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.

 

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The Boy With The Golden Ears

When l arrived at the hospital, l met the nurses and did the necessary registration for the day. Then l waited. I waited, and waited and waited. When l got unsettled by the unusual long wait, I asked the nurses when it would be my turn to be attended to.

The Boy With The Golden Ears

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_4years_old

Adeola Aderounmu

In 1986 as a 14-year-old boy, I took the bus and went to the General Hospital in Lagos for an ear operation. It was supposed to be the end to a series of visits and appointments at the hospital. When l was born, my ears were not ready. The defects were so obvious that my ear tunnels were usually loaded with yellowish fluids.

My childhood memories would be totally incomplete without the agonies of my mother who sat and watched my infant head decorated with 2 defective ears.

I remember my childhood, during the primary school days. I was always loaded with cotton wools at home and sometimes l took them to school. Soon l learnt how to wrap cotton wool around a broom stick and stuck them into my ears right and left.

On so many occasions we ran out of cotton wools. What did l do? I turned to the cover of my BIC pen. The lid became my best companion for several years. If l didn’t have anything on me, l had the lid of a blue, black or red BIC pen.

I stuck the object into my ears and excavated tons of fluids from them. When l found cotton buds later in life, l used them. They were valuable, like gold.

When l look back now, l am so grateful to my mother for all the efforts she put into cleaning my ears. I can remember she warned me against the sharp objects. Sometimes she just looked at me with pity because in my case, it was similar to living with someone with an addiction.

I mean with my ear problem, when the urge to put in something into my ears surfaced, there was nothing in the whole world you could do to stop me from inserting any available object into it.

I am also grateful that l wasn’t classified as a handicap because Nigeria could have destroyed me totally in that sense. I was lucky not to be categorized as someone who needed special education because of my hearing difficulties.

Prior to that day-the day of the operation, l’ve learnt to wake up at 5 a.m. in the morning, joined the bus and made the journey from our home in Festac Town to the General Hospital situated at Ikeja. We, that is my mother and l usually get off the molue buses at the PWD bus-stop and then trek beside the bridge all the way to the hospital.

It was an inconvenient journey. It was not totally safe because it was always still quiet with few people on the way by the time we walked beside the bridge towards the hospital. My estimation puts the journey at about a 40 km stretch, maybe 50. It could take an hour and a half with at least 2 or 3 bus connections.

On the day of the operation, my mother let me made the journey by myself. She would come after me later on. I don’t remember the sequence that led to the decision but if you are a mother of 6 children, you soon learn to make them independent at the appropriate age.

I would imagine now that l had won my independence by the time the doctors decided that l would be operated to correct my ears.

When l arrived at the hospital, l met the nurses and did the necessary registration for the day. Then l waited. I waited, and waited and waited. When l got unsettled by the unusual long wait, I asked the nurses when it would be my turn to be attended to.

The response l got was a shock, one that l will never forget.

This is the hospital l have visited several times with my mother. I had become a regular customer. In fact, one day l got a tiny piece of fish bone stuck to my throat whilst eating some delicious meal. I could not sleep that night and my mother had to take me to the ENT.

I knew the Ear, Nose and Throat department at the General Hospital in Ikeja like l knew the palm of my hand.

When they told me that they couldn’t find my file and the documentation that stated that l would be operated on that fateful day, l thought it was a “simple” mistake of misplacement. I thought they would find it and my ears would be operated.

When my mother arrived she was very upset. She gave me a correctional slap to express her anger. I cannot remember any other day before and after this fateful day that my mother had slapped me. She never did.

As a child l was very confused.

The nurses could not find my files. Who should have been slapped?

Now when l think back about the entire scenario, l can guess a few reasons why my files were missing.

One, the nurses were probably in shock that a boy showed up for his own surgery. Where was my mother who could pay the tips so my file does not go missing on this important day?

Two, from another perspective, were they expecting that my family would have made advance contact and advance payment prior to the day of the operation? How well did my parents realize that such opportunities must be “assured” by keeping a tab on the nurses and doctors to avoid disappointments?

Why did my file go missing on the day of the operation?

Three, did the doctors chicken out because they were incapable of carrying out the operation? The last statement is quite unlikely because my memories portray an array of competent, professional doctors with tools and instruments checking my eardrums, ear infections and throat as an out-patient.

Still, why didn’t the doctors remember my appointment? An operation should not be something that one should just forget like that? Why didn’t the doctors come to the waiting-room to look for me? Did the nurses tell them that l was no show?

What actually went wrong? My mother slapped me because she found me sitting calm and collected despite the scenario of likely missing my one-in-a-life time opportunity of correcting my defective ears. She probably knew at once that the chance will never come up again.

Many things must have gone through her mind when she arrived to hear the latest bad news about my ears. They easiest avenue to let go of her frustration was the slap l got. She probably thought l just got there and sat down without making any effort?

What can a 14-year-old do when the old nurses had thrown away or hidden his medical files?

I can’t remember ever getting angry at my mother. She was my god. She was the woman who taught me almost everything-how to read, how to write and then how to cook. My mother taught me humility and perseverance even in the face of difficulties and adversities.

So we went home. There was no operation in 1986. I continue to insert everything into my ears to take out the fluids and to “scratch” my ears when they itched. At some point, l used sticks and brooms to pick out dirt that are fastened to my eardrums.

I thought l had become an expert of my ear. If l was an ear doctor, l would be the best in the world.

I remember one day when I was picking my ear with a broom stick and suddenly somebody ran into me. I bled from my ear and of course that was also another opportunity to insert more things to bring out the blood. My addiction was hopeless.

I have been living in Sweden since 2002. I continued to suffer regular ear infection because of the vulnerability of my eardrums. So one day when l visited the doctor, he recommended an operation. I mean my ears were tested over a period of time and the results l saw were heartbreaking.

I have been straining myself almost all of my life to hear what people say.  The results l saw showed the threshold for normal hearing and my hearing. I have been deaf!

In 2007, 21 years after the nurses at Ikeja General Hospital botched my scheduled operation in Lagos, I finally did my ear operation, in Stockholm. One of my ears was already gone at that time! After the operation it became the better of the two. This means that in the real sense of it, the ear that was better before my operation in 2007 was itself gone! They were just deaf to different degree.

The operation was done at Danderyds hospital in Sweden.

At old age, which is fast approaching, l guess l know what my biggest challenges will be.

I have a bad hip from playing football in my teens and will definitely not be able to walk well. I can use some help. I will also be almost deaf on both ears. I will get some hearing aids but their usefulness for my deafness will be interesting to discover.

I decided to write elaborately on my deafness because it exposes a lot of problems in public health in Nigeria. I don’t know how my case was handled as a toddler. Could l have been operated as a baby and healed for life? That is probable.

But with time, I became aware that despite the availability of good health system in Nigerian up till the 1980s, there were lapses in the system that made it difficult to correct my hearing defect. That part was unfortunate.

An operation was botched. One friend told me my death on the doctor’s table was postponed! But I trusted the health system in Nigeria in 1986, even though the nurses were mischievous.  I blame the botched operation on the nurses. I think they were insincere and that is so sad to remember now.

What is the present state of health care delivery in Nigeria? In one word, disaster!

Nigerian politicians and policy makers must think about the citizens and work hard to ensure that health care delivery system is improved and adapted to the demands of a fully-blown rural and urban populations. The ordinary citizens must be given the benefits of affordable health care system where life is a priority.

As a teenager, I risk my life and travelled the miles. Then l walked the roads to the doctors in Lagos, Nigeria. I am the man with the golden ears.

If any Nigerian politician, including the president, wishes to travel abroad for medical reasons, they should be barred from doing so. In a country of more than 170m people, politicians who cannot deliver should be dismissed. They even deserved my mother’s correctional slaps.

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

108 Modern Public Hospitals Now

What about the infectious diseases unit? What about children’s wards across the country? What about the maternity wards? What about us?

108 Modern Public Hospitals Now

Adeola Aderounmu

Södersjukhus in Stockholm. Nigeria must upgrade to International standard  pix: Acrona

Södersjukhus in Stockholm. Nigeria must upgrade to International standard
pix: Acrona

The governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Henry Seriake Dickson is one of those people disgracing Nigeria and giving the country a bad name. Recently he spoke out of sense as he tried to rationalise the demise of a criminal politician who died recently in Nigeria.

Mr. Dickson blamed the death of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha on the federal government of Nigeria. He has been part of the federal government and now a state governor, so by his own submission that makes him a murderer too.

News had it that Diepreye Alamieyeseigha may have remained abroad or even flown back abroad (depending on which account of his death is true). We are told that his final journey was influenced by the issuance of the threat of repatriation by the British. Diepreye escaped from the UK without facing justice for his crimes.

Why was Diepreye receiving treatment abroad? Why was his life expectancy dependent on the hospitals that are in foreign countries? While he was the governor of Bayelsa State, what effort did he make to build or upgrade the health institutions in Bayelsa so that if he and his family members living in Nigeria got sick, they could go to the hospital for treatment?

This is what politicians and policy makers in foreign countries do. They make sure that while managing their corruption at the barest minimum, that the institutions that will serve them and their people are in place. The hospitals are one of those institutions. Functional public schools, good roads and water are fewer examples of an endless list of the basic things of life that give humans the dignity they deserved.

Nigerian politicians have no respect for the citizens of the country. They don’t think the people deserve the things that make life worth living. They are so myopic and wicked that they do not know that they need to provide amenities that will serve them and the rest of the population when the need arises.

Recently l wrote an essay titled: Let’s Go Die, Abroad..!

It was a reaction to the growing number of shameless Nigerian politicians and the so called statesmen travelling abroad to end their lives in several hospitals across the world. Some of them are lucky, they return to Nigeria alive.

A former Nigerian president Umaru Yar Adua was bundled, packaged and repackaged in several countries around the world when he was sick. For 8 years he was the governor of Katsina State before he became the president of Nigeria and no hospital was built or upgraded to care for, or manage his specific chronic ailment. The rest is history.

If not stupidity, how else can one describe such a situation when people who loot public funds cannot even think of providing something that could prolong their lives in their nearest vicinities.

We are all humans and we will always be prone to diseases, ill-health and other forms of frailties especially as we age. It will not matter how much money we have legitimately or how much some people have looted. Is there a way to let Nigerian politicians know that looting is not an antidote to diseases?

I am sure many of us have written about the shame of Nigerian politicians dying in hospitals in foreign countries and returned as packages to Nigeria for burial.

Still, it is worth writing about again especially as it appears that the shameful act remains unabated. The death of the Ooni of Ife in the UK is regrettable.

We argue and we try to prove it that civilisation started on the African continent. We argue and we try to prove it that intelligence in the group Homo Sapiens is independent of race.

But the rulers of Nigeria are weakening our lines of arguments in many ways. For example when they steal and loot money meant for public uses and when they travel abroad instead of providing for their health needs in Nigeria. Why must Nigerian rulers travel abroad for treatment and admission at hospitals and clinics?

As a way of elaboration, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha  was one of the several corrupt Nigerian politicians who looted the treasuries in one of the states in the Niger Delta area. Since the Nigerian form of fighting corruption is dependent on who is in power in Abuja, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was granted state pardon after he escaped from the UK dressed as a woman.

If not for the fact that fighting corruption in Nigeria is selective and heavily biased, the likes of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, and in principle 99% of those in present day PDP and APC should have been arrested and their cases dealt with in Nigeria. Why must it take the British or the American government to arrest Nigerian political crooks? How much money is Nigerian forfeiting in the process?

Nigerians have come to terms that their politicians can or must be corrupt. The new wave is that many Nigerians are seeking indictments in order to be convinced that a politician is corrupt. When a man serves as a state governor for 8 years and still travel abroad for treatment or medical check up, what kind of indictment are you looking for?

When a national assembly loaded with corrupt people give passages to corrupt ministers-to-be, where do you go for the indictment?

When a man cannot be probed because he sponsored the presidential campaign with security votes among other looted funds, then we say he is not corrupt. Today it is the PDP that is under the spotlight, well no problem. Every dog will always have its own day.

But Nigeria is in a constant mess. The way we live separates us and we see the demarcation between them and us. Death either abroad or at home appears to be 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 accumulation.

Let me repeat, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha  could have built a modern hospital in Nigeria where people like him and the citizens of Bayelsa can be diagnos and treated with dignity.

Nigerian doctors are ranked amongst the best in the world but they work in several countries around the world helping to maintain the health care system globally.

How many times are we going to write about the need to ensure that our doctors, scientists and other professionals are provided with conducive environment and structures to work with in Nigeria?

Death is one of the few certain things in life. So what is the use of looting, stealing and stupidly accumulating wealth and then refusing to build hospitals in Nigeria or refusing to equip the ones that have been built?

Now this is my challenge to the Buhari-APC mandate before the end of May 2019.

Look around the various states in Nigeria. Give yourselves the marching order to equip and upgrade the existing hospitals to the standards of the hospitals you usually visit abroad. If anyone suggest that this is not possible, that person is probably an enemy of progress.

In additon to the first mandate, a second one is that every state in Nigeria must have at least 3 big modern public hospitals.

Some states like Lagos may have may even need more than 5 big public hospitals because of the extreme high population of the state and also as a result of the frequency of accidents and number of sick people.

The Buhari-APC mandate may want to forbid any serving politician from seeking medical abroad say from 2017 when some serious work and upliftment should have been possible.

At the existing hospitals, an evaulation of the situation needs to be done. All the units including the Accidents and Emergency should be upgraded. If this happens before the next senator is invloved in an accident, then he/ she can be treated anywhere in Nigeria.

The recent sojourn of Akapbio in a foreign hospital is absolute stupidity coming from a man who boasted that he built a world class hospital in Akwa Ibom. I am yet to get a report on why he was not treated at the world class hospital in Akwa Ibom.

What about the surgery units? For how long will hard earned income and donations be packaged to India for correctional surgeries? How many Nigerians have died because of manageable diseases that they could have lived with until old age?

What about the infectious diseases unit? What about children’s wards across the country? What about maternity wards? What about us? Where should we go when we face life-threatening diseases? Is there anyone reading this who has not lost a mother, a father, a brother or a sister due to preventable health situations?

What about making sure that the upliftments are taken as priorities? What about developing a health care system that will not put the cost above the importance of life in Nigeria? Does living long have to depend on how much money one has and which hospitals one can attend?

When the lives of the people can be prolonged by how much money they have, then the essence of living in such a country is lost. It is a disaster by all standard!

Nigeria needs to improve the health care insurance process and health care delivery system.

This demand for 108 modern public hospitals is not an exaggeration and it may even not be enough to meet the needs of 170m people. But the 108 hospitals in questions are the publicly available hospitals to stop the sojourn of Nigerian politicians abroad. They will also meet the needs of the citizens at large. And don’t forget to bring back our doctors from abroad. Bring them home..!

In the meantime, don’t also forget that our return to regional government is a must because it is the only way to purge the major unrests across Nigeria including the Boko Haram war for which the APC-Buhari mandate has shown it may not win.

The 108 hospitals challenge is on. Now I start to count…

aderounmu@gmail.com

Maryam Babangida, The End of a Chapter

By Adeola Aderounmu

Maryam was 61 when she finally succumbed to the cold hands of death. She battled with ovarian cancer for several years.

Maryam for the record was the wife of one of Nigeria’s former evil ruler-Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida. Babangida is famous for plotting coups and he ruled Nigeria for 8 wasteful years (1986-1993).

Babangida stole more than 12 billion dollars during the gulf war alone. It is not known how much he stole in 8 years of tyranny. Maryam Babangida was obviously part of the evil reign of her husband.

Babangida could probably learn a lesson from the death of his wife and give us back our money. Life is transient and nobody will leave this world alive!

The money stolen by the Babangidas was meant for millions of Nigerians who are now living in extreme poverty and hopelessness. Meanwhile the Babangidas have been living large and far beyond the means of their military father.

There are a lots of online responses to the death of Maryam and many of them have not shown any sort of sympathy to the Babangida family. This ia largely because they consider Maryam to just be one person like anyone of us. Therefore her death is a childs’play compared to the effects that the rule of her husband had on the nation.

Babangida is reputed to have institutionalise corruption in Nigeria. his greatest evil against Nigeria and Nigerians was that he oversaw the annulment of the June 12 1993 elections. That election remained the only peaceful, free and fair election in the history of Nigeria.

But Babangida annulled that election that would have brought MKO Abiola to power as the president. MKO was killed later in detention by the Nigerian military and probably with the help of some American collaboration. Abiola died while receiving visitors sent by Bill Clinton. One question the US has not been able to address…what roles did the American entourage play in the death of Nigeria’s legitimate president?

Anyway, Babangida annulled the election/ results and created confusion that resulted to the deaths of hundreds of Nigerians in the aftermath as riots broke out nationwide.

It is not uncommon for Nigerian politicians to pay homage to Babangida. This is because the man stole Nigeria’s money like no other; he allowed corrupt people like him to occupy key offices and indeed many useless politicians in Nigeria owe their wealth and breakthroughs to Babangida. This is why the Minna home of the Babangida has become a point of rally for evil and political absurdities.

So don’t be surprise by the eulogies that will come from the political circle to honour Maryam and don’t be surprised that in the next few months from today-all roads lead to Minna.
This is Nigeria, the land of bad politics and tyranny.

Maryam is dead. Is there anything that she would have changed if we could turn back the hand of time? What were her last wishes? Definitely nothing close to evil desire of looting money!

Are there any lessons for our greedy politicians about the essence of life? Is Babangida going to give back to the Nigerian people the money he stole or would he continue to live above the law?

What will happen in Nigeria or to Nigerians that will lead to the re-emergence of good?

Judgment is coming to town and those who have eyes, let them see. Those who have ears let them hear. Yar Adua is wasting away in Saudi Arabia. There will be no greater judgment than the “feedback-evil” befalling those who knew the right thing but ended up doing the wrong thing.

Those who are still looting and doing one little thing or the other that adds up to destroy Nigeria will be rewarded accordingly while they are alive and before our very eyes.

As I close this blog entry I am completely indifferent to the passage of Maryam. If her husband and the rest of the evil rulers in Nigeria have done what they ought to do, she would have been in a Nigerian hospital rather than an American hospital. Now that Yar Adua is in Saudi Arabian hospital, let it be known that judgement may have come to town.

Death is certain, life and power are transient.

Live and let’s live..!

Nigerians, free yourselves from Bondage, Seek Change Now!

By Adeola Aderounmu

Nigeria’s illegal president Mr. Yar Adua has gone (again) to Saudi Arabia for another medical check up. The man is extremely sick and very weak. His physical appearance speaks volumes. He is not fit for the post of a councillor how much more the (illegal) president of Nigeria. He was fraudulently imposed on Nigerians by the machinery of the evil PDP government largely assisted by Mr. Obasanjo and the fraudster called Maurice Iwu who is still the head of the useless Electoral Commission in Nigeria.

Mr. Yar Adua

Mr. Yar Adua since his illegal ascension to Nigeria’s top post has visited hospitals in Germany, Brazil and more recently and frequently Saudi Arabia. This is the shame of Africa and Nigeria. For 8 years this man ruled over Katsina State and could not build any hospital that would be able to manage his health and that of the citizens of Katsina. For an additional 2 years of recklessness, absolute waste and meaningless governance he has been unable to design or build or update any hospital in Nigeria to take care of his failing health. And his health is failing rapidly! Not to my joy but to our collective shame that this is the type of nonentity that rules the most populous black nation on earth.

Yar Adua

There are so many problems in Nigeria and an incapable leader is the last thing we desire at this point of our history. We are already battling with many issues including fraudulent elections, poverty, lack of infrastructure, decay in education, low standard of living, internal rife, high cost of living, hopelessness, crime, kidnapping, environmental pollution, lack of electricity and extreme lack of both social and national orientation. We are also battling with politicians who continue to loot the treasury and persistently remain neck deep in the deep rooted corruption. We are becoming a failed country.

Some fools are suggesting a second term for Mr. Yar Adua. In the 2 years of his first term, he has spent more time in health institutions than in the office. He has done almost nothing and he is extremely weak and probably depressed. There is a huge doubt he will make any impact in the 2 years remaining of his illegal reign. The present government in Nigeria needs total FLUSHING. They have to be bundled out one way or the other. With the likes of Aondoakaa, Ibori and Iwu, Nigeria remains in a deep mess. Ogbulafor the PDP chairman heads a network of undemocratic hell angels who will for eternity suppress the will of the people. Under the PDP state of affairs, Nigeria will not rise. It is doomed for calamity.

Nigeria and Nigerians need public institutions that will bring back the glory that is long lost. We must be able to choose and remove public officers as the situation or conditions demand. We must be able to account for our positions in public. All the corrupt people and politicians since 1999 and before remain free. The prosecution of Bode George is 0.0001% of the job that should be done in the fight against corruption.

The 2010 and 2011 elections are already reaping casualties with assassinations. This is the madness of Nigerian politics. This is where social and national orientation is a missing gap. The spirit of live and let’s live is completely absence as successive governments have made jungle of our existence. We live like it’s a rat race.

Nigerians must begin to reflect on recents developments in the country. Bode George was prosecuted-no condition is permanent. Mariam Babangida is terminally ill in an American hospital-her husband could have build hospitals in Nigeria instead of the mansions he built in Minna. The Babangidas could have done more for the good of all. Babangida cancelled the most peaceful and the fairest election in the history of Nigeria and he is reputed to have stolen more than 12 billions dollars of Nigeria’s oil money. Nothing last forever you see. 12 billion dollars cannot buy life.

In one of my articles, I have written that life is a passage. It will always be. The best way to go through life is to live and let others live. What is the outcome of evil acquisition? It is absolute vanity.

Yar Adua squandered 8 years as a governor and 2 years as an illegal president. That he lacks the mentality required to build a state of the art hospital in Nigeria speaks volume about his fate. The good and evil that men do now follows them and live with them.

To all those who are waiting in line for their turn to loot the treasury in Nigeria and to those who are shielding corrupt politicians and other evil people systematically destroying the country, look around you and seek wisdom. Good life is good, but it is evil and wicked to gain that status at the expense of millions of others. More than 70m Nigerians are living on less than 1 dollar per day whereas someone has the guts to steal 12 billions dollars and nothing has been done about that.

The life of all men is not different from those of the flowers that boom at one time and are weak or dead at another time. Everybody deserves a good life especially in a country like Nigeria where the oil wealth from the Niger Delta can cater for the needs of all Africans. Why is poverty so widespread in Nigeria? it boils down to not only corruption but the greed of the leadership/rulership.

WHAT IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR NIGERIA?

Nigeria must go through a new period of genuine transition. Honestly I don’t have the formula but I think there is a need to recall all the thieves who called themselves senators or lawmakers. There is a need to send home all the ministers and public officers who are there just to loot and serve their personal interests. Nigeria needs a period of say 6 months to one year to build up fundamental institutions especially the electoral commission and the anticorruption agencies.

A new reawakening is needed in Nigeria whereby a sense of collective social responsibility is created in the mainstream but starting with responsible leadership. We need a few men and women of honour to steer Nigeria under this transitional period so that we can achieve concrete goals and development in the nearest future.
As mentioned above it is difficult but it requires a great deal of sense and sacrifice. Some people must give way especially as they got into our lives through questionable means. The damage is far too extensive and the earlier we make this needed transition the better. I am no longer worried about my generation, I’m 37 and I can see the
absurd mentality pervading my generation. It appears we have been indoctrinated or absorbed into the wasted generation of Soyinka and Obasanjo. My worries are now towards my children, our children and the future of this blessed nation.

We must set out now, it is no longer dawn, but it is not too late. We can start by sending Mr. Yar Adua back to Katsina when he returns from Saudi Arabia. To do nothing now will confine the largest concentration of black people on earth into the doldrums, FOREVER!

Nigeria 2009 BC?

By Adeola Aderounmu

There is almost 100% complete darkness in Nigeria. The other day women in Abuja were rejoicing over the promise by NEPA that they will be supplied electricity from 7am to 10am daily.

Almost every household in Nigeria now has 1, 2 or 3 power generator sets. From small sizes making loud noises to the very big making deafening noises they come in different shapes and makes. There are even custom-built power generators with minimum price of N150, 000. Nigeria in my opinion is probably the most polluted country in the world. The noise and chemical substances release from the combustion of fuel may have severe consequences now and in the future.

So where does this leave Nigeria because she Nigeria prides herself as the giant of Africa. I hope every Nigerian knows that this total absence of public power supply is a big ridicule. It is a very serious shame and catastrophe.

I do not need to re-evaluate the impact on the cost of business and the subsequent high rate of unemployment. What about the inconvenience and the unhappiness knowing that after a hard day at work, you are going back to the heat or the noise that surrounds you. Nerves can break down!

Darkness poses a huge security risk. Bad intentions and armed robberies are made easy under the shade of darkness.

But this lazy government in Nigeria is not even doing anything positive in ensuring that power generation is improved. After 10 useless years of democracy power generation has dropped sharply, the cost of living has increased and the standard of living is extremely poor. Violence, riots, strike and civil unrest is commonplace. Almost all the important public institutions are experiencing one form of unrest or the other.

Education is completely paralyzed and the health care industry is zero. Yar Adua is on his way to The Middle East where he will receive Medical attention. Nigeria’s fake president for you! How else do you want to describe the state of health in Nigeria when the one who claims to be number one citizen goes abroad to receive treatment?

This is why I was visibly shaken by statements made by Jack Warner FIFA’s vice president as he praised Nigeria and our health institutions preparatory to the U-17 World cup. I am wondering why Yar Adua did not go to one of those hospitals that Jack Warner was describing at the draws in Abuja on Friday 7th of August 2009. What is wrong with Jack Warner?

Seriously what will it take?
To have education back on course?
To have our health care up to standard, available and affordable?
To have good roads and basic infrastructure?
To have 24 hour constant power supply all year all life?
To improve the standard of living?
To reduce the cost of living?
To ensure that we practice democracy?
To ensure that life is worth living in Nigeria?

I am very confused, sad and disappointed in Nigeria where “be corrupt” is the first law of survival…

THE ROLE OF NUTRITION IN THE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF OBESITY

A review by Adeola Aderounmu (Written in May 2005)

Introduction
Obesity is a worldwide chronic disease affecting over 300 million adults. Excess body fat is the largest nutritionally related problem in the United States and many other affluent countries (Willet and Leibel, 2002). The prevelance of obesity in the United States continues to rise dramatically (Flegal et al., 2002) and the situation may represent an epidemic in such a society because of its widespread and prevalence (Kottke et al., 2003).Over the past decade, the obesity rate among French children has doubled, from 6% to 12%, and between 1997 and 2003 the percentage of overweight and obese adults jumped from 37% to 42%. That growth curve parallels the one in the US about 10 years ago (TIME Magazine, May 23 2005). This disease is not limited to industrialised countries as over 115 million people in developing countries suffer from obesity-related problems (Whitney et al., 2005).

Quite naturally, excess intake of food (carbohydrate, protein and fat) can lead to obesity or at least the maintenance of an overweight body. To a reasonable extent, body weight regulation depends on the balance between energy intake and energy expenditure (Jequier and Bray 2002). It is not clear if high-fat diets are in part responsible for the increased prevalence of obesity in several countries. Some questions are of interest, for example (1) why are several epidemiological studies in the United States showing that the prevalence of obesity is increasing at the same time that fat consumption is decreasing? (Willet, 1998); (2) why is the prevalence of overweight worldwide directly related to percent of fat in the diet? (Bray and Popkin, 1998). What is known however is that the ability of the different macronutrients to stimulate satiety and to suppress subsequent food intake is not equal. There is a hierarchy such that protein intake has the most potent satiating effect, carbohydrate has a less pronounced effect, and fat has the lowest capacity to stimulate satiety and to decrease the amount of food energy ingested at the next meal (Rolls et al., 1994 Stubbs et al., 1997 and Prentice 1998). Additionally, glucose is the preferentially oxidisable food nutrient in the cells and the processes involved in the storage of fats seems to consume less energy and therefore fats are easily stored.

High-fat diets are more energy dense than high-carbohydrate diets, and the former favor hyperphagia (increased food intake) (Jequier and Bray, 2002). With high-fat diets, which are energy dense, more calories are passively ingested than with high-carbohydrate foods. High-fat diets favor passive overconsumption and body weight gain (Blundell and Macdiarmid, 1997). It is difficult to correlate the known effects of food substances on the prevalence or incidence of obesity in various epidemiological settings. Nevertheless obesity remains one of the several chronic diseases that have been implicated or linked to dietary and lifestyle factors. Those who are obese are more likely to suffer from life-threathening diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

On the other hand, positive energy balance is not always undesirable. For instance, a growing youth (or pregnant woman) should be in postive energy balance, i.e consume more energy than expended, since they are growing / increasing in body tissues.

Etiology
There are controversies over the factors that lead to obesity. The major factors can be discussed under 3 major headings viz: total energy intake, lifestyle factor and genetics.

Total energy intake
There has been an inverse relation between dietary fat intake and obesity in the US over the last several decades: as the prevalence of obesity has increased, the percentage of calories from dietary fat intake has decreased, (Willet and Leibel, 2002). Despite the lower fat percentage in diets, there has been an increase in total calorie intake. The total energy intake is the primary contributor to obesity, [Bray and Popkin (1998), Jequier and Bray (2002) and (Forrety and Poston,(2002)].

Some investigators attribute part of this problem to the greater frequency of eating outside the home, particularly in fast-food restaurants (McCrory et al., 2000). Significant associations have been demonstrated between eating fast food and body weight (Binkley et al., 2000) and between consuming restaurant food and body fatness. For example, after controlling for age, sex, education, smoking, alcohol intake and physical activity, restaurant food consumption was significantly correlated with the total daily intakes of energy and fat; most importantly, it also was significantly related to body fatness (McCrory et al., 1999). Many full-service and fast-food restaurants and convenience stores offer “super-size” portions that contain 2 to 3 times more calories than regular-size portions.

Dietary fats as well as carbohydrates are probably important contributors to the excessive caloric consumption (Poston and Foreyt, 1999) and evidence has accumulated recently showing that high-fat, energy-dense meals favor passive overconsumption, a mechanism that very likely helps to explain the increasing prevalence of obesity in many countries ( WHO, 1998).

Lifestyle Factor. Physical Activity
There also is a consensus that high prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle in the United States plays a central role in the development of obesity (Barlow et al., 1995). Generally, the lack of physical activity can be an important contributor to positive fat balance and weight gain. Crespo et al., (1996) reported that the prevalence of little or no physical activity is 54% in the general American population and nearly 70% in African American and Mexican American women, a particularly disturbing figure because minority women also experience the highest prevalence of obesity (WHO 1998). Inactivity contributes to weight gain and poor health.

Genetics
Genetic influences do seems to be involved in some cases of obesity; at least researchers have identified an obesity gene called ob which codes for the protein leptin (Whitney and Rolfes, 2005). Even if these suspected genes do not cause obesity, genetic factors may influence the food intake and activity patterns that lead to it and the metabolic pathways that maintain it (Froguel and Boutin, 2001). Genetic factors may influence which individuals within a population will develop excessive adiposity but the rise in obesity observed in recent years cannot be down to genes, the environment is paramount.

As a sequel, in a very recent study University of Glasgow and Bristol researchers reported some findings that support the theory that early life environment could determine obesity:

• Birth weight
• Parental obesity
• Over 8 hours of TV a week at age 3
• Short sleep duration less than 10.5 hours per night at age 3
• Size in early life-measured at 8 and 18 months
• Rapid weight gain in the first couple of years
• Rapid catch-up growth up to 2 years of age
• Early development of body fatness in pre-school years-before the age at which body fat should be increasing
(Source, BBC News, May 19 2005)

Prevention
People with clinically severe obesity may need aggressive treatment options such as drugs or surgery (Yanovski and Yanovski, 2002). There are 2 drugs used to treat obesity: Sibutramine suppresses appetite while Orlistat inhibits pancreatic lipase activity in the GI tract. However, these drugs are side effects and some shortcomings. The challenge for obesity is to develop an effective drug that can be used over time without adverse effects or the potential for abuse. No such drug currently exist (Halsted 1999).

Surgical procedures effectively limit food intake by reducing the capacity of the stomach and suppress hunger by reducing production of the hormone, Ghrelin. This protein is secreted primarily by the stomach cells and act in the hypothalamus. It promotes a positive energy balance by stimulating appetite and promoting efficient energy storage (Kojima and Kangawa, 2002). Surgery to treat obesity involves very risky procedures.

Role of Nutrition
The important question for the prevention and treatment of obesity is to assess whether low-fat diets promote long-term weight loss or slow weight regain (Willet, 1998). Low-fat diets have been consistently shown to promote moderate weight loss over 1 year, and no study has reported an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases with low-fat diets (Mensink and Katan, 1992). It has not been justified that low-fat, high carbohydrate diets lack the efficacy to elicit weight loss or that they have adverse effect in cardiovascular disease prevention. Instead, low-fat diets with more fruits, vegetables and fibres have also been shown to promote regression of atherosclerosis (Gould et al., 1995) and reduction in blood pressure (Appel et al., 1997).

Although low-fat diets have a significant effect on body weight of overweight individuals (Jeffrey et al., 1995), their long-term effect from a public health perspective is limited in the treatment of obesity (Prentice 1998). Nevertheless, promoting low-fat diet should be a priority in any programme for the prevention of obesity. The concept of a weight-maintaining diet is important and may be a realistic approach even in obese individuals, particularly after a successful weight loss after a hypocaloric diet or after gastric surgery in obese patients (Jequier and Bray, 2002).

Some researchers used a new simplified method to assess meal pattern among 2 groups of women in Sweden. Their findings revealed that the number of reported intake occasions across a usual day was higher in obese women compared with controls and the timing was shifted to later in the day. They suggested that these findings should be considered in the treatment of obesity (Forslund et al., 2002). Therefore, it is appropriate from a public health perspective to promote a reduction in total fat intake as an important goal for the prevention of obesity and obesity-induced diabetes because modest weight loss in obese subjects is usually accompanied by an improved insulin sensitivity and a decrease in impaired glucose tolerance (Appel et al., 1997; Ferrannini and Camastra 1998).

It will be reasonable that obesity treatment-related dietary modifications include suggestions to reduce total calories by reducing fat intake, particularly saturated fats and reducing intake of high-carbohydrate foods. In furtherance to this for example, the European Dietary Guidelines stipulated that the specified goal for dietary fat content as percent total energy is for the primary prevention of obesity (EURO DIET). Similarly, the current US incidence of overweight and obesity, and the chronic diseases to which they are precursors, will be mitigated and prevented only with major changes in national dietary policies and programs based on successful experiences and models (Gifford, 2002).

Finally, Physical activity is a necessary component of nutritional health. People must be physically active if they are to eat enough food to deliver all the nutrients they need without unhealthy weight gain (Whitney and Rolfes, 2005). A low level of daily physical activity is a factor that contributes to the positive energy balance, which leads to obesity. Exercise of moderate intensity will stimulate oxidation of fat (Smith et al., 2000). It seems considerable to compensate for the low-fat oxidation by not only promoting low-fat diets but also by promoting adequate daily physical activity.

This review paper was submitted to the Department of Bioscience at NOVUM, Unit of Preventive Medicine, Karolinksa Institure, Huddinge-Stockholm in 2005.

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