Nigerian Politics: The Meaning And Consequences Of Our Collective Foolishness

By Adeola Aderounmu

 

Which Way Nigeria?

 

There are several millions of people in Nigeria living in abject poverty and penury. I have been writing about this topic for many years. Over and over again l have defined mass poverty using Nigeria as a point of reference.

Don’t get this twisted few Nigerians are among the richest people in the world. There are legitimate ways to make money in Nigeria and abroad through hardwork, business focus and dedication.

But l will always prefer to write for the Nigerian who does not even know what he is going to do today or the one who has no hope for what he is going to eat for the next 24 hours.

There are over 100 million poor people Nigerians. Nigeria is the global capital of poverty. This is an abnormality because Nigeria is probably the richest country in the world. Nigeria is blessed with natural and human resources and she ought to be the number one nation in the world in terms of prosperity and the good life.

Now ask yourself, how can a country that is probably the richest in the world be home to some of the poorest people in the world? It is a very complicated situation and we have taken too long in this journey to stupidity in Nigeria.

I cannot tell you all about Nigeria but l can give you a quick review of the last decade or so.

Presently Nigeria is ruled (in 2018) by a man called Buhari. By all standards and measure this is a man that is not fit to be the president of Nigeria. This brings me straight to the topic Nigerian politics, the meaning of collective foolishness.

If we are not collectively foolish and stupid in Nigeria we should never have allowed unintelligent and dull people to run our political terrain. Above that, if we are not stupid and foolish we should NEVER have allowed criminals to rule us or to get away anyhow.

Our public institutions failed us and we failed ourselves by not having revolting minds. Somewhere along the way Nigerians became divided in several ways and this divide and rule became another addition to our collective stupidity.

The price we pay is huge. Globally not many people respect Nigerians despite the contributions that Nigerians in the diaspora give to the global economy, global health, global industrialization and global education. In many ways you can count the ways smart and intelligent Nigerians contribute to the world at large after been extracted from home or being born abroad.

But in that failed country called Nigeria, right there in the land, grand stupidity, madness and collective foolishness is the order of the day in politics and public service.

Of all the intelligent people in Nigeria and those we can bring back home from abroad, our president is Buhari. Buhari was a military man, a semi-illiterate who has no business with politics. He is the president. The most obvious anomaly of his emergence as a president is the fact that his deputy is a University professor. You can never find another country in the world displaying such collective stupidity.

Without any apology in sight, Nigerians display total and collective stupidity in allowing this to happen no matter what led to it. It does not matter what led to this, the fact is that it is stupid and foolish.

I mentioned earlier that criminals are ruling Nigeria and that is so correct. One way or the other these criminals are not going away soon as they continue to win cases in courts to prolong their criminal careers. I don’t care that these criminals won court cases and I don’t give a shit about whether l can prove the cases myself.

The list is long and they are all in the APC and PDP. All of them are criminals. This is the collective foolishness in Nigeria. It is the collective stupidity-that criminals are the politicians.

They are criminals because they are looting, stealing and living big. They have cars beyond their needs. They have houses beyond their needs, they live abroad and in Nigeria, their families are mostly abroad, they seek medical help abroad. Their children, relations and close acquaintances all go to school abroad or they travel abroad to lavish Nigeria’s stolen wealth.

If Nigerian politicians are not thieves or criminals, there will be not one single bad road in Nigeria. Nigerians roads are among the worst roads l have seen all my life. The roads in Nigeria clearly show the absence of sane governance. Pray you never have an emergency in Nigeria and need to seek medical help more than 5 km from your home. The result can be death! A journey of 15 minutes can take you 3 hours or more if you ever get going! In some cases, you can end up in deadlock traffic.

Public education is now history in Nigeria. Government shows little or no interest in public education and illiteracy has risen sharply in Nigeria. Private schools have been erected in every corner in Nigeria. So many of them are mushroom schools and a few of them are good standards. Huge sums of money are paid for education making it a luxury in modern day Nigeria.

Health is no longer wealth in Nigeria. There is poor health delivery to the masses and just like education, the health service you get is a measure of your pocket and getting quality health  is therefore a luxury. Maternal deaths are still common especially during child birth and death during childhood especially from preventable and curable diseases including malaria are still rampant.

You can go on like l have done over the years to list the problems with Nigeria. I know that some people always shout “but what are the solutions you are prescribing”.

There is only one solution-that which has worked for all the developed countries in the world.

The solution is good governance.

But how can Nigeria have good governance when criminals, morons, illiterates, useless people, mumus, foolish and stupid idiots are running the politics? Why can’t the rest of us agree and come together to end this rubbish.

And when we talk about good governance, we cannot have it through the useless unitary/military system we have in Nigeria.

Nigeria is what it is because of our divergent opinions which has resulted in our collected foolishness. The public institutions failed us and we failed ourselves by becoming comfortable with bad governments. We became afraid rather than securing our total freedom and ensuring that our children have a place they can call home. Many of us found our way out of Nigeria and are not planning to return.

But we must save Nigeria.

In some cases we brought good people to government but because of the way government is run these good people became bad people. They never talk or resign or point out the problems they are facing. Rather they become accomplices and only talk when they are out of office and out of favour. That is another form of stupidity even by those who we think are intelligent and professionals.

So Nigeria is in a dilemma.

Where these types of problems have occurred before like in Europe, the turn around to sanity started with violent and bloody revolutions. Nigeria may get there.

But that is avoidable if reasons prevail even now.

Nigerians need to discuss at the regional levels and each state and region in Nigeria owe it a responsibility to seek the help of her brilliant minds and best brains. Enough of all these idiots and fools in political offices/positions!

Nigeria can become the best place to live in the world in less than 10 years! It is a possibility if we round up all these criminals in power and bundle them into prisons. We take back all our monies in their local and international accounts.

We can reorganize Nigeria at the regional levels and speed up development through healthy development projects. We can rebuild Nigeria on the strength of our regional prowess and human resources. We can make the big oil companies to follow our tunes or kick them out of Nigeria for good.

We can open up more ports across Nigeria to aid even regional development and decongest Lagos.

With dedication and patriotism we can build up the education industry and make primary education compulsory again. We can reform our health institutions and make Nigeria the health base of Africa.

We can harness the youth and make them productive rather than unemployed and criminally minded.

There is a lot we can do in Nigeria and as Nigerians if we first take the power away from the center and ensure that only our best minds and our best brains are entrusted with the running of public affairs.

We must trace back our steps and existence to the time before the 1966 military coup. We must trace back to the time when we love one another and helped one another.

I know there is a lot of problems in Nigeria because of tribalism and nepotism, that it is not a secret that people are brought into different offices not because of what they know but because they are from a certain part of the country. When we turn back to regional government and a ceremonial head of state with very limited power, all that nonsense will stop and education, merit and dignity will be restored.

If we don’t resolve to stop all the atrocities and all the nonsense that is going on in our politics and if in 2019 the status quo is still the case then l still owe no one any apology because it means we are all still foolish and stupid.

The only cure to our collective foolishness and stupidity that has made Nigeria one of the worst places to be born or live is a radical decision and a collective will to see that we change things for the best in the shortest possible time.

A vote for a Buhari, Atiku or Saraki for example in 2019 is pure madness. I just thought l should add that we cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a better outcome.

Away with criminals by all means and by any means!

I never know where to stop my articles and essays and that probably makes me the angriest Nigerian alive today. I am also the saddest Nigerian take it or leave it! It does not matter that l live a good life, l am sad and angry everyday because Nigeria is a total mess and a complete horror to behold. I know we can have it good and lovely and it hurts how we think, reason, act and how selfish and wicked we have become as a people.

The Angry and Sad Blogger!

aderounmu@gmail.com

@aderinola

 

 

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My Random Reflections @ 46

For my random reflections at 46, my thoughts are varied (as usual) and the physical and emotional pains l feel are real. I cry many times for Nigeria. I’m living through some of the saddest days of my life as a Nigerian as l continue to see the disconnection between the people and the government. I kept a mental image of the country Nigeria ought to be and l compare it with the reality that l face everyday as a Nigerian-born and my heart bleeds, profusely.

My Random Reflections @ 46

By Adeola Aderounmu

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A trailer fell on Lagos road due to the bad state of the federal roads.  (c) Adeola Aderounmu, Lagos. July 2018.

This is the 10th edition of my random reflections. I have done this for a decade to mark the celebration of my birthday. However it is hardly a celebration now because as l take a look at my country of birth Nigeria, all that comes to mind is the tragedy that befell the country.

Today’s Nigeria is a far cry from what the founding fathers dreamt of. Nigeria in 2018 is mostly in the hands of criminals who people wrongfully tagged as politicians.

The things l will write about today are repetitions (more or less) of what l have written about in almost 20 years.

Nigeria had gone a full cycle. Western Nigeria especially had gone from being one of the best places to live in the world (during the 1950s) to probably the worst place to live in the world today. This can be argued depending on the writer or speaker.

If you think about the fact that Lagos of the 1950s was ahead or at par with London and Paris in terms of development and compare the 3 cities today, you may perhaps decide on which part of the argument you want to pitch your tent.

Many Nigerians are growing up without the knowledge that western Nigeria was the tourist destination and medical health center for other commonwealth countries in the 1950s. The University College Hospital in Ibadan was among the best places to receive medical help at that time.

Many people have grown up not knowing that Nigeria was meant to be a super power based on regional government. It was on that path until the mid-1960s when things began to fall apart. The 1966 military coup and the civil war from 1967 to 1970 set the tone for what Nigeria is today.

Nigeria is now ranked as the poverty capital of the world.

The way things are now in Nigeria should bring tears to the eyes of anybody who has some sense and emotions.

You ought to be very, very sad if you can compare living in Nigeria with living in another country like Sweden.

If you travel on Badagry expressway and remain a normal person, you deserve some accolades. If you wake up early to go to work and return late at night, you need a thumb-up.  If you are sick and manage to remain strong through it, you are the man/woman. If you struggle between thick and thin to put food on your table, for yourself or for your family, that is an everyday miracle.

The stories of our struggles in Nigeria are endless. The people running the government of Nigeria at all levels ought to be arrested, prosecuted and tried for crimes against human dignity as well as crimes against humanity.

The people of Nigeria need to get up one day and march down the entire country with a resolution that never again shall we be slaves in our country.

There is no justice from the Judiciary. There is no justice from the security agencies. There is no where you can turn to in Nigeria and find peace and equality for all men and women.

It is almost wrong now to describe Nigeria as a country because for a country to exist the welfare of the citizen must be paramount.

Nobody cared about my welfare in Nigeria. My basic right to education was long gone. Job creation and availability are not guaranteed as both public and private enterprises provide their own electricity and security.

A lot of enterprises, big, small and medium have closed businesses as they could no longer bear the cost of running businesses. Many have closed because of the raids from criminals and other gangs of unemployed youth.

Nigeria is as lawless as it can be. I can give examples of lawlessness from every office, organization and institution in Nigeria. I can give uncountable examples from walking down the streets and driving on the dangerous roads.

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Most parts of Lagos are dirty and stinking. The roads, especially the federal roads are terrible and the worst in the whole world. Don’t believe the juicy images from Victory Island or Ikoyi.  This is Lagos 2018! (c) Adeola Aderounmu. July 2018. Lagos

My frustration about Nigeria and how we got here knows no bound. My anger against how people behave, act, reason and talk is unquantifiable.

There is no plot for Nigeria at the moment. We sail to nowhere led by vagabonds!

One of the most painful things about Nigeria today is the lack of unity among the people. On the political stage, this lack of unity keeps the useless unitary system running from 1966. Nigeria will never make it as a country with the senseless system of government.

You must be a senseless person to operate or partake in a senseless system of government. Nigeria is a joke in the comity of nations and this system of government where one man sits in Abuja and tries to control everything in and around the country is the most telling on the intelligence of the most populous black nation in the world.

We are a bunch of jokers!

The unity that Nigerians need is the acknowledgement that the system of government needs to be dismantled without fear or war. The unity that Nigerians need is to trace their steps back to when Nigeria was among the global pacesetters in development and good quality of life.

Without that unity, Nigeria will remain permanently as the representative of the poverty capital of the world. For those who think this is unreal, my suggestion is for you to take a flight to Lagos and drive from the airport to Mile 2. From there take the ride of your life along Badagry expressway to Agbara and continue your journey to Atan towards Ota.

If you don’t find the pieces of evidence that Nigeria is a massive (s-hole), l’ll refund you for the ticket and trouble.

For my random reflections at 46, my thoughts are varied (as usual) and the physical and emotional pains l feel are real. I cry many times for Nigeria. I’m living through some of the saddest days of my life as a Nigerian as l continue to see the disconnection between the people and the government. I kept a mental image of the country Nigeria ought to be and l compare it with the reality that l face everyday as a Nigerian-born and my heart bleeds, profusely.

aderounmu@gmail.com

@aderinola

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lagos Flood, For The Rich And Poor

By Adeola Aderounmu

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We can still thank the forces of nature for reminding us that there are still work to be done before the political-worshippers convert their beloved politicians to heavenly gods.

The governor is this, the governor is that, the governor is working, the governor is helping…nonsense talks. Who cares? What are the jobs of a governor? Why was a governor elected? Nobody is forced to become a governor or a politician. You become one because you want to serve.

But because Nigerians are used to politicians who steal and do nothing, they end up praising those who do something and steal at the same time.

Has any governor used his family wealth to develop any state? So, why the praise? Governors spend tax payers’ monies to develop a state (that is if they are working) or they spend federal allocations. Any acknowledgement or praise of that is mental slavery.

Anyway, whatever be the case, here are pictures collected from other places that show us how much work we have to do to keep the floods away.

There are floods of water and sewage everywhere in Lagos.

You can also see the connection between flood and bad roads in Lagos.

A simple google search and you can collect thousands of images about how serious and big this problem is in our dear Lagos.

Keep praising the politicians, kontinuuuu

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Internet images

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

Mr. Ambode, The governor Of Lagos Island And The god Of Lagos

By Adeola Aderounmu

The hottest news from Nigeria this week is the sacking of a church worker by the governor of Lagos state. In a manner akin only to wickedness and evil machinations, Mr. Ambode, whom l have long regarded as the governor of Alausa and Lagos Island, threw out Venerable Femi Taiwo with a 24 hour notice.”

Ambode, the god of Lagos?

Ambode, the god of Lagos?

Venerable Femi Taiwon was the presiding chaplain of the Chapel of Christ the Light, Ikeja. His offence was that he was delivering  a sermon and he did not acknowledge the presence of the wife of Ambode.

So Mrs. Ambode went home, probably cried and reported to his husband, the emperor of Lagos, Mr. Ambode. These people are devilish clowns.

My position here is not the same as standing with the church or any religion whatsoever. I care less because the church and mosques remain instrumental to the destruction of Nigeria.

My position here is standing against fools and arrogant people in government. Mr. Ambode has forgotten that he was a criminal who was sacked from the government. But like all criminals before him, he found his way back to power courtesy of the Tinubu’s grip on Lagos. But he will fall. He will!

The end of festac

Rather than cleaning up Lagos, Mr. Ambode is busy playing god. 

Rather than put his wife and house in order so that his wife stops going around seeking recognition and acknowledgment, Mr. Ambode decided to terminate the appointment of the chaplain.

In my opinion, Mr. Ambode is not only foolish, he is also arrogant. Who does he think he is?  The god of Lagos? Those who are close to him should tell him that he is on his way to perdition.

Even if you want to relieve the chaplain of his position because he was employed by the state government, why not give him 7 days or even 1 month so he can put his life in order while he leaves the employment of the criminal government?

I am sure several Nigerians have thrashed this issue on the social media, so l won’t flog it.

Mr. Ambode, what goes round, comes round.

 

President Buhari’s Festac In Governor Ambode’s Lagos

By Adeola Aderounmu

(Images By Abiodun Popoola)

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402 Road by 4th Avenue, Festac Town. 

In the month of June 2016, I visited Nigeria. One of the most disgusting views in Lagos where l was resident was in Festac Town, the estate that everyone acknowledged had lost his glory.

In general l was appalled by the state of infrastructure in Festac Town.

It is hard to believe that Festac Town is home to the headquarters of  Amuwo Odofin Local Government. It is hard to believe that there are politicians in Festac Town. It is hard to believe that there is a state governor in Lagos State.

A lot of things are rotting away and Festac Town that used to be the pride of Nigeria and Africa is now a desolate, rotten town.

In truth l dedicated a page on my blog to the lost glory of Festac Town. The original glory of Festac Town may never be regained. Still it does not mean that the things that could still be fixed should be left undone.

 

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402 Road, Festac Town

Recently l wrote an article about the problem of sewage in Festac Town and the significance of the problem as a form of biological weapon against the people of Festac Town.

The article titled Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Please Clear This Biological Weapon!  was published on July 25, 2016 both on the Nigeria Village Square and on my blog.

To ensure that the problem gains the attention it needed, l wrote the same article in the National Mirror Newspaper. It appeared on the back page on August 16 2016 under the banner Addressing Festac Town’s sewage menace.

Despite all the awareness that has been brought to the matter, it appears that the government (local, state and federal) did not get the message. A friend of mine visited Festac Town this November and the images that he brought back shows that no effort has been made to solve the problem.

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4th Avenue, By 402 Road

Let me restate that we will continue to highlight this problem for as long as it exists. In as much as we all agree that Festac Town is a federal government estate, we must also never forget that it is situated in Lagos State and there is a governor and there is a local government chairman.

Invariably, the sewage system is bad in many areas in Festac Town. The worst hit area is 402 Road. The residents are flushing their toilets directly to the streets because there are permanent blockages to the original paths created for the flow to flow away.

The residents of 402 Road in Festac Town are breathing unsafe air, they are walking on sewage water/mud to get into their various apartments. The health impacts are huge and children are vulnerable.

The governor of Lagos State is responsible for the welfare of the residents anywhere in Lagos. That insinuation and argument that Festac Town is a federal estate does not hold water. The governor needs to initiate the contact with the appropriate authority and call them out to action.

 

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402 Road, Market Place and Residential Area

Governor Ambode and the people running Lagos must know that Lagos is not Victoria Island and Ikoyi only. They need to look at other places and stop paying lip-service and eye-service to issues concerning maintenance and development.

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402 Road, Festac Town

Photograph/Images By Abiodun Popoola.

 

Footnotes

Again, l repeat that it is possible for the governor of Lagos State to look at this problem and instruct the appropriate authority (federal, state or local) to act.

As it sems right now, the people of Festac are in a dilemma. FHA is not going to come down to make their environment germ free. The Governor does not care if they die of diseases.

As l have stated before, l will continue to write about this particular problem for as long as it exists. I pray for the grace to keep reminding the rulers and conquerors of Nigeria of their negligences and lack of committment to the people and country.

This problem is a struggle and we will keep reminding the conquerors of Lagos/Nigeria that they must serve the people.

 

The Rule Of Criminals

One of the challenges facing Nigeria and Nigerians is how to achieve or establish the rule of law above the rule of criminals in government and everywhere.

The Rule Of Criminals

By Adeola Aderounmu

Which Way Nigeria?

One is saddened that there is no end in sight for Nigerians being ruled partly by politicians who are absolute criminals.

Ordinary Nigerians are facing very hard and extreme economic hardship and they also have to continue to cope with the reality that some of those who they expected to be part of the solution are actually political criminals.

My recent visit to Nigeria left another deep cut in my soul. What l saw is that majority of Nigerians are still suffering!

The kind of suffering in Nigeria exposes majority of the population to conditions that are completely unacceptable for humans. People have no access to basic facility or infrastructure. This information is not news.

However what may be news is that several millions of Nigerians are now in new category called systematic beggars. People are begging for food and money from those that still have a little to live on.

What l saw in Nigeria revealed that majoroity of Nigerians not only lack the basic things of life, they also lack material comfort. Many people are running around on empty stomachs.

In 2012, l defined mass poverty using Nigeria as a case study.  Since then the mass poverty situation in Nigeria has escalated.

Sadness is rampant. Deceit and mutual suspicion are written on everybody’s face. Today, a few people are tasking the government and police on the high rate of crime. The trend will continue because even the police are stopping people randomly on the streets and robbing them of their possessions!

Things are getting worse in Nigeria. The conditions of living are terrible. There is almost no word to describe the standard of living of the ordinary people. Poor is an understatement. What comes after low or poor standard of living? The living situations are extremely sad and disheartening.

At this sad point in Nigeria’s history, the lowest ebb the country has ever reached, one would expect that the government at various levels will show empathy and concern for the plights that have been inflicted on the people through years of misgovernance and negligence.

Alas! The present government is not helping matters in that direction at all.

As Nigerians are allegedly made to bear the grunt and pain of the decline in crude oil prices, the cost of governance itself remains at the same high level.

Governance in Nigeria is established on a twin culture of waste and propaganda.

The level of corruption in the present government easily contradicts the propaganda that Nigerians are paying for the low price of crude oil and the wastage of the Jonathan administration.

Nigeria does not depend on crude oil only by the way.

In any case if Nigerian politicians stop stealing and perhaps even start to drop some body and material weights, perhaps the effects of the drop in crude oil sales that have also also been aggravated by the Niger Delta Avengers would spread evenly among the population, and we can understand the situation together.

But sadly, as a manner of repetition, let me reiterate that the cost of governance in Nigeria remains high and wasteful.

Nigeria is spending a lot of money on arms of government that are invariably useless. The category that has been in the eye of the storm most is the legislative arm.

At the Senate and the House of Representatives, the revelations that have come to front since the emergence of the Buhari-APC mandate are shameful and scandalous.

A government that is fighting corruption mostly in the opponent camps yet housing criminals at its own backyard is a worthless government. That is what the APC government has become.

The scandals that have rocked the Senate where Mr. Saraki heads the other alleged criminals are enough to level it. But it stands as a monument of stinking corruption.

The scandals that have rocked the House of Representatives where Mr. Dogara heads the other alleged criminals are enough to sweep the house into the ocean so that it does not ever evolve again.

It is shocking that Nigerians know that they are partly ruled by criminals and they are suffering and living with the knowledge of the causes of majority of their problems. But they are not doing anything serious about it.

Something has to give in someday as a way of showing these criminals their ways out of governance.

We also actually need someone to remind this government of its virtual fight against corruption whereas the government itself is stinking and rotten, full of criminals in high and low places.

About 30 something years ago, when l was a little boy, l read an article in a newspaper. The title was: Who Is Fooling Who? I don’t remember the author but it mentioned that many things that are true today.

One of the challenges facing Nigeria and Nigerians is how to achieve or establish the rule of law above the rule of criminals in government and everywhere.

The political criminals are on the advantage because despite the fact that their criminalities are known and exposed, they have so far circumvent the law to their advantages. They have remain strong due to the weakness of the people and their passiveness to corruption everywhere.

The difference between common sense and political criminal sense remains crystal clear.

While common sense makes people leave the public scene in shame after a scandal, the political criminal sense makes people fight back using the weaknesses in the law especially in a nonsensical democracy like Nigeria where self preservation is the norm. Civility suffers.

The difference extends to the point  that with political criminal sense, every scandal is tagged as a political witchhunt. The political criminal sense does not deny the existence of a crime or scandal. It just fights against it.

Invariably, the changed promised by the APC has turned to a sham, more so because of the political criminals that persist and control the APC government.

When l’d visited civil service establishments during my one month stay in Nigeria, the situation and conditions of services are even worse. The morale is down, many things are still being done just like before.

The workers still receive bribes, the police are on the roads doing the usual collection and false accusation.  From the political criminals holding sway in Abuja, to the smallest streets in Nigeria, it is business of corruption as usual.

The things that have changed have brought more hardship to our lives. Things just got worse for the ordinary people. For example, under Mr. Fashola, Nigerians pay more money for darkness. There is promise of light and the bills are already higher for the services that have not been provided. What is 419 again?

The people earn less or nothing at all (when salaries are not paid for several month) but they pay more for everything. There are so many scams perpetrated by the Buhari-APC government that should have resulted to outright outrages.

But Nigerians are praying and fasting even on empty stomachs. Thanks to the magicians called men of God. Rather than build factories, more churches and mosques are sprining up everywhere in Nigeria.

Even in government houses where looting and stealing are taking place, there are churches and mosques in the premises. What is the meaning of den of robbers? Who is fooling who? Who prays in these religious houses and who are the political criminals in government?

It’s always a painful experience recounting the problems of Nigeria. Whereas we know that the solutions are easy. If people start to do the right things, just the right things, Nigeria will pick up.

But after decades of misrule and systemic disorientation,majority of the people are used to doing the wrong things. This cruel reality is what led to the emergence and sustenance of wrong doers and criminals in public offices.

So, the rule of criminals is very complicated.

There are other issues with the Buhari-APC mandate. Along with the painful existence of the rule of criminals, Nigerians are more than ever before battling with tribalism. Sadly too, the influence of religion in government has never been this prominent in the history of governance in Nigeria.

Up to the local government level, religious affiliation is a crucial factor in the curriculum vitae of office-seekers in Nigeria. What l saw in Nigeria shocked me!

That long-lasting solution of just doing the right things in public service eludes majority of Nigerians. But it must re-emerge side-by-side a political system or structure that is functional. That ancitipated change in political system has been called several names, from regional government to regional autonomy and even true fiscal federalism.

At this moment, at the end of august 2016, Nigeria is not working and the rule of criminals dominate the rule of law.

Nigeria needs a genuine political change.

Reference: Mass Poverty In Nigeria (2012) By Adeola Aderounmu.

https://aderinola.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/mass-poverty-in-nigeria-2012

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

There Are No Drivers In Lagos

…..one of the vehicles that was supposed to be behind my car did the diagonal turning and collided with an oncoming lorry. There was another accident- two commercial buses collided with each other and an okada passenger flew between the 2 vehicles just before they collided. This is Lagos..!

There Are No Drivers In Lagos

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By Adeola Aderounmu

On my recent trip to Nigeria, l could almost not believe what l saw on Lagos roads. I knew that driving in Lagos had always been a hassle and that some people have ignorantly or maybe stupidly concluded many years ago that if you can drive in Lagos, then you can drive anywhere in the world. That notion is not only misleading; it is also very dangerous.

If driving in Lagos on the other hand means that you can drive anywhere in Nigeria, then l can generalize that there are no drivers in Nigeria. I took time to observe driving in my area and on major roads in Lagos. Not one person driving on Lagos roads that l saw passed the simple driving tests that l conducted.

One of the most amazing, yet disturbing discoveries l made was this: not one driver in Lagos knew how to turn left at a junction. In normal driving, on a two-way road, you drive to the end of the road whilst keeping to your lane, then you make a curve (like going around the last quarter of a circle or ring) to turn left. I did not see one driver in Lagos do this turn correctly.

To make left turns, all the drivers in Lagos made diagonals. They don’t even make it from their half of the road. Long before the actual turning point, as they approach the junction, Lagos drivers make long diagonals that put them head to head with the oncoming vehicles.

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The first time l observed this anomaly, l actually thought it was just a silly driver who was impatient.

Later l found out that everybody drives that way. Commercial vehicle drivers and private car drivers, drove the same way. This is the standard for driving in Lagos.

One day, l had a passenger at the back seat in my car. He said he thought l was driving straight-on after he saw that l actually turned left at a junction. He was not used to drivers using the full length of the road to the turning point before making the turn. He said l would get tired of my sane driving, but l never did because l wasn’t trained to drive like an insane person.

Every time l am making my normal left turn, there are other vehicles, between 1 to 3 that make the turn before me while l am at my normal driving. They think they are good drivers or that they are smarter in getting ahead.

In this essay, l cannot include the menace of the motor-cycles as commercial transportation means in Lagos. Let us save the discussion about that pestilence that is unleashed on Lagos for another time.

As a result of foolishness, recklessness and not-knowing-how to drive of almost all Lagos drivers, I was a witness to at least 3 accidents whilst l drove in Lagos.

Another day whilst l was doing my normal omoluabi junction-turning, one of the vehicles that was supposed to be behind my car did the diagonal turning and collided with an oncoming lorry. How many accidents on Lagos road are due to wrong driving?

This dangerous diagonal turning was one of the most obvious indicators of wrong driving by Lagos drivers that l observed and it remains a major cause of head-to-head collision/accidents at road junctions.

There was another accident due mainly to bad driving that was so serious that two commercial buses collided with each other on 23 Road in Festac Town. It was like a movie when an okada passenger flew between the two vehicles before they collided and he somersaulted on the road. The motor cycle and the okada-driver slided long the road like the movie was not about to finish yet.

In fact, the other useless and reckless driving of Lagos drivers are too numerous to elaborate here. But generally, it is a crazy situation on Lagos roads with human and vehicular traffic forming a permanent compound mess.

More of my observations below.

Lagos drivers do not know how to drive on lanes (but they can claim that most roads are not marked with lines and they’ll be right at that). Still, what happens to straight line driving? What l saw was that most of the drivers in Lagos do not even know about driving on a lane.

Once the roads are not marked, they are driving from right to left to center, just anyhow they like. They fill available space on the road and collide too easily with one another.

Lagos drivers do not keep the distance. There should be at least 5 meters between 2 cars on the road. For some vehicles, the distance behind them should be 10 meters if they have risk of rolling backwards or if they vehicles used for deliveries, having haulage facility/equipment trailing behind them.

In one accident, I saw an okada driver fastened to the back of a jeep and he could not detangle his motor cycle. It was so confusing; l did not even understand it even as we drove past the conjoined vehicles.

Lagos drivers do not use or respect the indicator light that shows when you when you change lanes or make a turn. 99.9 % of Lagos drivers do not look out for indicator lights. When you indicate a turn with your light and hoping that someone is using their brain on Lagos road, you have just made yourself a target for an accident and probably an untimely death.

Rather than using your signs, you and your passengers have to bring your heads out of the car and try to have contacts with the reckless drivers on the road and beg them to let you change your lane or to turn right or left.

In general driving on Lagos road is still very much an insane experience. It may not be the biggest problem in Nigeria but it is surely a significant part of public health question and analyses. It is either the people bring madness to the roads or the roads make people mad. Whichever way you view it, it is bad and sad.

On Lagos roads, there are no rooms for respect and courtesy. Everybody looks angry! People are not driving or behaving normally behind the wheels. Everybody is in a hurry and everybody believes that they should not give room to another driver. It’s as if everybody is chasing the same thing or the same thing is chasing everybody.

In all these negative brouhahas, one begins to wonder about the roles of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC. This agency must be really rotten and inefficient. They are not working. How can they explain the acquisition of drivers’ licenses by all the bad drivers in Lagos? Have all these crazy drivers passed through any driving school? Have they been tested theoretically and practically?

In Lagos the dangers and evil on the road are so numerous that coming back home to your house in the evening is considered an everyday miracle.

So what are the ways out of this hydra-headed problem that has grown so big that it is now the norm to be drive anyhow-you-like in Lagos. Where do we start from in this country where everything has fallen apart and into pieces?

One can also question the roles of the bribe-loving police force in all these extreme dramas, thrillers and horrors on Lagos/ Nigerian roads. They are constant on the roads, pointing their guns at ordinary citizens as if there is a war in Lagos. But their primary concern is their filthy pockets.

The police, the FRSC, the people and even the state government  and its other transport agencies are all contributing their own quotas to the madness and complexity on Lagos roads. Everybody is claiming right, everybody is neglecting their duties and obligations and everybody is doing the wrong thing.

When Nigerians return home from Europe and America with their drivers’ licenses that were earned like war trophies, they are insulted and humiliated to the extent that the authorities make many of them to acquire the Nigerian license that are obtainable without undergoing driving tests.

In their ignorance, the men of the FRSC and the police turn down hard-earned foreign driver’s license. I heard they don’t even recognize international driver’s license. Really? Of course, they will accept the bribe that follows the argument on this.

During my stay in Lagos, l spent a substantial time shouting at some motorists and educating them on a few things that l saw them do wrong. Yes, l did that sometimes when l was behind the wheels and sometimes when l took my usual long walks along the streets.

Constantly proving that l was right, l just refuse to leave my lane for the stupid oncoming okada motor-cyclists and other drivers who really do not have any business on the road. I was hardly in a hurry, so that turned out well.

The first lesson in a driving school says: plan for your journey. That particular lesson will cure about 50% of the insanity on Lagos road. Where are people rushing to? They will overtake you with the narrowest of margin beside you or in front of you! What are they chasing?

There are rush hours and heavy traffic in major cities across the world. But the cars keep rolling. In Nigeria, the traffic stands still not only because of bad roads, but also because of bad driving and total absence of knowledge about safe driving.

So if the people plan their journeys, if drunkards are removed from the roads, and if the roads become motorable say 100 years from now because Nigerian roads are still among the most dangerous road in the world today, maybe more than 90% all the accidents on Nigerian roads will become preventable. Lofty goal l guess.

The traditional custodian of Lagos and the governor of Lagos, where do you go from here? Lagos drivers don’t know how to drive. They just move the vehicles. They need help and deliverance. You need help too because right under your watch, Lagos has fallen apart.

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

all images taken by Adeola Aderounmu