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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Pojken Med De Gyllene Öronen

Mina barndomsminnen skulle vara ofullständiga utan min mammas vånda när hon satt och såg mitt spädbarnshuvud dekoreras med två ofullständiga öron. När jag ser tillbaka är jag så tacksam för allt bemödande min mamma la ner på att rengöra mina öron.

 

POJKEN MED DE GYLLENE ÖRONEN

Adeola_4years_old

av Adeola Aderounmu

Året var 1986 då jag fjorton år gammal tog bussen till Lagos Allmänna sjukhus för att genomgå en öronoperation. Det var menat att bli slutet på en rad tidigare besök på sjukhuset. När jag föddes var mina öron inte färdigväxta. Defekterna var uppenbara eftersom mina hörselgångar ofta var fyllda med en gulaktig vätska.

Mina barndomsminnen skulle vara ofullständiga utan min mammas vånda när hon satt och såg mitt spädbarnshuvud dekoreras med två ofullständiga öron.

Jag minns min barndoms dagar i grundskolan. Jag hade alltid en laddning med bomullsvadd hemma som jag ibland tog med till skolan. Jag lärde mig snart att vira bomullsvadden runt ett kvastskaft och stack in vadd i örat till både höger och vänster. Vid flera tillfällen tog bomullsvadden slut, så vad gjorde jag? Jag använde locket på min BIC penna istället. Detta lock blev min närmsta följeslagare i flera år. Hade jag inget annat på mig så hade jag locket till en blå, svart eller röd BIC penna som jag stack in i mina öron och grävde ut tonvis med vätska.

När jag senare i livet hittade bomullstopps använde jag dem istället. De hade de ett värde av guld för mig.

När jag ser tillbaka är jag så tacksam för allt bemödande min mamma la ner på att rengöra mina öron. Jag minns att hon varnade mig för skarpa föremål. Men ibland såg hon bara på mig med medlidande, för i mitt fall var det som att leva tillsammans med någon med ett missbruk. När begäret att stoppa något i mina öron dök upp fanns det inget i hela världen du kunde göra för att hindra mig.

Jag är också tacksam att mitt problem inte klassificerades som ett handikapp, eftersom i det avseendet kunde Nigeria ha förstört mig totalt. Jag hade tur att inte kategoriseras som någon i behov av specialundervisning på grund av mina hörselproblem.

Innan operationsdagen 1986 lärde jag mig att vakna klockan 05.00, ta bussen från vårt hem i Festac Town och resa till Allmänna sjukhuset beläget i Ikeja.  Vi, jag och min mamma, hoppade vanligtvis av Lagos gula buss vid hållplatsen med namn PWD och vandrade sedan utmed en bro hela vägen till sjukhuset.

Det var en obekväm resa. Den var inte heller helt säker eftersom det oftast var få personer på vägen där vi gick vid bron mot sjukhuset. Enligt min bedömning var hela resan ungefär fyra mil lång, kanske till och med fem. Det kunde ta oss en och en halv timme med minst två eller tre byten av olika bussförbindelser.

På operationsdagen lät min mamma mig göra resan på egen hand. Hon skulle anlända lite senare. Jag minns inte anledningen till det beslutet men antar att är du mamma till sex barn lär du dig snabbt att göra dem självständiga vid en lämplig ålder. Jag skulle kunna föreställa mig att jag vann min självständighet när läkarna väl bestämde att korrigera mina öron med en operation. När jag kom fram till sjukhuset mötte jag sjuksköterskorna och gjorde den nödvändiga registreringen. Sedan väntade jag. Och jag väntade, väntade och väntade.

Efter att jag blev tveksam till den ovanligt långa väntetiden frågade jag sköterskorna när det var min tur att bli omhändertagen? Svaret jag fick då kom som en chock jag aldrig kommer glömma. Det här sjukhuset hade jag besökt åtskilliga gånger tillsammans med min mamma, jag var en återkommande patient. Till exempel en gång när ett litet fiskben fastnade i min hals under en utsökt måltid och min mamma tog mig till öron-näs-hals på Allmänna sjukhuset i Ikeja, kände jag redan till den avdelningen lika väl som min egen handflata.

Så därför när sköterskorna, denna ödesdigra dag, svarade mig att de inte kunde hitta min journal med dokumentationen som fastställt min operation trodde jag det var ett enkelt misstag av felplacering. Jag antog att de skulle hitta den och att mina öron sedan skulle opereras.

När min mamma anlände blev hon mycket upprörd. Hon gav mig en tillrättavisande örfil för att uttrycka sin ilska. Jag kan inte minnas någon annan dag, varken innan eller efter denna ödesdigra dag, då min mamma slagit mig. Hon gjorde aldrig det. Därför blev jag nu mycket förvirrad. Det var ju sköterskorna som inte kunde hitta min journal. Vem borde då bli slagen?

När jag tänker tillbaka på hela det scenariot, kan jag bara gissa mig till olika skäl att min journal försvann. Ett är att sköterskorna förmodligen blev chockade att en pojke dök upp själv inför sin operation. Var fanns min mamma som skulle betala dricks så att journalen inte försvann denna viktiga dag? Eller, sett ur ett annat perspektiv, räknade personalen med att min familj skulle ha kontaktat dem i förhand med förskottsbetalning innan operationsdagen? Hur väl förstod mina föräldrar att sådana här möjligheter måste säkerställas genom att hålla koll på sjuksköterskor och doktorer för att undvika besvikelser?

Varför försvann min journal på operationsdagen? Ett tredje skäl kan vara att läkarna inte var kapabla att utföra denna operation och därför drog sig ur?  Det sista påståendet är rätt osannolikt eftersom mina minnen porträtteras en rad kompetenta, professionella läkare och undersökt mina trumhinnor, öroninfektioner och hals med instrument och redskap på öppenvårdsmottagningen.

Så, varför kom inte läkarna ihåg min bokning? En operation borde ju inte vara så lätt att glömma? Varför kom inte läkarna till väntrummet för att leta efter mig? Sa sjuksköterskan att jag inte dykt upp? Vad var det egentligen som gick fel?

Min mamma smällde till mig eftersom att hon fann mig sitta lugn och samlad, trots det troliga scenariot att missa ett tillfälle att korrigera mina defekta öron som man bara får en gång i livet. Hon visste säkert med en gång att chansen inte skulle komma igen. Många saker måste farit genom hennes huvud när hon kom för att höra de dåliga nyheterna gällande mina öron. Den enklaste vägen för att ge utlopp för sin frustration var slaget jag fick. Hon trodde troligen att jag bara kom dit och satte mig ner utan någon ansträngning. Men vad kan en fjortonåring göra när de äldre sköterskorna kastat eller gömt hans medicinska journal?

Jag kan inte minnas att jag någonsin var arg på min mamma. Hon var min gudinna. Hon var kvinnan som lärde mig nästan allt – att läsa, att skriva och sedan att laga mat. Min mamma lärde mig vara ödmjuk och uthållig trots de svårigheter och motgångar man möter i livet.

Så vi åkte hem. Det blev ingen operation år 1986. Jag fortsatte att sticka in allt i mina öron för att få ut vätskor och för att skrapa öronen när de kliade. Vid något tillfälle använde jag pinnar och kvastar för att skrapa ut smuts som fastnat på mina trumhinnor. Jag var expert på mina öron. Som öronläkare skulle jag varit den bästa i hela världen. Jag minns en dag när jag pillade i mitt öra med ett skaft och någon plötsligt sprang in i mig. Det började blöda från mitt öra och jag fick därmed en ny möjlighet att sticka in fler föremål för att få ut blodet. Mitt missbruk var hopplöst.

Jag har levt i Sverige sedan 2002 med ett fortsatt lidande av återkommande öroninfektioner på grund av mina trumhinnors sårbarhet. En dag när jag besökte läkaren rekommenderade han en operation. Mina öron hade testats under en period och resultaten var förkrossande. Jag har fått anstränga mig nästan hela livet för att kunna höra vad människor säger. Resultaten jag såg visade tröskeln för normal hörsel jämfört med min. Jag har varit döv!

Så år 2007, tjugoett år efter att sjuksköterskorna på Allmänna sjukhuset i Ikeja sabbade min då planerade operation, fick jag äntligen min öronoperation i Sverige. I ena örat var hörseln redan borta vid det laget! Efter operationen blev det örat det bättre av de två. Vilket betyder att i det bättre örat innan jag opererades saknades redan hörseln. Öronen var helt enkelt döva till olika grader. Operationen utfördes på Danderyds sjukhus i Sverige.

Till ålderdomens höst, som snabbt närmar sig, kan jag ana vad mina största utmaningar kommer bli. Jag har en dålig höft efter att ha spelat fotboll i tonåren and kommer definitivt inte kunna gå ordentligt. Jag får använda hjälp. Jag kommer också vara nästan döv på bägge öronen. Hörapparater finns att erhålla men om de är lämpliga för just min dövhet blir intressant att upptäcka.

Jag bestämde mig för att skriva detaljerat om min hörselskada eftersom det avslöjar mycket om Nigerias folkhälsoproblem. Jag vet inte hur mitt sjukdomsfall behandlades som litet barn. Kunde jag opererats redan som bebis och därmed botats för resten av livet? Det är troligt. Men med tiden blev jag medveten om, att trots tillgången till ett bra hälso- och sjukvårdssystem i Nigeria fram till 1980-talet, fanns luckor i systemet som gjorde det svårt att korrigera min hörselskada. Den delen var olycklig.

En operation blev bortslarvad. En vän sa till mig att min död på läkarbordet var uppskjuten! Men jag litade på sjukvårdssystemet i Nigeria 1986 även om sjuksköterskorna var illasinnade. Jag skyller den sabbade operationen på dem, jag tycker inte de var genuina och det är ledsamt att minnas nu.

Så hur är det nuvarande läget gällande hälso- och sjukvård i Nigeria? Med ett ord, katastrof! Nigerianska politiker och beslutsfattare måste tänka på medborgarna och arbeta hårt för att säkerställa att sjukvårdssystemet förbättras och anpassas till efterfrågan från den omfattande lant- och tätortsbefolkningen. Den vanliga medborgaren måste ges förmånen att kunna ha råd med ett sjukvårdssystem där livet prioriteras.

Som tonåring riskerade jag mitt liv och reste flera mil. Sedan gick jag längs vägarna till läkarna i Lagos i Nigeria. Jag är mannen med de gyllene öronen.

Om en nigeriansk politiker, vilket inkluderar presidenten, önskar resa utomlands för medicinska skäl bör de hindras från att göra det. I ett land med mer än 170 miljoner människor borde politiker som inte kan leverera avskedas. De förtjänar till och med min mammas tillrättavisande örfil.

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From the original text, The Boy With The Golden Ears by Adeola Aderounmu, 2016.

Translated to Swedish language by Louise Holmberg, Stockholm, 2018.

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.

autumn_morning

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 Terrorist Of Trollhättan

We teach kids that the pen is mightier than the sword.

We also teach värdegrund-basic values so that love-(and not religion or race or skin colour) will be the universal basis of our existence.

The Terrorist Of Trollhätttan

By Adeola Aderounmu

On Thursday the 22nd of October, Sweden experienced what has now gone down in history as the worst terrorist attack on her soil in over 75 years. Everybody seems to agree on that postulation.

Anton Ludin-Petersson

Anton Ludin-Petersson

Truly, there are definitely other tragedies that occur in trickles in the last 75 years that we have chosen not to discuss. The media controls us, in no small measure.

Still, the terror attack in Trollhättan, west of Sweden must be stated clearly as it was.

Children attending a grade 1-9 school left home that fateful morning. They hugged their parents and guardians goodbye as they have always done. They went to a safe place where their co-actors-the teachers and staff meet them daily, Monday to Friday.

The teachers, the staff, the resource persons and all the other people that are working together to make sure that the future is secured and better were on ground. They were playing their roles in building Sweden.

Teachers everywhere in the world are working hard not only to teach science and social studies but also what we call värdegrund-basic values so that love-(and not religion or race or skin colour) will be the universal basis of our existence.

It is at school that we-the teachers also teach about democracy and freedom. We teach children how to find happiness by choosing wisely among the options that life provides and to always remember that outside the four walls of the educational institutions, there are laws to follow and there are principles to guide them. We do our best, everyday.

It was in one of such schools, the one called KRONAN in Trollhättan that a young terrorist posed as a halloween celebrant and unleashed mayhem and terror that have now destroyed some lives forever.

A young man actually gave his life so that others might live. He was a young student assistant. His name was Lavin Eskandar. He died of the wounds from a sword attack. Yes, a sword!

The terror attack happened in the environment where we taught kids that the pen will always be mightier than the sword.

A student identified as Ahmed was also racially targeted and murdered by the terrorist of Trollhättan. May they (Ahmed and Lavin) rest in peace and may their families find the fortitude (and love from all of us) to bear the loss.

Let me be clearer, the Swedish media will call the terrorist gärningsman which means the perpetrator. That tag will not be substituted for terrorist in the major media that is controlled by those who tell us what they think we want or deserve to hear.

Incredibly a resistant group of activists and people with liberal minds have helped the Swedish media to correct that nonsense impression by rightly referring to the man who killed 2 people and seriously injured 2 others as a terrorist for that is what he was.

Incidentally as l was putting this story together, l got a message that a formal protest will take place against the Swedish Television in the coming days.

Sadly too there will be a lot of mis-information and propaganda from the mainstream media on how the late 21-year old terrorist had been a loner, a misfit, a psychopath and all kinds of forged tags that can be used to rationalise his crimes. Again, as we now know the guy was simply a terrorist.

The crimes committed and not where the criminal comes from must be the basis of the classification of criminals.

Meanwhile 24 hours hours after the attack, l had continue with my job and definitely with my life full of concealed anger. l am a professional, one of those in the category of the targets of this dead terrorist. l have to pretend that everything is alright when l am at workplace.

Who said teachers can’t be good actors? Isn’t that what we do everyday? Everyday we lay down our lives-to some extent that is-so some young children and even adults can have their dreams come true.

Tragically the terrorist was shot dead by the police. He was dressed in black and wearing a mask at the time. With a sword in hand he was clearly a danger to the lives of the police who arrived at the school to end the massacre that was in progress. The police said they acted in self-defense.

Anton posing with some students at the crime scene

Anton posing with some students at the crime scene

Obviously Anton Ludin-Petterson’s death is a sad loss to his friends and families and to all those who knew him. He was born a free man but chose to die a terrorist.

In my view as a social critic and as a public commentator, no amount of sugar-coating or media-misrepresention should be allowed to justify any act of terror no matter who the perpetrator is/was.

Anton was a young man who had his whole life ahead of him. But on this sad day in October he died a terrorist after taking the lives of 2 innocent people he knew nothing about except that they had foreign backgrounds. He wounded 2 others whose lives remain in danger.

At 21 a free man in any lawful society is accountable and liable for his actions. Anton is not available to defend his actions. The task of defending him will be valueless. Yet, care must be taken.

However, as we take different stands, we must never forget that the justification of terror attacks by looking for excuses and reasons to do so have had only one effect in history and that is the repetition of similar unfortunate events by copycats.

Unfortunately the Swedish media is trying to find a connection between the terror attack and a previous report about safety and security concerns at the school. Even the national school inspectors were quick to jump on the bandwagon. They bought the bait and this is so unfortunate and actually very sad.

Nobody in their right mind should do such a connection. It will provide an avenue for haters, copycats or terrorists to look for more schools where security concerns have been expressed and where people of mostly foreign backgrounds get their education in Sweden. Such schools will become easy targets if we allow our reasons to be marred by sentiments.

In my opinion Anton was wrong to chose the school-KRONAN irrespective of whether there are security concerns there or not. No one will be justified in terrorizing other people based on any factor at all.

I work with children everyday. I have been doing that since 1990. I see children and l see hope, laughter, dreams and aspirations. Then one day one man walked into a certain school and decided to end the hope, dreams, laughter and aspirations of the young children. I will never subscribe to his reasons or motivations. I condemn all acts of terrors no matter the cowards who did them.

The terrorist of Trollhättan has reminded Sweden that her status as a free society is under fire. It has been under fire for decades and the cover ups have been massive.

Here is a surprising fact people are hiding from in Sweden: the rise of extremism is massive at the same time that public outcry against racism and injustice has been rife.

The racist party is slowing and gradually rising to power. This means that there is something that does not add up beneath the surface. Who can explain this? What is now obvious is that we live in a society full of racists, haters and pretenders.

What happened to all the värdegrund (basic values) that we have been teaching at our schools in Sweden? Oh, they are gone with the wind..!

In recent weeks, months and years, a lot has happened that showed the deepening hatred and threats in the Swedish society. We-the foreigners-have our different battles that we confront daily. But commonly the burning of asylum and refugee residences is the latest and ongoing onslaught on openness and freedom.

These problems can no longer be swept under the carpets because the consequences will explode soon, right before our eyes.

The days of pretense are over.

The time is now for Sweden to show the political will to correct these anomalies.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Hate Crimes in Sweden: Why It May Get Worse

Hate Crimes in Sweden: Why It May Get Worse

By Salimonu Kadiri

Mr Salimonu Kadiri

Mr Salimonu Kadiri

(A letter written By Salimonu Kadiri to Adeola Aderounmu before the recent terrorist attack by a Swede in the town of Tröllhatan).

Nigerians belong to the black race and with the resurrection of Nazism in Europe and upsurge of neo-third Reich politicians who are not only represented in Parliaments but are in coalition government in some countries, the personal security of Nigerians like any Black person in Europe is constantly threatened. From the Swedish perspective, there is no day the persecution of the Blacks are not discussed both in the social and print media. The persecutions are based, mainly, on the colour of the skin.

After rolling out drums on October first to celebrate 55 years of political and economic backwardness of Nigeria that have culminated in self-styled Diaspora Nigerian in Sweden, let me acquaint you with the threat post to our collective wellbeing and security by neo-third Reich politically oriented sect called Nazis.

In the Swedish Metro Newspaper of Tuesday, 10 February 2015, a regular columnist, Göran Greider, observed to his dismay, on page six, that in the existing racial-ranking order, Black Africans are rated lowest. Then on Monday, 14 September 2015, the Aftonbladet newspaper under the subtitle– Top –S polititician: It is my right to say the ‘n-word’ revealed that the chairman of Lidköping municipal council, Kjell Hedvall was furious against those he called academic blockheads and politically correct maffians who criticized him for calling chocolate-ball negro-ball. According to him negro-ball is not an insult because “for hell sake, we have never had slaves in Sweden.”

The word negro originated from Spanish or Portuguese and it means black. The word *NEGER*  is not Swedish in origin but an adopted and corrupt version of the American word, *NIGGER* commonly used to denigrate  a Black person in America.

In addition the corresponding word for *Black* in Swedish language is *SVART* and not *NEGER.* If Kjell Hedvall had called his granulated cacao formed into ball negro-ball one would have understood him as utilizing the Spanish/Portuguese word to name his delicacy even if to the people of Latin countries, it would sound absurd for anyone to eat Negro testicle.

Well, some may say a negative nickname can only cause psychological and not physical wound, therefore, why bother about being called *NIGGER* or *NEGER.*

However, the front page of the ‘Svenka Dagbladet’ of  Monday, 21 September 2015, had this headline: HATE CRIMES AGAINST AFROSWEDES INCREASE. It confirmed that Afro-Swedes, to a higher extence are affected by violence than other minority groups, 20 years after the murder of a young Ivorian in Klippan. Under the sub-title, on page 10, “AFROPHOBIC HATE CRIMES HAVE INCREASED SUBSTATIALLY,” a senior lecturer at Karlstad University, Tobias Hübinette, said that ‘Reports of Afrophobic hate crimes have increased by about 41 per cent between 2008 and 2014.

The phenomenon is the same in other European countries. Hate crimes often take place in public places, have often element of threat or pure physical violence and the perpetrator is seldom acquainted with the victim.’ To the question, what do you think about why Afro-Swedes are more vulnerable?, Tobias Hübinette replied, “It is awful to say but mostly black men are easy prey.” From the foregoing, Black people are usually persecuted not because they have committed any wrong-doing but because of the colour of their skin. Relative to Nigerians, let me narrate a relevant case out of many incidents.

On Wednesday, 23 April 2014, Swedish Television Channel 1 announced through the electronic and print media that its special program, ‘Scrutinizing Assignment’, in the evening of that day would feature cases of crimes committed by neo-Nazi groups in Sweden without judicial and legal sanctions.

Later in the evening, Scrutinizing Assignment revealed that in the early morning of 7 December 2013, a Nigerian visitor to Sweden was stabbed in the lower abdomen by a gang of four young boys said to belong to a Nazi sect called Swedish Resistant Movement. The Nigerian named, Fidelis Ogu, was on exit from the underground train station, Hokarängen, in the Southern suburb of Stockholm, and while on his way to his temporary place of abode he was stabbed.

He was rushed to Karolinska University Hospital where Doctors battled successfully to save his life. Although this incident happened on December 7, 2013, neither the Swedish public nor resident Nigerians in Sweden was aware of Mr. Fidelis Ogu’s encounter with the Nazi until when he appeared in the Scrutinizing Assignment TV programm where he showed the scar after the stab in his lower abdomen by the Nazi. In spite of the fact that the attackers of Fidelis Ogu were captured by the public surveillance camera, the police declined to investigate the case against the assailants of Fidelis Ogu on the ground that it would not be possible to prove who amongst the four stabbed him.

Due to the video film from the public surveillance camera shown in the TV program, Scrutinizing Assignment, one of the attackers went to the police to narrate that he was only acquainted with one of the attackers and that although he was with them that morning, he was not a member of Swedish Resistant Movement.

He also told the Police who among the four stabbed Fidelis Ogu. Premised on the insider’s evidence, the Police conducted new investigation and the prosecutor charged the three Nazi boys to court for heinous assault and attempted murder on Fidelis Ogu on September 30, 2014.

On October 24, 2014, a magistrate court in the south of Stockholm discharged and acquitted the stabbers of Fidelis Ogu. The court motivated its decision on p. 36-39 which I hereby summarize. Through the films from the public surveillance cameras in Hökarängen’s center, it is established that the accused had been in the vicinity where Fidelis Ogu had been stabbed.

They have namely passed by surveillance cameras both in the time immediate before and after the time when stabbing must have taken place. It can be established that the weapon which was used in the action has not been found. There is no technical evidence either which connects any of the accused to the deed.

The information which two witnesses have given only confirm that the accused were at the scene of the crime; that they have had access to knife and they have quarrelled with another dark- coloured man who they also chased the same morning.

Concerning information given by Fidelis Ogu in police interrogation, its value, the court says, is limited due to the fact that he has not been heard before the court. Moreover, it should be added that the police interrogations of Fidelis Ogu were conducted in English without a translator; at the time of interrogations, Fidelis Ogu was undergoing treatment for his injury whereby at the first two interrogations, at least, he had received morphine and beside had been under the influence of alcohol; and from the police interrogations, the court concluded that Fidelis Ogu had not been able to identify the person that stabbed him.

The only thing in the investigation which directly associated the accused with the crime was the witness account given by a companion (an Insider) of one of the three accused persons. The court said that the ‘insider’ had made credible impression on it. Since the consequence of witnessing against the accused was enormous, the court believed that the insider would not have given those information if they were not true.

Nevertheless, the court rejected the insider’s evidence on the ground that he did not contact the police until after he had seen the picture of himself, together with the three accused persons, culled from the public surveillance camera film and shown on Channel one TV program, Scrutinizing Assignment. His contact with the police, the court believed, could have been a ploy to protect himself.

His witness was not given under oath. The court reasoned that even if it was proved that the accused had access to knife in addition to their Nazi political convictions, those do not constitute any direct support to the claim that they stabbed Fidelis Ogu. In the court’s opinion, the investigation did not give a clear and unambiguous picture of whom or who had taken part in the deed and how. Against this background, the court does not believe that it could be considered as having been proved beyond any reasonable doubt that the three accused persons were guilty of the crime the prosecutor wanted them to be convicted of.

To dispute the decision of the court, some facts should be highlighted. When Fidelis Ogu was stabbed in the lower part of his abdomen on 7 December 2013, the police had immediate access to the video film from the public surveillance camera where an identifiable person was seen holding a knife and saying, ‘I got that devil.’ Not only that, two other persons with the knife holding man were known by the police to belong to a Swedish Nazi sect called Swedish Resistant Movement.

Yet, no attempt was made to invite the identified Nazi men for questioning, not to talk of searching their homes for the knife used against Fidel Ogu. If the police, from the beginning, had considered the stabbing of Fidelis Ogu as a serious crime, the interrogation of the victim would not have been conducted in English, by the usually experienced Swedish police, without a translator.

The interrogation was informal because the police had already made up their mind not to take the case to court. This view was corroborated in the Scrutinizing Assignment, relayed by the Swedish TV, Channel 1 on Wednesday, 23 April 2014, as the police told the reporter that investigation on the stabbing of Fidelis Ogu had been discontinued because the prosecutor would not be able to prove who among the three suspects stabbed him.

Since Fidelis was a temporary visitor in Sweden, did the police ask him of his temporary/contact address in Sweden and his permanent address outside Sweden? In the Scrutinizing Assignment program, Fidel Ogu was seen showing the scar after the stab in his stomach. How did the Swedish Television, channel 1 get Fidelis to participate in the program?

The prosecutor claimed that all efforts to get Fidelis Ogu to be present in the court for the trial was futile. What did prosecutor’s efforts entail? Why did the prosecutor open the case in court in the absence of the plaintiff, Fidel Ogu? The Swedish State, granted Fidelis Ogu a lawyer to represent his interest, was the lawyer a specialist in criminal law? Why did the lawyer, allocated to F. Ogu, allow the trial to continue in the absence of his client? How could a lawyer in a criminal court case, represent the interest of a client he/she has never met or talk to?

The court had discharged and acquitted the stabbers of Fidelis Ogu on the ground that it was not proved who among the suspects stabbed him even when one of his attackers was seen holding a knife in camera and saying ‘I got the devil’ at the scene of the crime. This extreme burden of proof proclaimed by the court is not in consonance with the Swedish Criminal Code, BrB 1962:700, Chapter 23 paragraph 4, reviewed in Law 1994: 458, dealing with co-perpetrators of crime. Co-perpetrator in crime is illustrated in legal case file NJA 1980, page 606, with an example.

It states that three men had each armed themselves with wooden rods and with these as weapons attacked some other men who were inflicted with various kinds of injuries. One of the attacked men had lost sight on an eye. All the three attackers were convicted for assault. All the three men were regarded as perpetrators of the crime despite the fact that it could not be ascertained what injuries each of the accused had inflicted on each victim. It was considered that the accused persons, after joint deliberation, had agreed to arm themselves with rods and collectively had made use of them. Each and everyone of the accused persons, of course, fulfilled condition for criminal intention.

Another case where the burden of proof of what an individual has done in a collective crime was the murder of two police men. On May 28, 1999, three Bank robbers, Jackie Arklov, Tony Olsson and Andreas Axelsson, robbed Ostgota Enskilda Bank in Kisa of the sum of 2.6 million Kronor. The robbers were chased by some police patrol vehicles and at a village called Malexander, the robbers opened fire and killed two of the police men chasing them.

Even though there was no clear cut evidence of who amongst the three robbers fired the bullets that killed the two policemen, all the three robbers were sentenced to life imprisonment for murder because of their presence at the scene of crime and their collective criminal intention. Similarly, the three Nazis fulfilled the condition for criminal intention when Fidelis Ogu was stabbed and there was no need to prove who among them stabbed him to find them guilty.

Following the decision of the court, many Swedish Newspapers on Saturday, 25 October 2014, reacted against the discharge and acquitance of Fidelis Ogu’s Stabbers. Reading through page 26 and 27 of the Aftonbladet of that Saturday,  Oisin Cantwell wrote, “IT WAS, I MUST SAY, VERY GENEROUS OF THE MAGISTRATE COURT TO CONCEDE THE RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENCE SITUATION TO THE ACCUSED. AND IT IS REMARKABLE THAT, IN MOTIVATING ITS JUDGMENT, THE COURT DID NOT EVEN MENTION THAT ONE OF THE ACCUSED DNA HAD BEEN MIXED WITH OGU’S BLOOD.”

The practical implication of detecting the DNA of one of the accused in the blood of Fidelis Ogu must be that the accused had physical contact with him through stabbing. Yet, the court concluded that there was no technical evidence linking any of the accused persons to his stabbing with knife.

However, questions that should cause nightmare for every Nigerian (may be every African) in Sweden are: What happened to Fidelis Ogu after his appearance in the Swedish TV 1 program, Scrutinizing Assignment, on Wednesday, 23 April 2014? Was he murdered after his appearance in the TV, which was why the prosecutor could not find him to appear in court in a case that he was a plaintiff?

We don’t know how many cases like that of Fidelis Ogu happen in Sweden everyday and it is only affected individual who knows and until it is your turn you may feel unconcerned. My purpose of writing this is to alert and remind you that the time is ripe for all Nigerians in Sweden to speak with one voice to the authorities in Sweden and Nigeria about our collective security to life and happiness.

It is around this that we as Nigerians and Africans should forget our differences and stop being petty.

S. Kadiri

13 Years A Prisoner

I cannot actually overemphasize that the case of Isaak Dawit is an embarrassment to the human race. Isaias Afewerki cannot be above all of humanity unless we have all gone crazy.

13 Years A Prisoner

Isaak Dawit

Isaak Dawit

By Adeola Aderounmu

Isaak Dawit has been in jail in Eritrea since September 23 2001. He was born in the same country on the 27th of October 1964. He is now 50 years old, with one-fourth of his life spent in jail.

Isaak Dawit fled the war in Eritrea in 1987 and lived in Sweden. He became a Swedish citizen in 1992 but he also held on to his Eritrean citizenship.

When Eritrea became independent Isaak Dawit returned to Eritrea to work as a journalist.

He may have written stories or articles that the dictator Isaias Afewerki found threatening to his one-party state. He may have associated with groups seeking to ensure that the rights of the people are respected and sustained in a new emerging country.

But he was on the other side of the court as Mr. Afewerki, so he was arrested and imprisoned.

Isaak Dawit has not been brought to a court of law. No charges have been brought against him. It is not on any record that Isaak has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Why is he sitting in prison for more than 13 years?

The worst tragedies in the world are not only hideous; they have also proven to be mostly unspoken of.

How can the rest of humanity look away when a man is locked up for 13 years? Have we no compassion for his family and children?

Since independence in 1993, Eritrea has been held in captive and extreme bondage by one man, a dictator called Isaias Afewerki.

In plain terms Mr. Isaias Afewerki told the world to go to “hell”, that he would do whatever he likes with Isaak. The question is, in the absence of a proof of life, “what has he actually done with Isaak Dawit?

Few years ago, Isaak went missing from his cell prompting fears about his whereabouts and an unconfirmed story that he was dead.

Many of the people arrested alongside with Isaak Dawit are dead or have been killed. The fears are genuine but lack of official comment keeps the hope of Dawit’s existence burning till today.

One of Isak’s daughters Ms. Bethlehem spoke recently and expresses optimism that her father is alive. It is this optimism and hope that should be given impetus now.

The Swedish government adopted the so-called silent diplomacy in the case of Isaak Dawit and it has been a total catastrophe so far. It remains futile.

Individuals, groups and organizations have demonstrated and lent their voices to the campaign to free Isaak. All have proven to be ineffective.

What has been done outside of Eritrea is probably not reaching Eritreans at home in terms of awareness.

Sadly too the chant to free Isaak Dawit will not be echoed in Eritrea.

The country is locked down by one man. Eritrea is closed to the rest of the world because there are no independent news media in the country.

Eritreans are not free. They need help!

While I do not support interference with the sovereignty of any nation, the case of Isaak Dawit brings me to a point of compromise. The utterances of Isaias Afewerki even on Swedish television left no one in doubt that there is a lunatic in power in Eritrea.

The campaign for the freedom of Isaak Dawit must take up a new dimension outside of Eritrea. The pressure should then be taken inside to free the people of Eritrea.

Every country deserves independent press and the people deserve freedom of speech and association.

The table needs to be turn around. The campaign slogans should move from free Dawit to:

Free Eritreans

Arrest And Prosecute Isaias Afewerki Now

Eritreans abroad must come together on this one. This is their fight.

They need to bring the rest of the world to the awareness of the sufferings and demeaning of their lives within and outside the boundary of Eritrea by Isaias Afewerki.

There should be no limit to the amount of pressure that should be applied on this wicked and heartless dictator.

After putting away a journalist for 13 years without trial, the world should NEVER let Isaias Afewerki have a moment of rest. This much Eritreans owe Isaak Dawit.

Isaias Afewerki holds all of Eritrea in bondage in a one-party state. He has no regards for the people of Eritrea.

Who does he think he is?

If he has killed Isaak Dawit, the people should rise and sack him by force. They also need to demand his arrest and prosecution.

If Isaak Dawit is alive, he should be released without further delay.

Isaias Afewerki cannot be above all of humanity unless we have all gone crazy.

What is the priority of the Swedish government in foreign diplomacy?

What is wrong with Sweden?

Only foolish people repeat stupid history. Raoul Wallenberg never returned to Sweden, he was never found. Now it is Isaak Dawit. Does this story line sound too familiar?

If finding Isaak Dawit means bringing down the Eritrean dictatorship so be it.

Isaak’s mother died in 2010 asking the question: why did they take my son away from me?

His children are grown, still growing, denied of the company of their loving father because of one stupid dictator in the horn of Africa.

In the end this is a shame not only to Sweden, but also to Europe and the world as a whole. We all stood by and watch like spectators and let one lunatic send another man to jail for 13 years without trial.

I cannot actually overemphasize that the case of Isaak Dawit is an embarrassment to the human race.

With all our claim of civility, social justice and freedom, we let one man (and definitely many other men and women) rot in prison for several years without trials and we look the other way.

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

DSC_1136

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