Nigeria, O Nigeria..!

Adeola Aderounmu
My lamentations continue and the story goes on that Nigeria is a very sick country.

I have uninterestedly followed the ministerial list/nominations drafted by Mr. Jonathan or whoever is responsible for the shortlisting-maybe the state governors or senators or godfathers.

There is a serious problem because what is happening is the same old stupid act being played out in a new predictable chapter. The foundations of this country were destroyed many years ago or maybe it didn’t even exist in the first place.

Nigeria is so divided that with the way things are (or have been) there is no hope. I don’t see any progress coming soon as a result of the lack of the understanding of the basic principles of democracy, fairness and justice.

Whilst there are one or two outstanding names on the list, the bulk of it shows that we continue to draw up Ministerial list based on state of origin and ethnicity. You will never find a greater sign of unwholesome division and failure of nations in human history. The trademarks are clearly evident in the way Nigerians think and act. This country may never know progress for as long as this is the way we want to do things.

I am not sure if it was the military that bestowed this method of governance on Nigeria or if we allowed ourselves to be swindled by the morons and brainless people in the corridors of power. How did they get there in the first place?

Nigeria will probably not make any visible progress nationally in the coming decades until a major change takes place.

It is wrong to draw up Ministerial list from states of origin or ethnicity. It is a stupid argument to state that that is how to achieve balance in Nigeria. Indeed it is a sign of mediocrity.

For this country to make progress and to ever even think of becoming a developing nation (Nigeria is not developing dime!), public institutions and other parastatals that influence the quality of our lives must be run by people who are capable and qualified, not people who are useless and stupid. We continue to bring is irresponsible people into our public institutions because of their ethnicity and origin.

Until we accept that this is wrong and anti-progress, this country will know no peace and make no progress. Until the voice of reason subdues the voice of sycophancy, we are going nowhere. Until we are able to find that mechanism that will relegate state of origin and ethnic background, we are only demonstrating laughable acts out of our weak national cognitive abilities.

All over the world, states and governments are functioning or trying to function by electing competent people into offices and sacking them once there are major shortcomings or issues of concerns. In Nigeria we continue to rewards thieves and their families and friends. What a joke! What a useless attitude!

Who would have cared if all the Ministers are from the old Bendel State if electricity is constant? Who would have cared if all the Ministers come from Adamawa if water flows in every home and schools and roads are world-class standard?

Who would have cared where the president comes from if he doesn’t steal? Who would have cared if he was rightly elected (and sack-able) under normal democratic circumstances? What would I care if the quality of my life in Nigeria can be as someone living in a less prosperous European or Africa countries.

With the wealth from Nigeria, Nigerians should be living the best life quality in the entire world. The reverse is the case-some of the world’s poorest people are living in Nigeria. What nonsense! What an aberration!

Check out Mr. Jonathan’s list. He didn’t make them for sure. There are limits to what he could have as “his” inputs. The rest are from godfathers, political gladiators, PDP (the most evil party in Africa) and individuals whom Mr. Jonathan owed one political favour or the other.

Based on the mechanism of drawing up the list, just a little fault lies with Mr. Jonathan. The rest lies on the failed system that operates in Nigeria. The Nigeria system remains a recipe for disaster. It is a recipe for profits for political conquerors of Nigeria. Once you get into that clique, all you need to do is to play safe and dance to the turn of the reigning Caesar. You will always earn your reward for loyalty. Then you can be in the position to either directly or systematically loot the country until your time fade out.

History will not forgive these wicked souls benefitting from Nigeria while the rest of us are suffering. History I pray should never be kind to these people and their offspring. They ruined us!

They loot and plunder the land. We have no water, we had to make boreholes. We have no electricity, they sold generators that we bought. We pollute the land and inhale poisonous gases everyday. They closed our schools and send their children abroad or the best private universities which they owned. They took everything that made us happy away. They stole our future. They took our lives away.

And they continue to bring in their offspring and their likes (they called it federal character) just to ensure that we remain in captivity. For all they care this can last forever. They call us Nigerians but they act like they are not part of us. They are even worse than the colonial masters. They are worse because they took everything away.

When will the glory of this country return?

The Ore school pupils’ tragic excursion

The Ore school pupils’ tragic excursion

WRITTEN BY Luke Onyekakeyah

(For the Nigerian Guardian Newspaper Tuesday March 23rd 2010)

ONE day one trouble! That is what Nigeria has become in recent times. There is unceasing flow of ugly incidents traumatising the citizenry almost on daily basis. The deaths, last Wednesday, of 42 persons from Aricent Nursery and Primary School, Olupitan New Site, Ore is shocking. The incident has devastated families whose loved children perished in the ghastly crash on the Ondo-Ore federal road. It has added to the litany of bad news that has become the lot of Nigeria. The grief-stricken parents would never be the same again. In a twinkle of an eye, their loved kids were gone and they have been thrown into unending anguish for the rest of their lives. That is the story of today’s Nigeria; otherwise the accident was avoidable if things had been done the proper way. That is in addition to the deplorable road condition. As it were, no day passes without people dying on the roads.

The pupils and their teachers including the proprietor of the school, Mr. Tairu Ariyo, who also died in the accident went to Idanre hills on an excursion and were returning when the accident occurred. The 18-seater bus in which they were travelling had a head-on collision with a trailer. Ten of the pupils died on the spot. The rest of the seriously injured pupils were reportedly rushed to the General Hospital Ore where they died due to poor health facilities and inadequate attention.

Only one medical doctor was reportedly on hand to attend to the more than 30 pupils brought to the hospital in critical condition. Besides, the workers at the hospital were said to be uncooperative amid calls by desperate parents to have attention given to their dying kids. The abject state of affairs at the hospital obviously contributed to the mass deaths of the pupils. A better-equipped hospital with well-trained medical personnel could have saved the lives of many of the pupils. One distraught mother who lost her daughter in the accident described the Ore General Hospital as “a glorified health centre with no basic equipment”. That, in truth, is the condition of general hospitals throughout the country, where hapless citizens die owing to poor facilities to attend to the sick.

The Ore incident has brought to the fore the issue of standards in the running of public and private schools throughout the country. The decay in virtually every facet of the country’s life has created a culture of impunity whereby people do what they like knowing fully well that nothing would happen. For instance, in Nigeria’s school system, there are no laid down standards for conveying or transporting students from one place to another like you have in developed societies. Throughout the country, school children are ferried in horrible buses to and from school and for field excursions.

Schools use any type of buses to transport students and pupils to events over dangerous roads. It is well known that majority of the schools don’t have school bus of their own. What these schools do is to hire rickety commercial buses whose drivers are known to be reckless on the road. So many students/pupils are packed like sardines in such unhealthy buses. It is common in Lagos, for example, to see students packed like sardines in decrepit chartered commercial buses going on one trip or the other. This practice has resulted in the death of many students/pupils in the course of excursion trips. The Ore school incident is certainly not the first of such incidents. It is un-imaginable how over 64 pupils were packed like sardines in an 18-seater bus for an excursion. There is no doubt that the bus was overloaded and that could have contributed to the accident.

If field excursion is part and parcel of school curriculum, why are the schools not required to provide a standard school bus before the Ministry of Education gives approval. Why does the Ministry of Education overlook something as important that endangers the lives of innocent pupils who get excited whenever their schools organised excursion but only to meet their untimely deaths? Such incidents, which keep occurring without intervention from the appropriate quarters only go to prove that many things are wrong with this system that need to be addressed.

With the collapse of standards in the education sector, anything goes for the schools. The public universities are in worse shape. How many universities have standard buses for conveying students? The Ministry of Education is not living up to its responsibility to prevent this kind of deaths by ensuring that the right things are done in the schools. The blight affects both the public and private schools. Few private schools have school bus of their own choice. But there is hardly any public school with school bus. There is no talk of creating the right environment for learning or providing the right equipment. The Ore school incident happened to be one of the latest of such mishaps. There is no school bus system in Nigerian schools and yet students/pupils are transported to and from the schools in whatever could be chartered by the school.

The other factor that contributed to the accident is the appalling state of the road. The Ondo-Ore federal road is a death trap like the dilapidated Benin-Ore highway. The road is narrow and is bordered by thick forest on both sides. This makes it difficult for drivers to see on-coming vehicles even during the day. Night driving on the road is most dangerous. Unfortunately, the dead pupils were returning at night around 8p.m. when the accident occurred. The poor state of the road coupled with the recklessness of the drivers must have contributed to the crash. And so it was that healthy pupils who left their homes in the morning in high spirits perished on the road leaving their families devastated.

These days, hardly any day passes without one ugly incident or the other occurring that shocks everyone. The newspapers are awash with shocking headlines on daily basis. They range from mayhem, ethno-religious attacks, armed robbery, kidnappings, accidents, fire outbreaks, building collapse, strikes, demonstrations and such ugly incidents. All these incidents result in horrible deaths of hapless citizens. Many families in Jos have since the beginning of the year been devastated not by earthquakes like in Haiti or cyclone like in Fiji but by man induced inhumanity to man.

The average Nigerian is daily bombarded with hearth-rending news stories and you begin to ask where the country is heading? Cheery news is scarce to come by. The country is not officially fighting any war like you have in Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the charged atmosphere in the country has made living irritable. The average person on the street is tensed up as he or she faces the hurdles of the day. It is this state of affairs, the way and manner Nigeria is carrying herself that has given room to speculations of a possible break-up of the country. It is high time the country’s leaders showed commitment to issues that affect the citizenry. The way things are going is not in the interest of the country.

Regarding the school, it is high time that government made it mandatory for schools to have standard school bus for conveying students/pupils and for field excursions. A school bus is as important as a school building. If a community could afford to build classroom blocks, that community should be able to buy a standard school bus. Similarly, any private person who could afford to build classroom blocks should have a budget to buy a standard school bus. This is needed to create standards. And the creation of standards would start from somewhere. Except this matter is addressed by the Ministry of Education at the federal and state levels, students/pupils will continue to die in unclassified chartered buses.

Switzerland Kills Another Nigerian..!

Adeola Aderounmu

In 2007 Spain killed Osamuyia Aikpitanhi as he was about to be deported. There was an outrage by Nigerians Worldwide.

Since then we have read about other Nigerians killed in Russia, China and possibly other places.

The news on friday that Switzerland has committed one more murder by killing another Nigerian is disheartening.

Why do European Police have to killed asylum seekers set for deportation?

Is it not enough to arrest them and put them on the flight back home?

Why do they have to use extreme measures like covering their faces and tying them up like animals just because they want to deport them? Seriously even animal right groups would protest if animals are treated like that.

But these are the things they do to Nigerians and other immigrants on deportation list-they tie them up and often they inject them with poisonous substances!

Switzerland should be ashamed of itself for this murder!

The Nigerian embassy in Switzerland should take up this issue very seriously. The policeman or woman who committed this crime should be dismissed with immediate effect and place on trial.

If they consider it a state murder the government of Switzerland should tender an unreserved apology to the family of the victim and to the government of Nigeria. The government of Switzerland must take measures to stop these state murders as this is not the first time. One hopes that this will be the last.

I do not in any way encourage illegal migration of Nigerians to Switzerland but I strongly believe that the human right conventions should be allowed to take its course when there are violations. Invariably there are no provisions that asylum seekers should be killed.

I do not also encourage Nigerians who are involved in drug traficking in-and-out of Switzerland. In that case the law should take its course. I am also sure that Switzerland would not have instructed its law enforcement agents to be agents of state murders in that case. No one should act above the law.

After all is said and done, we should never forget all these events. We must take measures that will promote the rights and privileges of the ordinary citizens regardless of whether they are legal or illegal immigrants. Life has no duplicate and the dignity of all must be respected.

Back home in Nigeria the government must do all it can to improve the economic and political situations. We owe it to ourselves as Nigerians to develop our domain, our country and our motherland. No one will do it for us.

We must do these things to encourage Nigerians to return home and to reduce the urge of desperate migration flow to Europe and other places.

In this particular case, some of us are watching and waiting for Justice.

May the soul of the departed find peace!

Story from BBC, Friday 19th March

Switzerland has halted special flights to deport asylum seekers after a Nigerian man on hunger strike died on the tarmac at Zurich airport.

Swiss police say they had shackled the 29-year-old man, who was being forcibly deported along with 15 other Nigerians whose asylum bids had been rejected.

When he fell ill on Wednesday the police took off his shackles and a doctor tried in vain to revive him.

Swiss authorities have launched an investigation into the incident.

Police said they had shackled the man because he had resisted deportation.

Two Nigerian witnesses quoted by the Swissinfo news website accused the police of inhumane treatment.

“They treated us like animals,” said one, called Emmanuel.

“They shackled our feet, knees, hands, hips, arms and torso and made us wear a helmet like those worn by boxers. It was simply impossible to move,” he said.

The man who died was a drug-dealer who had been on hunger strike for several days.

It is the third such death in Switzerland since 1999.

Last year there were 43 special repatriation flights from Switzerland, deporting some 360 people, mostly to the Balkans or Africa, Swissinfo reports.

Nigerians Abroad-The Shame We Bear

Adeola Aderounmu

It is quite difficult to explain to the people we meet in Europe, America and elsewhere that Nigerians are decent people.

The recent madness and genocide in Jos gives us a huge burden that is too much for us to bear or carry. True we don’t own anyone any explanation. But it is still shameful and disgraceful to associate with a country where children and women are slaughtered like animals.

The Killings in Jos add to the shame of the Nigerian suicide bomber that we were yet to get over.

Nigeria is gradually overtaking Somalia as one of the worst places on earth. That is an unbearable burden if you live in the US or Europe.

You go to work everyday and you meet people who start to look at you against the backdrop of what is happening in Jos. They might be thinking: could he/ she possibly have such a tendency-to kill or maim?

I’m wondering how many Nigerians have been placed on unofficial watchlist at their various workplace worldwide.

I have spoken to many Nigerians abroad and we share the same feeling of shame. It appears that we carry the cross for the madness of the handful of idiots who have perpetrated genocide and massacre in Jos.

Some of us have to explain to our colleagues that Abdulmuttalab was a Nigerian abberation. A typical Nigerian youth from a wealthy home (whether the wealth is stolen or not is irrelevant here) will always try to impress it on others that he is from a rich family. He drives the best car, uses the best of everything and at Muttalab’s age, he picks the best girl-the most beautiful even if her brain is empty.

We have not even finished explaining how stupid Muttalab was when the genocide in Jos escalated. What explanations are we going to give for this religious extremism overshadowed by economic and social reasons?

Me, I am tired o. Personally I have contemplated doing stuffs to erase my Nigerian roots but I haven’t found the courage to denounce my origin. Yea, I finally find the courage to write about it today. It might mean the beginning of greater decisions.

Apart from these stupid events, I still cannot also find the similarities between myself and all the thieves who have looted Nigeria’s monies since 1960. To this day I don’t see a single similarity between myself and all the useless senators and legislators scattered across Nigeria.

Mr Jonathan is trying to employ new ministers and already there are indications that for every minister nominated the Nigerian Lawmakers will receive millions of naira as (what?) kickbacks or bribe or allowance.

If they receive 1 dollar for that, they are stupid enough!!!

But they want milllions!!!

Who are these people? Eh?

Seriously Nigeria is a failed country!

I don’t know what is left of that country and where it is heading.

Sometimes I just think- well, they are mad people and so they don’t even think about what they are doing or saying.

We are 140-150m, over 90m living in poverty. There are millions of Nigerians who are short-changed daily by these evil administrators-looting, stealing and just sharing money.

What happened to governance?

I am short of words these days…Something needs to be done otherwise this collective shame will not stop.

How long will the rest of us bear the pain and shame of these few people destroying Nigeria? Just how long will the madness continue?

Nigeria, the issues at stake

Adeola Aderounmu

The news that Mr. Jonathan has dissolved the cabinet today is not to be received with any form of jubilation. If anything it is a new cause for worries.

Mr. Jonathan unfortunately does not have the choice of handpicking the executive members. For several years the system of governance in Nigeria is not based on merits or knowledge of the individuals in their chosen fields.

Right now what is going on is lobbying (which is normal and fair enough) at the different states of the federation where the new cabinet members will come from. At the end of the (new) long wait-which is a serious deficiency of the system-names will be drawn up from the different geographical areas of Nigeria.

The people who will get nominated will be happy for the invitation or re-invitation to loot and steal from the masses. This is the process since 1960-bring in people and let them lie and steal!

The Nigerian National Assembly will also be bubbling by now. We have seen these shameless people in the past soliciting for bribes from nominated candidates so that they can be confirmed by the senate.

For me, history is just going to repeat itself. The senate members will collect bribes, the new executive members will be square pegs in round holes or the other way around. The cycle of idiocy will continue.

There is nothing wrong in dissolving or re-shuffling the cabinets. I’m just afraid that I have seen thousands of that before in my life time. Things only get worse.

We run a system where everything we do is too cosmetic and irrational.

Rather than cabinet reshuffling I would have called these ministers to give an account of their stewardship and achievements. I would have recommended them for prosecution for all the monies that they have stolen. I would have used them as examples of how “not to steal and loot”. I would, as a leader, try to give good examples of what it means to lead.

These men and women will walk away from governance with all the monies that they have stolen and looted. They will be replaced with new categories of thieves. The whole nonsense will continue.

Mr. Jonathan is trying to ascertain his command, but in the end, he will get new people around him that he barely knew.

There are more pressing issues to face in Nigeria.

There is war in Jos. Niger Delta is waging war against Nigeria. There is poverty, millions of Nigerians-more than 70% of the population are extremely poor and living on less than 2 dollars per day. We are talking about approximately 90m people or more. It is one of the biggest human tragedies of modern times. Highly overlooked, but the consequences will make Biafra and Somalia to be children’s plays if Jos and Niger Delta escalate into full blown wars. The rest of the world will not be spared, and this is not going to be the price of gas only.

These grave problems dwarf the significance of the cabinet change in Nigeria, no matter how relevant it seems to the present occupiers of the seat of power.

Nigeria is on a brink, the gun-powders are leaking. Add the wars to the unemployment, insecurity of lives and properties and the uncertainties of everyday life, we are starring at a human disaster on the rise.

Something must give way, otherwise Nigeria will give way and hundreds of nations may arise. No one knows what the consequences and repercussions will be. It’s time for those in the rock to wake up. Even the rock is not immune from weathering. It can happen..!