Kaka, The Best Footballer Alive..

By Adeola Aderounmu

May I just take this moment of AC Milan’s glory to express my thoughts on my favourite hobby, football. Kaka, in my opinion, is the best footballer alive in the year 2006/2007. Ferguson was very partial and sentimental to tip C. Ronaldo.

Kaka plays a very purposeful football. He does not waste his time on irrelevant moves and unnecessary tactics. He has great moves and excellent tactics and he uses them as and when appropriate.

Ronaldinho and Robinho are still playing great football but this year has been a very good climax for Kaka. Gattuso is great in the defensive midfield.

Back to Kaka, he is the most consistent player alive. He is not one that have ocassional bursts of brilliance which is the hallmark of been a Manchester United Player. He is too consistent and almost too good to be true.

Thumbs up for Kaka. I hope that you will be crown as the best player. This is your time!

UPDATED 23RD MAY

 AC Milan won the champions league. Thanks to 2 touches from Inzaghi but credits to the ingenuity of Kaka, the originator of the 2 goals. Kaka is a living legend! He is the best footballer in 2007. No doubts!

Congrats Kaka, Congrats AC Milano………

Updated again dec 18 2007:

And so it was that Kaka was named as the best footballer in 2007. I knew this since May that Kaka has no rival in football at this point in time.

It is too obvious to miss it that no one is playing as well as Kaka right now.

Congratulations Kaka on your success, you earned it!

Related link: Kaka the Best

NIGERIA; THE ABSENCE OF COMMON GOOD

ByAdeola Aderounmu

One of the biggest challenges in Nigeria is the absence of “for the good of all” since the day that Nigerians took their future in their hands by bidding farewell to the colonial idiots from Britain. On May 1, 2007 the Guardian chose to publish the article contributed by Pat Utomi who seems to be a good man among the bunch of many rogues that have just jostled for the criminalized election in Nigeria. This man, who appears to be without blemish wrote that he has henceforth dedicated his life to the struggle called Nigeria.

In my opinion, this is a very positive and healthy development. We have seen a few honest men in the past but the problem is that they never get to that vantage position where their good intentions can be tested nationally. This to me is the greatest challenge that Utomi faces. On the face value, he wrote honestly and intelligently. I am not in a position to access this man called Utomi but he has been around the corner long enough to be taken for his words. We may never be able to try such men as we should. In Nigeria, if you are not a thug or ruffian, you may not be well adapted to survive on the political terrain. Our democracy is not for decent people.

In our part of the world, we are involved in the selection of public office holders and an arrangement called kangaroo elections where we may or may not need to vote. It doesn’t make a difference what we do on polling days. I am still very amazed that we have Nigerians who vote on selection days. Why do you vote when the winner of the election could be someone who is not even a candidate? You are 20 000 in your community and a total vote tally of 100 000 could emerge.  So, why are you as a normal (or abnormal person maybe) still heading for the polls at the next “election”?  Nobody has given you a guarantee that it will not be business as usual. Do Nigerians know the meaning of boycott?  You could even lose your life trying to cast a vote for some lunatic attempting to reach a certain political status! Why take such a risk?  There are more than 50 reasons not to vote in Nigeria. The number is correlated with the number of ways that do-or-die politicians achieve their objectives. The 2007 elections in Nigeria is a new world record for cheating possibilities. All other African countries should NEVER allow the Nigeria Government to give them advice anymore on democracy or how to chose or run their government. The example of Nigeria can ruin Africa and the entire world.

 The reason for all these catastrophes and retrogression in Nigeria is simply because there is absence of the common good. The politicians are selfish and an average business adventure is set out to milk the populace. The blame is cyclic and the cycle itself is idiotism. The reason for politics in Nigeria is not to improve the state but for some nonentities to earn a living and siphon riches to personal gains.  The Nigeria state is not set up to run itself like all modern systems are. Over the years, Nigerians generally have resorted to any means possible to be rich and live comfortably. This started with the rapid collapse of the infrastructure, non-maintenance of anything public/government owned. In a short time, all social amenities hit the rock and the basic necessities of life became elusive. Eventually, only a few people live comfortably relative to the 140 million inhabitants. 

Lack of common good bred by a fearful combination of both greed and corruption has ruined Nigeria. Reported as one of the poorest countries in the world while on the contrary and in reality, Nigeria is arguably one of the richest countries in the world.  There is abundance of natural resources in the country. If you study the geography of Nigeria, you will end up being confused since you will not be able to understand why an average Nigeria should not be able to live on  more than USD 100/ day if they so chose.  This is attainable since the intelligent minds have calculated that the wealth from the Niger Delta of Nigeria alone can sustain the entire Africa. If this is true, then it is extremely ridiculous that the people in the Niger Delta of Nigeria are among the poorest in the world. They are poor socially and ruined environmentally. Ask the foreign oil companies about that and how they have been aided by succeeding governments in Nigeria to trample on the local indigenes. Indeed, what I call “mass poverty” prevail in Nigeria. 

Ask yourself, where does all the income from the oil goes to? Why are there no refineries in Nigeria, the sixth largest producer of oil in the world? Why is Agriculture no longer the main foreign exchange earner in Nigeria? Where are all the cocoa farms in Western Nigeria? Where are the groundnut pyramids in the North? Where is the Cassava from the East? Where are the products of the Ajaokuta steel factory? Where lies the coal industry?  What happened to the Hydro-Electric Power Generation system? Where are the graduate employment schemes of old? Do not attempt a full list of these potentials and don’t even think about the human resources in terms of intelligence and availability! You will be more confused and disillusioned.

 So what went wrong? Many things went wrong. The bottom line is absence of the common good. The politicians are the worst culprits and the civil service was not left out as well.  Nobody believed in the government any longer and people did what they liked. The results: prevalence of hunger, increase in road accidents, increase in general morbidity and mortality-due to diseases and non-functional health system. Absolute collapse of social order, disappearance of public infrastructure, bad roads, lack of water, non-functional drainages, pensioners maltreatment, delayed salaries, public treasury looting, rage of armed robberies, police brutality, sports facilities disappearance, injustice to the poor and less privileged, examination malpractice across all strata, lack of electricity, relegation of educational values, tribalism, nepotism, anger, lack of planning, unemployment and frustration. Name any vice, it may be present in Nigeria, possibly on a large scale and acceptable (anything goes). There are also 419 fraudsters within Nigeria and as retaliation to take back from the western world (so they say).

 The government of Nigeria is the greatest representative of 419 globally. Don’t look too far back, just ask the conductors of the last “election” how they conducted the last exercise. Ask them how the results were pre-determined as in all previous selections in Nigeria.  Ask them how they have learned the tricks that further revealed the absence of common good. In Nigeria, the absence of common good has helped EVIL to prevail. Where evil prevail, sorrows abound and suffering will never end. This takes me back to Utomi. Is he sincere? How many sincere people do we need to take Nigeria forward progressively? Shall we have more honest men to stand up in the fight to save Nigeria? Nigeria is collapsing and what she needs is the voice and actions of the people with common good.   aderounmu@gmail.com 

Revisiting ‘How to be a Nigerian’

 By Edwin Madunagu (The Guardian 3rd May 2007)

ACCORDING to our political historians, the country now known as Nigeria, with approximately its present size and international boundaries, was constituted into a British colonial territory between 1885 and 1914. But, as Obaro Ikime stated in his book, The fall of Nigeria, “the events which took place between 1885 and 1914 were but a culmination of a series of events, indeed a process, which began early in the nineteenth century”. The territory was constituted from several chiefdoms, kingdoms, city-states, tribes, principalities and communities.

Many Nigerians still claim that Nigeria was an arbitrary creation; but some others insist that the creation was not so arbitrary. By this they mean that there were historical, geographical and economic factors that favoured integration. In other words, they are saying that if the British conquerors had not come, or had remained as traders and missionaries, a country with more or less the shape and composition of Nigeria would have emerged, with time.

Be that as it may, Nigeria did emerge in 1914. It was defined by its location, boundaries and composition. A people called Nigerians, also emerged and were also initially defined by these factors. That was 93-years ago. On Octoebr 1, 1960 Nigeria was granted political independence. A question which has not been exhausted by history is: To what extent has the original identification and definition of Nigeria and Nigerians been transcended? In other words, to what extent has Nigeria transcended the description of “artificial creation”? When we say the “Nigerian way”, “Nigerian mentality”, “Nigerian culture”, “typically Nigerian phenomenon”, what do we mean, if anything at all?

In 1966, Peter Enahoro, then 31-years old, but already Group Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Times newspapers, tried to answer these questions in a humour-loaded book titled: How to be a Nigerian. Enahoro had joined the Daily Times 11-years earlier as a sub-editor. By 1958 he had become Editor of the Sunday Times. Peter Enahoro, a younger brother of Nigeria’s elder statesman, Chief Anthony Enahoro, introduced the publication as a “guide book for natives and expatriates on the conduct, deportment, comportment, bearing, demeanour, mien, carriage, actions, the misdoings, misconduct and misbehaviours of the Nigerian adult, male and female”. The book carried the author’s real name and not the pseudonym, “Peter Pan”, by which he was known in his incisive and very popular column in Daily Times.

As How to be a Nigerian is more than 40-years old, we may need to recapture the historical background. Nigeria became independent as a federation of three regions-North, West and East – and a federal capital, Lagos. A fourth region, the Mid-West, was created in 1963. The population of the country at the time the book was written was 55.6 million constituted by about 90 “tribes” – the more edifying name, “ethnic group”, was not yet in popular use then. Governance was characterised by a triple affliction: tribalism, nepotism and corruption. The first military coup took place on January 15, 1966. This fact was, however, not reflected in Peter Enahoro’s book also not reflected was author’s narrow escape during the counter-coup of July 29, 1966.

Why did Peter Enahoro decide to write this book? I can deduce two reasons from the preamble. First: “Too many writers are trying to solve Africa’s political and economic problems, without looking at the people with whom they are dealing”. Secondly, “I offer this book as a tourist guide to those Nigerians who wish to break with tradition and visit their own country. Nigerians are great travellers, except in their own country. They travel far and wide in Africa. You will find them selling diamonds to Ivoriens in Ivory Coast; they run small businesses in Ghana and make thundering good living selling hand-woven Ghanaian cloth to Ghanaians. You will find them in the heart of the Congo too, selling elephant tusks off Congolese elephants to the Congolese”.

But at home, Enahoro lamented, “Nigerians are parochial. Flatters say we are a stable people. No doubt about that. At home, the Nigerian is intrinsically static. They are stable people who are immobile”. That was 40-yars ago. How far have we evolved? The preamble ended: “This book does not pretend that it is a philosophical or sociological work; it does not affect to be of scholarly depth. Its aim is to enlighten in an entertaining way, to show that the Nigerian can laugh at his own idiosyncrasies. For this reason, I commend this book to the man with a large sense of humour”.

The main body of the book has 21 short sections. From these I pick the section titled: The spirit of compromise. The reason for my choice will become clear at the end. Besides, the section give an insight into the entire book. Peter Enahoro opened the section with the declaration: “No Nigerian arrangement is permanent unless that which has been arrived at by negotiated compromise”. He then elaborated: “This fundamental principle is more than a habit. It is a religion. A situation in which normalcy is achieved without compromise is suspect and every effort will be made to disrupt it so that a proper compromise can be worked out to ensure stability”. He provided several illustrations from which I make the following selection.

First illustration: arbitration: “When a Nigerian is invited to arbitrate, he knows that he will be condemned by both sides if he does not find fault with either side to the dispute – and praise both for their infinite patience, at the same time. Thus, he will lean over backwards to blame the obviously innocent party and pick on a trivial trespass so that he can be seen to have been fair. The result of this arbitration would then be a compromise between a lasting scar and a fresh wound. The arbitrator’s equivocate upbraid of the guilty party is enough to instill a sense of guilt; yet his censure of the innocent party is sufficiently unfair to arouse fresh hostility”.

Second illustration: commodity prices: “In most parts of the world, a price tag tells you the exact cost of an article on display in a market. Not so in Nigeria. There are no price tags; although there are prices. Which is a fair compromise between giving goods away and having prices. What happens is that the market mammy knowing that the correct price of a dozen eggs is five shillings, asks one shilling more; the customer knowing that he should rightly pay five shillings offers one shilling less. Then seller and purchaser haggle and haggle and after driving a hard bargain, compromise on five shillings”.

Third illustration: the civil servant: “Civil servants are also a compromise between incivility and servitude. They are inherently uncivil and economically servile. The civil servants is underpaid, which makes his service equivalent to servitude. On the other hand, the civil servant takes a razor-sharp tongue to work with him and will snap like the jaw of a crocodile at the least provocation. Thus, while he is not civil, he is a servant. It is a rare compromise”.

Fourth illustration: diplomacy: “In the First Republic, our diplomats went to great lengths to see that they spoke when everyone else had finished speaking and half the conference were in the tea-room. This was in the great tradition of that technique of diplomacy highly favoured by the political leaders of the period. It was called the doctrine of self-effacement; or the overseas policy of self-concealment. In practice, it meant that if there was a slim chance to cancel ourselves out at any international affair, we had to snatch it. Most diplomats approved of this and would often tell journalists proudly that Nigeria’s successful policy was to hide from exposure. In other worlds, our foreign policy was a compromise between bring physically present and being effectively absent. Like playing right full back in a football match, sitting among the spectators”.

Fifth illustration: marriage and family: “Marriage is a rich breeding ground for compromise. In many happy monogamous homes, marriage is a contemplated compromise between bachelorhood and polygamy. This is largely accepted, as marriage itself is understood to be a compromise between promiscuity and public morality. The Nigerian family is invariably large. This is understandable, for the Nigerian family includes relations as far distant as the 12th cousin removed. Thus, in fact, the Nigerian family is a compromise between a village and a clan”.

Six illustration: summons: “When you summon a Nigerian, saying to him: will you please come here a minute?” he will say to you ‘I’m coming’. In fact, he is not moving. What he really means is that he will join you as soon as he can – which may be ages. Therefore, his answer is a compromise between outright refusal and rushing over to see you”.

I commend: How to be a Nigerian to Nigerian patriots and genuine democrats who desire to engage the Nigerian question afresh, and from the roots. A monumental tragedy has just befallen the country – a tragedy that is all the more tragic and complicated because of its farcical form. But soon, an unprincipled compromise will be proposed by professional, but satanic, peacemakers. This compromise will then propel the country to a greater tragedies – until we arrive at the point those who want to bury Nigeria want us to be.