Adeola Aderounmu

Lars Lagerbäck is not going to the World Cup to perform experiments. Conventional wisdom shows that that may be a fatal approach. The Nigerian coach will be going to South Africa in June with the players he inherited from Shuaibu Amodu.

What is then the difference between having coach Amodu in South Africa and Lars Lagerbäck who failed to qualify Sweden for the same competition? The outcome of the performances of the Nigerian team will be known in June 2010.

I cannot give a prediction of the outcome in South Africa but I know that the strategy of Mr. Lagerbäck will be different. Nigeria may end up playing a more defensive-style football and if this happens people are really going to be upset with the coach especially if the Super Eagles are disgraced out of the tournament.

Every Nigerian is a football analyst in his/ her own rights. If Lagerbäck’s strategies fail they will tell him what he doesn’t know about our football. They will let him know in clear terms that next to God, the next thing on the minds of Nigerians is football. To hell with politics and the looting politicians. Give us good football and take our sorrows away.

It doesn’t matter that Nigeria qualified for the world cup by a slim chance. The expectations are the same as if we qualified in a big way. Hence it is clear from the team squad that Mr. Lagerbäck himself is not willing to take chances. But the big question is “will he and his boys deliver when the heat is on in South Africa?”

Football coaches have one of the most fragile jobs in the world. Lagerbäck may not realise this because it took so long for him to get booted in Sweden despite several imperfections. Nigeria’s imperfections have produced coach after coach and the recycling of Amodu is a clear piece of evidence. He’s been there 3 times in the last 12 years !

If Lagerbäck fails in South Africa-not getting to the second round or quarter finals-there will be extreme pressure on his employers to fire him. That sort of failure will seal the automatic end to the international careers of the present crop of Super Eagles, most of whom are already past their primes anyway. If Lagerbäck survives he may eventually get the chance to try and do something new for Nigerian football. In that case, say 3 years from now, it would have become evident what he can do with the bunch of talents that Nigeria boast of. Some of us will get the chance to compare his records in Sweden with the situation in Nigeria if he survives 3 years as the coach of football-crazy Nigeria.

Just before the world cup, Nigeria will play 1 or 2 friendly matches. That is if the Football Authority is not fooling around like they did last month. These matches will not be adequate preparations for a country that is serious in going far in the tournament. If Nigerian plays the friendly matches, they will provide rare opportunities for Lagerbäck to see his squad first hand.

Performances in the friendly matches for those who get to wear the national colours and the few days in training will culminate in final selection of players for the world cup.

My expectations are not so high. Still the Nigerian in me wants Nigeria to do well in this world cup. Nigerians need something to cheer about, something to soothe us despite our political and social worries. Football is our religion and history has it that during those moments when Nigeria could have been torn apart, we were kept together by the common glories that football brought to our troubled nation.

I wish Mr. Lagerbäck and the Super Eagles all the best that the god of soccer can give them. With such a dull preparation, they will need all the luck in the world if they want to survive any game at all in the tournament. Good luck may even come from the seat of power. In Nigeria and for Nigerians, anything can happen!

Goalkeepers: Vincent Enyeama (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel), Dele Aiyenugba (Bnei Yehuda, Israel), Austin Ejide (Hapoel Petah Tikva, Israel), Bassey Akpan (Bayelsa United, Nigeria)

Defenders: Taye Taiwo (Marseille, France), Elderson Echiejile (Rennes, France), Chidi Odiah (CSKA Moscow, Russia), Onyekachi Apam (OG Nice, France), Joseph Yobo (Everton, England), Daniel Shittu (Bolton Wanderers, England), Ayodele Adeleye (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands), Rabiu Afolabi (SV Salzburg, Austria), Terna Suswan (Lobi Stars, Nigeria)

Midfielders: Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi (TSG Hoffenheim, Germany), John Utaka (Portsmouth, England), Brown Ideye (FC Sochaux, France), Peter Utaka (Odense Boldklub, Denmark), , Kalu Uche (Almeria, Spain), Dickson Etuhu (Fulham, England), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England), Sani Kaita (Alaniya, Russia), Haruna Lukman (AS Monaco, France), Yusuf Ayila (Dynamo Kiev, Ukraine), Osaze Odemwingie (Lokomotiv Moscow, Russia)

Strikers: Yakubu Aiyegbeni (Everton, England), Victor Anichebe (Everton, England), Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth, England), Obafemi Martins (Wolfsburg, Germany), Ikechukwu Uche (Real Zaragoza, Spain), Victor Obinna Nsofor (Malaga, Spain)


The Last Days of Umaru Yar Adua

Adeola A.

One fateful day in Nov 2009 Yar Adua was flown to Saudi Arabia in emergency mode. What could have been a national sympathy was turned into a national tragedy when the wife and associates of Umaru Yar Adua (UMYA) decided to toy and play politics with the entire situation.

From that fateful day in Nov until his final demise on March 6 2010, UMYA was not seen in public. The only report that he was heard on BBC early this year was not verified.

Turai lied to Nigerians about the status of UMYA’s health. Knowing that the man was helpless and probably unconscious she constantly fed lies into the national and international news media.

Without knowing the truth and being unable to trust Turai, Nigerians made up their own news and speculations. Yar Adua was rumoured and reported dead time and time again in Nigeria and on the web. In one American comedy show Yar Adua was reported to be secretly dead. There are some Nigerians who think that Yar Adua died since Nov 2009. Since no one saw him alive since then or heard him in public that hypothesis remains valid to those who proposed it.

Towards the end of the sickling games played by Turai and her accomplices who by now should be on trial for deceiving Nigerians and performing all kinds of unconstitutional acts, some unreliable religious rulers in Nigeria were paid to tell lies about the status of Yar Adua’s health. And lied they did!

At one point, documents were forged by the then useless and worthless Attorney General of Nigeria, Mr. Aondoakaa and other greedy nuisance in public offices, claiming that the documents were signed by Yar Adua-the man who was motionless and unconscious. Mr. Aondoakaa at the height of his own craziness told the world that UMYA can rule from anywhere-sick bed, toilet and what have you. He was close to telling sane people that Nigeria could have a dead man as a president.

What is more important? The health of one man or the lives of 150m others? It beats me when greed and politics make people so silly and senseless.

Anyway, for 6 months, we were left to speculate as no official or open information were made available by Turai to explain the nature of UMYA health and status. In the past when UMYA had the opportunity to be open and explicit, he chose his words carefully or he hid them. In the beginning actually he lied. He never played any game of squash. It was impossible.

Rumours had it that the German doctors wanted him to resign from office so that they can help him to treat his conditions and that he could get rest from public life after the treatment. It was mentioned that he neglected the advice and went to seek help from Brazil and eventually Saudi Arabia. It must be that he was stubborn or that he had bad advisers around him. Between public office and being able to manage a worrying health condition, what could have been more important?

We are humans, when we die; it is like taking a cup of water from a bucket of water. The impact of our exit is unnoticed. A little ripples and it’s over. Life goes on. Beyond our immediate family, life will remain normal for the rest of the world. What do we live for? Some people don’t even have families, yet they appreciate life with the warmth and company of the people around them.

Since Turai had a mission that the rest of us will never really understand or comprehend she kept 150m people in the dark by ensuring that almost no news filtered out of Saudi Arabia and the hospitals where UMYA laid, invariably unaware of his environment.

When Nigerians were protesting “enough is enough” I was quick to point out that they were wrong to direct their messages to UMYA. The man at that time was totally unaware of what is going on in Nigeria. At that time, he had become a hostage for turai, Aondoakaa and all the other stupid kitchen cabinet of UMYA. Even one Mr. Segun Adeniyi was talking from the 2 sides of his mouth.

For 6 months (Nov 2009-May 2010), evil was on the rise and the main actor was not even aware. In my quiet time, I was full of rage and I felt so sorry for the man. He made several mistakes and there was no point of return.

He came into office illegally. He sustained the illegality with the upside down wisdom of Aondoakaa and the stolen wealth of Ibori continued to work wonders. He had an unnecessary 7 points agenda and barely fulfilled one. He promised an emergency in the power sector. Nothing happened because he did nothing in that direction. The lists are endless of what he didn’t do. Nigeria needs a strong man in strong health in strong institutions because of the nature of our peculiarities and problems. Even if we don’t need strong men, we need strong institutions. With UMYA it was triple jeopardy.

Unfortunately in the end game he became a victim, like the rest of us. Truth is constant. In public life we must not be afraid. We must say the truth. It is bitter and it will cost some of us a lot but sacrifices must be made otherwise there will be no victories. History is full of real stories of how a few good men helped to shape the course of human history. When they were absent and no one did anything, we know what happened.

At that point of no return, UMYA could have died a decent man in his village. But his wife didn’t allow that to happen. She smuggled a whole president into Nigeria in the early hours of the morning another fateful day in February 2010. If ghost stories are real, Turai will be in real soup by now. She turned her sick husband to an exhibition to the chosen few, at a huge cost.

Why didn’t she take UMYA to Katsina? She brought him back to Aso rock for reasons best known to her. Is it about money? Is it about political power? Who can tell her motives? Were these her decisions or the suggestions of those who she cannot disclose? Whatever the case, she made a mess of an already sour situation.

And to imagine the Nigeria scenario-“siddon look” approach. People laid back and watch from a distance as usual. Even Jonathan did not see UMYA since Nov 2010.

And the man died! When he died will be a subject of debate. I have read and listen to many comments and theories. It didn’t have to be this way.

UMYA fell sick because his condition worsened in Nov 2009. Why and how that suddenly became a final journey into his secret exit from earth are questions that Turai will explain if she likes to.

If she doesn’t, we will never know. We will pin our guesses on her greed for power and money. We will continue to think that she didn’t brace up early for life after Aso Rock. Human memory are really short and shattered! Who is talking about Mariam Babangida today? Where is Marian Abacha? People come and people go, good or bad.

What lessons are we going to learn about this story of a woman who became obsessed with power and money (my guesses until she opens up)? I have an answer. Mr and Mrs Jonathan should start planning for life after the presidency. It is the law of existence that political power or statuses are transient-they come and go. I don’t know how many things last forever.

People should not cry for what doesn’t belong to them. When you go borrowing, be prepared to pay back. Don’t kill to avoid paying back as that will only increase your sorrow. Work hard to live beyond the days of your debts. If you can, don’t borrow at all.

Life is a lesson. It remains a stage with all kinds of possible actors.

We must constantly remind ourselves that we brought nothing into this world and we will leave with nothing. With such thoughts, we will learn to live our lives with contentment knowing that greed, selfishness, corruption and insatiable desires will only multiply our unhappiness and sorrows.

We all make mistakes but not learning from our mistakes and those of others is a great disservice to posterity.

Nigeria and Nigerians must learn from the last days of UMYA. If we didn’t learn anything at all, our glory days will never return to us. Never!

PDP-Making a fool of us

Adeola A.

In PDP-21st century Nigeria, they have a zoning system for presidency and presidential candidates.

It is the most stupid thing you can imagine and it is a reflection of brainless thoughts.

If the PDP principle works out, what it means that Nigeria should never be conducting presidential elections. This is how it works.

From 1999-2007 Obasanjo a southerner was the president of Nigeria. From 2007-2015 Mr. Yar Adua (may his soul rest in peace) should be the president of Nigeria. From 2015-2023 an Igboman or someone from the East or South East should be the president. So it means conducting elections (assuming that Nigeria becomes a one-party state) will be senseless and stupid altogether.

If you think about these things and if it works out this way, it shows nothing but extremely low intelligence or the absence of it in the Nigerian political scene. It is one of those things I classify as classical insanity/ madness of Nigerian politics.

According to this evil manifesto of the PDP- the unfortunate party of Mr. Jonathan-Mr Jonathan is living on a borrowed presidency. They mean that he must vacate the seat in 2011 so that a man from the north of Nigeria can finish the terms of Mr. Yar Adua. No greater senselessness!

I don’t pity Goodluck and his new predicament. He came and rose to power through the PDP. He knows what’s in for him and I’m sure his biggest dilemma now is how to change the status quo. That is his headache.

For Nigerians, our headache is how to prevent such a useless and senseless way of thinking to become a permanent way of life for us.

Rotational presidency is rubbish. It is very undemocratic and anti-progressive. Unfortunately it was this excuse that was used to perpetrate the criminal-mode elections that brought Jonathan and Yar Adua to power in 2007. Yar Adua is gone, to rest. This leaves us with Jonathan as the president we never voted for.

I will always wish Mr. Jonathan all the Goodluck in his name. But even luck does run out. Nigerians are talking about electoral reforms. But the PDP which unfortunately happens to posses many strongholds is now the biggest problem we have. Invariably Mr. Jonathan will appoint a northerner as the Vice president. This is PDP’s legacy and the way of Nigerian politicians-doing things that will benefit only the political class who have held Nigeria/Nigerians hostage for 50 years.

In an ideal world Mr. Jonathan will appoint a selfless person and a person who is intelligent to tackle the problems of Nigeria. He should be looking for an active man who will work together with him to see how they can move Nigeria forward, at least one step since 1960.

But that is far from what we have on ground. Merits can go to hell! In Nigeria, some people, usually called the cabal are now arranging how to present a VP to Mr. Jonathan the same way that Jonathan himself was presented to Yar Adua by the Obasanjo-led junta. The same cycle of idiocy is rehearsed and repeated. Welcome to Nigeria!

The ultimate task is to wipe out that useless policy of rotational presidency because if we continue to live by that mechanism, we only confirm that political posts are a means to loot, steal and plunder the wealth of Nigeria.

All political parties should allow free flowing democracy that is devoid of zoning. At every opportunity every candidate irrespective of their origin in Nigeria should be allowed to contest freely for offices and positions as long as they are qualified and not found wanting in a criminal court of law.

Are there people with brains in the PDP? Let them speak up now against this evil against man and nature. It is devilish to zone offices, much so the office of the presidency.

The other options that I mentioned in a post long time ago is the strengthening of the opposition party. Rather that proliferate like the babies of rats, the opposition parties should propose a coalition with viable manifesto and wrestle power from the PDP.

This is where fairplay and the influence of Mr. Goodluck will be tested in the forth coming elections either as a candidate for the PDP if the wicked party abandons its zoning system and allow reason to prevail OR as an observer now tired of pushing his luck too far.

In Nigeria, anything can happen. What looks so certain is that we will get a VP, who like Mr. Goodluck, will not be appointed or elected on merits. Of all the names that have popped up, I fancy no one. I don’t fancy Nigerian politicians when at the time you expect much from them; they give you little or nothing.

Our future is always in our hands. The realities of our lives still stare at us. In the midst of plenty, millions are starving. The basic things of life continue to elude millions. Unemployment remains rife. Education is at an all time low, basic health care is still luxurious , social infrastructure in general are damned and the overall quality of our lives despite the combined wealth from oil and natural resources remains despicable and pitiable.

Nigeria is not a poor country. There is enough in this country for everyone if we tackle greed, nepotism, corruption, ineptitude, sycophancy and selfishness in both public and private places.

Our lives and our future will continue to be in our hands and the outcomes will always depend on what we do or neglect.

Now that Jonathan is President, What Luck comes with it?

Adeola Aderounmu

I’m going be a keen observer, as ever, of the political situation in Nigeria.

Mr. Jonathan is now the president after all the resistance from Turai Yar Adua and co.

Let’s see how the stupidity of the PDP plays out in the days ahead.

Let’s see how the useless zoning will reflect on governance by Jonathan.

I’m interested in seeing and knowing if Mr. Jonathan will lead Nigeria one step forward or if the disctraction of the evil party he belongs to will tie him down to the battle of self-survival and self-preservation.

No dull moments in Nigeria politics- politics of scammers and looters.

Before I forget, congratulations Mr. Jonathan. Pop all the champagne tonight, make merry and enjoy this moment of your life. It won’t last forever.

You have to chose between serving Nigeria or paying back to the godfathers and licking the boots of the dictators in PDP.

All the best Johnny!

R.I.P Yar’ Adua: Another Chapter Closes

By Adeola Aderounmu

Officially Mr. Umaru Yar’Adua died on 5th of May 2010, exactly 3 years after being declared as the winner of the worst presidential (s)election ever in Nigeria.

Mr. Yar’ Adua has a history of ailment ranging from severe kidney disorders to lung malfunctioning and pericardis. May his soul rest in peace. His death will be an issue for discussions months and even years from now. This is because of the roles played by his wife and fair weather political associates. These people toyed with Umaru’s life and history will not be kind to them.

“Do not speak evil or bad of the dead”. Says who? Whatever! The truth must be told. Death is a debt owned by all living things and nobody will leave this planet alive. The things that will benefit posterity must be mentioned even if we decide to continue in our known deception and foolery.

Mr. Yar Adua shot himself in the foot the moment he accepted to mount the number one position on such a huge controversial ground. His health problems were well concealed when he was a governor in Katsina State from 1999-2006. They came to the front during the campaigns in 2006/7 when he fainted while on the trails. At that point some of us were convinced that the last thing a sick country needed is a sick leader.

At that time when reasoning should have prevailed, Mr. Yar Adua lost control of his reasoning. He never regained it. From the moment he was sworn in, his battles multiplied and magnified. He didn’t find peace until he died. He left Nigeria in November 2009 and was never seen or heard again in public.

My take is that if he didn’t become a controversial ruler (as tempting as that was), he would be alive today in Katsina, managing his fragile health and running his family’s dynasty. My take could be erroneous or seriously faulted. I accept that. Still, power, absolute power corrupts. Even the brightest and keenest of mind are not spared!

Mr Yar Adua’s health was enough reason for concern. To add the worries of 150m Nigerians on that was a suicide mission from day one. Mr Obasanjo and Mrs Turai Yar’ Adua pushed Umaru to his grave, too early. Mr. Yar Adua’s death was highly preventable. He was used by Mr. Obasanjo and by his own wife Turai. Obasanjo dumped him while his wife used him as a national bait in the last days. His political partners aggravated the scenario and he refused to see beyond his nose, blinded by faith or foolishness or a combination of both.

The truth must be told. This Obituary is the least of shocks. Mr. Yar Adua had been declared dead before now on not less than 3 occasions. The secrecy of his last days made this final announcement very trivial. Turai Yar Adua ripped Nigerians of this shock since November 2009. Those who benefited from Yar Adua’s occupancy of Aso Rock took away the sympathy of millions of Nigerians long before the 5th of May 2010. I have a friend who was too convinced that Yar Adua died last year in Saudi Arabia. No amount of evidence pointing otherwise can convince him to change his mind.

Early this year an acquaintance of mine who lives in Dubai and Nigeria told me that he knew something I didn’t know. Then my friend mentioned above told me that: Ade, just wait and see, one day they will just announced that Yar Adua is ________. Then you will say that I told you that this man died since_________.

Right now I don’t know what to believe. I am not a journalist. I do limited investigation that time and space permits me. I react and reflect to news and information. I write what I think. I don’t know when Yar Adua died but I doubt that he died on May 5th 2010. What does that matter now? May His soul rest in peace.

Concerning the presidency of Mr. Yar Adua, it is the worst regime by any president or head of state. It was the dullest and the most inactive in the history of Nigeria. No matter what-truth must always be told. The election that brought him to the number one in Nigeria was the worst in the history of man. It was masterminded by Mr. Obasanjo, perfected by Mr. Maurice Iwu and protected like the Holy Grail by the PDP fraternity. The PDD is the most evil party in Nigeria.

With Monies stolen by the likes of Mr. Ibori and other corrupt politicians in Nigeria, the PDP perpetrated the worst disenfranchisement process ever seen in Africa. Apartheid and colonial eras became child’s play. Nigeria never saw anything that cruel since (in)dependence in 1960.

The story of the Obasanjo-Yar Adua era will be insatiable to students of history and political science. They will never be able to get out all they want and the more they get the more they will find intriguing. The emergence of Yar Adua was plainly orchestrated not by the evil machinery of the PDP but with the sound cooperation of the EFCC headed by Nuhu Ribadu.

Ribadu cooked the lies and fabrications that shut Nigerians in the dark while Yar Adua was being smuggled in. The details are too extensive for the scope of this essay. There are no saints and heroes in Nigeria. Our politics encourages a certain form of compromise that will blow away any sane mind in the twinkle of an eye.

Ibori’s role in the emergence and perpetration of Yar Adua are well documented. The roles of Aondoanka and Farida Waziri under the regime are well documented. In short, evil reign supreme in Nigeria. But even with death and sound knowledge that life has an end, looters and thieves in Nigerian political and public life don’t think twice before doing their thing.

Some Nigerians are mourning but take it or leave it the death of Yar Adua is good news to those whose turn it is to loot and steal. Some associates are already smiling to secret banks at home and abroad because we will never find out all the deals made by Yar Adua and these associates get to keep the money designated for some projects or some unknown transactions. Welcome to Nigeria..!

In all, you can ask: what would it take to learn some lessons in Nigeria? What would it take to have people in public service who will really serve? These are some of my worries and concerns over the decades.

My concerns are about the quality of life that we live. My concerns are about good governance and the spread of prosperity instead of poverty and war. How are we going to move this country forward? How can we as 150m Nigerians enjoy our lives with the short stay we have on this planet?

Yar Adua professed to help Nigeria but some of us knew that with his precedents, there was almost nothing he could do to impact our lives positively. Just like Babangida whose wife died in a US hospital recently, Yar Adua himself did not also see the need to build reputable hospital in Nigeria that could cater for his health problems.

Babangida was a dictator for 8 years during which he stole more than 12 billion dollars and he didn’t have any idea that a good hospital could save his wife’s life in the years ahead. He preferred to go abroad. Death has no address. We will all leave this planet, it doesn’t matter if we are rich or poor.

Yar Adua made the same mistake. He was governor for 8 years and ruler of Nigeria for 2½ years. He preferred to fly abroad for treatment. If he didn’t fly abroad so often, who knows what could have happened? No one knows!

Life remains a passage. Nothing last forever. Why loot? Why steal? Why acquire ill wealth? Why possess a mandate that is acquired by violence, evil and blood? The best way to pass through life is to live and let’s live.

In 2011, we’ll see if our votes count and if someone in Nigeria has learned any lesson that it is appointed unto man to die once. That vote-that we die, no man can change or alter.

May the soul of Umaru Yar Adua find peace, at last..!