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

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

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

By Adeola Aderounmu

super-falcons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Yoruba Union Stockholm Celebrates 4th Annual Yoruba Day

On Saturday the 7th of May 2016 the Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Sweden marked her 4th annual Yoruba Day celebration.

 

By Adeola Aderounmu

Yoruba Union Stockholm Celebrates 4th Annual Yoruba Day

 

On Saturday the 7th of May 2016 the Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Sweden marked her 4th annual Yoruba Day celebration.

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Adeola Aderounmu delivering the welcome address at the 4th annual Yoruba Day in Sweden

The event took place at Alviks Culture House near central Stockholm. Members started arriving from 4 p.m. Family, friends, guests and visitors started arriving as early as 5:15 p.m. The union maintained her reputation by starting the program according to plans at exactly 6p.m.

The special guest of honour at the event was the Nigerian ambassador to Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Finland, Her Excellency Jane Ada Ndem. The father of the day was Baba Kadiri Salimonu.

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The Nigerian ambassador to Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland Her Excellency Jane Ada Ndem giving her speech at the 4th annual Yoruba Day in Sweden

The annual celebration of Yoruba culture and tradition by the Yoruba Union in Stockholm is now the biggest event for Yorubas on the Scandinavia. As it stands the Yoruba Day in Stockholm-Sweden is probably the most genuine and largest gathering for the celebration of Yoruba tradition in Europe so far this year.

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Baba Salimonu Kadiri

The Yoruba Union in Stockholm is a non-profit and a non-political group. It is very important to know that the most significant role of the union is to preserve, protect and propagate the Yoruba culture and tradition in Sweden and the rest of the Diaspora. The group is independent and has no affiliation to any other socio-cultural groups or association within or outside Sweden.

During his welcome address Mr. Adeola Aderounmu stressed that the Union is in dire need of sponsors but that will not leave any room open for political affiliation or hijack of purpose as the executives and the general members are resolved and determined to always remain clear of politics and economic gains.

The Yoruba Union therefore hopes that major corporate organisations in Nigeria and even in Sweden can step forward to sponsor the union. Yoruba Union in Stockholm has activities and events that are outlined on her social network pages and website.

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The Executive of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm. Samuel Oladipupo Ayoola, Funmileyi Adenuga, Debo Fasheyi, Adeola Aderounmu, Abiola Kamoru Amos, Lydia Akinwale and Ibrahim Onifade 

The annual Yoruba Day celebrated in the month of May since 2013 is the biggest event. The others are the children’s day in May or June and the family day in August.

The union has a website that is updated every now and then. The most active social network avenue is the YOU-TUBE channel called Yoruba Union Stockholm.

It is on record that the union has represented not just the Yorubas but also the country Nigeria at major events here in Sweden. The most recent before the Yoruba Day was the union’s presence at the Stockholm Cultural Night where dances and songs were on display. The union also presented a tour guide on the creation story according to Yoruba mythology.

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Samuel Akinwole, Ibukun Ogunnoiki, Salimonu Kadidir, Abiola Amos, Amb. Jane Ndem, Olarewaju Omogunloye, Debo Fasheyi and Adeola Aderounmu

Moreover, on May 25 2016 the Yoruba Union will perform at the annual African Day celebration in Sweden. This is a day set aside by African heads of missions and ambassadors to celebrate Africa and Africans in Sweden.

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Guests, families and friends

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Guests, families and friends

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Guests, families and friends

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Guests, families and friends

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Guests, families and friends

Since the inauguration and the registration of the union in 2010 in Sweden, majority of the funding have come from members annual fees and members donations towards events. It has been quite tough functioning that way, but somehow the union remained focused and determine to continue to keep the Yoruba tradition and culture alive.

Gradually, Yoruba children born in Sweden and even citizens of other countries are grasping the importance and significance that the Yorubas attach to their heritage and the process of passing it on to them is on course.

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Adowa dancers from Ghana, Theresa Pettersson and Eunice Fenteng

For example at this 2016 celebration, the children could be heard singing and playing instruments to the traditional Yoruba songs, l’abe igi orombo. The next challenge is to create a forum for the teaching and learning of the language under a well planned atmosphere in a living classroom. The union will get there!

There were other items on the program like the Yoruba cultural dance led by Olarewaju Omogunloye. Guest performances were done by the Igbo Cultural Group in Stockholm and the Ghana Adowa dancers led by Eunice Fenteng.

During the program, guests and friends were called upon to dance. Dancing during ceremonies or festivals is a key part of the Yoruba heritage. Yoruba dishes were served and all the guests and visitors expressed their satisfaction with the organisation of the events.

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Igbo Cultural Dancers, Stockholm-Sweden

This year’s ceremony was anchored by Lydia Akinwale and Amos Kamoru Adams. The Yoruba mythology creation story was presented by Ibrahim Onifade.

Other coordinators were Samuel Oladipupo Ayoola, Richard Obadimu and Funmileyi Adenuga.

The vote of thanks was given by Debo Fasheyi.

Yoruba Union Stockholm is regarded as one of the most organised African ethnic group in Sweden and people are already looking forward to the 2017 annual Yoruba Day celebration.

 

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Yoruba symbolic cake

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Cake maker Debbie Atinuke Mckintosh explaining the symbolic cake

For information about the Yoruba Union in Stockholm-Sweden, send an email to info@yorubaunion.se

Visit our website,  www.yorubaunion.se

Visit our Youtube channel, https://www.youtube.com/user/YORUBAUNION

Visit our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/yorubaunion

Oodua a gbe wao!

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There was dancing in line with Yoruba culture

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More dancing

 

Appreciation

Nigerian Embassy, Stockholm Sweden

SENSUS Studieforbund, Stockholm

Baba Salimonu Kadiri

Clara and John Rogo

Chinedu Oji

Charles Ogunlowo

Charles Onuora, for Igbo Cultural group participation

Eunice Fenteng and Theresa Pettersson, for Ghana Cultural group participation

All Members of Yoruba Union in Sweden

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

Faleke’s Trauma: APC’s Dictatorial Tendencies Unfold

The lack of common sense within the APC is tragic. Where is the change? Where do we go from here?

Faleke’s Trauma: APC’s Dictatorial Tendencies Unfold

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Sometimes when you hear about certain things happening in Nigeria and especially those things that emanate from the political circles, you get so shocked that you begin to wonder if these people running Nigeria have any brain cells at all.

I have seen many comical pictures on the social media where different Nigerian rulers or presidents have had their heads replaced with coconuts.

On a closely look, those comical images are near to reality for Nigeria’s political class.

So Audu Abubakar died. Some have called for autopsy reports to ascertain if he was murdered or if he died of natural causes. I think his family has more say on what path they choose.

Ordinarily one would have thought that succeeding or replacing Audu Abubakar ought to be common sense. Mathematicians will call it logic.

Late Audu’s deputy Mr.  Faleke should step into his shoes and finish the race for the his late boss and definitely for his party-the APC.

As I understand it now, there are about 49 000 votes up for grab.

Bu what has the APC mandate under Mr. Buhari done?

They have brought out a man from the PDP to be the replacement for APC’s Audu Abubakar. Yahaya Bello campaigned for Idris Wada after he lost the APC governorship ticket. They have now brought him back to the APC and chose him ahead of James Faleke.

Let those who have ears hear now, the trouble in Kogi will most definitely add to the already brewed troubles in Eastern Nigeria and the war in Northern Nigeria which will make Nigeria one of the most unstable and most unpredicatable places on earth.

James Faleke has gone to court. The cases may draw for a long time and they may stall the proposed conclusion to the elections.

The constitution of Nigeria is already messed up on this matter. There are as many opinions as contributors.

I learnt INEC which was supposed to be an independent body even ran to the Attorney General for suggestions. That way it became easy to finger the presidency in the dilemma.

I am not the one to bring out the ethnicity and religion of James Faleke. His names will do. I wish he could called on Ifa though.

If APC needs help in flaming their politics of tribe and religion, they will get as many help as they want with this nonsense and ingredients that they have started.

For, the death of Audu was already a matter that created problems for the interpretations of Nigerian electoral law.

The problems would have been mild and probably manageable by sticking to Faleke and hoping that he will gather the necessary votes from the disputed ones.

Who will tell the dunces and mumus in APC that Yahaya Bello can never win the governorship election with 49 00 votes even if he claims all the votes?

When late Audu Abubakar contested with Faleke as his deputy, they had votes that counted for both of them. Is APC interpreting these votes as votes for the party and not the candidates?

Then, they should also be preparing their lawayers for the suits that will come from the PDP.

As it looks now, PDP is contesting both with Idris Wada in their official party and with Yahaya Bello on the platform of the APC. Head or tail, PDP will win the elections if they are conducted on Saturday but Bello will not be the winner.

He cannot possibly be allowed by Wada or the PDP to assume the position of the governor with less than 50 000 votes.

APC is not even gradually showing its true colours, it is doing it with speed. As soon as the party took over from Jonathan and PDP at the center, it was quick to show in the morning what Nigerians should expect for the rest of the day.

Not least is the rise of dictatorial tendencies and one-sided prosecution of persons perceived to be political enemies and adversaries.

The side-tracking of Faleke (if APC succeeds) will be a new chapter in the books of dictatorship. It is too easy for the presidency to lie and change a lot of stories in the media. This is because they have not allowed Buhari to speak to Nigeria in Nigerians.

Unless someone can prove otherwise, l have read many statements credited to Mr. Buhari when he is outside Nigerian than when he is in Abuja.

It is time to hear him speak. His opinions count. During the elections’ campaign, he hardly spoke. When does he intend to start talking and giving his opinions directly to the people and the media?

Is the APC not tired of having to change every single opinion that is credited to it or Mr. Buhari?

Some of those opinions and issues will continue to trail this administration for as long as it exists at the center.

The APC as it seems is always changing and does not seems to stand for anything. That is why it is falling apart and falling for everything.

For sure, a lot of people will want to bring party ideology which is of course nonsensical and other lines of legal implications into what is transpiring in Kogi State.

My take is that it is simply wrong and actually stupid to replace Faleke. If Audu was alive he would have re-contested with Faleke. If Audu had won, he would have been governor and Faleke is deputy. If Audu had died one week after he became governor, Faleke would have been the governor.

What we know now is that the last sentence does not hold water with APC mandate and Buhari’s rulership. Faleke could have been booted out of office, and Yahaya Bello imported from PDP to the governor’s house.

These are all hypotheses. But again, the last option is very possible with APC dictatorial tendencies as we now know.

Have we forgotten too easily how we all rallied round Goodluck Jonathan during those trying months? I do not intend to elaborate further. A word is always enough for the wise.

APC must not forget that what goes round, comes round. It is Faleke today, you will not hear it from me where this is going to come up next. But it will happen and some people will run from Cape Town to Cairo asking for sympathy and placement.

Meanwhile all these nonsense and ingredients from APC are perfect distractions from other dangerous situations in Nigeria.

The petrol scarcity is back and the eastern part of Nigeria is gradually locking up or is it down. Unemployment is on record high, crime rate hitting the roof and the standard of living digging deeper.

Where is the change?

Where do we go from here?

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Life, Still A Passage

Just 2 weeks ago, (actually 3 weeks) l wrote: death either abroad or at home appears to be the only leveler between the corrupt and the saints, the rich and the poor. Life will remain a passage and only fools don’t see the vanity of primitive accumulations.

 

Life, Still A Passage

 

By Adeola Aderounmu

I have made references to my essay ”A Passage Called Life” on several occasions. The essay was first published in the Nigerian Village Square on November 7, 2007.

At that time Ms. Bunmi Etteh was already brushed aside as the speaker in the Nigerian House of Representatives.  One Aminu Safana had also suddenly kicked the bucket.

In that 2007 episode l wrote about the recommendations of the Japanese.

I don’t remember where l got it from but the Japanese gave only 3 recommendations for a fulfilling life. These recommendations are 1. Have children 2. Write a book and 3 . Plant a tree.

I wish l knew where l got this from but it does not matter now. I can make my own inferences.

I remember also an ex-colleague of mine who told me that he was no longer afraid to die. When I asked him what he meant, he said now he has a child and all his fears are gone.

The meaning of the expression is deep and l leave it to my readers,the fathers and mothers out there to interprete.

For my ex-colleague, his thoughts may be in line with what the Japanese inferred.

Can everybody write a book? It depends on how you look at it. I think what will be relevant here it to tell our stories. Ideology and traditions have been sustained even in the absence of books. We can tell our stories and the custodians of history can write them for us.

Since we want our stories to be beneficial to mankind or humanity, we want it to contain good deeds.

It will be hard to read the minds of the Japanese but l do hope they realise the imperfection of mankind.

Not all of us will have children especially now that biological rules have been rewritten. We will not all plant trees because we depend on some institutions in the society to do so on our behalf.

Our stories will be our books if we write them. If we don’t, still we should not fail to share them with those we love and trust.

Then, just 2 weeks ago, l wrote an essay (108 Modern Hospitals Now) and in the conclusion l stated that death either abroad or at home appears to be the only leveler between the corrupt and the saints, the rich and the poor.

Life will remain a passage and only fools don’t see the vanity of primitive accumulations.

In the recent essay l threw a challenge to the government of Nigeria and the politicians as the custodians of our commonwealth. It was my response to the death of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and all the Nigerian politicians who want to go abroad to die.

Why not build hospitals for yourselves and the citizens of Nigeria?

Nigerian criminal politicians and in fact all greedy and selfish people need to be told (because they do not appear to know) that life is transient and nothing last forever.

Was it Akon who sang and mentioned that tomorrow is not guaranteed?

Whilst the poor people and the masses are still clamouring for the dividends of democracy 16 years on, some fools are already scheming for the 2019 elections.

This means that they are already looting and stealing monies in small and big amounts from different corners of the country and piling them up to execute the 2019 elections.

At the same time, they-the politicians continue to earn undeserved wages, award themselves contracts and buy houses from Dubai to the US, from Britain to the Carribean.

The tradition of the Nigerian politicians since the exit of the colonial thugs remain to suppress the people and continue to impoverish them. To an extremely large and unbelievable extent they have succeeded.

Hence no matter how we have preached about the need and importance of good governance, the priority remains their selfish gains and how to make their families and friends wealthy.

It was not a good omen when people jubilated in the streets in those days when dictators or crook politicians died.

Nowadays the jubilation is on the social media. Invariably the majority of Nigerians wish that many of the politicians could drop dead one after the other.

So far, many have dropped dead actually. There is no pity here because like l mentioned in 108 Hospitals Now, we have all lost some of our loved ones due to the recklessness of governance and disorderliness in the society.

Nigeria is on rampage daily.

But our political problems are not solved by death at home and abroad because the spread of wickedness and insensitivity are still irredeemable in the souls of the conquerors of Nigeria.

Today the conquerors are the men and women parading themselves in APC and PDP folds.

I have come to the conclusion that the APC and the PDP are birds of the same feather in different nests.

Fot them there are no lessons to be learnt about the transiency of life. No lessons are learnt from history.

Nigerian politicians do not give a damn. As long as there is yam, they are glad to remain the goats until they drop dead, whichever way.

So once again, as Nigerians continue with their daily struggles looking for food and water to put on the table, one hopes that sense will prevail and that gradually Nigeria will move towards finding a lasting solution to the problems plaguing country.

Not least is the political solution that is even now more urgent.

If a man participated in an election in the morning and dropped dead in the afternoon, then it is not just tomorrow that is not guaranteed but also the rest of today

Life will remain a passage. We are all here, only for a while.

Nobody leaves this planet alive. Live and lets live..!

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

50 Yards Of Death

By Adeola Aderounmu

My beloved Festac was thrown into mourning on Tuesday night. My passion and love for Festac Town meant that I have written about the glory and the fall of Festac Town, even here in the village square. If you lived in Festac Town from inception in 1977 or thereabout and get to see the decay and rot that has become of the city, you’ll weep if you are such a human with a caring heart.

A boat mishap claimed the lives of at least 13 people on the 12th of March 2014. Six people were reported missing and 5 survived the (avoidable) catastrophe. I felt an obligation to analyse the circumstances that may have led to the accident. I will suggest the possible ways forward and my ultimate goal will be to send a letter to the chairman of the Amuwo Odofin Local Government (AOLG) with head office at 41 Road in Festac Town. That much I owe my beloved city, Festac Town Island.

Stone field at 23 Road X close by 5th avenue H1 Close

Stone field at 23 Road X close by 5th avenue H1 Close

The distance (short-cut will be more appropriate in our language) between 4th Avenue and 6th Avenue on water according to newspaper reports is about 50 yards. This should be approximately 46 meters. What has not been reported is the depth of the water but since people have drowned in it, it may be close to 6 feet. It may also be deeper. The water may be swampy. We called this water body “canal” when I was a little boy. It flows around the town. I’m almost sure I have been in or about that water body several times as a teenager without the full knowledge of water safety.

We know that there was a wooden bridge that connected the two avenues. The bridge may have been constructed through the efforts of a church situated nearby but it does not exist anymore. Some people have complained about the negligence of the local government in building a more permanent bridge to connect these two areas over water. Many people are of the opinion that it is a waste of time to use another bridge that is about 2km away when their destination is just about 50 m ahead of them.

Apparently, unless the councillors and the leadership of the AOLG debate and agree on a pedestrian or a dual-purpose bridge, there is yet no binding obligation for the local council to build a bridge or walkways. People are frustrated because these same politicians must have voted several times on how to “steal” public funds and share loots. However, residents and pressure groups can make demands for the improvement of the infrastructure in their vicinity and environs. Who is listening?

This may sound like medicine after death but those of us who thought the extended area of Festac Town were gross anomalies can also add that while people are quick to buy land and build houses in the extension areas, there has not been a corresponding development of infrastructure in the area. We must not forget that the extension area of Festac was that zone where natural reserves (wildlife and beautiful aquatic existence) were wiped away and replaced with houses.

Mainstream Festac was itself never maintained. It seemed that the Federal Government through the Federal Housing Authority found pleasure in quickly converting mainstream Festac from a paradise to a slump in one swoop. The History of the destructive “deconstruction” of Festac Town has been well established. Nigeria has a rich history of maladministration and extremely bad management. Public administration in Nigeria is mostly a source of misery.

As I was saying, on this black Tuesday in Festac Town, it took 3 hours 20 minutes before a distress call reached the National Emergency Management Agency-NEMA according to the reports in Premium Times online news. Is there any record of how long it took to reach the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA)? Reaching these agencies should not have taken more than 5 to 10 minutes especially as it appeared that the operators of the canoe services are “locals” as we call them.

They are people “hustling” and trying to make ends meet. Were they ignorant of what to do in cases of emergencies? Access to emergency services for them ought to be quicker. Was the telephone network busy for more than 3 hours? Were the roads from NEMA to the canal so bad that at first, one may think that NEMA is located in another country? 3hours and 20 minutes after! Do LASEMA / NEMA have offices in Festac Town or a place in AOLG area?

I can actually ask one thousand questions regarding this single unfortunate incident. Does Festac Town lack accidents and emergency units within its locality in the year 2014? Why is the boat carrying 24 passengers instead of 13 or 14 passengers? Was the champions’ league game so crucial that the canoe operator had to ignore safety procedures or was it the passengers who bent the rules and headed to death on a 50 yard stretch of water?

If the reports in the Premium Times are anything to go by, then it appeared that the passengers ignored the warning of a young girl who raised an alarm about a possible drowning scenario and that she would swim to safety. She did and numbered among the survivors! One survivor also narrated how he had to do away with his heavy bag of tools so he could reach the shore safely. The fact that they “pushed” the canoe to start the journey was definitely an adequate warning that all the passengers ignored!

I think all adult humans at one point or the other have experienced the sadness that come with bereavement. We can sympathise with the families of the deceased. We can cry and we can be worried about many things connected to this tragedy including the trauma of the survivors. Some young people burnt the canoe. That’s how best they could reason, in their state of anger.

What will be more important is the way forward. It’s always important to take the lessons from every situation and try to avoid repetitions of tragedies along the same line/pattern. In so many ways and with uncountable examples, one can illustrate how tragedies have repeated themselves in Nigeria with precision, and the same hypocritical reactions.

The Festac tragedy should not be allowed to repeat itself.

The little girl swam to safety. What are our attitudes towards acquiring life skills? I’m not stating with pride that I still need more swimming lessons to be sure about my survival in water. In Nigeria, many of our parents discouraged us from swimming when we were growing up. Lagos is lined by the Atlantic Ocean and there are lagoons and rivers around us. We never referred to Festac Town as Festac Town Island whereas it is in every sense.

Why was it not a compulsory part of our education to learn how to swim? I can’t remember any physical education lesson that was dedicated to swimming. The Amuwo Odofin Local Government should make haste to construct swimming pools where children and adults will be taught how to swim. It’s a life skill. The boats capsized somewhere between 2 locations that are 46 meters apart. My skill in mathematics tells me the tragedy occurred at a point less than 24 meters to land. The probability that the boat capsized at a distance 10-15 meters to land also exists. This tragedy was avoidable, even if the morning rain increased the volume of the canal and the canal is swampy in nature.

Road construction work in Festac 2014

Road construction work in Festac 2014

Nigerians need to know that there are reasons for rules and that safety procedures should never be relegated at the altar of profit or unwarranted compassions. If the canoe operator had not allowed the boat to be overloaded, or if the passengers did not beg to be squeezed on board, they would probably have travelled safely. Tuesday the 12th would have ended on a different note and the N150 motorcycle ride on bad roads would have been probably one of the cheapest costs of saving life in the history of man.

Were there life jackets on board the ill-fated canoe? It was possible that no one thought that life jackets are needed on a 50 yards “death” stretch. Non-swimmers go on this trip without any guarantee! The cost of a life jacket may also take the profits off the “locals”. Water transport business is not a joke or a trial and error endeavour. If this mode of transportation must persist along this canal, then the local government should either take over the business with state of the art ferry system or award the contract to a reliable water transport company. It is not enough to deploy council guards after the accident. It is definitely not enough to lock off an access road to the river.

Road construction work in Festac 2014

Road construction work in Festac 2014

A certified transport company would have stations on both sides of the canal. In an ideal situation there would be departure times and arrival times. When it is dark or getting late, it would be inappropriate to run the canoe because of the level of underdevelopment or bad state of infrastructure in several parts of Nigeria. It would probably have been easier to report a mishap had the operations being under licensed authorities. How well do we care about lives in Nigeria? What value do we place on our existences?

When shall we get there in Nigeria? Why were we taught that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well? This tenet and other moral guiding principles were handed to us early in life. What went wrong? How did we get to the situation where our senses of purpose and direction are malformed or dysfunctional? If the transport system over water will not be safe, then it should be totally abolished.

Road constructions, repairs and maintenance are not favours from the councils. These are parts of their obligations. The road network in Festac needs to be improved so that transportation within the estate can be safe and cheap. It’s good to hear and see some efforts in that direction.

Our bicycle tracks in Festac Town should be reinstated and new ones built. People should be encouraged to ride bicycles. This is common in all developed countries. Bicycles are the commonest means of transportation when people want to go from one place to another around their vicinity or local areas. What makes us different species in Nigeria? Isn’t it time to make such an environmental friendly mode of transportation readily available, acceptable and popular? People need to own bicycles without being subjected to ridicule and laughter.

Road construction work in Festac 2014

Road construction work in Festac 2014

When the reports about the tragedy on 50 yards of water in Festac Town went to press on Wednesday it was still impossible to reach the chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government for his comments/reactions. That is the common attitude of Nigerian politicians; they are arrogant and lack simple and common sense that governs public administration. People have died and the chief security officer of the council made no appearance and no comment. That is also a tragedy on its own.

When he does show his face, someone should remind the chairman Mr. Ayodele Adewale that these deaths on a 50 yard stretch is a big time wake up call at his domain. He can’t pretend that nothing happened. Mr. Ayodele must make haste to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on the possibility of sustaining or eradicating boat services between 4th Avenue and 6th Avenue

Burning canoes or boats is not the way to forget the dead. Meanwhile if you ever forget them, they have died in vain. The residents of Festac Town owe it to their community not to allow this sad event to be swept under the carpets. Though sad, this is one of those moments in history that is opportunistic. Demands should be made for more bridges and good roads, for standard and safe ferry services. Why not for world class bicycle and pedestrian paths?

Nigerians deserve the good things of life too. Any of these proposed projects can be dedicated to the memories of the departed. May they find peace in transit.

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Comrade Oluwafisayo Ogunjimi (Pheesayor@hotmail.com) for useful information about the boat services in Festac Town and some useful ideas that went into this article.

Images by Adeola Aderounmu (Thy Glory O’Nigeria) and Comrade Oluwafisayo Ogunjimi (Watching Lagos, http://www.watchinglagos.com)