How Much Money Does A Man Need?

By Adeola Aderounmu

In 1996 before the end of my service year I met an elderly man in a village near Moniya, on the outskirts of Ibadan. I think the village is called Idi Ose or something like that. Some of my colleagues at that time had been going to that village before I arrived in Oyo State for my service year.

The village provided solitude, a sort of respite from the stress of the work we do as Nigerians at IITA. I think my colleagues really wanted to have a place where they can have peace from work and sip original palm wine or just relax in the shade when they have long breaks or at the close of work before heading home. There is always peace when you are close to nature.

The elderly man, a very good reason to follow on the short trips to the other side of the road, was a very good listener and he chose his words with wisdom when he spoke. On one particular day he revealed his vexations, his bitterness about the criminals and greedy people called politicians who loot or steal from the treasuries across Nigeria. His greatest disappointment was that the crazy politicians do not need so much money for a single, short life time. For most of us we will not live up to 36 500 days!

He must be in his 70’s then and he told us that he had counted the probable days left of his life. He made an example and said if he had just N1m, that it would be more than enough for him to live a good life for the rest of his days. So, he questioned the excessive looting by Nigerian politicians and public office holders. He could neither comprehend, nor understand the rational behind looting of several billions of naira or dollars by individuals.

It was from this elderly man that I first heard that having cars do not depict prosperity. It’s hard to admit such a line of reasoning in Nigeria and I understood it more in Europe where people leave their cars at home and enjoy bicycle rides to work and parks.

How much money does a man need actually?

The answers cannot be that easy and the question cannot be treated in isolation. It can also not be generalised.

The amount of money a man needs today will depend greatly on the country that he lives in. Even within a single country the amount will also vary locally or regionally.

But what a non-greedy “universal” man needs can be used a yardstick, sort of standard.

At every point in time, a man needs access to shelter. He needs food, water and above all a good state of health to enjoy the previously stated necessities of life.

But how does one define a universal man? Is he/she single, married or divorce? Does he or she have children? What kind of roles does the society play in the care of the underprivileged, the unemployed, the old, the ill and other categories of the people who one can classify as either dependents or weak?

In what ways can one connect the universal man to the others in the same society? This question is very relevant for countries like Nigeria because of the overwhelming abnormalities that obtain in how the society runs. It’s a totally dysfunctional society where bad politics and stupid policies have ruined the essential foundations of family, society and country.

A universal man who has come of age wants to have a job or do something in order to earn a dignified living or existence. At every point in time, he can live in one house or in an apartment. At every point in time, he can drive one car or ride a bicycle. He can only sleep on a bed. These things and all the other things that a man desires can be naturally influenced by taste and normal affluence.

However those who loot Nigeria’s treasuries do not understand that happiness comes from the perfect integration of work and play. They do not comprehend that happiness is also based on sound health, contentment with family, mutual coexistence with other people and peace with nature and environment.

[Abdulsalami, Shonekan, Babangida, Obasanjo, Jonathan, Gowon, Shagari and Buhari. Under these men, their executive councils, their ministers, several state governors and other accomplices that sometimes include their wives, Nigeria has lost over 600 billion dollars. They should be made accountable. Nigeria needs to make examples of the rule of law for real, and the "heads" are usually where to start so that other parts can straighten out. Never is it too late!]

[Abdulsalami, Shonekan, Babangida, Obasanjo, Jonathan, Gowon, Shagari and Buhari. Under these men, their executive councils, their ministers, several state governors and other accomplices that sometimes include their wives, Nigeria has lost over 600 billion dollars. They should be made accountable. Nigeria needs to make examples of the rule of law for real, and the “heads” are usually where to start so that other parts can straighten out. Never is it too late!]

Greed is the creator of insatiateness. When people working in public positions, Nigerian politicians in this case, start to think that they can build a perfect life based on the amount of money they steal or accumulate, then there is a tendency to open up a bogus life instead, that which is based on falsehood, criminalities and perpetual illusions that money is the sole basis of happiness or solution to life’s puzzle.

This is where Nigerian politicians are today. They found an evil haven in the nature of the crazy politics and ways of life that emerged in post-independence Nigeria. They created a buffer called the immunity clause that allows them to live as criminals in government and eventually they remain free criminals shielded from prosecution even after days of political plundering.

They found morally bad refuge in the useless law system that they helped to manipulate and rendered ineffective. Nigerian politicians who are well known criminals have rarely ended up in jails. Nigerians as a people are totally disorganised and weakened by ethnicity and religiosity amongst other factors that promote mental slavery. They back their own “local political criminals” or they simply adopt the “siddon look” approach. What a tragic sequence!

Does a man need up to 12 billion dollars in his life time? Why would a man steal so much money under the pretence of political service? Such crimes are previously thoughts to be reserved for the social misfits, career smugglers and armed bandits until it became the official pastime of public office holders in Nigeria.

Treasury Looters

Treasury Looters

What kind of satisfaction comes from buying properties that belong to the government and the people under the pretence of governance? Why do Nigerian politicians engage in looting competitions to acquire massive wealth that they cannot exhaust if they were to live their lives 100 times over?

Are these acquisitions growing signs of undetected mental ailments among Nigerian politicians? How much money does a man need? Leo Tolstoy made us understand how much land a man need. It’s just 6 feet.

The minimum federal wage in Nigeria is N18 000 per month. This poverty wage is so low and shameful it can only buy 3 standard meals at an average modern eatery in Nigeria. How does a man who earn N18 000 per month survives from one month to the next? Understanding this type of a question can help us arrive at what an average man needs to survive in Nigeria. It will illuminate the things Nigerians do in order to survive.

It will also in no small extent expand the scope of the mental ailments of the Nigerian politicians who earn more than any other group of politicians globally but still needing to steal or loot so much. Nigerian politicians will rub shoulders with the most corrupt categories of people in the world.

How much money does a man need? Is family a reason to become a thief in politics? How did Nigerians end up employing or selecting criminals as politicians all round and then end up doing nothing to rectify the anomaly?

When a man starts his own family, how much money does he need? How does he plan his household so that his usual income can cater for the need of his wife and children? What are the modern roles of women in Nigerian homes so that a family is able to maintain an economic stability that will keep them away from crime or criminal tendencies? I know that women are breadwinners in many homes anyway.

Irrespective of the amount of money that a man needs as an individual or as a breadwinner, the amount of money that Nigerian politicians earn and then loot will not be justifiable. It has been crime against humanity all the way.

Nigeria is paying her legislators the highest salaries in the world. Yet they receive unlimited bonuses, have access to contracts, and enjoy lazy times at the sittings.

Treasury Looters

Treasury Looters

In general Nigerian politicians earn a lot and steal a lot. A whooping 600 billion dollars may have been stolen from the Nigerian treasury in the past 50 years. About 200 billion dollars of these wasted monies have allegedly disappeared since the return of civilian rule in 1999.

What these looted or wasted monies could have translated into is immeasurable. But with simple logic, it is easy to assume that Nigeria is supposed to be the best country to live on earth. I mean who throws away 600 billion dollars? It’s insane!

The consequences include but are not limited to making Nigeria probably the most corrupt country in the world, one of the worst places to live on planet earth and a place where life expectancy is declining fast.

Nigerian politicians and former military dictators should be made to undergo extensive psychological evaluations so Nigerians can know what is going on in their heads. Answers may be needed for the sake of posterity. Nigeria may take the help of renowned anthropologists to do extensive studies on the mindsets of her politicians.

I’m serious to repeat that this is very important and necessary because Nigerian politicians are definitely not normal people. Their abnormalities are promoted by the absence of functional legal systems that ought to put away political criminals in prisons. It is also promoted by the absence of virtues that define sane societies for example Nigerians do not question the sources of wealth, they simply worship it. In the presence of money, majority of Nigerians simply lose their moral consciousness.

What is a politician or a group of politicians doing with stolen or missing 20 billion dollars or 12 billion dollars or even 1 billion dollars? Why would someone loot 300 million pounds in Nigeria and stash away in a foreign bank? Is the money his father’s savings or his family earnings? These types of politicians ought to have been rounded up and bundled behind bars.

It’s amazing how Nigerians have been enveloped by both the Stockholm and the Nigerian syndromes. These untoward attributes make up (the) almost irreversible tragedies that plague Nigeria as it is today.

How much money does a man need for a life span that is less than 100 years (36 500 days)? I don’t think these retards count their life span in days just to see how short life is!

All the atrocities committed by civilian rulers/looters and military gangsters have already taken their tolls and it is getting worse. Life expectancy in Nigeria is moving below the 40 year mark. Unpublished data in the hands of a medical doctor friend and classmate of mine puts life expectancy in Nigeria between 37-39 years old.

How long are Nigerians going to look on or away before they realise that their future had been stolen and that recovery lies entirely in their hands. The system of government is rubbish. We are just reading about a probable scenario where Goodluck Jonathan may have kept several millions of naira in Aso rock. Is Aso rock a bank or bureau de change? This type of trend is common in Nigeria but it is totally abnormal and crazy.

In every part of Nigeria, people need to organize sensible resistance and find ways to end the reign of the bad rulers and corrupt politicians. The people need to regain their consciousness and take back their regions in (to) normalcy. It’s going to be a very long walk to freedom.

It is known that all days can be for the thief. But no matter how long it takes one day must definitely be for the owner. With the nonsense immunity clause in Nigeria that protect criminals in government and the invalid status of the rule of law that fails to catch up with them, one day it will be time for the people to round up all the corrupt politicians and military dictators and tell them that enough is enough!

That’s part of the hope and probably one of the ways forward as well.

#prosecuteallpoliticallootersnow

#bringbacknigeriasmoney

#bringbackregionalgovernmentthatworksbeforethecoups

aderounmu@gmail.com

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Criminals and Looters in Government Are Not Distracted

By Adeola Aderounmu

It is the people of Nigeria who have turned all their attentions away from what brought them to the present predicament that threatens the totality of their existence. The thieves in government have kept their focus intact.

In almost every part of the world one of the most talked about phenomena these days is undoubtedly the “bring back our girls” campaign. It is this sort of scenario that some opportunists (individuals and groups) have waited for to bring them back to public space and to win sentiments borne plainly out of hypocrisy and eye/lip services. Some are simply capitalising on the situation to give their own agenda a lift.

Meanwhile as the government of Nigeria was perambulating and talking rubbish everyday and buying the time it doesn’t have, the business of stealing and cover-ups in government are going on as usual. It is possible because stealing according to Mr. Jonathan is not corruption and because the people are suffering from the Nigerian syndrome. I have defined the Nigerian syndrome in a previous essay.

One thoughtless fellow called Maku spoke on behalf of the government and said that it is the main opposition party that is organising the “bring back our girls” campaigns. I didn’t know that all the people bouncing on the trampoline of the campaign around the world including notable celebrities in Hollywood now belong to the Nigerian APC. The APC of Nigeria must be the biggest political party in the world.

The people of Nigeria are easily distracted. This is a recurring dilemma for them. They cannot keep up with the loads of distractions provided by the failed and selfish governments since 1960. They don’t asked questions once you load them with deceits. When they asked questions, they move onto the next thing without seeking answers to their questions. Stupid answers are often satisfactory. These are parts of the reasons why nobody has found the courage to call Babangida a thief and initiate his prosecution for all the missing oil money during the gulf war.

Invariably, from one failed government to another the stories are similar. Oil money is always missing. If it is not at the NNPC, it will be among the execu-thieves. This oil money is so slippery it can also get missing at the state and local levels. As a tradition, oil money is always missing in Nigeria.

Now Nigerians have forgotten about the unanswered allegations of several billions of dollars that the Jonathan government also cannot account for. This confused government set up a committee to look into the matter. That in itself is a partial admittance that something is missing anyway. Then in the middle of the entire wahala Mr. Jonathan went on air during his chat to tell the world that “America will know” if billions of dollars is missing.

Ibori_loot-

Why did Jonathan set up a committee to ascertain the allegations made by the central bank? Mr. Jonathan should just have asked “America” since “America will know”. Anyway the senate committee has now dismissed the allegation and concluded that “no money is missing”. This is despite the fact that there is absence of proper coordination between Nigeria’s financial bodies concerned with the sale of crude oil. We can now turn off the sound of Fela’s music-Oil money is (not) missing.

In any case the Nigeria house of representa-thieves and legis-looters are not unfamiliar with the way the corrupt government of Nigeria operates. Nigerians have myopic memories and are long-suffering. Nigerians are the most distracted group of citizens in the world. They suffer from their own syndrome-the Nigerian syndrome.

Many arguments, verbal or written efforts to make Nigerians reason are lost on many grounds not least on the tribal cards. Don’t argue with an average Nigerian on the tenets of good governance. The Nigerian syndrome is yet incurable. Yea right, the problem of looting did not start with Jonathan…why should we complain now? Why did you leave out Obasanjo? What of Shagari? The reasons not to start and finish the war on bad governance have been integrated into the cycle of idiocy in downtown Bongo.

The ethnic card will even be used to justify the crimes committed by one governor Akpabio. This man has ruled for 7 years in Akwa Ibom and as he prepares to leave the seat of government, he ensured that his financial future is secured. In Nigeria, criminals continue to parade the government houses in different forms and shade.

The selfish and self-serving Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr. Akpabio (This man has no record of mental or physical disability to support his pension. But he will get:N200 million per annum, basic, N100 million, medical allowance, 5-bedroom maisonette, Accommodation allowance of 500 per cent of annual basic salary, Medical allowance not exceeding N12 million per annum for one surviving spouse)

The selfish and self-serving Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr. Akpabio (This man has no record of mental or physical disability to support his pension. But he will get:N200 million per annum, basic, N100 million, medical allowance, 5-bedroom maisonette, Accommodation allowance of 500 per cent of annual basic salary, Medical allowance not exceeding N12 million per annum for one surviving spouse)

There is definitely going to be an argument that he was a good governor or that he could have looted the money anyway like Babangida and others. In Nigeria a critic may never win any argument. The Nigerian syndrome is vast.

In Uyo and across all of Akwa-Ibom, I’m looking forward to the following campaigns, #akpabiobringbackourmoney

#no-pensionforakpabio

#socialjusticeforall

#socialsecurityforakwaibomites.

Nigeria remains in a big mess today for several reasons that some of us are not tired to write about every week. It is very important that the collective intellectual consciousness of the people do not give in. It must not dwindle. It must tarry and persist. For in relenting, evil will continue to rise and subdue good totally.

Nigerians must know that there will be no messiah in Abuja, not now, not in 2015. The system of government is so ill-structured that Abuja would not be a major factor for the eventual freedom and stability of Nigeria. Hence it is very important that we don’t forget to tune up the ways that may end the senselessness in government whilst we point out the persistent evil and crimes in the land,

Nigerians must ensure that the non-corrupt intellectual class rises up to do the needed. In several states in Nigeria, former criminals, former thugs and former riff-raff hold sway in governance. Government has been used to reward insolence and barbarism. In government it has remain impossible to be above board. All who come into it exit it as criminals or with criminal tendencies. It’s worse for those who came in as criminals. Regardless they all ruined Nigeria!

akwa ibom

In every region, in every community, in very part of Nigeria, there is a need to change the mentalities of the people. I am aware of the agitation of the people from Western Nigeria. They are seeking self-determination or autonomy. But they must know that some people amongst them were part of the problems with Nigeria. They have been part of this nonsense going on in Nigeria since the fake independence in 1960. Therein lies a huge danger ahead should Western Nigeria emerge today.

The autonomy of Western Nigeria should not be sought as a license for the elongation of criminalities in the Oduduwa region. Before dawn, the Yorubas should have a full functional road map and blue print that will ensure that their self-governance does not lead to self-destruction.

In the end all the geo-political regions of Nigeria should be allowed to determine their own future. The benefit or probability of marching on Abuja/Aso rock by criminals and terrorists should be zeroed.

I strongly hold the personal view that irrespective of the aims of the Northern terrorists, and irrespective of the primary goals of their sponsors, the dismantling of the useless unitary government will promote the emergence of regional autonomy and make a complete mess of their ambitions. Who will march to Abuja or throw bombs in Abuja if there is no government there to be overthrown or if the power in Abuja is ceremonial?

I reiterate that no group of people would allow its own race to self-destruct or to be persecuted unjustly when the conditions for social justice and fair play are the rules and not the exceptions. A word is enough for the wise goes the Yoruba adage. When received, it becomes whole within.

Talking about social justice, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I hope that Mr. Akpabio has made plans to ensure that all the unemployed people of Akwa Ibom will enjoy some benefits. If the people of Akwa Ibom have no social security in place, they have the right to sack all the dummies who rubber-stamped Akpabio’s looting largess.

If the people of Akwa-Ibom remain quiet and passive, they are drowned in the Nigerian syndrome. They are probably distracted as the looting continues. They are not alone, Nigerians are all guilty of the lack of will to sack corrupt governments and make them face proper justice. They are guilty of being at home with a system that is not working. It beats my imaginations!

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(After publishing this story, there are now more information that some ex-governors in Nigeria started this criminal activity of milking the states they ruled over, so Mr. Akpabio is not the only governor with criminal tendencies. There are many of them in Nigeria)

Terror And The Volatile Mix Of Blind Faiths

By Adeola Aderounmu

One of the saddest things to occur in Nigeria in the last 4 years is the ascension and domination of religious politics. Unfortunately, it has also been the time of putting Nigeria on the map permanently as one of the major terrorists’ countries in the world.

Nigerian politicians have lost the plot a long time ago in the areas of ideologies and functional manifestos. It will amount to overstating the obvious that Nigerian politics runs on faulty foundations and that the essential purpose of politics in Nigeria is nothing close to service. The politics is rather self-serving, self-rewarding, dominated largely by criminal minds and stinking of massive corruption from the head to the toes.

Religion is destroying Nigeria

Religion is destroying Nigeria

As Nigeria and Nigerians now approach the 2015 elections, the stage is now set for a religion-influenced electioneering. How did Nigeria get to this point? The question is relevant judging from the background and outcomes of the 1993 general and presidential elections. That election was adjudged to be the best election (ever) conducted in Nigeria.

Sadly for the Nigerian nation the presidential election results were annulled by the tropical military gangsters headed by one dictator called Ibrahim Babangida. That election would have ushered in MKO Abiola and Baba Gana Kingibe of the SDP, two Muslims from two different geopolitical zones in Nigeria.

When Mr. Goodluck Jonathan started his reign as the ruler of Nigeria in 2011, it was not pleasing to the Nigerian opposition party and a lot of statements were made by the opposition politicians especially those from the Northern parts of the country. Gen. Buhari and Mr. Atiku were alleged to have made statements that ordinarily would have earned them interrogations by the Nigerian special security forces. But they were not invited for any interrogation or explanations.

There had always been elements of terror and its tendencies in Northern Nigeria. There was of course serious problems with the terrors in the Niger Delta that curiously to this day continue to gulp more money than the federal defence budget of Nigeria. However for some reasons that have now kept the blame game in a roller coaster mode the terrorist group popularly known as Boko Haram have flourished in the northern parts of Nigeria and Abuja under the reign of Goodluck Jonathan.

This period of rise of terror curiously also coincided with the era when Mr. Jonathan embraced the Christian community in Nigeria with more enthusiasm. He even went on the so called “holy” pilgrimage with a large entourage, all on Nigeria’s tax payers’ money.

By the way the annual holy pilgrimages to Mecca and Jerusalem are embodiments of the nonsensical waste in Nigeria’s government since time immemorial. Nigeria is a very corrupt country (we don’t need corrupt Mugabe’s opinion to confirm this fact) and the wastage or looting of money through religious tourism to other countries is regrettable. These pilgrimages are parts of the inferior complexity of Africans, also regrettable, made famous by the government and people of Nigeria.

The APC is yet to state with audacity the two persons who will be flying the flag or the brooms of the part in the 2015 elections. An attempt to draw a ticket on 2 individuals with the same religion like the SDP did in 1993 is becoming unlikely and like their party members and critics would make everybody believe-suicidal.

The disorganised polity has been heated and whether the Muslim community or the APC in Nigeria find it desirable or not, there is no longer a general acceptance for the type of scenario that Nigeria had with the Abiola-Kingibe ticket. Since the political scene is devoid of common sense and ideologies, the rise of Boko Haram has given many religious people within and outside APC the platform for hatred. Offshoots of the hatred are the emergence of the political suicide syndrome and the probable intense Christianisation of the Nigerian presidency under Jonathan.

The alleged statements made by the likes of Buhari and Atiku at a time when they needed to control their emotions but lost it completely, and the silence/lack of condemnation from the Northern region in general following the “successful” campaign of Boko Haram continue to send shocking and conflicting signals across Nigeria. It will be hard to erase the meaning and aftermath of what it takes to make Nigeria ungovernable. Such expressions now run parallel with terror occurrences.

The government of the day in Nigeria has made many remarks in the past and even recently linking the deadly terrorist group to the main opposition party-the APC. Nigerians are surprised because such allegations are supposed to be supported by investigation and arrest. Nothing has happened in that line. Before he was killed General Azazi linked the problem to religion, poverty, the desire to rule Nigeria and a combination of everything that is wrong with Nigeria. He especially laid the blame at what he called politics of exclusion of the PDP in the region.

When the true story of Boko Haram is finally told, it would be instructional, not least sensational to know the sponsors (national or international) and the roles of the Nigerian military that is alleged to be harbouring snitches who have made the bloody operations of Boko Haram successful. What will also be useful if Nigeria or the nations within Nigeria will ever learn anything from history is the magnitude of the alleged involvement of the Northern rulers.

I doubt if I know what to believe going by the nature of the roller coaster blame game. The Yorubas have said it all “if falsehood persist for 20 years (or even 100 years as Nigeria marks centenary of a painful marriage), one day the truth will emerge.

terror

Meanwhile in the faces of the multitudes of speculations, allegations and counter allegations and irrespective of where the actual truth lies, it is extremely sad that those who have suffered the most are the innocent masses going about their occupations or daily activities. Women and children have suffered in this evil campaign and crimes have been committed against humanity.

It appears that the government of Nigeria enjoys playing or toying with the lives of the citizens. This whole pandemonium is like a chess game where the opponents are seeking checkmate. In this case, the 2015 election is the end result. The “I don’t give a damn attitude”, the lies of keeping government “working” and the campaign dance that took place in Kano barely 24 hours after the deadly car park blast in Abuja that claimed, depending on sources, between 150 and 250 lives are all indications of a failed government.

Religion in its ordinary form mixed with politics is poisonous. The effect of contaminations with radical views either from the presidency or any other place in Nigeria will be more potent than a poison. Nigeria appears to be in a labyrinth, more likely at the crossroad of self-destruction.

In January 2011 I wrote an article titled: My Message To Nigerians In 2011, Stop Saying It’s God. I condemned the influence of religion in Nigeria’s politics and social life.

Nigerians have been fooled, deceived and slaughtered at the altar of ordinary and radical religions. It does not seem there is an end in sight if one judges by the religiosity of Nigerians on the social media and in reality while the country burns.

Is it hard to see that Nigerian politicians (both Christians and Muslins) are looting the treasuries across Nigeria? Is it hard to see that they call on God and Allah to solve the problems that are related to common sense and simple political ideologies?

Nigerians and their politicians attribute events (good and evil) to acts of God and they merged together to pray for things that can be solved by simple action and will.

In the area of religion and prayers, I have not understood the Nigerian mentality. They pray for the things that they and the government are supposed to do. So after creating a corrupt political system where corruption and crimes are tolerated and rewarded, Nigerians will then commit everything into the hands of their various Gods. Nonsense and ingredients!

For Nigeria, religion has created more problems than solutions. It remains a deadly veil for both Christians and Muslims. It’s worse for radicals anywhere because the effects of brainswashing are profound on them and their narrow minds. It’s going to be mission impossible to forbid religions in public positions, in politics especially. Ironically the elimination of religion in our doings is supposed to be the best way to free our minds and promote coexistence.

It’s hard to “converge” my views but I’m trying to get to a point where I need to condemn the role of politics and religion in the rise of terrorism in Nigeria. I am of the opinion that religious differences have aggravated the political differences in Nigeria. I think that the corrupt rulers and politicians have through their actions, alignments, attitudes and utterances contributed to the hopeless situation in Nigeria.

I have a problem in understanding the rise of Boko Haram acting on the radical angle of one of Nigeria’s dominating religion, that is Islam. A few years ago, Nigerians boasted of their “fear” of dying. Today we are told there are suicide bombers in Nigeria. It’s very painful to watch terror achieve successes on the back of religious platforms. I’ve been blown away many times in my life seeing atrocities committed in the name of Christ, God and Allah.

I also want to emphasise that as long as religion remains a factor in Nigeria’s politics and socio-economic life, then the country is going no where. In the society, people need to start doing things independent of religion. Just be good, do the right thing and play your role in nation building!

The Nigerian political class does not build or propagate sane and sound ideologies; they are instead wiggling from one political party to another based on the religion of the political candidates, based on fairweatherism and opportunism. That is the height of stupidity, having no principles.

The call for true federalism or the emergence of regional governments cannot be swept under the rugs. For, right now, Nigeria is in a serious dilemma and the center is too weak to hold things together. The center is marrying, making merry and dancing around as the country burns and people perish daily.

The weakness of the center is the strength of Boko Haram, it is the strength of militancy or terrorism anywhere in Nigeria. The weakness of the center is the sustenance of a corrupt political system. The self-serving nature of Nigerian politics means that the non-thinking politicians and rulers are ready to take everything down with them. It is up to Nigerians to rise up above religion, above sentiments, above hypocrisy and above political and ethnic differences.

Great countries were not built on religions, corruption, selfishness, greed, prayers or miracles. They were built by dedicated people, on sound political structures, on performances, on ideologies that stood the test of time, on positive actions and on the collective will to succeed.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Nigeria: The Rise Of Evil And Terrorism

By Adeola Aderounmu

When late Musa Yar’ Adua became the ruler of Nigeria in 2007 after one of the several disputed elections in Nigeria, one of his “achievements” was granting amnesty to the Niger Delta militants. He had a 6 or 7 points agenda which included the empty vow to improve power supply. The rest is history.

SVT bild 1

The stories regarding the origin and the spread of militancy in the Niger Delta creeks are diversed. They are based on different lines of arguments and different schools of thoughts. The arguments are also influenced by political inclinations. The propagation and sustenance of falsehood in Nigeria is also like an occupation on its own. Some people are paid even by government to do this.

However I know some honest people who earn their livelihood by taking dangerous sea trips to fish in Nigerian internal and territorial waters. Therefore what I know for certain based on eyewitnesses’ reports is that the militants became more “useful” when Obasanjo was aiming for his second term in office.

The allegations wrapped Mr. Obasanjo and some governors from the Niger Delta areas in the game plan and the summary was that when the elections were over, the militants became more potent than ever before and they also found new ways and tools to become more relevant than the pre-Obasanjo era.

 svt bild 5

The things that happened around that time would lend more credence to these narrations from the people that I know and met. For, at that time in the history of Nigeria more people became aware of attacks on national pipelines and the growing spate of kidnapping, first of expatriates and then of any Dick, Tom and Harry escalated. At the beginning of week 9 in 2014 one man referred to as the adopted father of Goodluck Jonathan was kidnapped. He’s surely worth a ransom of USD20bn.

Let me go back in time. When I was a young boy, at my early teen years to be sure, I remembered that I swore never to step my feet on the soils of Northern part of Nigeria. My decision at that time was informed by the types of news and images that I got about Northern Nigeria. For me at that time, the North was the North. I probably had insufficient knowledge of regional geography.

svt bild 3

I was one of those kids who read Newspapers from an early age. I could say I was 8 years old when I started reading Newspaper and I remembered that my father specifically bought me books about Nigeria. At age somewhere between 13 or 15 I read Naiwu Osahon’s “A Nation In Custody”. Those kinds of books helped to build my interest in national issues. They also formed me as I saw from an early age that Nigeria was/is ruled by criminals and heading to perdition. We are still on that road. Sadly too, Nigeria and Nigerians are still in custody.

The formative years of a child are important as I’d come to learn and experience personally. I remembered how I “worked” hard to influence my National service. I had little faith in the program and I was not ready to cross the boundaries of western Nigeria. Once I did so just for fun when I stepped my feet on the soil of Cotonou. I knew what I wanted and what I never wanted was to be part of the inexplicable madness of Northern Nigeria where my aboki neighbour could be the one to slice my throat or cut my head during an upheaval.

Terrorism is not an entirely new phenomenon in Nigeria. It had presented itself to us over the ages and years in different forms. In recent times it was painted variously as communal clashes and sometimes as protests over issues relating to Islam within Nigeria. At one time it was a senseless riot connected to a beauty pageant show.

At another time it was related to issues that have nothing to do with Africa. The Danish cartoon saga was entirely a problem of Europe but it went viral and death tolls were hardly reported from anywhere but in Nigeria it became a means to kill in the North. The upheavals and pandemonium that occur in Northern Nigeria were mostly treated with kid gloves and usually swept under the carpets.

These abnormalities in Northern Nigeria that shaped my thoughts during my teen years are parts of the reasons I deemed courageous the decision of some people that I know to go up north for one reason or the other. If things were different, I would have been a good traveller not only across the world but also in my country of birth. I have praises for my friends who went up north. I have praises for those who have settled somewhere in North even to this day and made it their home away from home. That’s how it should be. If you are from a certain country, you should have the right and possibility to choose your settlement, under normal circumstances.

Unfortunately one of the saddest things about Nigeria is the near total failure of governance at all levels. With the current status of Nigeria as a corrupt country and probably the place in the world with the largest accumulation of poor people, the evidence are rife that Nigerians have not govern Nigeria successfully. From one government to another, impunity rose, corruption soar and the plundering of the country’s wealth by people, government and institutions continue unabated. Nigeria is even opened up to plundering by foreign parasites and imperialists. If the wall is not cracked though the lizards will never find a way in. Nigeria is not cracked, she is completely broken. There are no walls of protection literally and figuratively. It appears the goal is to leave the country in an irreversible ruin. Summarily Nigeria is completely derailed and hope is almost lost.

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As I was saying, when Yar Adua granted amnesty to the Niger Delta militants, the signals were obvious. It appears that to be heard in Nigeria; you also have to be armed. The militants gained access to government houses. Some of them got some of the best houses in Abuja and in their home states. Militants under Yar Adua became kings and lords.

These aberrations were sustained and taken to new heights by the Goodluck Jonathan’s regime. Militants simply took over parts of the Nigerian economy by obtaining juicy government contracts and jobs. One rascal called Asari Dokubo who had committed several atrocities against the Nigerian state became one of the chief beneficiaries. How terrorists became bedmates with the Nigerian government is not entirely a mystery. Over the years the government has been a beehive for criminals and all manners of people who are not fit for administration and governance.

In the 2014 budget Mr. Jonathan’s corrupt government is dedicating a whooping N63 billion to the militants. You will not find a greater level of insanity in any government around the world. Where in the world are terrorists paid by government? N63bn can change the face Nigeria as a country if the money is used judiciously to target job creation and youth-oriented educational programs. But Nigeria has a minister of finance who found it honourable to present this jagbajantis as a budget plan.

Nigeria has been misgoverned for more than 50 years. Sometimes political and military aggressions, plain violence, state murders and assassinations have been used to steer Nigeria. These crimes are the “rule of law” and the “codes of conducts” for self-preservation in the Nigerian government.

Mr. Goodluck Jonathan remains clueless as Nigerians are massacred and murdered by terrorists

Mr. Goodluck Jonathan remains clueless as Nigerians are massacred and murdered by terrorists

Whatever led to the birth and eventual rise of Boko Haram had a fertile soil on which to bloom and “prosper” as sad as it seems. The rise of Boko Haram was too easy. Among the certainties is that Boko Haram became more prominent in the post-Yar Adua amnesty days. Now, under the Jonathan government, Boko Haram came to war.

The origin of Boko Haram is still under debate. They may have been a group of army constructed by the Islamic governments of Northern Nigeria. They may be soldiers who deflected from the Nigerian military. They may be mercenaries from neighbouring countries blended with the illiterate, jobless and ignorant locals in the name of religion and war. Who knows?

There are evidence of misadventures of what appeared to be roles of established governments in the rise and spread of global terrorism. The roles of the United States in the rise of Bin Laden’s led Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan are well documented. When Gaddafi of Libya became the target of the United States and NATO, terrorists were armed to aid the displacement and his eventual murder, just to mention a few examples. People are still studying the Syria scenario.

Hence, in giving so much money, power and space to terrorists who are politically labelled as militants, the federal government of Nigeria will not be the first to directly or indirectly sponsor terrorism. Therefore the roles of the Nigerian federal government and the Islamic governments in Northern Nigeria and the northern elites/rulers deserved to be investigated as Boko Haram continue to flourish right under their noses. Boko Haram may have existed when I made up my mind as a child not to step on the soil of the blood-spillers. They may have been there when the power hungry rulers of Northern Nigeria promised to make Nigeria ungovernable for Mr. Jonathan.

No matter what led to the establishment and the rise of Boko Haram, the failure of governance at the state and federal levels cannot be excluded as additional factors. The majority of dictators and rulers in Nigeria have been from that part of the country. It seems that they deliberately impoverished their people intellectually. Somehow illiteracy and ignorance levels in Northern Nigeria are far higher than the rest of the country. The hypothesis was that the rulers from the North ensured that their people were educationally deficient so that the northern elites will always have their ways among the ignorant populace. Today, the pay-back prices in terms of blood spillage and outright destructions of towns anc cities are inestimable.

The Boko Haram insurgencies and terrorism that is wrongly tagged as militancy in the South of Nigeria have similar curves. The governors of the oil rich states have over the years looted their people blind. What will remain inexplicable is how the looters and thieves from this region always have the backings of the people they steal from. I have defined the Nigerian syndrome in a previous article.

It is generally known that the local rulers of the Niger Delta region and those who served as ministers in federal and regional institutions like the Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission (OMPADEC), the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) ought to have been brought to books. They embezzled funds earmarked for the development of the Delta and other places. These rulers are also known to take huge sums from foreign corporations without accountability.

Therefore when addressing the rise of terrorism in the delta as a fallout of gross underdevelopment, maladministration, corruption, nepotism and other vices the bulk goes round in a cycle. The representatives of the delta region have failed their people, the state governments have failed and the federal government is the chief culprit for not ever leading by proper examples.

What the N63bn allocated to the Niger Delta will meet is the greediness of the terrorists. The problems in the region persist. These problems range from lack of basic amenities to serious environmental issues that make the Niger Delta people to be ranked amongst the poorest people in the world. The general percentage of people living under the poverty frame in Nigeria is a hidden global tragedy.

Whatever type of war or destructions that are still attributed to the Niger Deltan terrorists surely are devoid of ideology. They have seen how “easy” it is to become super-rich and influential in government through the use of guns and gun-powders. They have seen how their predecessors have spread all over the places yet still siphoning amnesty funds like leeches and parasites.

What these mostly non-combatant militants hiding in the creeks have not seen is the end to the spillage in their environment. What they have not seen and probably not looking forward to is the implementation of all the policies and promises that have been made by governments and agencies connected to the delta region. They have grown to love the quick money and get rich any-how style. Like their masters-the local chiefs and like the government of Nigeria, the future doesn’t count for them.

Truth is, for more than 53 years Nigerian rulers stole and carted away the treasures of Nigeria. There are no federal plans for nation building and preparing the country for the unborn generations. All Nigerian “roadmaps for development” did not see the light of the day. Not under the military, not under the civilians. Truth is, everything was neglected including education, health and other simple basic infrastructure. Hence, in Nigeria, it actually ought to be a total war on bad governance. All well meaning and Patriotic Nigerians should actually be out there asking the government to surrender, pack and exit.

In Nigeria, the new full-grown terrorism and militancy are delayed responses to the now more than 53 years of absolute waste of the independent status. What the sponsors of these terror groups (whether from inside or external sources) have done is to find the cracks in the walls. It appears that the 3rd generation of post-independence Nigerians are also wasting away.

With the spread of militancy and the popularity of terrorism, one can presume that knee-jerk responses on the part of Nigerian government have made these twin calamities into wars that the Nigerian military will not win easily or early enough. Recent terror attacks in Northern Nigeria show the determination and preparedness of the terrorists and the Fire Brigade Approach of the Nigerian army.

To subdue terrorism in Nigeria on the long run, some political sacrifices must be made. The system of governance must change radically. If pursued honestly the National Conference will provide the catalysts needed for the much needed changes. It is well known that those who have tried to fight off terrorism in the absences of functioning governments and social justice always fail.

The ineffective system of governance in Nigeria has rendered almost all Nigerian government institutions paralysed-they are places for self-enrichment and non- performance. There are no magic doses unfortunately. Therefore when the power that is accumulated to Abuja is decentralised, Nigeria may have taken one giant leap in the right direction.

Nigeria will benefit immensely from a proper change of system of governance. This means that the unitary system of government needs to be abolished in the nearest future. Doing so will on the long term as mentioned earlier probably checkmates future uprisings where terrorists will not be aiming at a central goverment if the ultimate power is not there. In the future N-Eastern Nigeria I am optimistic that a people deciding their own fate will put up enough resistance to fight or resist insurgencies. I don’t think any group of people would like to self-destruct when their destinies are in their own hands.

Regional governments will restore the old Western Nigeria (now being demanded by the Yoruba Congress from a recent gathering in Ibadan) and the other recognised regions that were in existence before the military destroyed the political structures in Nigeria. No doubts, based on newer ideas or ideologies there will be modifications to the regional system in this new century.

The change of the system of governance will not return Nigeria to glory in one night. It may be one of the several steps on the way to recovery. If we make amends today recovery in the regions or acrosss Nigeria can take a decade, half a century or just a few dozen years depending on the will of the people.

In the meantime, the government of Nigeria must not forget its primary duty which is to protect the lives and property of citizens within the boundary of Nigeria. Ending the terrorism in the delta and in the Northern part of Nigeria especially must be done in the shortest time possible without doling out N63bn, or more. Rather it is the Nigerian military that must get all that is needed and required to accomplish the tasks of winning internal wars and fending off external aggressions.

Citizen re-orientation programs which will include patriotism, dignity of labour, promotion of merits, top-level discipline, honesty, trust, commitment to job, family, community and nation/country are among the virtues that will be needed in the various regions that will be reinstated or reconstructed after the National Conference.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Images from SVT Sweden

Nigeria Sacks It’s Central Bank Governor

By Adeola Aderounmu

Reports from this morning stated that the ruler of Nigeria Mr. Jonathan has sacked the governnor of the country’s foremost Bank Mr Sanusi Lamido.

Many of us saw this coming. The ruler has told Mr. Sanusi to resign a few weeks ago after Mr. Sanusi exposed grand corruption in the administration.

Under the Watch of Mr. Jonathan and Mrs. Ngozi Iweala the Finance Minister, several billions of dollars have disappeared from the Nigerian Treasury. No one knows where the Money has gone to.

What is obvious is that Mr. Jonathan and Mrs. Iweala have stolen Nigeria’s money. This is not the first time these duo have stolen from Nigeria but the magnitude continues to increase by the day especially as Mr. Jonathan is siphoning funds to Campaign for the 2015 elections.

This week Mr. Jonathan has been visiting churches and Palaces across Nigeria to seek support of religious rulers and traditional rulers in Nigeria. When such visits are made, a lot of Money is usually spend on the trips and much more is given to the religious and traditional rulers. So, in essence people know why the government of Jonathan is stealing more than ever before.

Mr. Sanusi has been suspended but those who know Nigeria know that he has been sacked anyway. Sanusi himself is not a Saint. By the time the government of Jonathan is finished with him, they will publish (or not) all the financial recklessness that he has been involved with.

There are no Saints in Nigeria. I told a friend that the only positive thing with Sanusi’s revelation of the rot in this administration is that Sanusi himself is part of the rot.

Some fools will wait to be out of office or out of favour before they start to reveal the rot that they lived with and were part of. The government of Jonathan Believes that Sanusi is running the agenda of the opposition and that is quite possible. But nothing he said though is false. The truth remains that Goodluck Jonathan, Okonjo-Iweala and all the crooks in NNPC are looting Nigeria blind.

In Nigeria the government can be as criminal as it wants because the police and the judiciary are essentially useless. I have been writing this for years and I am still going to write about it in my next blog entry.

If the police are useful, they should have invited Mr. Jonathan and Mrs. Iweala for questioning about the missing Money.

If the arms of government in Nigeria are not occupied by criminals, then Mr. Jonathan would have been impeached.

Nigeria is running one of the most useless form of government on Earth and it is Amazing how the people defend these criminals because of what they want to get from them or because of tribalism or some sort of disorderliness in their thinking faculties that make it possible to accept criminals in governance and public service.

The Sanusi-Iweala-Jonathan corruption saga will definitely open a new chapter in the annals of Nigeria. I think more than ever Before Sanusi will expose the lootings that have taken Place during his tenure. This guy will fight back and the criminal government will continue to nail him.

He who comes to judgement….

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.

aderounmu@gmail.com

elizabeth.dafinone@gmail.com

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)

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