Come Let’s Celebrate! It’s 50 Years of Hopelessness!

By Adeola Aderounmu

I continue to marvel.

They are either aliens or extremely special breeds of wicked souls taking revenge for things that I cannot explain.

I will probably continue to write about this particular issue until October 1st and afterwards.

We have complained that it is morally wrong for Nigeria to celebrate the 50th year anniversary in an ostentatious manner because of the resounding failure of the various governments since 1960.

Our pleas and appeals have fell on deaf ears.

Goodluck Jonathan planned to celebrate with 10b Naira. We complained. We suggested that the money should be used to procure cancer testing machines for our dilapidated hospitals.

Yar Adua died of kidney and heart problems. The government of Nigeria should consider millions of Nigeria suffering/dying daily for the same/ similar reasons and procure kidney dialysis machine and other instruments relevant to the testing and treatment of kidney and heart problems.

These idiots in government don’t see the need to divert money into the health institutions so that we can increase the life expectancy of Nigerians with figures less than 50 years.

One man told me that if Goodluck does not do the party that some other persons will embezzle the money. This is the level to which the Nigerian mentality has descended. We talk like mad people.

Alas! The men in the Nigerian senate/ house of assembly confirmed the stupidity in the Nigerian political space by reviewing upward the money for the party. I think it is now around 16-17 billion naira!

So ladies and gentlemen of the sane world, we will soon be treated to a worldwide party that will cost 17 billion naira or more.

And we also live in a country where scavengers make less than 200 naira a day and they have families to feed.

Our politicians in Nigeria are special.

Sometimes I think their senses are under their feet, smashed.

We are complaining that we should have a low key celebration and use this time of our 50th anniversary to map out strategies that will make us emerge a developed country in our second jubilee and all we can get for the calamities in Nigeria is a party worth 17 billion naira or more.

No greater madness!

The money is not a big deal to those who approved it because they can steal, loot and cart away millions through exaggerated salaries and bonuses while the rest of us can go to hell.

These people who think and act foolishly owe us no apology, no probity and no accountability because we didn’t vote for them.

Our politics is jungle politics where the fittest survive and win everything. The weak and losers lick their wound and beg for favours.

We are in trouble and constant dilemma.

It is hard to believe how we reason and how corruption had destroyed the essence of our lives.

Today I dedicated my twitter and facebook statuses to the African children whose future had been stolen even before they were born.

Has anyone thought of a 17billion naira education endowment fund, how much it will avail if it is not looted?

Curse apart, suffering will persist on the African continent until true freedom is fought for.

Freedom after all is not free.

Jos, Crises Without End

Adeola Aderounmu

When I heard about the recent uprisings in Jos, I didn’t show any interest in blogging about it.

Some friends have read tiredness into my recent attitude towards Nigeria. They have asked me not to give up.

I am not giving up. I am writing my book and looking after my family.

For the records there have been series of killings and counter killings in Jos in the past few weeks alone.

I actually have a feeling that people are killed everyday in Jos since the end of the 2007 elections. I have a feeling that there are thousands of unreported killings and extra-judicial killings.

The killings that make the news are the ones that leaked and could not be covered.

More than ever before the government of Nigeria and the Plateau State governor specifically must find a permanent solution to this mayhem.

But what is the solution or what are the solutions?

Since I don’t live in Jos it will be hard for me to proffer a solution especially on the short term basis.

But on the long run there is a lot of work to be done on education of the citizens and massive public enlightenment on the nature of the problem and the need for the citizens to eschew violence and embrace peace.

The politics of Jos has been mixed with its religion. The results continue to be fatal. How do we resolve this particular issue without arousing sentiments in fanatics on both side of the divide? It’s a precarious situation.

But I’m convinced that there are permanent solutions. It may take time but the crises can all be resolved and the people can live together, tolerating one another and enjoying themselves in peace and tranquillity.

Jos today is not a haven for anyone. That is unpalatable.

The people must be involved at the grassroot level as we seek lasting solutions.

Those useless politicians instigating unemployed people and the illiterates must be fished out. They must face prosecution for the crimes they have committed against humanity. The signals will be strong and definite when people are sent to jail.

That’s the hardest part of the Nigerian judicial system. We don’t send guilty and corrupt people to jail for fear or sentiments that are best known to the political or ruling class. We run our states and national issue like we are mafians.

Certain rotten and useless political Codes must be broken if we want peace in Jos and progress in Nigeria.

Now I’m digressing but I want to stay on this Jos crises.

There are ways out and the governor and all the stupid people capitalising on the ignorance of the people know that there are ways out. But because of the benefits that the political / ruling class get from the ignorance of the people, they prefer the status quo no matter how many people have been killed or how many more that will be slaughtered in the days ahead.

Our country is a peculiar one. We live always in one dilemma or another.

If I am the president of Nigeria I would abandon all the owanbe parties that I have planned or been invited to, I will go to Jos and live among the people for a few days, get a feel of the situation and proffer that everlasting solution. This may mean provision of infrastructure in every community, it may mean provision of good roads, good schools and massive employment opportunities.

I believe that there are ways to take peoples’ minds away from violence and religious fanaticism-find them something to do and give them their sense of dignity. Return to them all forms of social justice and ensure that there is something for them to look ahead to, a bright future.

Nigeria at 50, This is Nigeria and Other Stories (My Second Book)

Adeola Aderounmu

I am writing my second book. The first one was more of a test run. I published it myself in 2007 and sold a few copies but gave out more as present/ gift.

The second book will be a more serious deal, as I do hope. All writers are the same-looking for the break. Paulo Coelho said it all in THE ZAHIR.

Nigeria @ 50, This is Nigeria and Other Stories

Nigeria @ 50, This is Nigeria and Other Stories

Regardless of what happens I hope this manuscript will make it through certain stages. This time I will definitely have a professional read my manuscripts. I will expose it to criticisms and proof readings. No rush.

I will get it across to friends in Nigeria.

When I sent a copy of my first book (shown below) to Nigeria by post, it was duplicated and circulated by photocopying. It generated some interest but I don’t know the extent.

It gives me hope that there will be something to look forward to if I can introduce this new manuscript to the right sources in Nigeria and abroad.

The Entrapment of a Nation

The Entrapment of a Nation

A Niger Deltan President?

Adeola Aderounmu

By stroke of fate Mr. Goodluck Jonathan became the (ruler) of Nigeria.

We must not forget that this man was handpicked by Obasanjo to become the Vice President in 2007. Obasanjo it was who also handpicked the late Umaru Yar Adua.

History has recorded the observations that some of us made on the useless election of 2007. We say Never Again to such shame and stupidity of the highest order.

We now look forward to the future. We are keen to see if we have learnt our lessons and if we can actually sit down, think, plan and conduct credible elections. The 2011 elections are just around the corner. It won’t be long.

If Mr. Jonathan succeeds he will become the first president of Nigeria from a minority group. History will be made. It’s not a pain to wait for 2011.

Before then however history is already recording the deeds of Mr. Jonathan. In fact history has his records already since he became a prominent Bayelsa State politician. Unfortunately the stories are bad especially regarding his wife. The EFCC under Ribadu probably has an unfinished task.

There are many tasks that Mr. RIBADU left undone. The Andy Uba dollars-in-presidential-jet saga will be a life time stigma. It is indelible. Conscience-the open wound that truth only can heal-is my best word on such matters. The rest is common sense.

But one manipulative advantage you get when you are protected by impunity and reach a position of authority is to destroy files or influence cases to your benefits. Mr. Jonathan has done well so far. Kudos!

The more pressing issue however is that for over 50 years the people of the Niger Delta have suffered. Nigeria’s oil is from the Niger Delta. 150m people depend on this oil since 85% of our national income is derived from the sale of crude oil. Who knows where the other 15% comes from?

Some of the poorest people in the world live in the Niger Delta Area of Nigeria. They have no access to basic infrastructure. Their environment has been destroyed and polluted by international oil companies. In the Niger Delta foreign nationals live like kings and queens while the indigenes are suffering.

Indeed there have been a lot of politics destroying the development agenda. State governors from the Niger Delta area must also be held accountable for many of the vices in the Niger Delta. They played politics while the ordinary people suffer.

Without delving into the history of the violence and the poverty, we must now focus our minds on Mr. Jonathan. He is from the Niger Delta. As the ruler of Nigeria, what will he do to bring social justice and freedom to his people?

When the northerners were in charge we blame them for negligence and tribalism. We accuse them of stealing and looting. How will Mr. Jonathan correct some of the anomalies of the previous governments?

How will he ensure that oil spillage ceases and that the oil cabal is checked so that progress and development can take place in his home region? What measures will Mr. Jonathan take to ensure that the Niger Delta becomes more beautiful that the administrative Abuja?

Abuja was built with oil money. How does Mr. Jonathan want to ensure that oil money is used to build the villages, cities and towns where the oil is extracted?

He might say he want to win in 2011 first before he starts to act. It might be too late. You can never be sure of tomorrow. You must seize the day-today. You must start that process of amendment now, not tomorrow, not 2011.

This opportunity to build the Niger Delta and the rest of Nigeria of course is a rare one considering the history of Nigeria dominated by hegemony.

If Jonathan fails to deliver to his people now, the chance may slip by. Nothing is guaranteed in Nigeria. Nothing is sure in this life, only death.

He might say we didn’t elect him. That is right. I have no real or legitimate president all my life and I’m almost 40.

Shagari was rigged in 79 and 83. Obasanjo was rigged in 99 and 03. Umaru was packaged in 2007 and Jonathan inherited Umaru’s burden. At other times I was ruled by maniacs, dictators and tyrants. I have endured!

This is why so much is at stake now and in 2011. I’m longing for a leader that I can call a president. Someone I can be proud of.

There is so much expectation, not the first time though, and the anticipations are huge as well.

People are longing for a change. A change they can believe in.

Unless a purposeful leader emerges the change will not come.

A purposeful leader and his household will, show good examples, be prudent, be selfless, corrupt-free and above all lead with a sense of purpose and vision.

Wasting billions of naira on a useless celebration or party while we wallow in permanent darkness due to lack of electricity is not a good sign.

My Random Reflections @ 38

Adeola Aderounmu

Time waits for no man. This is the third in the series of my random reflections about Nigeria written on my birthday.

I must confess it was really hard to find things to discuss about.

Exactly 3 years ago I argued that there is almost nothing new to write about in Nigeria.

Many of the things we complained about 30 years ago are still unresolved. Nigeria’s problems must be one of mankind’s greatest puzzles.

I refuse to overflog the issues.

However it is just necessary that we continue to remind ourselves of our potentials and our collective failures.

Nigeria remains a potentially great nation with very bad rulers. We are missing true leaders.

This country has been captured and recaptured by people who imposed themselves on us by force. Truth does not expire and time does not transform illegality into legality. The misapplication of the law can conveniently do the latter.

Evidently the rulers of Nigeria never learn from history and in the arrogance of their minds and their avoidable misconceptions about power they continue to repeat the same old and silly mistakes. Together we remain in doldrums.

The one who rules Nigeria today by inheriting the remnants of the 2007 charade will now spend billions of naira celebrating failures. Meanwhile pensioners are dying on the verification exercise queues. Some schools remain closed while our children roam the streets missing lessons and examinations.

I promised not to overflog the issues.

But one should never look beyond Nigeria’s political arena for the definition of insanity.

Nigeria is taking a turn for the worse with each passing year because as a nation of over 140m people, we lack a good leader. We are missing true leaders. Blood suckers-those who attempt and succeed in taking as much from us as possible-continue to reign in Nigeria.

We need a change that can work for Nigeria.

Maybe in 2011, 51 years after independence we will finally be able to count our votes. We’ll see where the electoral reforms take us and if we can finally have genuine democracy and legitimate government in Nigeria.
With the different views we have on election and election matters in Nigeria and considering our volatile tribal inclinations it will take a great deal of education and public enlightenment to have a successful election in 2011.

To be honest 2011 is not the magic year. A lot of water has passed under River Niger since June 12 ‘93. I don’t know the probability of getting to that threshold level.

But our best shots, we must give!

I’m still working hard on the goals and plans that I made @ 37

I’m afraid of time. I may never be able to do all I wanted to do, for myself, for humanity. I may never be able to write all the books that I had in mind.

I have plans but the family remain a fundamental time-taker. Daily work is essential too.

I must continue to look for the right people and the right moments. A number of thing will surely fall in their rightful places in due times. I’ve got to keep on moving, keep all dreams alive.

Well it’s my birthday and as a tradition I have never failed to celebrate for the past 15 years. I’ve learnt to count my days and apply my heart to wisdom.

The celebration this year has been two-folds. The first was with my family on Saturday at the countryside and the second with my friends on Sunday at our home. But my birthday is July 12th so the celebration can continue because I’m usually on hols this time of the year since 2002.

I have challenges but there are reasons for me to celebrate and share with others. Not least was an additional professional academic degree last spring.

Greater challenges lie ahead. Not least the task of building Nigeria. Nigeria is sinking because of Nigerian-made factors that suit a few and enslave the rest.

I still believe in Nigeria as a workable project if we can break that cult-like rulership and enthrone the true pillars of democracy.

2011 will provide a testing ground for our institutions. We’ll see if we manage to build them on principles or if we still left them aimlessly on selfish people.

The modes and outcomes of the 2011 elections will provide a quick insight into what lies ahead in the new jubilee.

The outgoing one (1960-2010) is a complete disaster and any form of extraordinary celebration (or looting mechanism) attached should be considered as a crime against ordinary Nigerians.

History will not be kind to the protagonists of such wastage in the land of the resilient.