Don’t Try This In Nigeria, You May be killed!

By Adeola Aderounmu

Me, wearing camouflage shirt and shoe

Me, wearing camouflage shirt and shoe

If you dress like this in Nigeria, you are a dead meat!

This autumn Camouflage is back in trend globally. Military outfits will be worn by many people around the World.

In Nigeria you should never wear a military-styled outfit. You will suffer in the hands of the police or Soldiers if they find out that you are a civilian wearing military outfits. I can tell you that you may be killed in the process.

I know somehow who narrowly escaped when he was put in detention in Nigeria for wearing a military short. He was lucky and able to go ahead with his marriage ceremony. He travelled from Sweden to Nigeria and almost lost his life because he was wearing a camo-short.

Many Citizens of Nigeria have been tortured, suffered and humiliated because they wore camouflage outfits.

I don’t know why this is a deadly outfit in Nigeria.

It may not be unconnected to the criminal tendencies of the locals or robbers. I mean I can imagine that some idiots have pretended to the Soldiers and probably caused harm or problems in the past.

Or maybe the army in Nigeria is just paranoid.

Me and My friends, Me in Camouflage shirt

Whatever the reason the fact that you cannot wear a camouflage outfit even when it is in vogue means a lot. Nigeria is very uncivilised and backward in many things that are just basic.

It is a big shame. Serious one!

The Elizabeth Dafinone Story (Exclusive)

The Elizabeth Dafinone Story

Written by Adeola Aderounmu and Elizabeth Dafinone

Former Senator, David Dafinone has been described as probably the most distinguished Deltan man alive in Nigeria. He is the patriarch of the renowned Dafinone Dynasty. His family owns a Guinness world record for having the largest number of chartered accounts in a single family. Apparently not all the Dafinone children became chartered accountants. One of them was neglected and abandoned to a lonely fate in faraway England.

This is the story.

David was studying at the University of Hull when he met and fell in love with a Scottish woman named Helen Joan MacKay. The affair was not a one night stand. They had a relationship and lived together in Hull. David‘s first child Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone was born on the fourth of June 1955 in Hull, England. At that time, Joan was a housewife so to speak.

Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone's birth certificate

Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone’s birth certificate

Earlier, during WWII she trained as an SRN nurse in Edinburgh Royal Hospital. She told of how the nurses had to stay on the wards during the bombings to look after the patients. Sometimes she peeped out of the blackout curtains and saw the faces of the German pilots looking to see whether they had hit their targets.

During the time that the romance between David and Joan bloomed and produced a child, Joan’s family was skeptical about the relationship. They did not approve, not because they were prejudice, they just thought it unwise for two people of such different backgrounds to be together. Joan completely cut herself of from them after that, in order to be with David.

Young Elizabeth Dafinone and Yound David Dafinone

Young Elizabeth Dafinone and Yound David Dafinone

Unfortunately for Joan, in the late 1950s David met and had an affair with a young girl from the West Indies. Her name is Cynthia. When Cynthia became pregnant David was forced to leave Joan and started living together with Cynthia. Cynthia may have arrived in Britain along with her family earlier in the 1950s. It was a time when a lot of West Indians were encouraged to go to Britain to work. She may also have lived in Brixton, an area of south London.

Things turned sour for Joan, who had given up everything to be with David. Her parents were dead but she had two brothers. One was a lawyer and the other a doctor. When David abandoned her to hook up with Cynthia, Joan was completely devastated. Having lost her family to be with David, she was too proud to turn back to them. She became a lonely single mother.

That was the end of the chapter for Joan in David’s love life.

When David separated from Joan, his family members in Nigeria were not pleased. Apparently, his allowances were stopped and David had to work at the post office for a short while to make ends meet. In Britain at that time (1950s) discrimination on the basis of colour was rife. Joan Dafinone (formerly MacKay) was left alone to bring up a mixed child. She had no help.

Elizabeth, her only daughter and the first child of David Dafinone, was brought up in poverty. She and her mother moved from one place to another, usually finding bedsits. In the harsh freezing winters of the 1950s, they had just a two bar electric fire to keep warm. Elizabeth had burn marks across her legs caused by staying too close to the heat to get warm.

It was a long season of impoverishment for Elizabeth and her mother. At some point, they lived almost entirely on custard. A pot of stew could be managed for a week. David Dafinone abandoned his first family as they suffered. He sent neither money, birthday or Christmas cards.

At some point Joan embarked on a campaign of survival. She tried to reach out to David and also to the Nigerian High Commission in London. Her efforts yielded no results. Instead David resented her. Elizabeth recalled that she and her mother got help from the Church and a few kind people that they met.

The years passed by, Elizabeth came of age and the struggle remained unbearable for her and her mother. Her mother literally lost her mind because of the struggle. She went insane. Elizabeth’s closest friends saw her pains during her mother’s ordeal. As a result of David Dafinone’s betrayal, Elizabeth’s childhood became a long nightmare. A young girl at that time, she suffered some of life’s most dreadful ordeals-a broken home when she was a toddler, poverty and then a mother who became mentally ill.

Something remarkable happened when Elizabeth was about 14 years old. One day David and Cynthia showed up where she and her mother lived. Joan became hysterical when she saw them. After the couple left, Joan laid on the couch for days. She sobbed. She screamed. She felt a heart-wrenching pain.

Before the shocking short visit ended, David promised to pay for Elizabeths’ school fees so that she could attend a boarding school. This offer was soon taken up and Elizabeth left London to attend a boarding school for girls in Hampshire for 2 years. When she came home during the holidays, Elizabeth returned to her life of poverty. School was a relief from some of the pressure and desperate sadness she had to endure.

As a young girl, Elizabeth travelled to Nigeria to find her father. She made her way from London to Sapele with £100 GBP in her pocket. David was in Lagos when she arrived. So, she found her grandmother who welcomed her and took her in with love and warmth. She immediately adored her Grandmother who was the first relative and Nigerian person to make her feel loved and wanted.

Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone and her Grandmother in Sapele (circa 1979)

Elizabeth and her grandmother in Sapele around 1979

David Dafinone soon found out Elizabeth was in his mother’s house and arranged for her to be driven to his home in Apapa. It was here that he made a comment that he never completed. “l loved your mother, but…” David took to calling Elizabeth, Lizzie, and promised again to look after her but the promises he made were only partly fulfilled. His words were “you can have anything, but your mother will get nothing”

He sent £1000 via an assistant named Solomom Onomakpome so Elizabeth could continue her education at a higher level. Cynthia had expressed shock when she found out that Elizabeth had stayed with David’s mother in Sapele. Elizabeth believed that Cynthia was not keen on Nigeria and could only say negative things about the country in which she now lived.

After school, Elizabeth studied nursing because that was what her mother wanted her to do. But it was too distressing for her. She found it heart-breaking and can still clearly remember the individual characters who she nursed through their pain and subsequent death. Elizabeth went further to study French and Italian at university.

After the inital £1000 to help her in her studies, financial assistance from David Dafinone stopped abruptly after he received a long letter from Joan, who lambasted him for his initial neglect of Elizabeth. So, Elizabeth worked her way through university with the help of a UK student grant. Obviously, she found it hard financially on her own and on occasion found herself homeless in both Paris and London. However, she made it!

Over the years, Elizabeth spoke many times with her father and Cynthia. Both of them were aware of her struggles but did nothing, despite her father’s wealth. In one conversation, Cynthia said “I feel sorry for you!”

The struggle is not over from Elizabeth. Now divorced, she has continued to look after her ex-husband for many years. He’s living with cancer and has gone through a transplant. It has been a life loaded with difficulties caused by lack of support from David Dafinone. Amidst this she raised her own daughter.

David Dafinone remains a well-respected Nigerian patriarch. When his fame was on the rise and Elizabeth showed up in Nigeria, it seems that all he could think of was a complete cover-up of her existence.

When back in London, David telephoned Elizabeth to tell her of her mother’s letter and said he had been embarrassed by her appearence in Nigeria. Surely, the apprearence of a child you had in England cannot be the worst scandal in Nigeria during the 1970s. It’s doesn’t augur well with the image of the Dafinones that David neglected his first family and made them suffer for most of their lifes. Joan died in poverty in 2002. David was a wealthy man from a young age. He could have taken care of them.

Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone

Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone

Terri (aka Daphne) Dafinone, one of David’s children once told Elizabeth that part of the problem was that she was estranged from her roots. She implied that since Elizabeth did not know her Nigerian family or country, she had been left on her own without the knowledge of where she came from. But who created the problem? When he abandoned Elizabeth as a toddler, David created the problem that would last for two life times.

Elizabeth cannot be sure that her mother Joan did no wrong. Why did David abandon Joan? Why would a father walk away from his first child just when she started to hit the floor and walk around? Was it because as Joan had claimed, Cynthia had family who forcibly persuaded him?

Whatever it was, Elizabeth was innocent because she was just a child. Why did David suffer Elizabeth, like he did Joan? Why is Elizabeth not fit to be revealed even now that David has hit 86? The denial has been extended to Elizabeth’s young daughter who was recently told “to go back to the hell she came from” by her grandfather-David Dafinone. Elizabeth has been called a “cheap blackmailer” by David Dafinone. A similar expression was made in an anonymous email sent from one NIGERDELTA account. It is a strange accusation because although David Dafinone obviously has something to hide (his first daughter), Elizabeth has not asked for money to keep her story quiet.

Joan brought up Elizabeth to love and respect her father, despite what had happened. This, Elizabeth has done all her life, keeping silent and never arguing or causing offense to him or the family. However, when Elizabeth’s child was insulted and became upset before she even had a chance to explain why she had called her grandfather, Elizabeth couldn’t hold back any longer. She decided she had enough of the denial. A loving mother, Elizabeth has endured a lot but she will not sit back to see her child suffer verbal abuse.

This is not a story of hate. It is not about revenge or retaliation. Children are real people and adults who bring them into this world must be able to stand up to their responsibilities. It is shameful and very cruel to turn one’s back on an innocent child, a toddler in this case

This story, “The Elizabeth Dafinone Story”, is one of survival in the absence of a father who abandoned his family. It is the story of a young girl who grew up without protection and love from her father. It is a story of rejection that has left irreparable emotional and physical damage.

David Dafinone failed woefully in his obligations as the father of Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone and now as the grandfather to her daughter. His lack of responsibility, integrity and even politeness, begs disbelieve. It is shameful behaviour from a man who presents himself as an admired, respected Senator and patriach of Nigeria.

All her life, all that Elizabeth ever wanted from her father was some love and care.

When a man is separated from a woman because they no longer love each other or for other reasons, the interest of the child/children involved in the union must be paramount. If this story changes for the better just one parent’s attitude to their child, it is a story worth telling.

Things that happen in Nigeria (part 3)

By Adeola Aderounmu

One day Muyiwa got a short term contract to reinstall and upgrade the computer systems at a cyber café at Iyano Iba area of Lagos. Muyiwa is a software engineer and one of the several million Nigerians currently looking for proper and gainful employment.

The cyber café (name withheld) is a stone throw from where Muyiwa lives so it was easy to get him to do the job for in a fair deal with the owner of the establishment.

While Muyiwa was at work (fixing the tokunbo systems) his mother sent Tunji-the younger brother-to help make a phone call at the call centre just in front of the cyber café.

Like a whirlwind the men of the Nigerian Police force from a nearby station pounced on the business centre and arrested all the people inside the cyber café and everyone standing outside waiting to make phone calls.

Muyiwa and Tunji ended up in the same police van along with several other people and before they could shout mummy, they have been placed behind bars like armed robbers.

In the end both were bailed by a sum of N10 000, an amount that is more than 50% of the minimum poverty wage paid by the Nigerian authorities.

The above story is real and reveals one of the criminal activities of the Nigerian police.

Sadly this is what the Nigerian Police do everyday. But who is going to punish these criminals who wear dirty, stinking uniforms around town?

Many men in police uniform are smelly and drunk while on duty. Many of them-like the corrupt politicians-are not mentally fit, yet they are employed to work as police officers.

Many Nigerian police men and women do not know the statutory functions of the police. Their understanding is limited to the conversion of police station to somewhat of a bank where money change hands. For many of them the job is about implicating people and asking for bail.

I have written somewhere before about the Moniya police station in Oyo state where robbers and suspects are shot and thrown into the (Ogunpa) river at night. I know this because I’d lived across the street in 1996 during my service year in Ibadan. I asked around after several sleepless nights of hearing gun shots and my findings gave me shocking revelations.

This is probably a routine in police stations across Nigeria because of the congestion of their cells. Killing robbers and suspects, I was told, was a way to keep the inmates level manageable. So if you don’t pay the bail for the people you know they will be framed-up for more serious crimes or even killed. Policing in Nigeria has become a big deadly business.

After my service year, I did not spend one day extra in Ibadan. I was glad to leave IITA where Nigerian junior workers were treated like slaves in my department (PHMD) and it was also a relief getting away from the crazy police station that was about 3O meters to my all in one-room apartment.

The discussions bothering on the atrocities of the Nigerian police can be project work or thesis for the entire final year law students at the University of Lagos in such a way that it would not even result to repetition or plagiarism. They are mostly semi-illiterates or sometimes complete illiterates in uniform, acting (according to Fela) like zombies, for the most.

Cyber cafés are well known places for yahoo-yahoo or 419 activities and that has been the excuse used by both the EFCC and the other security agencies for raiding the guilty and the innocent. This useless venture by the Nigerian security agencies shows the scandalous lack of knowledge and a near zero-intelligence collection by them.

The right thing to do is to collect information about fraudsters, trace them, monitor them and arrest them with substantial evidence. This is a mirage in Nigeria. Rather than arrest a criminal, the Nigerian police commonly raid a group of people and lump them together. The bail sums will be huge.

If the Nigerian police have a warrant for the arrest of a man who is on the run, they will arrest all the members of his family in his place. This is simply senseless and shows nothing but stupidity and lack of understanding of the rule of law. It shows violation of the rights of those who have been unjustly arrested or apprehended. The act is criminal on the part of the police.

Even when the police in Naija make the correct arrest, they are eager to accept bribes or to extort whatever they can from the criminals and sometimes set them free. They are probably short-changing the judiciary that is also reckless with the spate of briberies, kickbacks and questionable judgements that emanate from the rotten institution. The law system in Nigeria is approaching total senselessness. Corruption has torn it apart.

All cyber cafés in Nigeria are reputed for regularly giving huge sums of monies to the police so that they can be allowed to stay in business. The cafes have both good and bad people as customers but it is the task of a well-trained police force to fish out criminals and let law abiding citizens do their daily chores-send emails, chat with family members in other countries and to maintain touch with the global events.

If the owner of a cyber café is a fraudster he should be charged accordingly using the evidence against him. It is wrong to apprehend the innocent because they are present when the guilty person is been arrested.

Nigeria is made to look like a lawless country going by the activities of the policemen. But they will blame it on the politicians and the lack of sophisticated instruments/equipment to work with. The police will blame their criminal activities on poor salaries. One can only imagine the type of training that they received as well going by the state and conditions of their academies prior to the popular Channels TV coverage.

The reputation of the Nigerian police from my point of view is similar to that of any other criminal. The Nigerian police will ask you for the receipt of your television as you take it to the electrician for repair. If you don’t have the receipt, you are in a serious mess. You can be locked up and lumped with real criminals. You can die in jail because you fail to produce the receipt of a television that is not working at all.

If the Nigerian police act on intelligence rather than impulse, they will not stop or question people moving around with their electronic devices. It appears that the code of the Nigerian police is “wear a uniform and oppress the people as much as you can”.

Poverty-both mental and material-has resulted in many atrocities on the side of the police. It is not impossible that greed is also a reason. The states of things in Nigeria are extremely sad. Conventional knowledge tells that the people of Nigeria find it impossible to live on their salaries. That is probably a fact for many people who have jobs. One can only imagine the plights of the jobless in the absence of a social security system. The minds of people have been broken.

What have emanated from the foregoing are different types of evils in different offices or agencies across Nigeria. It is worse on the streets and in homes. People are confronted by the continuous dual threats of robbers and the police.

In a society where people worship money and mysterious riches, in a society where poverty and penury is plaguing more than 70% of the population, anything can be done to get sudden money and overnight wealth.

There are confirmed reports of the Nigerian Police who transport “certain” prisoners from the cell and let them go on free foot. In return they are known to raid bus stations at night (say from 10pm) in order to substitute the criminals they set free with the innocent people they have “captured” at the bus stations.

They do these things because they have been paid huge sums by the criminals and their families or gang. These stories are true even if they don’t make the news for various reasons including the Nigerian factors. People who tell the truth are endangered species in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Police are involved in many more atrocities, they are so lawless! If you report a robbery at the police station physically, you are likely to be arrested and detained. The police may accuse you of being the robber and accuse you of trying to cover your crimes. Ordinary Nigerians are like pawns in the hands of the police. The police in Nigeria are never your friend, don’t be mistaken about that!

The Nigerian police are known to listen to fake reports, collect bribes and arrest innocent people. If the arrested person has no connection, he or she will remain in the Nigerian hell. No one will listen to him or her. The Nigerian police have many bad and rotten eggs parading the streets.

If you have a problem with the police or you are trying to find out the status of the person who is in the police detention, they will tell you that the officer in charge of the case is not around and no one else will give you useful information. Your trips to the station become endless. Imagine that there is an officer in charge of a case, just like in the bank where you have different advisers for different activities. The police in Nigeria think they are running a bank because of the large sums of money that change hands daily at their stations. The police are very unreliable I must add.

Police trouble in Nigeria can take breath out of your body. You need to be mentally strong to remain collected as you try to explain your innocence to the people who understand only the language of money. They are like vultures and they can ruin you and your business. They can shoot you while checking your car or vehicle particulars. Don’t argue with the trigger-happy, drunk police officer in Nigeria, even to this day and minute! Their reputations remain the same, bad!

In some areas of Lagos state policemen and soldiers are now plying the okada trade in the evening and night. What they have done to the okada riders since the Fashola ban are unspeakable things. Passengers and okada riders have died as they try to escape from policemen and soldiers.

Does Governor Fashola of Lagos state know that policemen and soldiers are now into the okada business in certain areas of Lagos? If his answer is no, then he has a real problem with the management of his domain. I don’t support the use of okada because of the dangers involved and I hate with unreserved passion the fact that policemen and soldiers in mufti can use take over this business despite the ban. What a lawless bunch! Criminals in uniform! Mr. Fashola, wake up and smell the coffee in the suburbs.

If you live in Nigeria and you don’t have a top police officer or a well-known wealthy, corrupt politician as your family friend, you are probably taking a great risk. I know many innocent people who have been rescued from the claws of the police with a phone call from the top. What if these people have no helper?

Indeed things are not supposed to be like that. I am not supposed to be afraid that the police can do me harm or even implicate me. But these things happen. I am not supposed to rely on a top police officer or a corrupt politician for my freedom. There are internationally recognised laws that guarantee my freedom and human rights.

In Nigeria depending on which side you find yourself, your rights are not guaranteed. The police can do you “anyhow” or “kill and go” as we used to say. Ask around Nigeria, “what is “yellow fever”?

There are bigger questions if you ask the family members of Nigerians who have been killed by state or federal sponsored terrorism. Who killed Dele Giwa? Who killed all the activists and politicians that have died over the years during military and civilian regimes?

In fact Nigerian military dictators and politicians are the greatest offenders here. Through the unitary system of government, through massive corruption and through the destruction of the judicial system, the rights of Nigerians have been taken away from them. Millions of Nigerians were born into a system where their rights and future had already been stolen or mortgaged even before they were born. It’s like been born into modern day slavery.

The Nigerian dilemma is a huge one that did not start with the atrocities of the police or other security agencies. It was a socio-political problem that ravaged the economy and crept thereafter into every known sphere of the Nigerian life destroying whatever/whoever it finds.

The negative activities and criminalities perpetrated by the Nigerian police are also a pure reflection of the failed Nigerian system. What is working as it should in Nigeria? The system does not regulate at all.

Radical political restructuring, massive investments in free public education, unprecedented turnaround in the electrical power sector and out-of-the-world turnaround in technology and manufacturing are among the things urgently needed in Nigeria. Public institutions need to be rebuilt on functionalities and trust across Nigeria. People are too corrupt and the entire system is rotten. It stinks!

The beauty that some people especially the politicians try to reflect about Nigeria are too superficial. Majority are suffering in several ways. These majorities are the category of people who are least heard. Nigeria’s progress will continue to be tamed until the majorities who are living in penury and who are exposed to social injustice are allowed to speak out, have influence on their societies and utilise the best brains for the appropriate tasks.

If Nigerians start on the right path today it will take decades to rebuild the system. It’s easy to destroy and it’s going to be hard to resuscitate. The more we delay the more Nigeria decays.

I think it is so clear now that the major political parties in Nigeria are all the same. It appears that the same old monsters of IBB, OBJ and co. are the deciders of our future. What a hopeless situation!

Do we want to maintain the useless unitary system and the cycle of idiocy? Do Nigerians want to keep fools in power because of the “turn by turn to chop” syndrome? What kind of a country are Nigerians leaving for their children and grandchildren?

When will this shameful circus end? What do Nigerians want and where do they go from here?

Things that happen in Nigeria (Part 2)

By Adeola Aderounmu

When people are employed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, their names are published in what is known as the Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette. Promotions and other relevant information about civil service and civil servants are also published from time to time in the official gazette.

Unfortunately the average Nigerian workers have been reduced to slaves or sub-human beings by the way things are done in Nigeria. In Nigeria, there is something called verification and auditing exercises at the various government institutes/ministries.

In my opinion I think this is one of the several loop holes and financial leakages in Nigeria. Nigeria is among the most corrupt countries in the world because the various governments in Nigeria are very corrupt. The people who run things in Nigeria are unbelievably corrupt and impunity is almost universal in Nigeria.

What corrupt politicians and private/public servants in Nigeria have failed to understand over the years is that every act of corruption adds to the gigantic sum in figures and effects that makes Nigeria probably the most corrupt country in the world and the place where some of the poorest people live.

What is the meaning of verification /auditing exercise in Nigeria? It means that some unscrupulous individuals collude with the Central Bank or the economic departments of their various ministries and allocate millions of naira to take a tour of the various federal ministries spread across Nigeria.

In the process they send thousands of government workers especially the junior staff members into unnecessary panic. Some workers who are on annual leave (for the first time in donkey years) are forced to call off their leave/holiday even if they have travelled abroad. If they don’t report back to the office, their salaries will be stopped (and someone will be embezzling the salaries!).

Some workers who are not able to appear during the verification/auditing saga have to pay thousands of naira as bribes to their immediate bosses (or the directors as they are called in the civil service) and also to the verification officials from Abuja in order to have their salaries reactivated whenever they are back to their respective posts.

This situation is very similar to pension verification. How can somebody work for the Nigerian government for 34 or 35 years and still be made to go through physical verification? This is an issue of corruption and moral decadence across all strata in Nigeria. It is scandalous, disgraceful and shameful. It speaks volume about the mental cognitive-ness of the rulers and occupiers of Nigeria.

If the people who run the civil service in Nigeria are normal, mentally alert, upright and fit for their jobs then they will never ask a man or woman who worked in the same office/department for 35 years to be verified.

There are instances where people are brought to government offices on hospital beds with dangling nutritional drips attached. During verification, people collapse, faint and even die waiting to be attended to by the “gods” from Abuja. In extreme cases people are summoned to appear in Abuja irrespective of their ages or health statuses. This is wickedness and inhuman.

The bosses at the various federal ministries and auditing committee from Abuja are very well aware of the ghost, ex-employees and dead workers on the payroll of government but they don’t talk about that. In connivance with the various economy departments of the federal ministries, they continue to embezzle the salaries of dead and ghost workers. The spread and intensity of corruption in Nigeria is out of this world.

In a normal country, dead workers don’t receive monthly salaries. Ex-employees are removed from the pay roll. In Nigeria, dead workers, ex-employees and imaginary workers (aka ghost workers) are used by top government officials and their accomplices to embezzle funds.

The situation is made complicated by citizens of Northern Nigeria who are registered into jobs or enrolled into government payroll from birth. Invariably in places like Northern Nigeria where education is almost absent, ghost and imaginary workers are created when babies are born. Who is collecting all these monies? What type of country is Nigeria really?

These offences usually go unpunished because it is made a normal thing and the crimes are covered up by the people who know about it and who share the money from the illegalities.

In Nigeria, trust is alien. In the 21st century a gang travels around Nigeria doing verification and auditing. What happened to the official gazette as the record of government? That is a document that is available in print and most definitely in soft copy that could be used to verify government workers. The gazette is probably not reliable because of the falsification in the various federal government offices. Who is going to punish who when everybody has a criminal tendency? Do you have to travel across Nigeria to do auditing? What happened to computing, accounting and technological advancements?

The severe decadence in Nigeria is revealed in many ways. It is appalling and saddening. It is absolutely impossible to explain how widespread this madness has gone. In Nigeria, everybody knows that there are ghost workers. This means that the economy department in every government ministry is occupied by one or more criminals. This means that the bosses or directors in these ministries are criminals.

It is these criminalities and embezzlements that the auditing and verification officials want to partake in. That is why they fly around Nigeria with huge sums allocated to them. Yet they make additional money on ground through bribes and kickbacks.

These are common practices in Nigeria. The ordinary workers will not talk about these things because they will be killed or booted out of service mysteriously. Do or die is widespread in Nigeria. I wish to reiterate that in Nigeria the people who are not corrupt are becoming endangered species.

It is easy for these criminal activities to be perpetrated because it is generally assumed that everybody is corrupt in Nigeria. When the rulers of Nigeria, their families and friends can use Nigeria’s monies for whatever they want without being prosecuted when in office and after leaving office, then people down the ladder also have their own ways of getting away with crimes and other atrocities.

In top government positions, especially political placements-it is assumed that you get fired or prosecuted when you are out of favour. If you are in any vocal opposition groups, you will be dealt with to send a signal to others like you. The EFCC and the ICPC are willing agents to these anomalies. In an ideal world, it would not matter your position or ideology, you will suffer for your crimes as immunity does not cover your evil, mental status and criminal tendencies.

In Nigeria, people are promoted based on how much they steal or how much they bring back to their bosses. It is in Nigeria that criminals experience elevation especially in political offices. Nigerian politicians are known as common looters of the treasury. Nigeria under a unitary form of government is not working. All indices show us that Nigeria will not work under this useless form of governance because there is no limit to how corrupt people can become.

I don’t mind to stand alone to state without fear that Nigeria is the most corrupt country in the world. In my eyes criminals rule in Nigeria right from Aso rock to the lowest level of office somewhere in Maiduguri, Igbogila, Abakaliki or Badagry.

In Nigeria, people walk away with contract funds without doing any work. People kill and go! The judicial system in Nigeria is ridicule to the international law system. What kind of law is practised in Nigeria that makes criminals the freest, loudest and most visible people?

For the Federal Civil Service and by extension the various civil service commissions at the state levels, there is an urgent need to clean up the system. The questions are many though.

Who will punish the cartel stealing through the use of ghost workers and dead employees? When these ghost workers are discovered and reported, who is responsible for their retention or re-emergence on the payrolls? Who will stop the registration of babies as government workers in Northern Nigerian?

In a system where everybody is assumed to be corrupt, who is going to ensure that verification and auditing exercises are done remotely from Abuja? How can criminals be detected without sending out verification officers who turn out to be bribe takers?

Who will ensure that a Nigerian worker on level 12 is paid his/her salary as a level 12 officer and not as a level 9 officer? Who is stealing the balance of the salary shortage? It is pure madness and wickedness to keep paying workers incorrect salaries while politicians and top officials embezzle money freely and get huge wages on top of their lootings. When will all these anomalies end? Who will save Nigeria?

One question or suggestion will lead to thousands of questions and other suggestions because Nigeria is running a worthless system of government that creates a million loop holes. The beneficiaries and custodians of this useless system don’t want a change and everybody thinks that their turn to “chop” will come. This is the absurd mentality which when added to other aberrations makes Nigeria one of the worst places to live on earth.

Some government workers boast of how much cash they share in their offices. This is common in Abuja. All the monies that should be used wisely after budget allocations end up in people’s pocket and they start to boast of how much they share in their respective offices weekly/monthly to top their salaries. Abuja is promoting massive corruption and a lifestyle built on lies, deceits and looting.

Many of the things that happen in Nigeria are abnormal. Many people don’t know these things are abnormal. Many people also think it is alright because that is all they have seen or known all their lives-a nonsensical system where the law is almost useless. The laws of Nigeria, the Police in Nigeria and the courts in Nigeria are made for the further oppression of the oppressed and downtrodden.

A few people in government and in private establishment travel abroad regularly and return to Nigeria with the same slogan-“Nigeria is better than abroad”. They say these things to continue to keep their fellow citizens in bondage and everlasting physical darkness.

There is no magical dose that will solve Nigeria’s problems. If the right things are done today, Nigeria may need another 50 to 100 years to become a normal country. Remarkable things can happen in a decade though. Still and sadly the politicians are not willing to start the recovery plan because of their immediate gains, stupidities and their perception of Nigeria as an investment to be plunged and drained for their selfish interest and their children’s future. Who about the rest of us?

Only the ordinary people of Nigeria can save themselves from the vultures in Aso rock and across Nigeria. The unitary system of government brought this mess that continues to enrich a few and enslave the rest. People must demand for a change and the means to achieve that change must be pursued.

Rather than politics as usual, ordinary Nigerians need to be awaken to the benefits of true federalism or regional governments. There will be no magic dose to the problems of Nigeria but the way things are now, even with the emergence of a new mega political party (old wine in new skin), a violent collapse of Nigeria predicted to happen in 2015 will be a worse option.

(To be continued)