the 2015 season.

If John Obi Mikel grows up (in Chelsea) the way I predict, we have found gold-Jose Mourinho said in 2006.

Has Mikel developed the way Mourinho wanted him to?

No doubt, Fabregas will be there to open the 2016 season. What about the shop closer, the former golden boy of the FIFA 2005 World Youth Champinoship-John Mikel Obi?

aderounmu@gmail.com