By ADEOLA ADEROUNMU, Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘Corrupt politicians’

Why Are Our Politicians Criminals?

The overbearing nature of the systemic corruption becomes the burden of the people, the states and the country. Invariably corruption is accepted as a way of life in Nigeria.

Why Are Our Politicians Criminals?

By Adeola Aderounmu

Which Way Nigeria?

One of my earliest articles in the Nigerian Guardian Newspaper (precisely in 2002) was titled: Why Politicians Steal. Since then I have made references to that article several times.

It is still very shocking that nearly all Nigerian politicians are criminals.

In my opinion, since they are all stunningly rich whilst in office and their lifestyles/wealth accumulation afterwards does not reflect their salaries or allowances, l am going to conclude that they are all guilty until proven innocent.

Why are they all criminals?

There are no easy ways to explain how Nigeria got to this point. It reminds me of the irreversible reactions from my chemistry lessons.

In Nigeria you almost cannot get anything done anywhere in the country unless someone’s palms are laced with bribes, kickbacks or advance fees in form of fraud. Hence the overbearing nature of the systemic corruption becomes the burden of the people, the states and the country.

Invariably corruption is accepted as a way of life in Nigeria. It is the system and the way things work.

In Nigeria government and governance collapsed a long time ago giving way to corruption as a highly organised syndrome in the society.

It must be the organised nature of corruption that makes it possible for a respected former governor like Fashola to be in the news for the wrong reasons in recent weeks, no matter if these are the handiwork of his enemies or detractors.

Someone submitted a quotation to drill 2 boreholes for N139 m and the state approved it. The state (represented by Fashola) and the contractor (representing the people) are both criminals.

This is just one example of the thousands of contracts awarded across Nigeria monthly.

Through contracts, inflated wages and allowances and in many other ways Nigerian politicians remain criminals in their dispositions.

Why are the local government chairperson criminals? Why are the state governors’ criminals? Why are the state and federal lawmakers’ criminals? Why are all the former presidents and former heads of states criminals? Must they be criminals?

I heard that when completed projects are commissioned in Nigeria, that contracts are given for the purchase of the pair of scissors used in cutting the tapes or bands. The average cost of the pair of scissors usually ends up at N150 000!

The person who got the contract, the person who approved it and the public official (chairman, governor or president) who used a one-time pair of scissors that cost N150 000 are all criminals.

Next time anyone needs a pair of scissors to cut tape in Nigeria, please send me an email or give me a call. I will send one for free. My only request will be that the N150 000 should be donated to the motherless babies home in lsolo because someone will add the N150 000 to the expenditures anyway.

Nigeria politicians remain criminal because that is what the system requires, sadly. It doesn’t have to be so. I heard that if a man or a woman tries to be honest and trustworthy, that he or she can be murdered by friends or colleagues.

People who try to be honest at places of work or in public services are soon disowned by friends and families.

When good people become endangered species, the result is what reflects in the daily lives of the ordinary masses-the downtrodden.

Nigeria is rotten in uncountable ways. People who are not willing to play ball are neglected, cast aside or even never given the opportunity to emerge as public servants or contributors to the success of the society.

In this sense the country Nigeria has been a tragic occurrence since the years that precede the civil war years.

But are there ways to get out of this ugly situation? How can the people be cured of their permanent fixation on corruption as a means of succeeding in the country? Nigeria does not have a specific dose of ingredients or actions that will cure her.

It is very difficult to know what should come first in an attempt to move this country away from these criminalities that fill the minds of all and sundry. The majority of the people have never known a system that works correctly.

The majority of the people have been wrongly orientated for most part or all of their lives.

Education is no longer universal in Nigeria and civics, history and citizen responsibilities are off the curriculum. People grew up seeing that their existences are like a rat race and the ultimate goal became to be materially better than your friends and neighbours no matter how you do it. This is so tragic!

The only thing that has mattered in Nigeria since the collapse of governance almost 5 decades ago is how one takes the shortest cut to wealth. Family values collapsed as many parents became incapable of raising normal children in an abnormal country. Even politicians mentor their wards and godsons to be criminals like them.

But there are still many people who are representing Nigeria positively in various ways at home and abroad. There are good families and there are good parents.

Yet, one is worried about the several questions that beg for answers and solutions.

How can the majority be educated or given the appropriate orientation that will help to reduce or eliminate the criminal tendencies in them either in private or public institutions? How can Nigeria one day revert to that point where a proposal for a borehole will reflect N1m or N2m if that is the correct cost rather than an exaggerated N70 m?

The alternative costs to Nigeria’s corruption-ridden contracts and looting of treasuries are inestimable. Does the Lagos State government for example know how many Lagosians that can be housed with N70m? Then multiply that by 2…Then let us imagine the scale of corruption nationally!!!  Tragic! Painful!

There must be a particular action that will set the ball rolling.

How can Nigeria stop choosing criminals to serve them? How can Nigerians stop seeing criminality as a normal way of life? How or when will this falling country be able to finally round up all the political criminals still parading themselves around town as saints?

I can reiterate two things that l think are important for Nigeria and Nigerians.

First is the political solution that all beneficiaries of the political nonsense in Nigeria do not want to discuss. Just now Nigeria remains a game and whoever captures the center controls everything.

At this moment it is Buhari and APC who decide who a criminal is or not. To some extent it seems the EFCC is wriggling its tail in recent months after many years of nonsense job done. The EFCC itself is rotten! The judiciary is lame.

A correct political system will remove the power at the center and allow the different regions to develop at own pace. Some 50 something years ago Nigeria was among the best countries in the world under the regional system of government. Why is it so hard or impossible to implement the system that works best? It baffles the intelligent minds.

A correct political system will settle the nonsensical discussions and arguments about the useless federal character to a large extent. Resource control can be discussed so that another idiotic war does not break out.

The second issue is independent of the first. It is about the institutions of governance, how they can be managed correctly and productively.

For a dysfunctional unitary system (as it is now in Nigeria) or a decentralized regional government, it is still important that criminals are not in positions. This is a dilemma for Nigeria or the states.

Under any kind of system, the persistence of criminals everywhere and in political offices anywhere in the land will continue to show in the low standard of living, the high cost of living, lack of electricity, lack of social justice, lack of social amenities, lack of public schools, low life expectancy, high mortality rate, increase in number of uneducated people and many other vices that are characteristics of a poverty-ridden country/a failed country.

One solution that has never failed in history is the genuine revolution masterminded by the downtrodden masses who have lost everything to the oppressors and losing their own lives became the ultimate price for the freedom of their children and children’s children.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Disgraceful And Shallow Campaigns (Part 1)

I am missing proper discussions and debates on the economy, unemployment, insecurity, migration, social injustice, inequality, education, health, population growth, science, technology and a holistic approach to reducing intellectual and material poverty in Nigeria.

Disgraceful And Shallow Campaigns (Part 1)

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_2013

The two major political parties in Nigeria ought to be ashamed of their presidential election campaigns so far.

I have seen and listened to many political campaigns in Nigeria and this year’s campaign is the worst ever.

The bigger culprit here is the lazy ruling party popularly called PDP. A ruling party is supposed to be flaunting its achievements while making concrete plans for the future. But here we have a party that is like a sinking ship ridiculously campaigning like it is looking for power for the first time.

The PDP started a mudslinging campaign and took it too far as the election date approaches. No doubt the indolent and largely purposeless government led by Mr. Goodluck Jonathan is probably the most corrupt government in the world today. The cluelessness of Jonathan has shown no limit on his campaign trail.

Sadly too the APC could not hold back and some of its agents have produced a lot of campaign videos that still does not prove how the APC intend to be the change that Nigeria and Nigerians deserve. With several dropouts and losers from the other political parties flocking to APC, it is hard to see any change in sight.

It appears the change people are clamoring for is just to get a clueless government out of the way. But the opposition can do better.

It is about 2 weeks to the presidential election and Nigerians are yet to be told how the economy will be boosted in the face of the global decline in the price of crude oil. Jonathan made more than 200 promises during the 2010/2011 campaign year. Almost all of them were thrashed as soon as he began to drink at the presidential villa.

The economy has suffered and massive funds have been looted from the treasuries under the supervision of Goodluck Jonathan, his central bank governors and his minister of finance. This stealing and looting predate Jonathan definitely.

Indeed, I stand on the side of those who reject the World Bank report or the CNN evaluation of Nigerian economy. More Nigerians have slipped into the poverty zone and more Nigerians are unemployed and several thousands of them were even duped by Mr. Jonathan and Mr. Abba Moro. A few were killed during the duping process otherwise known as the Immigration employment scam.

A way to measure a growing economy will be making good use of the employment indices, the quality of life of majority of the citizens and the overall decline in the percentage of people living from hand to mouth among other factors.

Until these begin to happen one cannot appreciate economic growth on paper or assume that the prosperity of those who buy jets from looted crude oil proceeds represents the growth of a country. It is wickedness to summarize the well-being of 1% of Nigerians who own 80% of the country’s wealth as the mark of an economy that is growing.

The PDP we now know thrives on deceit and lies. The APC ought to seize the opportunity and present a formidable option on the economic front. It is not enough to call the PDP corrupt because the APC is also loaded with corrupt politicians as well as political prostitutes.

Political campaign in Nigeria is mostly gibberish, if not outright rubbish.

In actual fact what ought to be sold during this season of campaign is what the political parties stand for and not just what Jonathan or Buhari are as individuals. On personality levels, Nigerians deserve better than a drunkard or a dictator.

Indeed the personality of the persons leading a political group is important but the fundamental issues that govern the operations, prospects and plans of the political parties for the country should be paramount.

For life can come with unexpected situations. If Jonathan or Buhari for one reason or the other become unfit or unwell to stand for elections on February 14, it is the party’s politics that should bear on the electorates and not just the personality of the number one person in line to the presidency. It’s a huge risky to put persons before institutions.

Therefore rather than selling people during elections, it would have been nice to tell how the two political parties intend to further diversify the Nigerian economy. How do they intend to stop the Chinese from looting and carting away Nigeria’s precious mineral resources?

How do they intend to stop bringing criminals as ministers who will sell the treasuries of the land for a token that they even loot? How does APC or PDP intend to break this jinx that has turned the blessings of Nigerians into curses?

Where are the blueprints on how to help the North to recover its groundnut pyramids? How will Western Nigeria become the hub for cocoa and oil palm production again so that exportation can improve and promote the economy?

What about cassava in the East? Where can l go to read about the plans that the political parties have made in this respect? Why should almost everything be based on crude oil?

Which recordings from any of the campaign trail can I watch to see and hear Buhari’s plan according to the APC manifesto? All the posters about free food, free education and sudden miracles manufactured by internet warriors on behalf of the APC don’t do it.

Where can I access the blueprint that lazy and corrupt Jonathan has been trying hard to implement for the past 6 years?

Have I missed the discussion on cutting executive recklessness and financial wastages?

Common and ordinary citizens are to survive on a meagre monthly minimum wage of N18 000 per month. That disgraceful amount is a clear contradiction to what a growing economy would pay her citizens.

Ideally such an amount of money is what a family of four can budget to spend in a day if the costs of feeding, transportation, clothing and leisure activities are taken into consideration.

More than 90% of Nigerians live below the poverty level. The people may be resilient but that does not take away the permanent life of poverty that they are confined to.

In the same country some heartless people called politicians earn the biggest political salaries in the world. A lot of unnecessary funds and bonuses are allocated to Nigerian politicians at the local, state and federal levels that amount to direct stealing and official looting of the treasury.

To make the matter worse Nigerian politicians are mostly crooks still finding other means to award contracts, steal contract funds, set up committees upon committees and all sorts of malicious mechanisms aimed solely for self-enrichment.

Both the PDP and the APC have not mentioned how to cut on the financial wastages and leakages across all tiers of governance.

How do they want to make the take home pay of the politicians comparable to the salaries of ordinary Nigerians? Or how do they want to ensure that Nigerians who are employed or unemployed do not become criminals because they want to make ends meet? In short, how do the political parties intend to bridge this extreme social and economic injustice?

One area of public service in the hands of the mafia in Nigeria is the energy sector. The federal government has failed woefully to provide constant power supply in Nigeria.

Nigeria is reputed to have the worst power supply system in the world. Goodluck Jonathan stated clearly that nobody should take him seriously for re-election in 2015 if he cannot provide electricity after 4 years.

The energy sector is just one out of the several unfulfilled promises. Yet Mr. Jonathan finds the courage to live with this shame and still go around making more promises. What has happened to men who keep their words?

Mr. Jonathan lied to the world through the CNN that electricity has improved in Lagos and other cities across Nigeria. What a guy!

The PDP as a political party in charge of governance since 1999 when pseudo-democracy was returned to Nigeria has failed in this aspect. Under Obasanjo, Yar Adua and Jonathan several billions of naira have been looted with no results to show. Nigeria remains the darkest country in the world.

No arrests have been made for the monies that disappeared under Obasanjo and Jonathan which leaves both rulers as partners in crimes against the people of Nigeria.

The Ministry of Finance cannot account for the funds pumped into this adventure that yield no light. Instead more darkness came to Nigeria and the sales of generators by the energy mafia group of companies continue to skyrocket.

The PDP does not need to present any new plan on energy and power generation because for 16 years all its plans have produced more darkness than light.

The APC has refused to provide a clear blueprint on how it intends to rectify this nonsense. No one knows how APC intend to transform the darkness in Nigeria to light. If it is on paper, l think people will like to hear it at a campaign by the person in charge of energy development in the APC camp.

What about security? The PDP government is not discussing much about security on its campaign trail because Goodluck Jonathan the lazy president has failed woefully. His army is in a tattered form. One wonders who is in control of the army. Is it Boko Haram or Olukayode or Jonathan?

But security is a big deal. Insecurity usually ends with civil war. By now 15% of Nigerian territory is in the hands of terrorists. This is shameful and scandalous!

Terrorists have bloomed under Goodluck Jonathan. In the beginning he was mouthy and promised to root them out because he said they are part of his government. Four years on Goodluck Jonathan continued to dine and wine with Boko Haram members in his government.

The PDP government has stated that the opposition, the APC, is behind the terror group based in Northern Nigeria. This statement is careless and senseless because what good governments do around the world is to arrest terrorists and their sponsors. After all these allegations against the opposition Goodluck Jonathan has not made or ordered any arrest within the opposition camp.

Ali Modu Sheriff is known all over the world to have massively sponsored Boko Haram especially during the 2003 elections. He openly made use of Boko Haram to suppress and oppress his opponents while vying for the governorship office. Ali Modu Sheriff is one of Jonathan’s best friends.

Without dwelling much on the terrorists in the Niger Delta creeks, isn’t it astonishing that they are also mostly friends of Mr. Goodluck Jonathan?

Anyway, the APC is boasting that it will stop Boko Haram. How? What will the APC do differently? By the way that brings a curious issue to the front. When the opposition says that it has the solutions to Boko Haram’s war, why have the solutions not be presented at the national assembly by APC legislators, even if the presentation is not made public for security reasons?

What I meant is that the opposition in a normal society is also part of governance and where the ruling party fails; the oppositions can apply their options through debate and national assembly decisions. The ruling government and the opposition parties are always supposed to work together. But Nigeria is no ordinary country where the winner takes it all.

Today, Nigeria is not a secured country and anybody can be killed or blown to pieces by suicide bombers or shot by Boko Haram group that continue to attack military installations, different residential communities, churches, mosques and schools.

The electorates should have asked the APC how it would tackle the menace of Boko Haram. They should ask whether these strategies have been presented to the ruling party before the situation deteriorated to what it looks like today.

Security of life and property is part of the issues for campaigns or plane level debates. Like power supply, the issue of security is also important when looking at the factors that affect the economic growth of a country.

Nigeria faces more challenges in the days ahead….(To be continued)

aderounmu@gmail.com

It Was Not A Great Year

When a president or a ruler knowingly acts against the constitution that he swore to defend and behold, he invariably burns the flag of the country and ought to be dismissed by law or by popular revolt the next day. The passivity of Nigerians is heavily condemnable. What a country!

It Was Not A Great Year

By Adeola Aderounmu

Which Way Nigeria?

It’s been a great year is a very selfish 2014 expression made famous by a Facebook app and users. When I think about what Nigerians went through and endured-the spate of bombings, economic hardships and several other ills too numerous to mention-I realized that the slogan A Great Year is egoistic and can be misleading.

My recap of 2014 is here below.

I want to remember 2014 as the year that I put a meaning to the phrase the Nigerian syndrome.

The Nigerian syndrome is the condition in which Nigerians support their rulers and greedy politicians who have contributed tremendously to the demeaning of their living conditions.

It can also be describe as a condition where a crook, a corrupt ruler or a known criminal in government gets massive support from a group of die-hard followers who for personal gains and selfish reasons chose to ignore the negative impacts of the crimes committed.

2014 was the year that l continued to express my dismay at the criminalities displayed daily by government agencies and institutions across Nigeria. There are no consequences and there are no outrages to corruption and crimes even when perpetrated by the current indolent presidency.

Lack of patriotism, lack of dedication, absence of trust and a general bad attitude to work remain systemic in the Nigerian working environments. The one who is not willing to be bad or corrupt has almost no place in several working environments in Nigeria.

In 2014 I wrote about the worrying criminal tendencies of Nigerians in South Africa. It’s very hard to vouch for a Nigerian anywhere especially when they spend money that they cannot account for. In Nigeria it is a cool thing to have such funds. No need to explain your source of wealth to anyone.

In other countries, Nigerians are called criminals when they cannot legitimately account for their expensive lifestyles. In South Africa, the image of Nigeria is dented almost beyond repair. This is hurting to the good people who pursue their businesses and jobs legitimately.

Recently a number of video clips were released by an investigator who succeeded in clamping down Nigerian criminals in South East Asia. Those videos prove beyond doubts that there are Nigerians who are hell bent on destroying the image of Nigeria internationally. The videos provide evidence of Nigerians dealing in hard drugs while pretending to be pastors, tourists or students.

In the piece 50 yards of death I mourned the untimely deaths of 13 people in a boat mishap in Festac Town. It was an avoidable catastrophe. Man-made catastrophes and avoidable deaths are common in Nigeria. For several thousands of Nigerian families whose loved ones departed untimely and unnecessarily it was definitely not a great year. Water transportation across Nigeria needs to be upgraded with safety as the priority.

If you missed Mugabe’s and the Pakistani jokes about Nigeria, then you need to read the article titled The stupid jokes. Mugabe, the life president of Zimbabwe who seemed to have lost his minds took a swipe on Nigeria. Later on he was widely quoted as condemning his own party mixing it up with the opposition. Mugabe also senile-ly claimed that the opposition won the majority votes in the last election.

In 2014 I remembered some aspects of my childhood and all the dreams about professional football. In the heavily criticized The Boys From Festac article, I mentioned a few household names in Nigeria that emanated from Festac stony and sandy football fields and a few names that never went big. I was bombarded by emails and messages afterwards and my plan to write a sequel has not come to pass.

I wrote about a lost paradise for that was what happened to Nigeria. I recalled my mother told many stories of life in pre-and immediate post-independent Nigeria. The journeys by train, the jobs after education, the long walk at night and the peace and serenity that were characteristics of the olden days were never experienced by my jet-age, get rich quick lost generation.

These experiences of how life should mostly be which were taken away before l was born are now what millions of Nigerians have come to participate in in the western world. I will never forget how my mother described the old western Nigerian. Indeed by allowing mad people in power and by allowing evil to rise above good, Nigerians gave away a paradise and killed prematurely an emerging global power and giant.

In the article Terror And A Volatile Mix Of Blind Faiths, I expressed my concern about the way the Jonathan government succeeded in elevating a propagandist form of Christianity by promoting hatred and animosity between Christians and Muslims.

Jonathan’s romance with gangster arm-purchasing pastor Oritsejafor and a painting of the opposition as a jihadist movement were very unfortunate incidences. The APC was forced to produce a pastor as its Vice Presidential flag bearer. Nigerians are pitched against one another in the forthcoming doubtful elections still standing on tribal and religious pedestals.

If Jonathan and Jonathanians have the evidence that Buhari is a jihadist and that he is a co-sponsor of Boko Haram as opposed to what the assassinated General Azizi postulated-that PDP is the backbone of Boko Haram, then what are the barriers or hindrances stopping the arrest and prosecution of Mr. Buhari? What roles do the PDP, the APC and the rotten northern elites have in the emergence and success of Boko Haram? The history books will be loaded when this season of madness is over.

The roles of religious organizations in the demeaning of the quality of Nigerian life are inestimable. They promote false hope as the country runs deeper in trouble waters. The political wills of Nigerians were watered down by reassuring blind faiths. The political and religious rulers are stealing and the citizens are praying. To pray is no harm but to act wisely is more desirable.

In 2014 the exclusive ignorance of Jonathan was elaborated on many fronts. Just like the wicked late Umaru Dikko expected Nigerians to eat from the dustbin to confirm the spread of poverty in the land Mr. Jonathan used the number of Nigerians appearing on Forbes list to indicate that Nigerians are not poverty-ridden.

The WEF conference in Nigeria in the wake of incessant terrorists’ attacks in Northern Nigeria and Abuja was an unwelcome development for many because the security agents are keen on protecting the men in power while the ordinary people are roasted like chickens in regular bombings and suicide attacks. The above were highlighted in one of the several articles l published in 2014.

2014 is not a great year. The politicians are getting away with all their loots and reckless spending. The chief ruler Mr. Jonathan is getting away with several missing funds and most recently with more than 21 billion naira raised on his behalf even against the constitution of the country.

When a president or a ruler knowingly acts against the constitution that he swore to defend and behold, he invariably burns the flag of the country and ought to be dismissed by law or by popular revolt the next day. The passivity of the populace is heavily condemnable. What a country!

In 2014 Nigeria the Federal Ministry of Finance oversaw the emptying of the Nigerian treasury and reserves. The department of Petroleum Resources-NNPC-is managing criminals called oil marketers. They are stealing and looting together in an unending ecstatic orgy of subsidy. This year is not a great year; criminals are getting away as usual and a drug baron just wrote a book of justification.

The latter part of 2014 marked a turn in the expectations of many Nigerian. Even those who funnily supported Jonathan and not the PDP in 2011 are having a rethink. There are 2 main political contenders to the throne of unitary head in Nigeria.

But the issue is beyond that. Irrespective of who wins a presidential election in Nigeria, the position makes a person an automatic dictator. It is a post that makes monsters out of ordinary men and killers out of sheep.

One day it will become popular again in Nigeria that a unitary head is not a recipe for the form of democracy that Nigerians need. It is taking so long to get this message across, but it will come through.

The turn of expectations in 2015 might end up being a false hope. There was hope in 1993: it was quenched by a criminal called Babangida who did the bids of the cabal at the expense of Nigerians.

In 1999, there was hope. It became hopelessness when PDP seized power and continue to reign till date with impunity.  In a country where there are no consequences for criminals in politics, there will be no end to impunity. In the country where the people pray and remain passive, there will be no light in the tunnel. It will be darkness at the end of it.

As a result of over 50 years of injustice some are crying while some are celebrating. Some are working, some are just stealing. Some are hoping and some are carting away the treasuries of the land.

For some, the system is perfect because it satisfies their desires to remain rich like their criminal parents and family members, they’ll give anything to keep the remaining 170m in chains. It is good for some because of the hope of being appointed co-looters.

In 2015 Nigerians can choose to allow these mad scenarios to progress or they can put an outright stop to it. They can create light at the end of a dark tunnel.

To think that this will depend on the winners of the doubtful 2015 general elections is a fairytale taken too far. For in the PDP, we have known criminals and treasury looters.

In the APC the story is similar. The party harbors well known criminals and self-enrichment specialists. I always say Nigerians have to choose between greater and lesser evil and that is an unfortunate dilemma.

I maintain that Nigerians need a political solution. They need a willingness to rid once and for all time all the bad eggs and the undesirable elements in the land. The level of corruption and nepotism in the land is beyond the redemption capabilities of a single political party or one man.

Summarily as it has been for as long as these wasted and lost generations can remember, 2014 will also go down as the year when many things were swept under the carpets. Name any political or economic crime against humanity and you will find it under the rug called Nigeria 2014.

Majority of Nigerians will end 2014 at different churches and mosques. They will be urged at the annual rituals called vigils to let go of the past and face the future. But that is an annual mistake, it is politically wrong.

2014 was not a great year.

A great year might come to Nigeria if all the people come together, close down the country and get rid of all political criminals and their associates once and for all. The sacrifices will be huge and the future will be great for it.

In 2015 Nigerians need to remember the errors of the past so they can have a platform to shape a politically correct present. The plan for the future must be holistic so that the unborn generations can thrive and bless their ancestors.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Obasanjo’s Medicine: Shake After Use

Obasanjo’s is shaking after taking his own medicine. He will not be canonized. He ran a corrupt government too. If it took him 8 years to realize he also handed over to corrupt people like him then he may have suffered from a form of premature dementia

Obasanjo’s Medicine: Shake After Use

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Around 1988 my physics teacher at Festac Grammar School Mr. Olatunji, a civil engineer by training told the class a joke. He said there was a man who was given a prescription by the doctor. So the man went his way, bought the medicine and took it.

After a few days his condition did not improve. So he picked up the bottle of medicine and read the instructions carefully. Somewhere on the bottle it stated “SHAKE BEFORE USE”.

When the man discovered the instruction, he started to jump up and down, whirled his waist and shook his belly at the same time. He wanted to ensure that all the medicine he had taken mix thoroughly inside of his body.

You’re guaranteed of getting wiser for every lesson you attended with Mr. Olatunji in front of the classroom. He told us at that time that with his knowledge and education-he should be sitting on the 35th floor of a civil engineering firm.

But he was stuck with us for a while, teaching and giving us hope for a brighter future. To make ends meet Mr. Olatunji also ran a private coaching outfit popularly called lesson. A very clever man with excellent skills in mathematics, I learnt later on that he found a job outside of teaching. I hope life treated you well, sir!

Now I look forward to reading General Obasanjo’s book. But I have seen a few of the previews that early birds have posted online.

Sometimes in late 2007, several Nigerians started the process of canonizing Obasanjo. It was either he controlled the media or the impatient people were doing an early comparison of his tenure as the ruler of Nigeria with that of the puppets that he almost singlehandedly installed after his failed third-term bid.

Some believed that Obasanjo brought in Yar Adua and Jonathan because he wanted to show Nigerians that they would have been better off with him as a life president. There are still many theories on why Obasanjo brought 2 peculiar political invalids to rule Nigeria.

I am trying to place Obasanjo in the positions of both the doctor and the patient in Mr. Olatunji’s narration.

As the former ruler of Nigeria for a total period of about 10 years, are there pieces of information in Obasanjo’s book that he could have applied in making Nigeria a better place for all? Were there prescriptions he didn’t read out loud when he addressed Nigerians for 10 years?

What efforts did Obasanjo make to minimize corruption under his regime as a military dictator and a civilian ruler? Does he have the justification to accuse other people of the same crimes that he committed? What efforts did he make to stop the introduction and implementation of extreme Islamism in Northern Nigeria?

Why did he employ the services of a criminal in the person of James Ibori to spearhead the change that would have ensured that he ran for the office of the Nigerian president for a record third time?

Then when the third term bid failed Obasanjo oversaw that Ibori continued to drain the resources of the people of the Niger Delta in promoting Yar Adua. Ibori, an ex-convict was almost going to become Nigeria’s vice president under Obasanjo’s watch, a road map that could also have placed him in line to the presidency.

Obasanjo is like the people he criticized in his new book. How did he get Otta back from scrap to a multi-billion naira project just after emerging as the military’s choice in 1999?

What happened to all the billions of naira spent on power generation under his watch? I hope I will read about his shady deals in his new book of revelations because from space Nigeria is still one of the darkest places in Africa today. What about the funds meant to equip the police force that ended up with his family members?

Obasanjo and some of the people mentioned in his book like Atiku where co-criminals at the helm of affairs in Nigeria. They even went a step ahead in their criminal pursuits in the international Halliburton bribery scandal. It was only in Nigeria that the criminals involved in this scandal were not punished. The criminal law system in Nigeria is a huge joke.

Obasanjo can win accolades for his book, for the gladiate contents. He likes to play to the gallery and that sort of excitement is what most Nigerians want.

They want to accept one form of evil above another. They want to agree that Obasanjo was better than Jonathan because the law system in Nigeria does not query, try and send people for prison for serious crimes like state murder and looting of the treasury with good governance as the opportunity cost.

How has the larger Nigerian populace benefitted from Obasanjo’s wit and tricks since he emerged as a PDP politician?

I am not thankful to Obasanjo for his contributions to the misery of the Nigerian life. I cannot appreciate him for his roles directly and indirectly in the demeaning of the Nigerian life.

In terms of establishing institutions and empowering people that will contribute to the progress of Nigeria Obasanjo is probably more clueless than Jonathan.

If the law and justice system in Nigeria are fair, would Obasanjo be a free man or a prisoner today? Who takes the responsibility for the political assassinations under his watch? Who killed Bola Ige? Did he provide the hints in his book?

Obasanjo enjoys having his hands and voice in everything. The preview of Obasanjo’s books that I’ve read placed him in the category of the people I described in my column last week-the people with foolish expectations.

He led a corrupt government and imposed another clueless corrupt government yet he’s out there crying over a foreseeable tragedy. What hypocrite!

In the same vein, when I would have read his book, I might still find it difficult to remove Obasanjo from the category of Nigerians on Lagbaja’s scale of mumuism.

Millions of Nigerians also fit in to the patient role in Mr. Olatunji’s story. They are now jumping up and down and wriggling their bellies because they have taken their medicines without reading the label where it state shake before use. We’ll see where this takes them in February 2015.

Obasanjo knew that Jonathan was incompetent as the governor of Bayelsa. Everybody in Bayelsa knew his deputy was in charge when he was a governor. If Obasanjo was not aware of that then he must have suffered from a premature dementia. If it took Obasanjo 8 years to realize that he handed over to a corrupt government like the one he managed, then he needs a quick help.

Millions of Nigerians were basking in 2011: we are voting for Jonathan, not the PDP. It was laughable, yet very sad to read the collective reasoning of a people drained of both mental and physical strengths. What options were available anyway? An endless dilemma it must be.

It sounded as foolish as when Babangida said he did not cancel the results of the 1993 elections, that he only annulled it. It’s the same rigmarole when he said he was stepping aside when he ought to have been arrested and imprisoned for treason.

It was that fateful cancelled elections that Obasanjo benefitted from. He even campaigned on behalf of the treason perpetrators like Ibrahim Babangida. Obasanjo said MKO Abiola was not the messiah.

Obasanjo’s messiah for Nigeria since 2009 was Mr. Jonathan. When did he detect the truth that now set his wicked mind free?

I am making efforts to get Obasanjo’s books to my domain. I look forward to reading Obasanjo’s explanation as to why he collected the Halliburton bribe.  Also I want to know how much he got. Was it a third of $74m or a straight N27b?

I will like to read Obasanjo’s book so I can mock his gullibility-that at his right and ripe ages in 1979 (Shagari), 1993 (Abiola), 2007 (Yar Adua) and 2011 (Jonathan) he was fooled or he fooled Nigerians.

Obasanjo’s is now shaking after taking his own medicine. Too late I am sorry.

When Mr. Obasanjo is done with whirling his waist or shaking his belly, I hope someone can tell him that some people actually read the labels and instructions on their medicines before they swallowed them.

If he ever gets another chance in his life time, one hopes that he reads the label before prescribing or taking the medicine himself.

For now he should stop crying over the milk he spilled as the search for true and exemplary leaders continue in the rising struggle to liberate Nigeria and Nigerians.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Threshold

There are plans to postpone or cancel the 2015 elections due to insecurity in substantial parts of the country. This will create an inflammable volatile tension that may be impossible to quench when it implodes.

Threshold

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

By Adeola Aderounmu

Nigeria in 2014 is one of the most complicated places of earth.

The damage done to Nigeria and the psyche of Nigerians through 54 years of misrule is multifaceted.

The damage also includes the dearth of intellectualism in the public spaces. Where available, it is manipulated to suit evil desires of the rulers and politicians.

One of the most stupid debates one can imagine gathered momentum in Nigeria in recent weeks. Even former dictators and political rulers are discussing about their religions or faiths as the 2015 political season draws closer.

Nigerians are aligning along ethnic, tribal and religious lines for the 2015 national elections.

If the politicians, political godfathers and public office holders are also discussing their religions rather than their political pedigrees, patriotism and the positive thrusts that they could bring into offices, then Nigeria is on the threshold.

The permanent cracks called 36 states of Nigeria may collapse in an unexpected fashion.

The fertility provided by Boko Haram (BH) will not be an unexpected catalyst.

The ripened assimilation of religion into Nigerian politics is not an isolated phenomenon and it did not happen overnight. It was influenced by distrust and lose of political ideology.

Nigerians have been completely brainwashed by foreign religions mainly Christianity and Islam. The people are divided and separated not only by tribes (or ethnicity) but also by religious affiliations.

It is so sad and appalling that the religious denomination one belongs to affects also how one is perceived or received by other people sharing even the same religion.

The ascendance of religion in public and political life in Nigeria is one of the saddest events that befell the country. It brought a shade on all the anomalies that characterized the failed political structures and systemic collapse.

Religion was made one of the safe nests of criminals who have misruled Nigeria since 1960. It was the perfect cover for the promotion of idleness and crimes against humanity.

Nigerians swallowed political lies and religious fallacies hook, line and sinker. They left governance in the hand of crooks and let it rot.

Religion becomes an evil item the moment it is allowed to leave its terrain as a private experience and brought into public spheres. In Nigeria this has been the trend, the country is already suffering from the dividends of religion in public offices.

If Nigeria finally trips over the threshold (probably catalyzed by the BH war) those denying the negative roles of religion in politics and public life will be overwhelmed by both the existing polarity in the polity and the war already consuming substantial parts of the country.

The failures of the Jonathan-led weak unitary government and the Nigerian military to stem the BH war will continue to fuel the speculation that Nigeria is at war with itself. It will continue to promote the theory that the government of Nigeria is at war with her citizens.

Goodluck Jonathan was one of the weakest governors ever produced in Nigeria. Under him Bayelsa and Bayelsans simply went to sleep. His weakness as a ruler will probably explain why he needs so many attack dogs who are getting fat and building pot bellies on tax payers’ money.

Political pedigree remains insignificant in the unitary form of government in Nigeria. Hence rather than performing and being proactive Nigerians are stuck with a government that react and respond to every criticism of the lazy administration with irritating comments.

For instance Mr. Okupe is not worried about BH because the BH war is yet to disrupt his breakfast. I have not found a more senseless reaction from someone to whom much is given albeit from looted treasuries.

The official response from the lazy and corrupt Nigerian government has now shifted to declaring the obvious- that Boko Haram is at war with Nigeria. We are now told that the war is not a religious war but a political one invariably because of the indiscriminate targets of BH.

The unpleasant reality is that the war is taking on both dimensions. One does not exclude the other. BH (regardless of who the sponsors are-the PDP, the APC, some international gangsters or even aliens) is succeeding so far with the war against Nigeria.

Unfortunately for everyone the perpetrators are making use of Islam as their platform for propagating the war. In that sense one cannot rid the terrorists of their faith. It does not matter what other people think, this is what they (BH) professed.

The inability to tame BH and its alleged sponsors (allegations ranging from APC to PDP to international sponsors) has brought potential doom to the doorsteps of Nigerians.

Monsters usually go back to chase their makers and all. Can this explain the indiscriminate targets of BH and the recent invasion of Mubi, the hometown of the Badehs? Whose home town is next? The inactions of a weak government will avail much.

People are still arguing: we have always had these problems; Nigeria is not going to break.

Yes we have always had problems but there was no BH occupying an entire region.

Though there is a war going on, many are still saying we can’t afford another civil war.

Blind faiths promoted by different religions have reached new heights and unprecedented dimensions.

Distrust will never disappear from Nigeria. It was partly distrust and fear of domination that destroyed the first republic in 1966.

There will always be distrust and the fear of marginalization too.

Nigeria is at a threshold, the most fragile since the end of the civil war in 1970.

Mr. Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP are making plans to postpone or cancel the 2015 elections due to insecurity in substantial parts of the country. This will create an inflammable volatile tension that may be impossible to quench when it implodes.

Everything in life has a limit. Luck is not an exemption.

Nigeria is in a dire need of a political solution. It is getting too late. The country and the people are slipping precariously into a season of electoral chaos.

The BH war, incessant tribal and religious conflicts in several places, inter/intra-state political enmity and the supra religion-based 2015 elections are super enrichments for calamities and self-destruction mechanisms.

Even in the face of distrust or mistrust, leadership and development in region-based government across Nigeria was still functional until the senseless coups of 1966.

A political option for Nigeria is to retrace the map of regional government and initiation of a referendum on resource control.

Obviously, there are more problems and divisions in Nigeria today compare to 1965 or 1966.

Therefore a modification of the regional government map to accommodate present day agitations may not be a suggestion that is out of place. It is an option far better and more preferable to what BH war has carved out for everyone involuntarily (as the lazy government looks away).

After 54 years of mostly misrule and deviation from what is normal, I always insist that Nigeria will not get a magic dose and no suggestion will be an overnight maneuver to paradise.

Every day breakfast is interrupted in expected and unexpected places and there are no helicopters to evacuate the Nigerian species that are not connected to the Badehs, the Jonathans, the Okupes and the Abatis.

What if breakfast is interrupted in Otuoke tomorrow?

One day perhaps breakfast may be interrupted at Aso Rock Villa-Nigeria’s citadel of corruption, and mis-governance.

On such a day, the bitcoins supporting pseudo unity, political and religious fallacies would have been overspent, the permanent cracks will collapse and it may be too late to reverse the threshold.

aderounmu@gmail.com

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