Things That Happen In Nigeria (Part 1)

By Adeola Aderounmu

I remember that sometime in the late 1990s I filled and submitted the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) form for employment in Nigeria. This is 2013 and no sane person in the Human Resources Department of the Federal Civil Service Commission of Nigeria has contacted me to inform me about the status of my application.

I would not be wrong to conclude that no one cares about my application since employment opportunities in Nigeria has been totally reduced to man-know-man and other unspeakable conditions. Unspeakable in the sense that nowadays you can be even employed in certain public and private institutions just like the same way people do “black jobs” in other climes. It is wickedness of the highest order if 30-70% of my income goes to a certain beneficiary because he/she helped me to secure a job.

On the homepage of the FCSC there are no available jobs and that would probably make your online application a ghost search. This is where the paper form becomes a gold search and your personal connection with top government officials a clear advantage.

This year (2013) you will need about N25 000 to collect the civil service application form for employment. This fee may not be an official requirement but since we are talking about Nigeria many idiotic things are deniable yet applicable. I can only imagine how many Nigerians have applied for employment into the Federal Ministries over the years.

In Nigeria unemployment is at a world record level. Around 90-100 million Nigerians are unemployed-that is ten times the total population of Sweden! More than 30 million of these people can be categorised as youth under 40 years of age. This is a large market for fraud (and other atrocities that have invaded Nigeria over the years) if you ask me. Just like in the cursed oil business in Nigeria, there is a likelihood of a cartel presiding over the direct embezzlement of the applications fees for the jobs that do not exist. Nigeria is a failed country I have no doubts.

One of the problems with Nigeria is that you don’t even know who is doing what. Nigeria has excessive administrative jargons which promote inefficiency and aid massive corruption and ineptitude. There is a man called Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji who is the head of the Civil Service of the Federation and there is a woman called Deaconess Joanna Ayo who is the chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission.

They can now start to look at my application and let me know where I stand regarding my application submitted several years ago. In fact the Director Generals in the various Federal Ministries in Nigeria who are given 4-5 allocations of the application forms need to bury their heads in shame too. Not a single job is advertised today on the FCSC homepage!

But wait. Who talks about shame or crooks in Nigeria? Nonsense! Almost every civil servant and private employee in Nigeria will do whatever it takes to earn substantially above his/her income because of the unrealistic and useless wages approved by the corrupt federal and state governments in Nigeria. I mean who can live on N18 000 monthly in Nigeria? Is there any family in Nigeria that can live on N50 000 monthly? The latter would be still almost impossible if all the children are deprived of any form of education. Those who earn bigger still try to live above their incomes.

The systemic nepotism and corruption that has overtaken virtually everything and anything Nigerian has become an almost incurable spiral network that span from Aso Rock in Abuja to Igbogila where my grandfather lived and died several years ago. If you are not corrupt in Nigeria you are an endangered species.

Aso Rock in Nigeria is where all the monies from the four corners of Nigeria are supposed to be gathered before being re-distributed to every Dick, Tom and Harry that govern one way or the other in Nigeria. This type of government that creates a million loop holes is the most useless form of governance that I have seen in my life.

It must take nonentities to start and sustain such a system of governance. Posterity will neither forget nor forgive those who destroyed the Nigerian Federation and substituted it for the destructive unitary system. It must also take a great deal of indifference and careless followership to allow the reign of a useless and worthless system. My anger knows no bound.

A systemic destruction of the moral and social system in Nigeria and a parallel replacement with the business of trust in God and Allah rather than the entrustment of societal and ancestral values in capable hands have derailed and submerged Nigeria/Nigerians in what looks like an everlasting doldrums.

I’m never going to be able to calculate the amount of money that has been stolen from innocent and desperate applicants in the name of Civil Service Employment opportunities. The affected departments in Abuja should stop this exploitation and looting.

Once upon a time in Nigeria merit took the forefront when people were given jobs and responsibilities. We know how times have changed very badly for Nigeria. Today in Nigeria any useless or insane person and even a criminal can occupy any position in public service as long as the person is connected. Gone are the days when things were done correctly in Nigeria.

Federal character destroyed partly the merit system in Nigeria. An inexplicable affinity for sudden wealth and insatiable greed aggravated the situation. Tribalism and nepotism completed the destruction. In Nigeria today public trust is zero. The governments are not working. People do what they like and live recklessly. Life is not appreciated in Nigeria. In extreme situation, the people and the government bend the constitution/law to perpetrate their evils, in broad day light!

How can you change for better a system where everybody is looking suspiciously at the next person and over their shoulders? How can you change a system where people believed that their neighbours can be responsible for their misfortunes and bad luck? How can you change people who in these entire dilemma run between mosques, churches and fetish shrines while perpetrating all sorts of evils in offices, environs and homes?

Personally my mind has continued to jump between hope and hopelessness for Nigeria. I feel hopeful for the great minds that are produced in Nigeria. I feel hopeless because in public and private enterprises everybody becomes a vulture ravaging what is left of the national cake in the name of self-preservation. Nigeria is not working.

Since it appears that only a handful of people are genuinely interested in saving Nigeria, I have for the moment aligned my mind along the possibilities of the changes that may come with self-determination, national conferences, referendum or outright political re-structuring that will bring back regional governments. I will continue to argue that there will not be a magic formula for Nigeria (if she is to recover say in the next 50-100 years) but not even getting started along that recovery road remains a lingering sad situation.

The Mad People I Always Write About

By Adeola Aderounmu

Mad Politics and the Nigerian House of Thieves

In several essays I never fail to mention that Nigeria is in the hands of mad people.

If the presidency is not mad, it will not be so corrupt an insensitive. If not for madness the urge for retention of power will be replaced by the urge to serve and deliver on electoral promises.

Across Nigerian government houses, state governments, local governments and so on, mad people are in control.

Even the wife of the president has joined the madness by fighting for her husband in Rivers State.

Mrs. Jonathan on the Rampage..

By Adeola Aderounmu

Mrs. Jonathan is the wife of Nigeria’s Ruler and on this date, she has more or less set Rivers State on fire.

The Governor of River State Mr. Amaechi is having some midunderstanding with Mr. Jonathan. It’s all about power drunkenness.

Mrs. Jonathan is fighting for her husband and trying to unseat Amaechi.

This is madness made in Nigeria.

River State is in disarray and a state of lawlessness has been unleashed.

I think the people of Rivers have a choice. It’s either they flush out Mrs. Jonathan out of the state or they flush out Amaechi. They cannot serve two masters or two monsters.

The more correct thing is to flush out that useless woman who cannot speak two lines of correct grammar.

Mrs. Jonathan is a disgrace to her family and her husband. She shows lack of home training.

Nonsense and ingredients!

My Random Reflections @ 41

My Random Reflections @ 41

I write this personal series since I turned 36 in 2008 not to impress but to constantly remind myself and those that care that a country that has the potential to be probably the greatest in the world turned out to be among the worst places to live on earth. The Niger Delta of Nigeria is enriched with deposits that can cater for the entire sub-Saharan African but some of the world’s poorest people live there.

If critics stop writing almost every country in the world will go down and posterity will not forgive both the people who are responsible for the calamities and those who stood still and did nothing at all. What we write today in books and on the web will continue to shape the world now and the things to come albeit imperfectly.

On a very personal note, in the last 365 days many things have happened to deepen the gap between me and Nigeria. Deepen in the sense that I’d lost touch with my blog updates and essays here in the Village square. Even in the last one month, terrible things have happened. For example some criminals have been executed in the south of Nigeria.

Governor Adams Oshiomole justified that use of the gallows as stipulated in the Nigerian Book of the Laws. It is Oshiomole’s mates in the past military and all civilian administrations that should be executed because they are the real thieves. But he who pays the pipers dictates the tune therefore the real criminals in political offices especially get away with all types of crimes that have sent millions of Nigerians to their early graves.

The cowards in the ranks of Boko Haram have stormed a secondary school and murdered more than 40 children. Nigeria was recently rated as the worst place to have a child. It may also be the worst place to raise a child considering that more than 10,5 million children have no access to education  or school facility and those who manage to get one are massacred in the far north. Before the latest massacre hundreds of schools have been razed to ashes in Northern Nigeria.

In River State, Mr. and Mrs. “Smith” Jonathan have unleashed anarchy. They may deny this allegation but the precedents will get them entangled. Nigeria’s ruler Mr. Goodluck Jonathan has replaced democracy with both autocracy and tyranny. Mr. Jonathan has hired many liars as his communication cronies. He may soon buy real bull-dogs to tell his stories. Who does not know that the stories belong to the marines?

 With the present order of things, Nigeria is a failed country. In several essays I have argued about people who become successful in Nigeria (either through genuine means or criminally) and their lack of understanding of the functions and obligations of the state to all and sundry. I will not over-flog here.

What I know is that the failure of Nigeria as a country has been attributed to several factors. We have constantly reminded ourselves of the unholy matrimony in 1914 between a resource-filled southern Nigerian and a resource-deficient Northern Nigerian for the pleasure of the queen of England.

Many writers have cited corruption, nepotism, greed, primitive accumulation and all sorts of crimes that have been committed by both the civilian and illegal military governments in Nigeria. The blame game and the faults are inexhaustible. Summarily though both civilian and military governments have aided in demolishing Nigeria.

Both systems have been mainly supervised by crooks and criminals since 1959. The military juntas and their civilian accomplices hastily destroyed all the institutions and arms of governance and paved way for the failed unitary system that persists till date. The longer Nigeria is hinged on the (now volatile) unitary system that concentrates power at the middle, the nearer she moves towards a violent disintegration.

What we must not forget is that those who fought for the independence of Nigeria are mostly intelligent people. Indeed during the 1959 elections and after the celebration of independence in 1960, something fundamental went wrong. It may be the promotion of tribalism or nepotism. It may be the nature of power or just that urge to promote self or one’s nationality above the rest.

In any case the disunity of Nigeria became obvious and the survival of the fittest became the norm. It is what reigns in Nigeria today. People live in a rat race in that country near the equator. Several years after the civil war, Nigeria remains in a state of both intra-tribal and inter-tribal warfare.

All the problems with Nigeria will not be solved by one magic approach.  Before it gets too late, some amelioration can be sought. There are modern ways to pursue political reforms. Conducting referenda and engaging nationalities in National Conferences are very popular globally.

It does not matter how long the Nigerian elites and gangsters in the PDP, APC or other political groups hold on to the status quo. The mad politics in Nigeria today that puts the wealth of the country in the pockets of a few male and female tropical gangsters will fall someday. All the people will not be fooled all the time.

One addition though as to how we may have lost the plot. We must also not forget that Nigeria now suffers from a deep-rooted intellectual deficiency at all strata of governance and in several facets of our lives. Across board, it is people with low level of cognitive capabilities that reign. The few intelligent people in government have been drawn down (by greed or primitive-accumulation tendency) and they became even bigger and uglier monsters.

To be sure, the speeches (that is the promises) of Nigerian politicians, gangster dictators and public office holders have never really converged with their actions (abilities to deliver). If this convergence-according to Vygotskij-is the most significant moment in the course of intellectual development, then Nigeria has always invariably been in the hands of mostly mad people, since the British left.

Nigerian rulers past and present have inflicted on the system wounds that may never heal. That is why in the midst of heavy military presence, Boko Haram could still infiltrate, cause severe havoc and unleash terror. There are allegations that the former Northern military elites are members of Boko Haram-that the sect came into existence when they lost their grip on the military and their civilian arm lost the rulership of Nigeria. How many allegations and counter allegations can trail one notorious terrorist group? In a predominantly uneducated north, anything is possible I dare say.

In the North there is fire in the desert. In the south there is fire in the forest. In the middle, there is fire on the mountain. We can all attest now that those who make positive, progressive changes impossible in the North, South, East and West are also being consumed by the different monsters that they created. It is only a question of time before the flame spread all-round.

Unemployment in Nigeria is in a world of its own. Public education is at a halt and many social infrastructures are over stretched or absent. The list of all that is wrong with Nigeria surpasses a 4-unit course at the University of Lagos. Sadly, things are getting worse as these useless politicians continue to amass wealth to buy property in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Dubai and all over the world. When they are not abroad to buy property they are throwing parties or receiving treatments for all kinds of ailment ranging from headache to fracture and severe ones. It’s all madness!

Churches in Lagos now have military guards. Pastors fly in Jets and Helicopters. They ride, like the politicians, in armored vehicles. Since the spate of kidnapping has now spread even to Lagos, not many politicians sleep with both eyes closed at night.  Armored vehicles during the day and sleepless dark nights-where is the peace for the wicked rulers?

Where is our bragging about Lagos? We boasted that kidnapping will remain the pastime of the Niger Delta militants created by Odili and Obasanjo. Ha ha! Our braggings fell flat now because the system continues to downspin and is now totally rotten. Everybody wants to get rich quickly, just like the poli-thieves too who encouraged mediocrity over diligence. People are lost!

The problems with Nigeria are many. There will not be a magic pill to solve them. Jet-flying pastors or Imams sitting on leather mats in mosques will never be successful as prayer warriors to intercede and solve the problems.

Nigerians will have to sit down, reason together and talk like human beings in the 21st century and not like the lunatics in River State. They will need to go beyond the Egyptian approach. We don’t need a yearly revolution or intermittent epileptic interventions.

No magic pill, but for a start Nigeria needs reforms that will bring about long term, sustainable political structures that will eliminate the unitary system and empower the regions. Such reforms will give regional autonomy or re-instate regional governments like the Western Region, Eastern Region and so on.

Nigeria needs a system that we revitalize the arms and institutions of government through power separations. Some of these changes must take place now. Nigerian politicians are not seeking these changes or any change at all because politics for them is a form of livelihood rather than service. If you don’t know, read it here now that 99 % of Nigerian politicians are crooks. They are so few yet they ride on the majority who keep running to churches and mosques.

If we don’t change the present order of things or if we don’t successfully make a demand for the changes, Boko Haram and recently River State are giving us dress rehearsals of the things to come as we approach 2015 the predicted exit year of Nigeria. It is Rotimi Amaechi who is feeling the heat now. He is not a saint. Many people have been eliminated by the actions or ineptitude of the different governments.

Terror across the country should make Nigerians wiser. The worst may come when the political class eventually self-destructs completely. People will attribute it to divine intervention yet at that time there will be nowhere to run, just like Asa sang in fire on the Mountain.

There is no better time for the people of Nigeria (irrespective of tribe/nationality within Nigeria) than now to demand for the changes that will usher in 2015 in a fashion that removes power from the center and place them in the hands of the people in the different regions. This is not the magic pill but it is a better way to go than allow Mr. and Mrs. “Smith” Jonathan to direct the 2015 tropical gangster wars aka jagajaga (s)elections.  

These are my very random thoughts today July 12 2013.