No Love Lost  

One of the remarkable ironies of life is that we see other people’s problems more than we see ours. Life is short and problems don’t disappear. If we paddle our canoes hard enough, maybe we will still be rowing when the storm is over. Life is just too unpredictable

NO LOVE LOST

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Lucy lives in Zambezi, until now anyway. This is where she has known all of her life. She was born here and this is where she blooms. She is a very beautiful woman. Some people spoke about her and said maybe she is a goddess. There was an artist in the town and he was convinced the gods took their time to mould her. He meant to say that Lucy was made with perfection.

Ever since she was a little girl there has always been an admiration for her beauty and her personality. People generally agree with Lucy. In her neighbourhood almost everybody she met respected her.

When she left home for the City College at Mongu, she already knew that respect and admiration were not going to be substitutes for love. We all need someone or some people to love us. So when Lucy left college the emptiness in her life began to manifest. Still she continued to pull through with the admiration and respect that folks have towards her. When she is alone she often asks herself: who will satisfy my soul?  Respect is a wonderful quality but it is not love. Even admiration is not love.

Now a working class lady, Lucy almost gave up on love. It was not hard to find a job when she graduated from Zambezi University. She is a brilliant woman and with her kind of beauty, she can open any door. But when it comes to love and satisfaction for her soul, she seemed to be lost. No one knew this but her. She knew that she is not perfect like the artist had insinuated.

One day she was waiting at the bus station. Quite unpredictably the sky turned cloudy that morning and it started to rain heavily. As it rained, Lucy started to cry. The buses were not coming because of the heavy rain. But she was not crying because of the rain or the buses that were not coming. It turned out that the weather gave her a picture of her life. She thought that her life was cloudy inside. She was alone at the bus station, and then she cried even more.

This is not the first time Lucy cried. She has read a lot of novels and she had known about the travails of many characters in tragic literatures and even in some romantic books. She learnt to cry when she is sad because tears wash away sorrows, so she thought. Once she read a book where it was stated that the men who committed suicide are often those who refused to cry because they did not give in to their feelings and pains. When people cry, they feel refreshed and often that gives them the hope that they can carry on.

Lucy was so carried away in her thoughts she almost did not notice the car that had parked right in front of her at the station. Someone had stopped to her help get to work that morning. The man did not know that Lucy had been crying. He thought it had rained over her face. In addition it was too dark to make clear observations. The man recognised Lucy though and that was why he stopped to help her.

That weekend Lucy saw the man again as she took a walk down the street. Thank you Paul, you are kind, she said. It was nothing he replied. But on this occasion Paul noticed something unusual about Lucy. Are you alright he asked? Then Lucy looked at him and started to cry again.

Paul gave her a tissue and she wiped her tears. But Paul was shocked. Until that moment he was one of those who thought that Lucy could have anything she wished for in her life. Lucy did not speak about all of her emptiness but Paul knew from the short conversation they had that the vacuum in her life is enormous.  

Paul was almost thinking out loud. So people can be beautiful, they can have good jobs, they may be admired, well respected and still be sad. Indeed many people often ignore the roles of physical beauty and clothes in covering the darkness and emptiness inside the human body.

In Zambezi there is a man who cannot finish his expressions without the use of proverbs. Paul thought about the day the man had a conversation with him. He remembered one of his sentences: lizards are always lying on their bellies, so we don’t know which among them have stomach problems.

He gave Lucy a hug and they parted ways.

Over several months that followed, Paul was visiting Lucy. There was no attraction between them because Paul had a woman in his life. But with his company, Lucy felt better. They talked about many things, some memories of growing up and now working in this commercial town where the fourth largest river in Africa took its origin.

Lucy also met new friends through Paul. These after-work and weekend companions helped Lucy to forget some of her problems. They filled some gaps in her life. Some of the people who admire her are no longer at a distance.

When she remembered how an unexpected rain facilitated her meeting with Paul, she cherished the moment. Then she decided to buy a car so that she does not have to be at the mercy of another man from the town on another rainy day. She already knew how to drive.

Lucy is happy. She felt she had leaped out of a shell. It was definitely a step in the right direction when people not only admire her but showed her some love through conversations and doing things together. Some people she spoke to talked about their travels and adventures.

Lucy became inspired and she decided that she will also take to travelling. She had always had the opportunities to travel but she never took them. She felt that it was a lot of hassles but now that she had listened to the stories about Paris, Berlin, London and Stockholm, she got motivated.

However she promised herself that she will not travel far. She learnt in geography about the different places and seasons in Africa. I will see my world in Africa before I see the rest of the world she told herself. In her mind she also made a decision to find love and never to let it go.

Lucy spent some of her weekends in Harare and sometimes she is off to Johannesburg. She also travelled to Accra because of the gold at the coast in Ghana. Once she was covering her hair in Cairo. Now she has a handful of pictures, maps and souvenirs from the West, East, North and South of Africa in her study at home.

One day, Paul left a note for Lucy. He wanted to see her again. Lucy did not understand. She just came back from Cape Town where she went on holidays. Zambezi had been warm and she wanted some experience of winter from the bottom of Africa. Lucy is a woman in search of balance and fulfilment. She came home to Zambezi and found the note in her letter box.

Paul’s relationship with his long-time girlfriend had fallen apart. They did not get along as they had dreamt. They had a few problems and they both agreed on one thing only: to end the relationship. It was a sad occurrence but they both felt it was better to do it now rather than trying to make it work at all cost. They have no children yet. He is now 32 and she is 28, so they still have their lives ahead of them.

Sometimes things are not always what they seem. We all make mistakes and our passions can mislead us. One of the remarkable ironies of life is that we see other people’s problems more than we see ours. If people stop pretending, maybe they wouldn’t have to run away from their problems. Life is short and problems don’t disappear. If we paddle our canoes hard enough, maybe we will still be rowing when the storm is over. Life is just too unpredictable.

Lucy met Paul at the coffee shop down the street. She was sorry to hear Paul’s sad story. Paul’s heart was obviously broken. But he cannot blame it on Lucy. Lucy did all she could not to be a distraction. They are close friends, true. Still there was neither attraction nor intimacy between them. Lucy was missing something in her life but her head was clear about what she wanted and desired.

In her mind, she knew that Paul is confused. He has just broken up with someone he had spent a substantial part of his life with. Lucy is quick to draw inspirations from books, stories and her own life. So she said, give it sometime maybe you will find someone new. Your heart will heal and you will go on with your life.

She continued: When I went to Johannesburg in February, I met Vincent. I like him a lot. He adores me. He respects me, but above all he loves me and I love him too. We spent the last two weeks together in Cape Town and he’s planning to find a job in Harare. Apparently 7 months after their first meeting Lucy and Vincent have concluded plans to move to Harare as expatriates.

Paul is not a novice. He too had always known that people must learn to pass through their own troubles, their travails. They must learn to conquer their fears. They may need some time and a little help but they must learn.

The best way to learn is through real experiences.

Goodbye Paul. I must go now. Take care of yourself and we’ll see sometime.

Paul was close to tears but Lucy showed no emotion whatsoever.   

She gave him a tight hug and left.

aderounmu@gmail.com

(c) Adeola Aderounmu 2014

 

 

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Brazil 2014: This Time For Africa?

By Adeola Aderounmu

World Cup Africa

Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Cameroon and Ghana will fly Africa’s flags at the world cup which starts on the 12th of June in Brazil.

Egypt went to the world cup in Italy in 1934. That was the first time an African country featured at the championship which started in 1930 in Uruguay. Since then 13 countries in total from Africa have participated at various editions of the mundial. The other 12 countries are Morocco, Zaire, Tunisia, Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal, Angola, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Togo.

When Africa’s representatives at the world cup for 2014 arrive in Brazil this summer they will be chasing an unfulfilled dream-that an African country is ripe enough to win the world cup.

To make this dream come true, Cameroon will have to cross the hurdles in Group A where they will do battle with the host Brazil, Croatia and Mexico.

Cameroonians are playing in their 7th world cup. This is an African record. But what has Cameroon got to show for previous appearances? The best exploits came in Italy in 1990 as the career of Roger Milla was winding up. Cameroon was beaten in the quarter finals by England. After Italian 90, Cameroon quickly transformed and became “not indomitable”. For an African country to win the world cup, consistency must be shown.

Ivory Coast is a country also in need of consistency and even more, delivery. This country must emerge from Group C that include Colombia, Greece and Japan.

The men representing Ivory Coast and led by Didier Drogba are the popular golden generation that has won nothing to show for the name tag-“golden”.

This is the third straight world cup for the so called golden generation. They failed to emerge from the groups in 2006 and 2010. Any country that wants to win the world cup must be able to emerge first from the group. It will not matter if the group is mildly classified or if it is termed the group of death.

One country that shaped the organisation of FIFA’s world cup after the 1982 edition was Algeria. In 1982 Germany and Austria “sold” their last game “to each other” so that Algeria could be eliminated. You need to find and read that story if you love the history and football. In 1982, the Germans and the Austrians brought huge shame to football.

Football scandals or match fixers are not restricted to Asia or any particular geographical part of the world. Rather it is something that has been a part of football at every level and in almost every country for as long as the game has been in existence. The roles of FIFA officials in recent reports seriously brought the game into disrepute, again. Yet, this is a game people love no matter the problems related to scandal or “arranged outcomes”.

After the 1982 games, FIFA decided that the last games in each group will be played simultaneously. Algeria will try to emerge this time from a group including Belgium, Russia and South Korea. If they find the form again like they did in 1982, they have a chance of making Africa’s dream come true.

To put Africa’s name on the map as a world cup winning continent can also become a dream come true through the hands of the Ghanaians. Ghana is also making a third straight appearance.

In 2010 on the African continent Ghana reached the quarter final stage where they fell to Uruguay. That match will not be forgotten easily in the stories of FIFA senior world cup.

Luis Suarez had to become a “goalkeeper” at some stage to save the ball from going into the net. It was a sad day for Africa as Ghana failed to convert the extra time spot kick that would have sent them to the semi-final stage. Our dear brothers lost on penalties.

This year in Brazil, Ghana must scale Germany (the match-fixers of 1982), Portugal and the United States in order to prove that African countries can show consistency and make serious claims to world cup glory at the senior level.

African champions Nigeria will also be making another attempt to show the world that an African country is indeed prepared to win the world cup. Nigeria must emerge first from a group that includes familiar foe-Argentina, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Iran.

This is the second time Nigeria is going to the world cup on the back of a Nation’s Cup victory. The first time was in 1994 when Keshi was the captain of the team and Clemence Westerhof, the coach.

In 1994, inexperience was the bane of the Super Eagles as they were bundled out in the second round by the Italians. In 1998, Nigeria was again bundled out in the second round by Denmark.

In 2002, Nigeria had a disgraceful participation in Korea/Japan. In 2006, Nigeria was missing at the German edition. Back in South Africa in 2010, Nigeria failed again to emerge from the groups.

Through the years, bad planning, maladministration and useless preparations have ensured that Nigeria just added to the numbers of the countries going to the world cup.

To date, especially since the Algerian exploits of 1982 and the Cameroonian efforts of 1990, the performances of African countries since 1934 (though sporadically filled with some other brilliant moments) have not matched the expectations of the people of Africa.

Brazilian legend Pele predicted that an African country will win the world cup at the turn of the last century. It did not happen. Even at the time that the profiles of African players rose both on the continent and abroad, it has been impossible for Africa to deliver on high promises.

In South Africa when Ghana crumbled, Africa returned to square one of the struggle to win the world cup.

The organisation of football on the African continent needs a range of face-lifting processes. In North Africa, it appears that the organisation has always been solid. There were a lot of set backs in some North African countries as a result of the Arab spring. But some countries (like Algeria) are reported to be making big strides even attracting players from France to the Algerian league. One hopes that Egypt will rise again.

If Algeria makes progress in Brazil or if her football becomes a reference point irrespective of how they end this tournament, fingers will point at the growth or promises shown at the domestic league.

Among the other African countries representing Africa at the forth coming mundial, Nigeria will be of concern to Nigerians, definitely. Since the first appearance of the country at the world stage in 1994, it has been a permanent impossibility to uplift the game on Nigerian soils.

Nigeria as country or Nigeria comprising of several regions has a population that could turn anything profitable into a goldmine. Sadly like many other things that Nigerians have failed at, including governance itself, football in Nigeria has not been revived since its collapse I would say in the mid 1980s. I may be wrong with the actual date but I remembered how it was fun to watch Leventis United, and Abiola Babes when I was in early secondary school.

Today the English Premier League, the European Champions league and other foreign leagues are very famous in Nigeria with huge followership. The gains that Nigeria should be making in marketing of her own football is totally diminished or drowned.

This essay is not about recounting the problems with Nigerian football or Nigeria as a failed country. It is not about Nigeria as a dead giant of Africa. If one does not draw the lines, the discussion will move from football to every aspect of Nigerian life. It’s very hard to separate the lost glories of Nigeria in almost every aspect of human endeavours.

For one month between June and July 2014, Nigerians will expect the boys that will be selected by coach Keshi to deliver. Many of these boys are plying their trades abroad. Invariably they have been polished by other systems. The exposure is brilliant but when the days and years are running out, many of these boys cannot return home to wrap up their careers like the Brazilians or the Argentines do.

They do not have to finish their careers on the Nigerian soil but the argument is that the level of football in Nigeria in terms of planning, organisation, administration, execution and overall sustenance is not yet in the right hands. Nigerians know these things but for them everything is politics.

As long as there are functional leagues abroad (even in neighbouring African countries like Benin and Togo) where Nigeria’s talents can be nurtured or even de-processed by making them change their roles on the pitch, it is fine with those in the glass house and their pickers in Abuja.

The biggest indicator of the gigantic problems facing Nigeria’s football is the failure of Nigeria since 1985 to transform the glory of the young players (Eaglets especially) into something that the world can emulate at the Super Eagles level.

For an African country to win the world cup will not depend of luck or unexpected favours from some quarters. It will depend a lot on management of the game on the continent. That’s where CAF comes in. This body needs revamping and dynamism. It needs a new life.

The progress of African football will also depend on national organisations like NFF of Nigeria. What are they doing to promote the game in all spheres (on the pitch and off it)? Are there serious plans to encourage more youth, more women and anybody interested in the game to pursue their careers knowing that they have a foundation to rely upon?

Africans must also overcome the mental incapacitation that FIFA rankings can infuse on the mind. The best place to play football is on the pitch. Moments like this-in Brazil provide the opportunity to send the FIFA ratings to the dustbin. Football is dynamic and it moves from one game plan to the next.

The future of African football, its organisation and management on the African soil will play significant roles and the world will see these upliftments when an African country eventually wins the world cup. It’s been a long wait but it must happen in the future. July 2014 is part of the future.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Ghana As The True Rising Giant Of Africa

Adeola Aderounmu

Ghana’s GDP has been reviewed upward (USD 31.5) representing a growth of 75%.

What is interesting is that the new figure reflected the contributions of both the service and agricultural sectors.

The Ghanaian government is looking into other areas of her economy where changes and development can be made.
Ghana recently started extracting oil. Ghana is preparing for a future full of hopes and abundant blessings. Three generations from now, the children of Ghana will be living the dreams of their fathers and mothers. What a beautiful people and country!

This means that Ghana is probably the real and true giant of Africa.

Democracy is working in Ghana. In Ghana there is a sense of collective nationalism and citizen responsibility. Ghanaians are building Ghana and making it not only the envy of West Africa but the continent as a whole.

In the 1980s the Nigerian Government chased the Ghanaian community out of Nigeria. The infamous “Ghana Must Go” was xenophobia of the highest order in which Nigerians falsely ascribed their economic misfortunes and rising unemployment rate to the presence of Ghanaians in Nigeria. It was a detestable political move.

Nigerians have no shame at all. Today a few decades after Ghanaians left Nigeria, Nigerians are now the ones hustling in Ghana. For several reasons majority of Nigerians have chosen Ghana as their favourite spot in Africa. Others prefer the so called SA.

There are thousands of Nigerian students in Ghanaian Universities not for exchange reasons but because the useless successive, corrupt governments in Nigeria have done almost nothing to improve education. Many Nigerian politicians send their children to school in Europe and America. Ghana has also been added to the fanciful list of options. They destroyed the system in Nigeria and send their children and families abroad to school.

Nigerians have also chosen Ghana as the hotspot for honeymoon. Several other Nigerians visit Ghana as part of their annual holidays. Nigerians are among the largest number of tourists in Ghana. We chased them out of Nigeria and now we are going to their country to admire them. What a failed country, Nigeria!

Nigerians should thank Ghana and Ghanaians for not being hostile. Ghanaians are not xenophobic like Nigerians. They welcome us while not even referring to how we humiliated them out of Nigeria in 1983. Ghanaians have a forgiving spirit which typical Nigerians lacks. The racism/tribalism Nigerians faced in Nigeria is worse than what they face in Europe and America. This is probably why some Nigerians living in Europe and America also find it more convenient to return to Ghana for holidays as well.

Nigerian businessmen are finding Ghana a more comfortable environment to do businesses. Electricity and other infrastructure are much better in Ghana. But not all Nigerians are doing clean businesses in Ghana. I have read and seen images of Nigerian fraudsters (419 guys) arrested in Ghana.

There is a near complete absence of electricity in Nigeria. The monies budgeted for electricity in Nigeria was stolen by all the government officials in Nigeria and individuals lIke Obasanjo and Abdulsalami are involved. They awarded themselves contract for electricity even though they knew they have no idea what electricity is or how it is produced, managed and distributed. But they are free men and mentors to late Yar Adua and Jonathan. Nigeria is ruled by crooks and thieves and so no real progress is seen nationally in the areas of infrastructure and basic amenities.

It is only in Nigeria that contracts for roads maintenance and repair are given to traditional rulers! In fact it doesn’t matter who gets the contract for Benin-Ore Road for example, the point is that the road is never repaired. Everyone who gets the contract just pocketed the money. Nigerians are dying in vain and hoping in extreme vain as all.

Ghana has her difficulties and like the rest of Africa remains a dumping ground for dangerous electronic items. There are potential dangers because the poor and the desperate are exposed to the harmful components in these electronic wastes. But the government of Ghana is responsible and well aware of the problems. There is a plan and a system that is working towards genuine eradication of poverty in Ghana.

In Nigeria the country is in the hands of gangsters largely aided by an irresponsible followership. In Nigeria the people do not understand the meaning of failure and they do not know what the essence of life is all about, therefore a corrupt party can produce any kind of candidate and still win a majority votes in elections that are usually rigged or manipulated.

The sense of nationalism and collective responsibility is reflected in all aspect of the Ghanaian life. The most obvious is in the area of sport. Ghana is now the most famous sporting nation in Africa courtesy of her exploits in football in South Africa in 2010.

Generally Ghanaians have shown that where there is a will, there is a way. Ghana has shown Africa that democracy can work and that there are dividends of democracy. In Ghana a few people are not looting to the detriment of the population like the way the PDP is championing looting in Nigeria. There is accountability and probity in the government of Ghana.

Ghanaians that have been abroad have been able to help transform Ghana right from the community level to the federal level. They have introduced some systems in Ghana that are adopted from the Swedish communal system. It is working and progress is being achieved.

Many Nigerians abroad are not suggesting how Nigeria can be improved; they are collecting bribes and stolen monies to support useless political parties and candidates.

Nigerian politicians and rulers only go abroad, open their mouths, admire structures, buildings, take tourist photos and return home to boast of their exploits. They have no sense of direction that they need to improve Nigeria to the level that they see and enjoy when they visit abroad. In several cases of stupidity they bring raw cash and buy properties abroad. Some individuals buy properties that could have been used to provide housing for an entire state in Nigeria. This is how stupid, senseless and idiotic some Nigerians are. Yet they have admirers and followers.

In recent time when Nigeria gave orders that Ivory Coast should be invaded, following as a puppet in the order of Sarkozy and Quattara, Ghana stood back as the father of Africa and opposed the invasion. War Crimes have been committed in Ivory Coast in the name of the United Nation, Nigeria and France. It took Ghanaians to bring the images of massacre to the world through a well-documented and organized protest.

Ghana knows what the future is all about and as a country she is preparing for it. Ghana since the days of Rawlings has never acted for the moment. Rawlings and Kuffour never acted for the moment. They love their country and acted for the future. This is what all Ghanaians are doing. A leader showed the way and they have never looked back since. They are imbibing the spirit of Nkrumah, one of Africa’s best known nationalists.

If Nigerians can look beyond the moment and make their institutions work, one day they will know that as far as this world is concern Nigeria is nowhere to the found on the map of nations/country with sense and purpose. We conduct questionable elections like they were done more than 2000 years ago. We vote or support a 12-year old failed party and we think it’s ok! We celebrate corruption and ill-gotten wealth in the name of God. Our institutions are dead and quality public education is totally absent. I can count in a thousand ways why Ghana, rather than Nigeria is the giant of Africa.

May the spirit of Ghana fill the whole of Africa.

Egypt are Masters of Africa, Again..!

Adeola Aderounmu

Egypt won by a lone goal scored in the 85th minute. A deserved victory for the best team in Africa. For the first time in the tournament, Ghana played a good game but they lost to a better team.

Ghana, just like Nigeria, ordinarily do not even deserve to be in the final with the loads of negative football they played along the way to the final. Nigeria played better in the semis but lost by a lone goal to Ghana.

This tournament is a wake up call for the African teams that will play in 4 months time at the World Cup in SA. Surely they will not get enough rest. They will be tired to play when the games start in SA. 2 Big championships in a spate of 6 months is not childs’ play.

It is very sad that Egypt, the undisputed masters of African football will not be at the tournament in SA. How did they miss out? CAF and the organisers of football in Africa should put on their thinking caps-on how the best team on the continent missed out of the World Cup. Are there loop holes in the qualifiers that need to be plugged? Did Egypt play poorly in those qualifiers? Were they adversely affected by the home-away game syndrome?

Congratulations Egypt…enjoy your victory and reflect on your absence at the greatest football festival on earth.

Egypt vs Ghana in Cup Final 2010

Adeola Aderounmu

I will give the match to the Egyptians. That will be good for football and reward for performance. But then 90m must be played, at least.

Ghana survived the Nigerian scare after going one goal up and sitting back for the rest of the game. That was the same negative football they played against Angola. In football teams must learn to score more goals and secure their victory. One goal lead can be erased even in the last 5 seconds of the game. The Ivory Coast team can witness to that. But then,vitory is victory no matter how it is acheived.

So congratulations to Ghanaians who will appear in their first final since Senegal-1992.

Algerians cracked up and they paid dearly. The Egyptians became ruthless and merciless. That is a good revenge and consolation for missing out of the world cup coming up in SA this summer. The best consolation lies ahead if they beat Ghana on sunday.

I really want the Egyptians to win because more than any other team in Angola 2010, they are outstanding and very effective. They play positive football and they score goals. They don’t sit on a goal, they get more goals.

In this tournament the Egyptians make the best team. This is so sad for Africa as the best team on the continent will not be at the world cup. Very very sad. This team would have done Africa proud.

Still One hopes that the other teams going to the world cup especially Nigeria can learn from their errors and ineptitudes and give us a good outing in SA come June 2010.

The world is waiting for us on our continent..!

African Cup of Nation: Old Rivalries Rekindled

Adeola Aderounmu

Ghana vs. Nigeria and Algeria vs. Egypt. These are classical games. On paper, Egypt and Ghana should be heading to the finals. This is because Egypt has won all the matches played so far. They are also out to prove a point that losing to Algeria in Sudan was an unfair result for them. The Algerians have emerged from being humbled by the Malawians to a great force after seeing to the exit of highly rated Ivory Coast.

Ghana has not been spectacular but they have shown more enthusiasm than their Nigeria counterparts. Nigeria struggled to beat Zambia and only after the penalty shoot out did Nigeria manage to scale through to the semi-final.

I hope that security are in place to prevent the ugly scenes from Sudan, Egypt and Algeria that we had 2 months ago during the world cup qualifiers that Algeria finally won by a lone goal in Khartoum. It will be shameful it the North Africans come to Angola to show their violent tendencies. We have had enough of that and please let us see some beautiful football and live in peace.

One also hopes to find a good centre referee. Officiating has been disastrous in this tournament. Ivory Coast got an equaliser against Algeria but it was wrongly ruled as offside by a careless linesman. The demoralising of Cameroun was completed by another catastrophic officiating that ruled for a goal when the ball didn’t even touch the line.

If FIFA has been reasonable to introduce TECHNOLOGY into this game, it would have taken less than 1 minute to verify these “2 disasters” among several others. Until then, cheating and useless decisions will continue to take the beauty of the game away.

May the better team win on Thursday and may we get a beautiful final.

Between Obama, Ghana and Nigeria

Between Obama, Ghana and Nigeria

By Adeola Aderounmu

I have no problems with Obama going to Ghana. My problem is the hypocritical stance of the US government. Democracy is on a strong footing in Ghana. Ghana is a model of good governance and Ghana might as well (to some extent) represent some of the hopes that we have for Africa. Therefore this visit to Ghana is in order.

However I will like to take Obama to task on some issues that affects Nigeria. There are serious allegations against Obama’s United States that the US is a major contributor to the corruption and bad leadership in Nigeria. Nigeria is a leading producer of crude oil and the United States has been implicated in the crises rocking the Nigerian corrupt government and the genocides that have been perpetrated in the Niger Delta.

I want Mr. Obama the president of the United States to take these allegations seriously because if he is not going to Nigeria, it might perhaps also be as a result of the shame resulting from the activities and the role of the United States in the government of Nigeria and the Niger Delta oil crises.

In 1993, Nigeria conducted the best election in her history. The winner of that election was denied of his mandate. As a matter of historical fact MKO Abiola, the winner of that election was killed in prison when he received visitors from Obama’s United States. It remains a mystery why such an act was committed in the presence of the representatives of Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was the president of the United States and our own president-in-waiting died when delegates from Bill were visiting.

I will like Mr. Obama to respond to the situation. Let him take a look at the history books and also a run through the list of the United States delegate. What is America’s story in the death of the hope of millions of Nigeria-MKO Abiola? Former Nigerian military gangster Abdusalami Abubakar was charged to court for this murder. Was he standing trial then on behalf of the US? President Obama should tell us what happened.

There is an allegation that the US always support any presidential candidate in Nigeria who will oppress the people if necessary just to ensure that the oil quota that goes to the US from the Niger Delta remain constant or that such a candidate promises a prospect of increase. Nigeria’s former dictator wiped out en entire community for the sake of the black gold and the US or the UN does not see that as a crime against humanity. The US did not press for the trial of Gen Obasanjo. Instead Gen Obasanjo was rewarded with a UN job to Congo. What a world!

This year, Mr Yar’ Adua who was selected as Nigeria’s leader 2007 in the worst election ever in human history has also committed genocide in the same Niger Delta region. The British and the US have not condemned such act. In fact Britain through Gordon Brown is a major arms supplier to Yar’Adua. Yar Adua had committed genocide and he is killing civilians including women and children. Mr. Obama has never condemned the genocide and Gordon Brown will rather talk about Mugabe.

The US was very slow to codemn the elections that brought Yar’Adua to power because they know that he is there to protect their interest in the Niger Delta. George Bush wanted the US marine in the Delta, almost setting up an African center. American interest in Nigeria is primarily the oil and not the welfare of the people.

Really, I don’t blame the United States at all. In my native language, we say that if the wall if not open, the lizard will not find a space to hide. Nigeria is a corrupt country no doubt and the rulers are just there to line their stomach and pockets. These notorious acts serve any imperialist perfectly. They need block heads and looters to sustain their own interests.

Therefore Mr. Obama should go to Ghana in peace and stop telling us why he is going to Ghana. The US can siphon our oil and give aids to Ghana. Nigeria does not need aid!! Ten Nigerian politicians can give 20 billion US dollars to Africa. With people like Babangida, Yar Adua, Obasanjo, Odili, Ibori, Anenih, Tafa Balogun, Gbenga Daniels, Bukola Saraki, Dimeji Bankole and David Mark just to mention a few, 20 billion dollars is a piece of cake in Nigeria!

Obama should watch out for Nigeria politicians in Ghana, they may be approaching him with loads of Ghana-must-go bags! They will surely contain dollars enough to entice Obama to Nigeria as early as next week.
My pain is that with 140m people, only a few hundred gangsters have taken us into perpetual slavery. When illegitimate and corrupt governments in Nigeria are backed by the British and the United States, the Nigerian masses are invariably helpless.

The destiny of Nigeria lies in the hands of Nigerians.