Nigeria And The 2018 World Cup

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Nigeria And The 2018 World Cup

By Adeola Aderounmu

I have just watched the first match of the 2018 world cup, Russia 2018 with the host country white-washing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with 5-0. Some people were already questioning the qualification/eligibility of Saudi Arabia based on their poor performance.

It was a victory that the Russians needed to stamp their authority as the host of the competition. Afterall Korea went all the way to the semifinal when she hosted the competition albeit getting all the help in the world from the FIFA referees along the way.

Anyway l want to spend the little time l have now on the Super Eagles of Nigeria, their NIKE shirt maker and the friendlies they lost.

ONCE again Nigeria is one of the hopes of the continent of Africa.  The good news is that Nigeria lost her 2 friendly matches in a run up to the world cup. A 1-2 lose to England was the first wake up call. It was good news because Nigerians now know that their hopes should not be beyond the abilities or the capabilities of the boys representing them at Russia 2018. If Nigeria crashes out in the group stages, there will be no serious hypertension.

In fact l wished the health authorities in Nigeria can sound a note of warning about the health implications of getting too emotional about this worldcup. I learnt my lessons far back in USA 1994 during my last year at the University of Lagos.

We were African champions and we were the 4th best team in the world. That team had the potentials to be the world champion. All is history now.

When the Super Eagles match out in this tournament, they will face Croatia, a very technical team, Iceland, a team that sent England home at Euro 2016 and Argentina, a familiar foe.

The Super Eagles are parading the youngest team at the tournament but the players are full of experience. Mikel Obi and Victor Moses will team up with Onazi and Iwobi to lead the team to glory (if they choose glory).

The boys should not be carried away by the colours or admiration of their jerseys. NIKE is smiling to the bank despite doing a very useless job on the provision of the national wears. NIKE is asking me for a feedback on the way my questions have been answered concerning the messy work they did with the national team jersey and its availability globally. This will be my feedback, a blog entry.

If you go to leading football stores/ websites around the world, you can buy the national team jerseys of the world best teams and national teams. But you cannot buy the original of that of Nigeria at the retail price before and after June 1 2018. In my opinion, this is a very useless development. If the world loves the super eagles jersey, it was the responsibility of NIKE to see to it that the world gets it.

But no, they can produce any amount they like and they can decide not to produce more when the stock that was released on June 1 ran out globally after 20 minutes.

What does NIKE care about the feelings of Nigeria? Absolutely nothing!

NIKE has no respect for Nigerians and the supporters of Nigeria football if that means that whe whole world support Nigeria.

Today l can still buy the national team jerseys of leading football clubs in the world, but not that of Nigeria that just even drop her position in FIFA’s ranking.

I know NIKE tried to explain it but it is not acceptable. The reasons fell flat.

You don’t prepare for rain by waiting for the rain to start. I learnt that before l was 8 years old.

Money they made, yes. They also opened the market for fake products from China to Ibadan. Good for those in that line of business. But the responsibility of making the products available wherever and whenever was damn bad.  I will leave it like that though l have more to say about it.

For the games, Nigeria must watch out for the ICELANDERS. They are formidable and they will punish any team for the slightest mistake. That is their greatest strength. They lay low and allow you to make a mistake and that is it. Their second strength is in set-pieces. They don’t like to waste them.

So Nigeria cannot go to sleep for one minute playing a wise team like Iceland.

For Croatia and Argentina, Nigerians just need to hold up their heads and remember that they play week-in and week-out at the same levels with these players in different leagues in Europé. They are the same people and should not be given the kind of respect that will make the Nigerian team look inferior. Just do it! Isn’t that what NIKE wants whether we the supporters get the jersey or not?

I am going to sit back and watch as many matches as l can. I hope the referees don’t make me switch off my tv with some useless decisions. These happened in many games before and FIFA need to stop influencing results. The corruption in FIFA must not be brought to the field of play or to gambling companies.

Some of us just want to relax and see the beautiful game. A part of us is attached to our country’s team and the other part just want to be part of the greatest sport event on planet earth.

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

 

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Paying It Forward: The Way I want To Live

In this story l want to share some real life experiences of paying forward.

Paying It Forward: The Way I want To Live

By Adeola Aderounmu

One day my phone rang 5 minutes after l returned home from a shopping mall. I had done the weekly grocery shopping for the family at a store barely 2 km from our home.

I picked up the phone and the voice at the other end was not a familiar one just as the number also did not turned up any name. Have you been shopping at the store today? The voice asked. Yes l just came home, l replied.

Can you check your wallet if you are missing something? Sure l said and immediately knew something was wrong. Yeaaaa….l said….one of my credit cards is missing.

I have it, he said.

Another 5 minutes l met the man at the store and he gave me back my credit card.

How did you find me, l asked full of curiosity.

When l saw your name, l sent a text message to my son and he looked up your contact information on the address book online. That’s how l got your number, he concluded.

I was short of words. It came to me at as a shock. The speed at which he got in touch with me gave me the conviction that he didn’t think twice about what to do when he found my credit card.

He could have gone on a spending spree and l wouldn’t have known until the next day or the next time l need the card.

I was so convinced of the man’s honesty that l kept using the credit card until it expired. I mean l was not afraid that he could have copied the number and the 3-digit security code at the back.

I was pleased.

When we exchanged pleasantry further with each other, he told me that he migrated to Sweden from Iraq many years ago.

We shook hands and l drove back home. I explained to my wife and she smiled. We were both pleased.

I know that when you talk about righteousness that l cannot claim to be holy. But l am sure that l do the best l can. I try to radiate love and to show people that l care.

I have paid forward so many acts of kindness that have been done to me.

I have asked friends and acquaintances to pay forward, but not all the time. Sometimes l need some things back so l can carry on with a normal life as well.

Just two weeks ago, l was at another shop where they sell stuffs they claimed come from all over the world. I found Nigerian plantain there, so their claim may be true.

On this particular day, an elderly woman was ahead of me and she had paid for all her grocery and stuffs. She was packing her things and had forgotten to remove her credit card from the payment machine.

The machine was positioned so that the cashier does not see if the card has been removed or not. The idea is that cashier do not see your codes when you make a payment.

Luckily for this elderly woman she was still packing her things when l wanted to insert my own credit card. It went quickly because l bought only 2 or 3 items. So l took her credit card and handed it over to her.

She was pleased.

On my way out, l said to her trevlig helg! (have a nice weekend) and she replied tack detsamma! (thanks, l wish you the same).

I didn’t think twice when l had the chance to hand over the elderly woman’s credit card. She has completely forgotten it in the machince.

I could not waste the chance to represent. I mean l grew up in Nigeria and we were raised to be good, to be kind and to be helpful.

In my family especially my father always say, remember the son of whom you are.

I am so ashame of all the negative news about criminals in Nigerian government and the stupidity of Nigerian politicians.

I am not going to be a perfect man or claim that l am a righteous man but l do my best.

Last week, precisely on the 4th of december 2015 l was on my bicycle  about 2 km away from home when l noticed something unusual on the ground, so l stopped.

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Cold Autumn Morning in November, Sweden

If you don’t know how it is in Sweden at this time of the year, then it will be hard to comprehend the cold, dark, winter mornings.

On this day it was cold and raining.  So l had every reason to hurry up to work. I should ignore every object that intends to distract me.

When l stopped my bicycle, l looked down at the dark object lying on the wet ground on this dark morning. It turned out to be a mobile phone. It is a Samsung-Galaxy S5.

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The Samsung S-5 l found on the ground on my way to work

The first thing l did when l got to work was to check the mobile phone out properly. Luckily l could access the phone by just swipping the screen. Luckily too the owner had a facebook account where l saw a home-telephone number.

10 hours after l found the phone it was reunited with its owner.

She was very happy and she brought a gift when she came to our house to collect her phone.

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The Gift l got in appreciation

I do not know what she and her husband whom l got at the other end of the phone in the morning have discussed but the gifts she brought gave volume to their thoughts. I accepted the chocolate and the special seasonal plant that she presented to me. (see pictures)

This is the way l want to live.

This type of paying forward is what makes the world go round.

I hope Charlotte is as impressed as l was when a man from Iraq gave me back my credit card which l had forgotten in a shopping wagon as l hurriedly left the store.

I hope that that elderly woman at the global market store was impressed that some of us are in this country not just because of what we gain from the country but also because we are good people who can contribute our bits to make the country a better place to live.

We came here to learn and to share our experiences too. Now Sweden is our home too.

We are good people.

I can recall that l have been good in uncountable ways both at work and at play.

Some people have touched my lives both in Nigeria and here in Sweden. l have tried so hard to pay forward by touching other people’s lives positively. But we soon learn that we cannot please everybody and some people will make good deeds look like divine favours. They don’t pay back and they don’t pay forward.

I have always thought of writing for the rest of my life, because everyday in my head, there is always a chapter that is left unwritten out of my life’s experiences- at home, work, with friends, families and the people l see everyday on the train, on the bus, and everywhere l go.

The way l live and work have given me adequate shield and buffer from the negativity that surrounds me. For examples, all those extra hours l have spent on my students since 1990, without pay, are the ones that count most.

For it is at those times that l have gone out of my comfort zone to give my students the extra help and support that they need.

I am happy when they find the motivation with which they succeed in the moment and subsequently obtaining the momentum that keeps them going throughout life.

This is the way l want to live-full of content and paying forward all the good deeds.

In my view, this is part of the secret of authentic happiness. It adds meaning to our lives.

 

aderounmu@gmail.com

 

The Madrilenian (part 3)

I will start a new life. I will create my own future and make love the foundation.

The Madrilenian (Part 3)

By Adeola Aderounmu

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Unknown to Pablo, his sisters took up the task of finding out more about Patricia since the day he invited them for a family reunion. It was a day he ate well and spoke the most to them ever. He had a little drink and spoke about everything that happened to him in St. Petersburg.

What he told them was enough for his sisters to hire a private investigator to locate Patricia in Madrid. This family has adequate wealth to do the things they actually set their minds on together.

Pablo’s sisters travelled to Madrid when the private investigator brought back his reports. They thanked him and paid him the outstanding fees.

Patricia is single, has a decent job and lives quietly on Castellana Drive-a part of Madrid that is about 0,5 mile from Santiago Bernabéu.

She laughed when she met Aleksandra, Cecilia and Viveca.

She spoke to them earlier on the phone and was open to meeting them. They even brought their children and spent a few days in Madrid. Together, they went to Santiago Bernabéu and saw Real Madrid won against Atletico Bilbao.

Since their first meeting in St. Petersburg, Patricia and Pablo have remained in constant touch with each other but like all emerging strange hearts trying to make love work, they were yet to agree on a few things.

Should she leave Spain for Catalonia or will Pablo leave Catalonia for Spain?

They have met once in Madrid and twice in Barcelona in recent months. They always joke of having different nationalities and they think that politicians are crazy citizens.

The future is always undefined; therefore many people always want to remain close to their families.

The family remains the greatest source of comfort and solace both during war and in the time of peace. It took Pablo a long time to realise some of these elements and values of family.

Did he suffer from a sort of disorder that heals with time and age? What went wrong when he was growing up? There is no need to worry about the past. For his family the best gift for the future is the present development in Pablo’s life.

For Pablo it felt good to get have this bond and to look forward to ways of finding the missing puzzle bits in his life.

Patricia promised to think about the proposals that the sisters brought with the wonderful, introduction visit.

Aleksandra is a top executive in Girona. Her vast experience in human resources and consultancy means that she can connect people with newer opportunities in Catalonia and other places in Spain.

The sisters came with a job offer in Girona for Patricia. Patricia may have to choose between all the comfort she has now and a future where she can have a new family.

I will think about it. She said as the sisters headed for the airport and flew back to Girona.

As she thought about what the future may bring, she asked herself, why did l travel to St. Petersburg? Was Moscow not enough for me? But she asked these questions not out of regret but fear.

That night as she lay on her bed looking at the dim lit lamp hanging from the roof, she took herself on the memory lane and thought about where she was coming from and where she could be heading.

Then she conquered her fears. Only cowards are afraid of changes she told herself. I am a Madrilenian and I should not be afraid to fill the vacuum in my life.

I have comfort, but I also still have a need. She tries to find a permanent reasoning that will stir her mood in the most positive way possible.

She went deeper in her thoughts in search of the positive energy locked in her soul.

She must find the conviction that that this change is the next stage of her life.

If this will be my future, so be it. So she decided she will go to Girona, to Pablo and to Pablo’s lovely sisters and their beautiful children.

I will start a new life. I will create my own future and make love the foundation.

She told her family about the latest development. They wished her well and promised to visit her often.

Patricia had been living in Girona for 2 weeks before she found the air that took her to Pablo’s house.

She turned off the location settings on her mobile devices when she left Madrid. She tested her new job, she lived with Pablo’s parents and she started to find her way around the town. Luckily she didn’t run into Pablo all of those times.

Pablo didn’t know that Patricia was living in the same town so he was obviously not looking at every person or object until now when he saw that someone was sitting in his garden, with back to the main street.

When he turned around and saw the face of the person sitting in his garden, he was speechless.

It was the same dumbness and reaction he had the first time he saw her image in the glass at St. Petersburg. She is beautiful.

Patricia was already crying before he arrived. Pablo could not hold back his tears too.

She gave him a gift she brought from Madrid. The packet contains a bracelet with the inscription, The Madrilenian. He thanked her.

They hugged each other and went inside.

(Concluded)

aderounmu@gmail.com

Postcards From Legoland, Denmark

LEGOLAND, Denmark

LEGOLAND, Denmark

By Adeola Aderounmu

Happiness is one of the most important things in life.

When I set out on this holiday trip with my family, I knew my next article would be written in Denmark and I would like to find some inspirations, taking the time off my holiday mood and punching my keyboards. I write from Lanladia-Legoland.

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Lanladia is a small settlement in Billund which is about 265 km from Copenhagen. We took a long road trip all the way from Stockholm. That was the plan.

Before we left Sweden we made quite a number of stops on our way. We spent the first night at a small town called Vetlanda in Småland, in the heart of Sweden. Actually we visited a friend of my wife and her family and spent the night at their country home. It’s situated on a farm area. The children had fun with the kittens and the cows on the farm.

Vetlnda Farm House

Vetlnda Farm House

We also saw a friend of mine Olutayo Adegoke before we arrived at the farm house. It was an impromptu stopover but he was glad to take a short break from his work as we had lunch in a park near his office just outside Nörrköping. It was almost incredible when Tayo told me he would be travelling to Nigeria that night. What a stop we made!

Adeola Aderounmu and Tayo Adegoke

Adeola Aderounmu and Tayo Adegoke

The next day our first stop was Avesta, also a small town in the South of Sweden. There lives Kelechi Udeh, a youg man I knew from Festac Town. We had lunch again in the open and near a car park at the center of the small town. We mingled with Kelechi for about 45 minutes and off we drove. He told me he is very happy to be settled in Avesta and I was marvelled how a Festac Town found happiness in a small town. Variety will remain the spice of life. It will always be in order to bloom where one has been planted.

With Kelechi Udeh in Avesta

With Kelechi Udeh in Avesta

We reached Malmö in the early evening. Tolu Taylor agreed to host us for dinner. We were not going to say no. Tolu, a big brother, was my senior at Festac Grammar School. Adeolu Sunmola who was my junior and my student at the same school joined us. Onyebuchi Echigeme completed the mini reuniuon of the Festac Boys in Malmö when he later joined us for dinner at Tolu’s house. Indeed, Festac Town and the people from Festac are always close to my heart.

With Tolu Taylor and Adeola Sunmola in Malmö City

With Tolu Taylor and Adeolu Sunmola in Malmö City

We spent the night in Malmö and drove off to Denmark the next morning. We left home in Sweden on Tuesday morning and arrived Legoland in Denmark on Thursday shortly after lunch. We have driven close to 1000 km without encountering a single pot hole. I called European (E) roads paradise roads.

with Onyebuchi Echigeme

with Onyebuchi Echigeme

When this essay goes to publication we will probably be on a homeward journey. If our plans work fine, we will make surprise stops at Gothenburg and Örebro to vist more of my friends and incredibly it’s all about the Festac Town connections. They were built connections built from 1977 to 2002. They will last for life. In Copenhagen, we will be lucky if Mary Owolabi is home when we make our journey out of Denmark. She spoke of other plans, but we’ll see what happens.

The children are having a blast. I read one day ago that Denmark is now the home of the happiest people on earth. It’s a good thing to be here when it happened. LEGOs are made or born in Denmark and it is a good experience for the children to see where some of their toys come from and how they come to life in Billund, Denmark. They are old enough never to forget the experience. The adventures have been awesome.

What will be hard for them to know is my heart felt wish or desire for the country where I was born. Unfortunately our experiences together in Nigeria in 2010 were mostly unpleasant. We spent 2½ hours at MMIA before our luggage were complete in our care, ran on generators for 2 weeks, nearly suffocated in heavy and static traffic, had limitations to where we could go and things we could do. The best thing about Nigeria was the warmth of our families and friends.

I have read the news, followed my twitter stream and stayed in touch with global events. I have read so many conspiracy theories on the Malaysia Airline plane that crashed in Ukraine. There are always more sad news than good news or maybe the good things are not always newsworthy. I am mostly worried about the things that are going on in Nigeria, a paradise lost.

Yea, Malala came to town. She was in Abuja to press for the release of the Chibok girls. Then the “bringbackourgirls” campaign group entered a one chance roforofo fight with the corrupt Nigerian presidency. Mr. Jonathan was at the fore front of a “fight” for once in a lazy presidential life time. I learnt he was bitter when he was refused the chance of meeting the Chibok parents.

I know there was an allegation of a missing $20 bn from a government that is now trying to borrow $1bn to fight Boko Haram. Who are the clowns in Aso rock? Everyday several billions of dollars are lost to oil theft only in Nigeria. Everyday too, Nigerian politicians loot several billion of dollars in the executive, legislature, state governments and local governments. That’s the way to explain their sudden riches and capabilities to buy up anything including the former tallest building in Lagos/Africa. They can buy customized private jets anytime they want. How much do they earn legitimately?

The government that steals so much money should be ashamed to even ask for the least borrow-able amount from any creditor. The same government is paying huge sums annually to foreign PR firms and lobbyists to help it repair its battered image and to label Nigerians in such ways as to promote the corrupt government. Only dubious creditors will be willingly to lend money to government that is supposed to be richer than it-the creditor. They call it business when they do.

There is no greater PR than eradicating corruption and serving the people rather than selves. The extremely low level of mentalities of the Nigerian politician leaves one in awe and shock. From the view of the rest of the informed world, it is mockery and easily set Nigeria among the countries ruled by nonentities. The classification, “among the most corrupt” is too easy.

There is at present a wave and fear of impeachment going on in Nigeria only in APC controlled states or in states where a governor brought a PDP-stolen mandate to the APC fold. My bigger expectation is for the Nigerian revolution that will totally impeach, sack and sweep altogether what is probably the most corrupt government in the world with headquarters in Aso Rock, Abuja.

Unless such happens, several million Nigerians will never experience the real meaning and essence of life. The witch-hunting and cosmetic approaches of politicians against politicians who are themselves the major problem with Nigeria are not close to the cleansing solution that Nigeria and Nigerians need. The Promised Land is getting farther.

I knew since 2011 that governance is on a long recess in Nigeria. The trend is common and predictable. Once an election period is over and the new captors of Nigeria settle down to amass, steal, loot and drain the treasuries, the struggle that will sustain or produce the next conquerors of Nigeria quickly goes into motion.

In the last three years, such a condemnable trend has produced the largest number of political prostitutes ever in Nigeria’s history. It is part of the reasons the wave of impeachment became the strongest weapon today, for rather than service to the people and fulfilment of electoral promises it was business as usual and psycho-egocentrism peculiar to the Nigerian political class. It is therefore too easy to line up impeachable offences against those on the other side of the power divide.

Nigeria’s politics is driven by insatiable lust for money and the highest bidders always buy the consciences of the ever-hungry looters called politicians (and sadly the populace too). In all, they are all birds of the same feather and 99.9% of them from Aso rock to Badagry and Sambisa local government areas ought to be spending time in jails by now. But we know that the institutions are dead in Nigeria, the worst hit being the powerless police and the strikingly corrupt judiciary.

The in-thing in Nigeria today is rice politics and stomach infrastructure. Nigerians have short memories and those who are old enough have learnt nothing from history. Even as a boy in primary school I was aware of the consequences of the politics of stomach infrastructure championed by one Shehu Shagari in the late 70s slash early 80s. The NPN was a short-sighted political group that distributed rice, clothes and even apartments to members to ensure that they rig and won the elections back in the days. The rest is history.

That history that includes the extensive reign of tyranny and dictators is what Nigerians have not learnt from. That the PDP, APC or any other party can distribute rice directly or through criminal sponsors is an indication that Lagbaja’s theory of 200 million mumus is a fact. I am short of words or expressions. The situation is not normal; Nigerians are caged, mentally and psychologically!

No matter where I go, no matter what I do. I will always argue for and on behalf of more than 90m Nigerians suffering in silence, disconnected totally from governance and having no idea of the meaning of life, how much more the good life in this temporary passage called earth or world.

I will always argue for social justice, the common good, and a clear understanding of the meaning and essence of life which is not far from the principle of live and let live. I know that illiteracy and total ignorance play huge roles in some parts of the country. I know that the North is a catastrophe based on narrations of friends who went up North.

What I saw in rural Oyo State during my service year in 1995/96 broke my heart. I saw very young and immature people having more children than the number of meals they can have daily. Even most of the adults have no clear scope of what types of life they were living. There is a lot of work to be done across the nations within Nigeria eventually. Education is a top priority now and in the future no matter what becomes of Nigeria or the regions enclosed within it.

My hope for Nigeria and the nations within it is that they will rise again and be on the path they were on the eve of October 1st 1960. The hope includes the rise of functional regional institutions that will usher or return good governance politically, economically and socially. Security of life and property through functional regional security is not the least of priority in a terrorist infected geographical space.

Nigerians are broken almost beyond repair and they need more than a miracle. Nothing short of a revolutionary ideology can save the day, nothing! It must be possible to wipe away corruption, nepotism, tribalism, looting and anything at all that stands in the way of the common happiness. There must be a way forward to build trust and comfort.

Happiness is all that matters in life. The excessive wealth piled up by Nigerian politicians is a reflection of their ill mental statuses, insensitivity to the plights of the deprived and an absolute lack of the understanding of the meaning and essence of life.

There must be a way to knock some senses into the politicians and public office holders that in a transient world, the senseless accumulation of wealth through direct stealing or looting is barbaric, meaningless and inconsistent with expectations of public services directed at humanity. If it takes a revolution of ideology or the over anticipated Saharan revolution, so be it. Silence on the part of a people being oppressed and misruled is not golden.

“Postcards from Denmark” is dedicated to:

1. A friend, Gbenga Akinbisehin (1973- July 16 2014). I heard about your death as a checked in at Malmö, you left too soon, too sudden. You’ll be missed.

2. Every non-corrupt Nigerian working genuinely hard everyday and never having the right to holidays. Your freedom will come.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Yoruba Union in Stockholm Celebrates 2nd Annual Yoruba Day (Photo Essay)

By Adeola Aderounmu

The Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Sweden successfully hosted its second annual Yoruba Day celebration on Saturday the 10th of May 2014.

This celebration of Yoruba culture and tradition has been lauded by several guests and participants as an improvement of the maiden edition which took place on the 11th of May 2013.

The first annual Yoruba Day was reported here in the village square at this link:

[http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/photo-news-yoruba-union-in-stockholm-celebrates-yoruba-day.html]

Just like the maiden edition the special guest of honour was the Nigerian Ambassador to Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland, Amb. Benedict Onochie Amobi. His wife, Her Excellency Mrs. Sheila Amobi was also in attendance.

Among other dignitaries were Sola Mansur Amao, Engineer Olatunde Aluko, Prince Jeffrey Ajani, Mrs. Clara Rogo, Mr. John Rogo, Princess Adetoun Lasebikan, Mrs. Susan Amao, and Mrs. Egbo of the Nigerian Embassy, Stockholm. Mr. Dominic Emene the president of the Nigerian Union in Stockholm was also in attendance.

Adeola Aderounmu giving the welcome address

Adeola Aderounmu giving the welcome address

During the celebration, the members of the Yoruba Union had 2 sessions of Yoruba Cultural dances and a short drama on traditional marriage in Yorubaland was the last event of a very eventful evening.

The president of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Adeola Aderounmu gave the welcome address and also had a 15-minute lecture titled: Ile-Ife, Our Ancestral and Spiritual Home.

Adeola presenting the lecture on Obatala, Oduduwa, Creation and Modern Yoruba History

Adeola presenting the lecture on Obatala, Oduduwa, Creation and Modern Yoruba History


In the presentation, he highlighted the position of Ile-Ife as the origin on all Yorubas worldwide. He also gave a brief account of creation through the hands of Oduduwa and Obatala.

Adeola introducing the members of the executives of YORUBA UNION Stockholm, Sweden

Adeola introducing the members of the executives of YORUBA UNION Stockholm, Sweden

During his own speech Ambassador Amobi congratulated the Yoruba Union for sustaining the Yoruba Day celebration and for the progress that has been made since the previous edition. He also mentioned the immense role played by the Yoruba Union in Stockholm during the IFE Dynasty and Ancient Art Exhibition at the Modern Museum in Stockholm.

Amb. Benedict Amobi giving a speech at the Yoruba Day celebration in Stockholm, May 10 2014

Amb. Benedict Amobi giving a speech at the Yoruba Day celebration in Stockholm, May 10 2014

Ambassador Amobi condemned the rise of terrorism in Northern parts of Nigeria and Abuja. He mentioned that the government is working to stem the rise of Boko Haram. He also condemned the kidnap of school girls from Chibokdignitaries

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Below are some of the pictures showing the successful hosting of the Second Annual Yoruba Day by members of the Yoruba Union in Stockholm, Sweden.

Happy Viewing:

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During the Yoruba Day celebration there was plenty to eat and drink as the buffet covered several of the Yoruba traditional dishes. The atmosphere was brilliant and ignited by dance, merry and happiness.

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Don’t Endorse A Failed Government In Nigeria; Cancel the World Economic Summit Now!

This is the letter I wrote to WEF at the following email contacts explaining why they should not go to ABUJA.

Africa@weforum.org,
forumusa@weforum.org,
contact@weforum.org

By Adeola Aderounmu

The government of Nigeria will guarantee your safety. You are global executives and you run governments.

For your sake the lazy government in Abuja-Nigeria will close down the city and there will be no movement for people and animals. As you read this letter, Abuja is now shut down for you!

When you are there you will experience peace, tranquillity and safety for your lives. That is a guarantee.

You will be amazed by the high level of security that the Nigerian government can provide itself and the rest of you coming for the conference.

The Nigerian government will convince you why the conference or meeting must hold. The strongest argument is that if the conference is cancelled then the terrorists (Boko Haram) can claim victory and success.

When you have finished your conference, life will return to normal in Abuja and across Nigeria. Boko Haram will start to strike again, insecurity will return to normal and there will be fear and confusion in the air.

The lazy government headed by Goodluck Jonathan will withdraw all the security forces/agents from the streets and station them around Aso Rock and homes of government officials again. The security that you will get as attendees of the WEF event will not be retained or transferred to the ordinary citizens on the streets. Jonathan told Nigerians openly that he does “not give a damn”.

The crux of this letter is to engage you in a deep reasoning of why you need to cancel this Nigerian event.

You must not fall for the trap that cancelling the Abuja meeting is going to be a victory for Boko Haram.

Rather it can be the wake up call that the lazy Nigerian government need to understand that the roof is on fire and that innocent lives are wasted everyday due to non-performance and outright negligence of duty by the federal government of Nigeria.

If this meeting goes ahead, it is an endorsement or a support for a government that has done almost nothing to guarantee the safety of lives and property under its watch. If this conference goes ahead it is an endorsement for one of the most corrupt regimes on the surface of the earth. This conference or meeting going ahead will confirm our fears about the conspiracy of the International community to destroy Nigerians by aiding and glorifying corruption and corrupt governments.

Goodluck Jonathan has not performed. He is a man in support of corrupt practices that are widely known by all and sundry.

It is time for him to make a public statement about the real circumstances surrounding the story of the missing or stolen girls. It is time for him to explain what he meant when he said there are terrorists in his government.

Whatever message you want to take to Nigeria by your physical presence is something that can be done without your physical presence. Take your conference to another country and engage Mr. Jonathan and his crew via a video conference.

Don’t come to Nigeria because the government can guarantee your safety while the over 160m population can be decimated at any time, t, and moment, m.

If you ignore this letter, you will be endorsing the inaction of the lazy Jonathan government that has done nothing about the missing girls in Northern Nigeria. If you ignore this letter, that means it is alright with you that Boko Haram bomb Abuja before and after your conference, not while you are there.

If you come to Abuja, you have endorsed a failed government, you have endorsed corruption and you would have promoted the cause of Boko Haram-to avoid tight security while you are there and to unleash mayhem as soon you are gone.

History will judge all our actions and inactions.

Adeola Aderounmu
aderounmu@gmail.com
Stockholm-Sweden

The Boys From Festac

By Adeola Aderounmu

When Bimbo Fatokun came to Sweden in 2002 for a football trial at Djurgården the first question he asked me when we met was “Omotayo, which club are you playing for”? I told him I came to Sweden to continue my academic studies. It was not all of my dreams that came true.

Over the years I’d pondered on what happened to some of us, the boys from Festac.

Bimbo left Nigeria back in the 90s to ply his trade abroad. He is very talented, athletic, quick and skilful. He is one of the best strikers/forward I’d ever known in my life. He played for Antwerp for several years and remained settled in Belgium with his wife and children. He didn’t reach the fullest of his potentials but he did his best. We had hoped that Bimbo would play for Nigeria one day but it did not happen. I had a short discussion with him about this in 2002 and I respect his views and will keep them off the web.

Bimbo Fatokun

Bimbo Fatokun

There are quite a number of boys from Festac who reached the national teams of Nigeria (at various levels). Sunday Oliseh, Samuel Ayorinde and Victor Agali are notable examples. I think the Ipayes also have links to Festac Town. Wasiu Ipaye on 401 Road was one of my closest pals before I left Festac Town. A very humble guy, he is. I heard that some younger generation of footballers from Festac Town have represented Nigeria too in recent years. I wouldn’t know them personally.

Agali

Agali

You won’t read about all the boys from Festac in a single essay and some people will probably get upset with me when they find out that their names are missing in this short story about the boys from Festac Town. Yes, it is a bias history. I write only about some of the boys who played with me and a bit after me.

Samuel Ayorinde

Samuel Ayorinde

George Ekeh is the eldest of 3 brothers from Festac Town who are football talents. I remembered the first time I saw George playing football as a boy. He was under the age of 10 at that time. I marvelled at how such a small boy could have so much skills and confidence on the ball.

George Ekeh

George Ekeh

As a young teenage striker, George can hold and guide the ball with extreme mastery. I admire his skills. George probably did not hit the apex of his talents on the big scene but he went on to play in many countries around the world. I like him very much. He’s settled in Sweden.

Emmanuel Ekeh followed in his brother’s steps and he’s the one that still has more time on his hand to proof what he can do with his boots and skills. I watched a few of his clips on YouTube. He has such a pace and he’s got good vision to make precise passes.

Emmanuel Ekeh

Emmanuel Ekeh

Kingsley Ekeh is a well known player in both Portugal and Cyprus. Famously called King he shone like a millions stars during his playing career. He quit in 2012 and became a scout for his former team.

Life can bring many twists. When I watched or played together with George sometimes, I never saw Kingsley on the football field. In fact, all my years in Festac Town, I didn’t see Kingsley kick a ball. He was always talking on the sidelines. To be honest, Kingsley can provoke anybody back in the days and you can’t win over him in an argument. I actually thought it was a joke when I heard that he was a professional footballer. I do hope to see Kingsley soon. When I do, my first question to him will be “come, which time you start to play ball sef”?

Kingsley Ekeh

Kingsley Ekeh

Azubuike Oliseh probably enjoyed the influence of his brother Sunday Oliseh in gaining international prominence. I have to be honest. This guy trained hard to ensure that he carved a name for himself. However, not everybody will agree with my last submission because despite playing for big teams in Europe, it was obvious he didn’t have the skills and fluidity of Sunny his brother.

Azubuike Oliseh

Azubuike Oliseh

The youngest Oliseh that I know, Egutu Oliseh still plies his trade as well. We never played together. I saw him grow up and I saw him at the Sunday services many times along with the rest of the family.

Egutu Oliseh

Egutu Oliseh

To complete this short story about the boys from Festac, I called up Femi Oladele in the middle of it. Femi is an encyclopaedia of Nigerian football. He grew up in Festac and studied Veterinary Medicine at ABU. But today he holds a Phd in sport administration from a German university.

As a result of his passion for football, he abandoned a PhD program along medical line in Sweden. I have convinced Femi to join me in writing the second part of this story. I have to forgive Femi though, he still doesn’t acknowledge my skills and I’m shocked he didn’t see any of my big games in Festac, Ebute Metta, Yaba Tech, Unilag, Mile 2 and in Ibadan.

Bassey of 23 Road did not turn professional. The story of Bassey will be told differently depending on the speaker and how well they know Bassey. In Festac in those days you cannot separate Bassey and George Ekeh. I always find them near mama Ibeji’s shop, chilling and talking for long hours. They are always together in the evening to discuss how they played/trained during the day and they talk a lot about the future. They had the same dream. There was definitely a link between Bassey, George and the Olisehs. I am not in the position to elaborate. I was at the University of Lagos when many water passed under the bridge.

In any case, historically, I was probably one of the first groups of people who played football with Bassey in Festac Town. His family moved into an apartment behind ours. Hardly had they put their belongings in place than Bassey came down to find me and 2 boys playing football. Bassey joined me and we played against the other 2 brothers Dada and Oyinye.

I could say we played for about 1 hour and I almost did not touch the ball again. At that time, we didn’t know his name was Bassey. He was simply called “Ba”. Ba was running round the field with the ball practically fastened to his feet. He was short and very quick. I said to myself, “another footballer has arrived”. Bassey went on to be a household name in Festac football. I learnt he played for some clubs in Nigeria. From afar, I could see that he did not reach his full potentials.

Ubaka is a very close pal of Nigerian International Victor Agali, as I learnt. Obviously, I don’t have my eyes on all our potentials. I missed Agali to the extent that when people talked about him, I’m like….how come I didn’t know him? Well, I don’t think he knows me either!

I remembered playing against Ubaka’s team in one tournament on 71 Road/24 Road. He was a disciplined defender and very well respected as a young player. But when I’d played against him, it had been easy to beat his team silly. With all due respect, I was a fine striker and for being such a quiet striker, I had extremely good qualities and a ball sense that is extraordinary. I did my share of damage to many lines of defence and teams.

Another boy who’s really very close to George and Bassey is Emeka Okpor Anthony. I think he’s career was punctuated by a series of injuries right there in Nigeria. I learnt in particular that he had a recurrent shoulder problem. A great talent and a clever defender, Okpor is a graduate and he also has a coaching qualification from NIS. He is nurturing young talents and looking ahead to becoming a great coach and motivator.

Emeka Okpor and his friend Taiye Taiwo

Emeka Okpor and his friend Taiye Taiwo

There’s abundant joy when you help other people to reach their dreams even if yours suffered a setback. Setbacks are not meant to be permanent hindrances to happiness and contentment in life.

In Festac Town when I was growing up, Ebere was the most composed player on any football field. Ebere continued to tell us that his father preferred his education to his football career. He had dribbling skills that reminds you of a combination of both Maradona and Okocha. He topped those qualities with his eyes for goals. Whilst Bimbo was quick- actually one of the best sprinters in 100m in Lagos State in those days, Ebere was calm but they were both strong and they find the back of the nets in different ways. We have talents in Festac Town.

We had Dapo of 5th Avenue D1 close. He was a player in a world of his own. He combined well with Ebere during their school days at Mile 2 Boys. At that time, Amuwo Odofin Boys Secondary School was a force to reckon with in the Junior Principal Cup. It was Ebere and Dapo who wrecked the defence line-ups across Lagos State.

I remembered playing one-on-one against Dapo one day on my way from school. They had a small park in front of their block of flats then. Today the park is no more. FHA stupidly sold the park and people built houses on them. Anyway, it was like “he tortured me when he had the ball, and I tortured him when I had the ball”. The rule was clear, “don’t lose the ball”. When I read Eden Hazard’s interview and how he became clever at dribbling by playing in the garden with his brother, I remembered what I went through playing alone with Dapo.

One of my best friends through the years Modestus Okechukwu Okafor played for many years in the German Amateur league. He finally settled there and we even spoke over the telephone less than one week ago. Oke as he’s fondly called was the one who tried to tell me more about Victor Agali. He’s still not able to understand how I missed the Agali’s story. Apparently, Oke lived on 22 Road when he was a little boy.

Okechukwu Okafor, Adeola Aderounmu and Samuel Ayorinde

Okechukwu Okafor, Adeola Aderounmu and Samuel Ayorinde

By the way I first met Oke by accident. I was on my way home from school one day. I stopped at a park near CCC, X Close on 5th avenue. I started to play football with the boys whom I met there. Then Okechukwu who went to a primary school on another side of town was also on his way home. He stopped too and joined us. Those days after school, our other occupation was football.

Later on by some stroke of fate Oke and I attended the same secondary school. Then I remembered him immediately. He has a built that is hard to miss. Still, Oke moved from 22 Road to 5th Avenue end that is near to 23 Raod. Since then, we remained very close friends and played on our “stone filed” everyday!

Chinneye Okolo, I almost forgot. What a left footer! He played with sense. Many of us back then didn’t just kick the ball. We were intelligent boys. We did well at school and we transferred that cleverness to the football field. I remembered my school mates like Wasiu Ikharia (a biochemist), Sanya Okanrende (a cardiologist). I mean these are finest amongst footballers!

Afam and Nenye Okolo

Afam and Nenye Okolo

We had Kingsley Nzete who suffered a broken leg and we knew at that time that he’s not going further as a footballer. He got back on his feet again and started playing in between the goal posts. I salute his courage. We have another Bassey on 5th Avenue. I know his eldest brother lived and played in a foreign country but I never followed up on Bassey himself. Another fine player we still have in Asia is Gabriel Obadin.

We had Michael Fatokun, Solomon and Felix Uboh. Afam Okolo, and the Osuji’s of 401 road. If you want to write about the talents in the Osuji Family, you’ll need a whole edition of a sport magazine. The elder Uboh is Kennedy Uboh. He also went to the higher institutions. If he had been discovered, his football career could have earned him a place in Real Madrid’s line up. He was that good.

What about my friend Abideen, my cousin Tilewa Majekodunmi. There is Abega, a boy who loves football with all of his heart. I know Bauna on 721 Road and I remember many boys from the 402 end. We were players on the field!

This story will be incomplete without an analysis of how some of the boys from Festac failed to reach their fullest potentials and how many dreams were punctuated. We lost many boys along the way under different circumstances, many of them relating to health issues. Emotions have been high many times of how we grew up and the dreams we had.

me and some boys on our stone field in 2006

me and some boys on our stone field in 2006

In the meantime as we continue to ponder on what could have happened to the boys who did not reach their full potentials or whose dreams were punctuated, we should be glad for the representations at the national and international levels.

We should be glad for the Olisehs, the Ipayes, the Ayorindes, the Agalis, and the Kingsley Ekehs, they did their best to put Festac Town on the map in the most positive ways. The Amunekes have very strong links to Festac Town and also to many of the boys mentioned in this essay. At some point Emmanuel Amuneke was living on 5th Avenue.

I am glad for Kinglsley Ekeh who reached his full potentials playing in Portugal and Cyprus. I am happy for Bimbo Fatokun, that he found the reasons to continue with his life in Belgium after a playing career punctuated by a few disappointments and unfulfilled promises.

I remembered how my team mates in the Oyo State NYSC in 1995/96 urged me to pursue that line. Niyi-our oyinbo from UI, Jato, Uche and the rest of the pack trusted me on the right flank and in the 6 yard box of our opponents. I hope they are glad for me that I decided to keep my pen and papers.

Today in Festac Town, there is scarcity of football talents. This is relative depending on who the observer is. When we moved to Festac in those days, there were football fields, playgrounds and parks in every corner. I wrote extensively about this here in the Village square (The Rise and Fall Of Festac Town, parts 1 and 2).

All the playgrounds are gone. There are no more football fields. I think only one major field was spared. FHA sold all our playgrounds. They sold all our parks. These are unforgivable acts.

In place of sports, football in particular, our youths have turned to crime and drugs. Festac became notorious globally as the town of 419ers. I also wrote about that in my story titled Festac Town and Its 419 reputation. There were many reasons why things took a turn for the worse in Festac and in Nigeria as a whole.

There is a need for Nigeria to return football to its glorious days. Today we all hail the EPL and in fact we worship the EPL and other European leagues in what appears like a permanent colonial mentality. Nigerian league can be made attractive again through good planning and administration.

The aim should be, “if our talents don’t go abroad, they should be able to live successfully playing football in Nigeria”. One way or the other the Nigerian intelligence needs to surface on the football scene. The market is huge. What are the problems?

Nigeria is very rich as a country and sport facilities should be at every corner of town. Our football stadia should be many, different sizes and world class standard. The training pitches should litter every community.

There are so many things wrong with Nigeria. It is sad that despite their love for the game of football, Nigerians allowed the sport to suffer as well.

I know that for many young talents, the dreams died. I think about many of my friends on the stone field: Suraju, Abbey and many more. How did I forget about Medo Obanya until now? Medo is one of the greatest talents to have emerged from Festac Town. His dribbling and goal scoring skills are extraordinary. His football career simply melted away right in front of our eyes. Who do we blame?

Even Nwike, Medo’s younger brother was a wonder boy on the ball. I didn’t forget Osaze and Richard Omoregie. It’s going to be an unending essay if I write about everybody that I know. Kelechi, all the best in the south of Sweden!

stone field in 2010

stone field in 2010

I’ve spoken to Femi Oladele and he should be the main contributor to write about the implications of what happened to the boys from Festac. I hope he will use his expertise in sport administration and his life experiences to write about how Nigeria can discover, develop and invest in her talents in football. There are many “boys from Festac” scattered around Nigeria. In this country, many talents have been wasted and dreams have been dumped. Some lives were actually shattered due to unfulfilled dreams.

What happened to the boys from Festac Town can be likened to a sliding door. There are many implications to this expression. When the door slides, it separated us. The sliding door also meant that while some hinged their hopes only on football, some of us looked at our options.

I can say a word for the young people coming up. Keep your heads up, live healthy and keep all of your dreams alive. Don’€™t put your eggs in the same basket and don’t count them before they are hatched..!

aderounmu@gmail.com