October the 1st 2010. The Black Friday in Nigeria.

Adeola Aderounmu

October 1 2010 has now gone done in our annals as the Black Friday.

In the last one month alone there have been several reasons for the selfish Nigerian government to annul the useless and stupid celebration that is going on worldwide today.

The reasons culminated today in the deadly bomb attacks carried out by MEND-Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. MEND is a militant group that emerged from the Niger Delta and Goodluck Jonathan definitely know more about them than the rest of us. Goodluck Jonathan is also from the Niger Delta.

The attacks are condemnable like any other terrorist attack. We must condemn in the strongest way possible all forms of attacks that aim at innocent people or ordinary citizens of Nigeria. Two cars exploded and more than 35 other cars were affected.

21 people are reported injured with 8 confirmed deaths. There are other unconfirmed reports stating that 15 people are dead. It’s a sad day in Nigeria. What a black October! The first day of the month for that matter and a Friday!

In more than 10 articles I have condemned the use of more than N17b for the celebration of failures and the promotion of evil and corruption. Several genuine and patriotic Nigerians have done the same. But in the eyes of the evil ones and the corrupt people those of us who write and speak the truth are the unpatriotic ones.

The 50th anniversary of Nigeria has exposed Nigeria the more as a nation of corrupt, wicked and evil rulers.

This week more than 2 million Nigerians became homeless. Dams ran over and rain fell. People became homeless overnight and it did not even occur to the government of Nigeria as an emergency. It was hardly mentioned in the news in Nigeria. It was a no issue. The attention was on the looting of the treasury through the 17 billion naira party.

17 billion naira can change Nigeria forever if it is genuinely used to bring NEPA back to life. Under Obasanjo 16 billion naira grew wings and we heard nothing from the investigation conducted in the National Assembly. 17 billion naira would have changed the face of Nigeria forever. But No. They prefer to party and jolly with it. This is the most useless form of governance on the face of the earth. Party, party, party while the people suffer.

Also this week innocent children have been kidnapped in Abia State of Nigeria. This is morally wrong. You don’t kidnap children. It is a very wrong step from all possible perspectives.

Children are the future. You don’t use children in sending messages of this nature. Children are never to be used to settle scores if such even exist in this situation.

Kidnapping is a crime. All hopes have been kept alive that the children will be found alive. Their lives are changed forever. They will have nightmares and they will probably be traumatized for the rest of their lives judging by the Nigeria that I know.

If the children are returned or found alive, please let the first destination be to the hospital or to a renowned child psychologist. Let no one hire crowds to sing and let the church services wait. Give psychological help first.

What is the message of the kidnappers? They want money-Yes. What else? They are not pleased or happy with the situation of things in Nigeria. Who is?

The inclusion of children in this evil venture has made headlines all over the world. Was that the objective? That has been achieved. Can the children now be released?

One thing that I know for sure is that this particular criminal act (plus the car bombings) has put Nigeria on the international spotlight at a time that Nigeria is celebrating her 50th anniversary-the biggest wastage in history.

It is like a nightmare. We are spending so much money to showcase the failures of governance and the decay of infrastructure everywhere except in a few places in Abuja and elsewhere where money has been buried by Nigeria’s corrupt and looting politicians.

The kidnappers chose this time to change the targets of the type of victims. It is not a coincidence. They planned it because they know that the government of Nigeria has earmarked billions of naira for every state government in Nigeria and the embassies abroad to spend and lavish away.

Invariably the crazy thing is that families are weeping and are devastated but the criminals are expecting the governor of Abia State to come up with the money for ransom. You don’t have to watch criminal minds to deduce the timing and the execution of the evil acts.

I am really sad. I have been sad many times just because of Nigeria. Have I mentioned that I am the weeping blogger? I still cry for Nigeria and Nigerians. The people deserved a better life. Nigeria is worth crying and dying for. It’s a country that provides unbelievable contrasts. It is possible that more than 70% of us are poor and wretched. Altogether we are 140m people, or more.

We are not able to manage our affairs successfully. We widened the gap between those who have and those who lack. The gap is huge and enormous such that many have lost hope.

Part of the hopeless lots cannot withstand the oppression of the politicians and corrupt people. They joined them in their own ways-kidnapping and state terrorism. All forms of criminal activities to survive the desperation created by the Nigerian government since 1960 has added to the loads of nonsense and rubbish that continue to negate genuine attempts.

There will be no justification for any kind of evil. But since our judicial system is crippled and the enforcement of law and order is a fairytale, all kinds of evil and atrocities go unpunished. Even Jonathan mentioned today on CNN that the judicial system is weak. Some of us know that that is why he and his other corrupt lots have escaped justice. What a country!

In Abuja and across the world where Nigeria is represented drinks are flowing. On NTA last night you could see people playing with bottles of wine just like that. Nigeria’s monies are going up in flames while our sisters and female friends from Delta State and other places are being used as prostitutes and slaves in Mali of all places on earth. In whichever place the news itself is a disgrace to Nigeria.

Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (Naptip) should be commended for its efforts in combating human trafficking. They have now told us that thousands of Nigerian women are sex slaves in other West African countries.

It is as a country that we have failed to stop our girls from carrying out this trade in Europe. We have now also failed to stop them from plying this trade in our neighbouring countries.

What does our government care? They are busy at this time distributing gifts and medals to themselves for lack of electricity and the spread of ignorance and disease. They are drinking and making merry in style and splendour while our scavengers are keeping vigil at the rotten garbage heap looking for the source of their next meal ticket. What a contrast?

The kidnapped children and their families are in trauma. The sex workers face an uncertain future as ever. MEND the militant groups are hitting wrong targets to send strong messages about what lies ahead-terrorism. We fear that we might reach a complete state of lawlessness and absence of central government. We are getting close.

The rest of us continue to worry about our next meal and if it will be safe to go out this night. We are also worried about our salaries being paid. Roads and schools give us sources of concern. From now on we are going to be afraid to get into our cars not knowing if bombs have been planted in them. Is this the life we chose?

We are not sure of anything. We are so unsure of the future. We are worried. We face uncertain elections and we don’t know where the unwinding road will lead us.

After the merry making let these rulers emerge from their madness and drunkenness and provide security for lives and property. Let them tell us the plan for our women, children and mothers. We are looking forward to the plans that will give us hope and dignity. I salute all Nigerian optimists; they give me hope in this season of hopelessness.

___________________ _____________ _____________


The kidnapped Children have been freed.

Nigeria Remains A Scalar Quantity at 49

Nigeria Remains A Scalar Quantity at 49
By Adeola Aderounmu
There is almost nothing to celebrate nationally as Nigeria clocks 49 on 1st of October 2009. As a nation Nigeria has failed her citizenry. There was abundance when we took over the reign of governance from the British in 1960. It didn’t take long before greed, selfishness and lack of political will took the better of Nigerians. After the civil war, the politics of hate and the evil desire to acquire questionable wealth became aggravated. Gradually we led ourselves away from abundance and we chose austerity in its place.

We grounded all our agricultural exports and a few people who captured the country from time to time lavished away the gains of our oil exports. Rather than refining locally, we opted for exportation of our crude oil and importation of the finished products. That is a think-tank for the race-intelligence debate. In the process we created the “oil mafia” who alongside with the cabal continued to enslave the rest of us until this day.

In 1993 we abandoned hope and chose fear. In 1999 we opted for the evil of the past rather that sought fresh minds and new concepts. In 2007 we didn’t ask: where are our votes? In 2009 we confined ourselves to the doldrums and we confirmed our place as a laughing stock among the comity of nations. While the rest of the world is moving ahead we are content with the Pre-Industrial Age existence that has been foisted on us by a few greedy and corrupt men and women now led by a very incapable person called Yar Adua.

Since 1960 till date Nigeria continues to exist as a scalar quantity. We have size but definitely no direction. Nigerians apparently do not want to acknowledge that there has been a vacuum in governance since 2007. Even before then it was possible to see the rising similarities between Nigeria and Somalia. Somalia has not been governed for over a decade. In my personal opinion there is no president in Nigeria and that vacuum must be filled as soon as possible before we begin to address the options that could help change things for the better.

Nevertheless we must continue to remind ourselves of the appropriate things that we need to do to get this failing country back on track. The biggest stumbling block to our collective progress is the manner of our politics. Politics in Nigeria is seen as the biggest income earner and the shortest legitimate cut out of a life of poverty and despair. Invariably these mentalities have brought all kinds of people into politics and public life. Commonly, corrupt and very bad people are in charge of Nigerian politics. It is extremely hard to find a genuine public office holder in Nigeria.

It is also difficult to define a starting point for the way forward for Nigeria. This is because it has taken 49 years to destroy almost every aspects of our national life. The final onslaught is now on education and sports. Everything has fallen apart completely! Which of our problems can be the enviable starting block for the much needed national revamping?

What is going to work for Nigeria? Do we still have any hope? Is it possible for Nigerians to experience the bliss of the 1960s say 40 years from now? Let us forget about the 419 vision 2020. It is a calculated attempt by fraudulent minds to loot and steal. Nothing good can ever emerge from the present order of things in Nigeria! Not with the rogues in power.

I wrote about 2 years ago that to continue to wish that Nigeria will be a better place in the absence of conventional norms is complete fantasy. That there cannot be an escape from our entrapment if we do not have normal democracy; one in which the power rest absolutely on the people. One in which the people can decide what they want and how they want it-a democracy of participation instead of siddon-look.

Nigeria needs a democracy that will empower the people to struggle and win against oppression and dictatorship. Until such a time that real leaders will emerge in Nigeria through the ballots that have been declared free and fair, campaigns like the fight against corruption and the useless ongoing rebranding managed by corrupt people as we have it in present day Nigeria are simply hopeless adventures.

Though many of them got to the National Assembly through fraudulent means, the present crops of lawmakers in Nigeria have a chance to write their names in gold. They should ensure that they promulgate the electoral reforms that will ensure that the forthcoming elections are better than the 1993 elections. The process should start today with proper voters’ registration exercise. The goal should be a non-violent culmination where all votes are counted with minimal setbacks or hiccups in 2011 and beyond.

Nigeria needs men and women with sound minds who can institute and defend the pillars of democracy and the correct rule of law. I am sorry that Yar Adua is seriously ill and that he needs regular medical attention. But I am not sorry that he is living in denial and that he didn’t even use the 8 years he had as a governor to alleviate his medical travails. Even the 2 years he had spent as an illegal president have come to represent the worst 2 years by any Nigerian ruler. I am still very angry that he is pulling down more than 140m people. How hopeless can it get for Nigerians?

Indeed Nigeria is a very complex country in dire need of strong institutions and sound minds because the likes of Yar Adua and his present gang are enemies of progress. A mind as feeble as Umaru’s, pursuing a 7-point deadly agenda is the last thing that a failing nation like Nigeria requires at this crucial moment of our history. It is unthinkable we will endure another 2 years with a stolen cum failed presidency. It is disheartening that 2 years from now we may have reached an irredeemable status.

Nigeria is now 49 years. Where do we go from here? We want credible elections. We want accountable leaders. We want to restore our glory in education and sports. We want to bring food back to our tables. We want good roads. We want constant electric supply. We want employment opportunities to improve. We want to have petroleum products at our gas stations. We want water to drink. We want the value of our currency to rise. We want to have good health care system. We want insurance and security for our lives and property. In short we want a proper standard of living that will take us away from being the dwarf of Africa.

A new and fresh round of elections that will bring hope in place of fear and accountability in place of corruption remains the single most important step forward for Nigeria. It is arguable that if we don’t conduct a successful election in Nigeria, then we will not be able to do other things in the right way especially the true fight against corruption.

It is high time we put the right foot forward. The task of building this nation and making it ready for our children and children’s children must start now. A new national re-orientation that will bring out the best in us as individuals and as a nation is essential. Dignity in labour and the elevation of merit above nepotism will be essential ingredients.


October 1st: Take a message to Nigeria..!

Adeola Aderounmu

They called it Independence day-Oct 1 1960-which makes the country Nigeria a fool at 48. When I wrote a fool soon 47, I thought I would never have to do that again or that 365 days later I would eat my words. Today I can repeat myself loud and clear that Nigeria is a fool at 48.

Nigeria is 48 years old on October 1 2008. The government wants us to believe that it is working hard to make life better for Nigerians. How the government would do this without asking thieves and looters like Babangida, Ibori, Atiku, Anenih, Kalu, Obasanjo and the other thieves to give us back our monies is something I don’t understand. I don’t understand how you want to improve the economy and the standard of living when corruption is Nigeria’s middle name.

Nigerians in power or in position of authority are not only corrupt, they are also suffering from tribalistic inclinations and a profound form of madness characterized by self-preservation and wild accumulation of extreme wealth.

There are probably more than 150m people in Nigeria and more than 70% of these people live from hand to mouth-in absolute penury and poverty. Several Millions of Nigerians cannot spend 1 dollar in a day. They live under a government that pride itself as the giant of Africa. The statement is both an anomaly and an expression of insanity by whoever lives by that acronym. What giant? Even Ghana is doing better than Nigeria and little wonder many Nigerians are relocating to Ghana for the purpose of business, education and work.

Nigeria and Nigerians are bound to be in perpetual custody until one day when all the evil people will be wiped away. Imagine just how much all the politicians, state governors and House of Assembly members are carting away every month while the ordinary people are on the streets suffering and living hopelessly.

I will not agree yet with anyone who says things are getting better in Nigeria. A daily walk or even work on the street indicates otherwise. It is true that some people struggle and managed to escape the poverty line but this category of people are few, countable and most often opportunistic. A person getting rich in Nigeria in several cases is at an opportunity cost to the masses.

The government has failed to provide a level field that would enable equal realization of individual dreams and aspirations. The education sector has been reduced to absolute nonsense and the results from the recent WAEC indicate that education is no longer a key issue in Nigeria. The health sector does not need to be described! If the (illegal) president of a country has to go abroad to treat stomach ache, headache and other ailment, what else does one have to say about the health system? It means that there are no provision of health services in Nigeria.

The transport system does not exist. Almost every aspect of it is unregulated and in private hands. It seems that the government does not know what public transportation means. The roads are terrible and getting worse. It needs to be restated again that probably the worst road in the world is in Nigeria. It is in this same Nigeria that the government is building an ultra modern city called Abuja for the pleasure of those in governments and for the deliverance of wrong impressions to visitors to the capital of (Northern) Nigeria.

On one side, there is a war going on in the Niger Delta where the protection of life and the security of ordinary people cannot be guaranteed. The regional leaders have sown seeds of discord and the government at the center over the years has allowed foreign oil companies to continue to colonize the region as the people suffered, died or survive in poverty and impoverishment. On another side, there is another war purely for survival. It is rugged down there in Nigeria and the rat race situation is unprecedented.

Power supply is improving at some places but you cannot be sure that that change is permanent because of the corrupt system. In most of the places anyway, power availability or a steady supply of it remains a permanent mirage. The men who stole over 15 million dollars in 8 years while pretending to be working on the power sector are all free men. That is Nigeria-steal and walk free. Slap the people as many times as you can-and walk free. Loot, loot, loot, until you can loot no more! Loot, loot and loot because the treasury never seems to be empty. Loot and loot for your children and your unborn generations! Let those who are not in power suffer and struggle to eke a living! Isn’t it amazing that the richest country in the world has the poorest people living in it?

Nigeria is 48 but she is sick. Someone has to remind Nigeria that agriculture is supposed to be her number one foreign exchange earner and not oil. Some people have alleged that Nigeria gave Malaysia her first oil palm seed, today Malaysia produces more oil palm than Nigeria! Someone who is normal should tell Nigeria that she has the best human resources pool in the world and tapping 70-80% efficiency of that pool would transform Nigeria to the best economy in the world provided corruption, favouritism and tribalism are relegated.

Someone should take a message to Nigeria that education is still the key to the future. The role of medicine, technology and information technology should be emphasized to those fools in power and their useless spokesmen and women. The message should include the importance of the provisions of permanent and constant power supply. The importance of good road networks and extremely functional public transport system in the sustenance of economic growth should be pointed out. Someone should tell those thieves and rogues in power that there is difference between knowledge on paper or textbooks and actual implementation.

The rescue of Nigerians actually (in the end) lies in the hands of the ordinary man and woman on the streets. They must rise up and claim what is theirs-their country. They must stand up and let their voices be heard, their votes to be counted. They should put up strong opposition and resistance the next time their votes are annulled or when their votes are not counted. It’s easier said than done because we are always afraid to die. We are afraid of the people we thought are our fellow Nigerians-those who will not hesitate to pump the barrel in our skull to ensure that the barbarism and looting in governance continue forever and ever.

But the implication of not standing up against all odds is the reason more than 50 000 women will die in 2009 due to pregnancy related problem. It is the reason that up to 12 children may have died due to preventable diseases since you started reading this article. Not rising up for what we believe in is the reason that some of us were unemployed for several years allowing frustrations, hopelessness and anger to take over our lives. Not living in decent homes and never getting water from the taps are all outcomes of our “sit-down-and look- (siddonlook) approach”.

Nigerians are a lovely people and it is very easy to associate the vices in our lives with the failure of governance. It’s up to us if we want to live with these ills and vices for the rest of our lives or if we want to change things and prepare a better place for our children and children’s children.

Nigeria we hail thee, our motherland! A fool at 48!