Nigerian Politics: The Meaning And Consequences Of Our Collective Foolishness

By Adeola Aderounmu

 

Which Way Nigeria?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The solution is good governance.

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

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

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

But we must save Nigeria.

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

So Nigeria is in a dilemma.

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

But that is avoidable if reasons prevail even now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Away with criminals by all means and by any means!

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

The Angry and Sad Blogger!

aderounmu@gmail.com

@aderinola

 

 

Advertisements

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

By Adeola Aderounmu

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

Ambode, the god of Lagos?

Ambode, the god of Lagos?

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

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

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

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

The end of festac

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

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

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

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

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

Mr. Ambode, what goes round, comes round.

 

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.

samsung_S5

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.

choco_plant_1 (2)

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

 

Why Men Should Cook

Cooking can be a form of relaxation. It is surely art. A nation or a country can be built on well laid foundations that start from the family.

Why Men Should Cook

By Adeola Aderounmu

Time in the kitchen is time well spent

Time in the kitchen is time well spent

A nation or a country can be built on well laid foundations that start from the family. I have argued for parental leave for both mothers and fathers in Nigeria.

Unfortunately there has not been any progress in that area. The typical Nigerian life is driven by harsh economic realities and unpredictable socio-political circumstances.

In one of the most complicated situations in the world, the influence of culture and religion in Nigeria provide for a lot of arguments and discussions on the roles of men in different functional and complicated family situations.

All the men in my nuclear family are great cooks. How is that possible?

The credit goes to our mother who complemented our education effectively on the home front. In Western Nigerian secondary schools (during my time) boys are encouraged to choose Agricultural Science and the girls Home Economics.

As I recall now it seemed that the society also played a biased role in determining the roles of men and women. Therefore it appeared that unless the boys took great interest in cooking or their parents especially mothers taught them at home, they always ended up unable to cook.

Many are quick to emphasize that it is the role or even the “job” of women to cook. In traditional African settings that is largely true. The last statement can be expanded even as a topic for an academic dissertation based on the settings of the traditional African societies and the division of labor amongst the men, women and children.

It has always been imperative that women are able to cook, I may state.

My arguments in this essay are towards the men. I think that the men should be able to cook as much as the women. There are many examples of men who are better cook than their wives or the women in their lives.

These arguments are based on the realities of a changing world that cannot be locked up in the past.

Why should men cook? I will draw mostly from personal experiences.

Cooking as I have found out can be a form of relaxation. A wrong notion might be that a man needs a cold bottle of beer after a stressful day at work.

Cooking can relax the mind and body

Cooking can relax the mind and body

If your kitchen is tidy it is one of the best places to retire to after a hard day’s work. It is a place where you can either throw away your disappointments or show your happiness for the day.

Under any of these circumstances above there should be no hindrance to showing love and care to your children or to your visitors or friends depending on the company you keep after work.

Cooking is art. By systematically creating a piece of meal or a nice, tasty diet from essential raw materials, you might forget or relish about how the day has been and cherish the moment when your children, friends or family enjoy the products your serve to them.

A man should cook to ease the strain on the family.

The children should not suffer or eat junk food simply because their mother is working late one day a week. They should not bear the brunt of their mother visiting a friend during the week or attending a ceremony on Saturday.

If the man is at home, he should be able to stand up to the responsibility of keeping the family going and cooking should be the least of his worries.

There will always be situations when the man is alone with the children at home. That time should not be the time to put up the “I don’t care attitude”. It should not be the time to insult the mother of the children simply because she is held up with another activity.

Some men will never accept that they neglected the obligation of learning how to cook when they were growing up.

Men don’t cook in my family is an outdated expression. When I went to the university I always ate from mama-put is the outburst of a lazy mind. Wake up and look around you. Face the reality of your time and brace up for the era you live in!

Many students can cook despite the fact that they ate at Mama-put and other decent restaurant-which one is your own?

Cooking helps the women to appreciate and boast positively about their men. They feel a sense of gender equality without struggling to achieve it. In a functional family this can promote sexual attraction and help the family to stay psychologically healthy.

Pie: cooking is a form of art

Pie: cooking is a form of art

I do not mean that cooking prevent separation or divorce. It is just one of the ingredients that help as long as the relationship exists.

When both men and women take turns in the kitchen especially when the turns are not based on a schedule, it helps the children to understand that they are required to also take responsibilities for many things in their lives.

The act of pushing blames or looking for excuses start from the family and children learn too quickly from their immediate environment.

Cooking helps children to learn in diverse ways. Science, art, creativity and mathematics are all embodied into cooking.

In Nigeria I can recall that we learned how to cook using a lot of estimations in our judgments of what is required or needed.

Now when I cook sometimes with instructions and using units like “deciliter” or other measurements-I appreciate the level of my mother’s mathematics. It is almost unbelievable what our mothers did!

I know some men take to cooking as a hobby. This means that, by looking or by some sort of interest they just got going at cooking and found it easy and lovable.

I am sure this category of men have found cooking as a useful hobby at those times they are alone as bachelors or married men whose wives are away for certain reasons. They are able to step-up and take charge of the kitchen.

Turning this hobby into a responsibility will be useful on the long run.

From the foregoing, the ability to cook can also help men (and women) to live independently if they choose to be single.

In my family the time between the secondary school leaving year and the university admission year was reserved for intensive course in cooking with my mother. Invariably that was the time you take over the responsibility of cooking for the others in the family who are at home or getting back from work.

Long before that time, it was recommended to be an observer as mama dished out orisirisi from different pots on our stove that was powered by the kerosene.

Growing up in my family back in Nigeria, I know that both boys and girls have equal abilities in the kitchen. I mean a balance of culinary skills. What may vary is the creativity that we add as we went our separate ways.

The documentation of my days at Jaja and Mariere Halls of the University of Lagos cannot be complete without the flavor and aroma the boys in the halls added to the hostels every day.

Later on I met a friend (names withheld) who told me that he could hardly make a cup of tea. He was actually not joking that he cannot even fry an egg. He frequents my room at the College of Medicine in Idiaraba and I always try to show him how I cook. His case was hopeless. He is still my friend today.

When I have had visitors at our home in Stockholm, some people were unable to hide their shock as to the long time I spent in the kitchen. I cook and I tidy up after cooking. Then I tell them why men should cook and tidy up. I hope some women are not fighting their men based on my kitchen behavior.

I do not believe it is the role of women to always do the cooking or tidy up. My mother would chase me out of the kitchen if I start to cook when the kitchen is dirty. In some extreme cases that I remember, she will put out the fire from the stove and I have to take it from the beginning.

There is a time to add the salt and there is a time to slice the onions. No stones in the beans or you’ll eat all the beans yourself. The rice cannot stick together and the tomato sauce must be well fried. Oh Mamma!

Today I appreciate those teachings more than ever before. You will never see me in a dirty kitchen. I can get ill in a dirty kitchen and that is not an exaggeration. It is not a function of wealth but common sense and lessons about hygiene well taken from my mother.

In Nigeria, many families will probably be unable to synchronize their meal times but with proper planning breakfast and dinner at home should be a possibility. Depending on the weekend schedules, families should strive to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together.

People should stop giving excuses on why they cannot cook or eat with their family.

Like many other issues affecting the upbringing of children, many men will continue to blame it on “lack of time”.

There will never be enough time for what a man wants to do in his lifetime. The same is true for women. People should be taught how to manage their time using the family (spouse and children) as the starting point.

Parents should help their children to acquire cooking skills at home. Bring the children into a safe and tidy kitchen and show them how to cook.

It will be a long walk for the Nigerian society but it is achievable across all the regions if sensible and capable people take over control of the politics and the economy across all the various regions.

Nothing is impossible when there is a sincere roadmap that is not left in the hands of idiots and complete nonentities who are driven by selfish interests and absolute greed.

In Nigeria, it is imperative that the different regions are allowed to re-emerge.

There is a lot in the identities of each ethnic group that are submerged and lost in the name of unitary government that shows lack of respect to individuals and folk-group.

People should be allowed to tap into their cultural and traditional family values. They should be taught how to plan their homes appropriately with respect to family size and responsibilities.

It is time to lift the positive values within the family through regional adaptive education and merge them with the demands of a global village.

Properly educated children will build strong families and dependable communities. They will form the backbones of viable regions across Nigeria. The future can be bright and better.

My late mother’s teachings at home and an adaptive, undiluted education in Western Nigeria fit perfectly into a functional life at home and across the world.