By ADEOLA ADEROUNMU, Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘independence’

Nigeria’s Independence, The Military Coups And the Origin of Corruption Nigeria

Since becoming millionaires in Nigeria do not correlate to owning factories but nearness to the centre of federal, state or local government where national patrimonies are looted, it means that Nigerian millionaires are manufacturers of massive poverty and miseries for Nigerians.

Nigeria’s Independence, The Civil War And The Origin Of Corruption In Nigeria

By Salimonu Kadiri (Guest Writer On Thy Glory O’ Nigeria..!)

Mr Salimonu Kadiri

Mr Salimonu Kadiri

Fifty-five years ago, Nigeria obtained sovereignty from Britain. Consequently, Chinua Achebe recorded thus, literally all government ministries, public and privately held firms, corporations, organizations, and schools saw the majority of their expatriate staff (mostly British) leave.

While this quiet transition was happening a number of internal jobs, especially the senior management positions, began to open up for Nigerians, particularly for those with a university education.

It was into these positions vacated by the British that a number of people like myself were placed …. This ‘bequest’ was much greater than just stepping into jobs left behind by the British. Members of my generation also moved into homes in the former British quarters previously occupied by members of the European senior civil service.

These homes often came with servants – chauffeurs, maids, cooks, gardeners, stewards – whom the British had organized meticulously to ‘ease their colonial sojourn.’

Now following the departure of the Europeans, many domestic staff (Nigerians or black Africans) stayed in the same positions and were only too grateful to continue their designated salaried roles in post-independence Nigeria. Their masters were no longer Europeans but their own brothers and sisters.

This bequest continued in the form of new club memberships and access to previously all-white areas of town, restaurants, and theatres (see p. 48 – 49, There Was a Country by Chinua Achebe).”

It is very important to note that Nigerians who stepped in to fill the jobs left by Europeans and inherited their rates of pay and privileges also played the role of the colonialists. The offices occupied by Nigerians after Independence were designed and meant to serve the interest of Great Britain and they remain so till date.

However, within six years of independence Chinua Achebe asserted that, Nigeria was a cesspool of corruption and misrule” where public servants helped themselves freely to the nation’s wealth (p.51, There Was a Country).”

As Nigerian public servants and politicians preened themselves in the perfection of the white man’s life, they became extravagant and flamboyant while being conspicuous and spectacular in consumption of imported materials. At that stage, the inherited rates of pay and privileges were no longer enough for Nigerian public servants, employed or politically appointed. That was the origin of corruption in Nigeria.

Exactly five years, three months and fourteen days after Nigeria had obtained sovereignty from Britain and at 12:30 P.M., on January 15, 1966, Major Patrick Chukwuma Nzeogwu, announced in a broadcast from Radio Kaduna that the Supreme Council of the Revolution of the Nigerian Armed Forces had taken over power in the North.

Our enemies, Nzeogwu said, are the political profiteers, the swindlers, men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand ten per cent. Declaring a martial law, he listed embezzlement, bribery and corruption among offences that carried death sentences.

Unfortunately for Nigeria and Major Nzeogwu, his comrades in the South had been infiltrated by tribal chauvinists. One of the coup plotters explained that Major Don Okafor and Captain Ogbo Oji had taken a stand against any step that might embody the killing of Ironsi.

Therefore, while the would-be assassins were pointedly making for his (Ironsi) residence he was at the same time heading towards Ikeja (2nd Infantry Battalion) to enlist support to quell the rebellion of the Majors. Major John Obienu who was to come to Lagos from Abeokuta with armoured cars in support of the Majors’ rebellion renegged and linked up instead with Major General Ironsi at Ikeja (see p. 125 – 126, NIGERIA’S FIVE MAJORS; COUP D’ÉTAT OF 15TH JANUARY 1966, FIRST INSIDE ACCOUNT BY BEN GBULIE).

It is noteworthy that Captain Ben Gbulie fought on the side of Biafra during the Civil War. In Enugu Major Chude Sokei and Lieutenant Jerome Oguchi of the 1st Infantry Battallion were assigned the role of killing the Premier of the Eastern and Mid-western Regions, Dr. Michael Ihenokura Okpara and Denis Osadebey respectively, but the would-be assassins had turned pacificists that did not like to see bloodshed (see p.136 of Gbulie’s book).

Two hours after Nzeogwu broadcast in Kaduna, Major General Johnson Thompson Umunakwe Aguiyi Ironsi caused Radio Lagos to broadcast at 14:30 P.M., that in the early hours of this morning, 15th January 1966, a dissident section of the Nigerian Army kidnapped the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance and took them to an unknown destination.

The General Officer Commanding (Ironsi) and the vast majority of the army remained loyal to the Federal Government and are already taking appropriate measures to bring the ill-advised mutiny to an end. On Sunday, 16th January 1966, when General Ironsi announced his taking over of power in Nigeria at 23:50 P.M., fifteen casualities of the Majors’ coup included the Prime Minister of the Federation, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa; Finance Minister, Chief Festus Okotie Eboh; the Premier of Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello; the Premier of Western Region, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola; Brigadier Zakariya Maimalari; Brigadier Samuel Adesujo Ademulegun; Colonel Kuru Mohammed; Colonel R. A. Shodeinde; Lieutenant Colonel Abogo Largema; Lietenant-Colonel Yakubu Pam and Lietenant-Colonel Arthur Chinyelu Unegbe. Just as Ironsi did not take over power to fight corruption in Nigeria, so were those who overthrew him towards the end of July 1966.

Since 1985, and especially in the last 16 years, corruption as observed by Major Nzeogwu in January 1966 had grown from 10% to 200%. Political elites in government and civil servants, including the judiciary are accustomed to using their offices to share power and the resources of Nigeria among themselves.

Money budgeted for road constructions, hospitals, education, power supply, potable water, housing, turn around maintenance of oil refineries and even pensions have been looted by political elites, civil servants in the ministries, departments, parastatals and judiciary.

The main core of the Nigerian economy, oil which in the constitution of Nigeria is the property of all Nigerians have been appropriated by the elites to themselves through the issuance of oil blocks to one another.

Since becoming millionaires in Nigeria do not correlate to owning factories but nearness to the centre of federal, state or local government where national patrimonies are looted, it means that Nigerian millionaires are manufacturers of massive poverty and miseries for Nigerians.

The treasury looters in Nigeria give birth to unemployment, armed robbers, kidnappers, drug traffickers (even to countries where the penalty is death sentence), ethnic insurgents and Boko Haram while they force others to look for means of livelihood in exile.

(to be continued)

At 55, Nigeria Still Crawls

Without complete and due accountability, without a system of government that removes power from one man in one place now called Abuja, Nigeria will crawl even when she celebrates 100 years of independence.

At 55, Nigeria Still Crawls

By Adeola ADEROUNMU

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

The present status of Nigeria is still fragile, more like in the heartbreaking mode.

Week 40 of 2015, 4 days to Nigeria at 55 and Mr. Buhari is not in Nigeria. There are no ministers to run the various ministries and federal departments. There are no blueprints or references or working documents to measure the performance of government.

This is lack of respect for more than 160 m people! It is disregard to the principles of democracy and good governance. It is a way of creating confusion in the land.

Candidly l don’t think Mr. Buhari knows the difference between civilian rule and military rule yet. It is disgraceful that the APC and Mr. Buhari cannot produce ministers more than 100 days after their mandate came into effect. They are not ready to lead the country and if care it not taken Nigeria’s economy will suffer greatly. The people will become poorer.

Surely the saintly, angelic ministers must appear someday. But how the APC-mandate under Mr. Buhari will unfold will be of historic significance.

No one has spoken openly about how public education will be revived and made affordable. No one has spoken about housing, standard of living and the welfare of the citizens. No one has spoken about how to move Nigerian hospitals away from religious or revival centers to structures where lives can be saved and cherished.

The pictures emerging from New York showing how Mr. Buhari and Mr. Obasanjo are mingling with Mr. Gordon are extremely insignifcant to the welfare of Mama Taju and Baba Chukwudi who are waiting in Ilasamaja and Onitsha respectively for the blueprints on the education of their children and how their future can be ensured.

Buhari OBJ Gordon

Buhari OBJ Gordon

This has been the pattern, that Nigerian rulers and the conquerors of Abuja continue to maintain a distance from the people. The reliance on the ineffective unitary system of government and the insincerity of the state and local governments are perfect scenarios for misgovernance and maladministration-the hallmarks of public service across Nigeria.

I remember the assault on us when Nigeria became 25 years as an independent country. There were all sorts of sponsored jingles on the national TV channels and radio stations.

Arise, salute the nation, come join the celebrations, Nigeria is 25, Nigeria is 25. Every day, every time, this jingle was imposed on our minds and melted into our subconsciousness.

Nigerian rulers are ruthless and they lack respect for the citizens. The jingles in 1960 and the jingles in 1985 orchestrated by the civilians looters and the military gangsters respectively were part of the greater plot to enslave Nigerians.

Sadly in the days approaching 2016 the majority of the Nigerian population are living as slaves. It is even sadder that the people who are living as slaves do not realise this. They have become so pre-ocuppied with different survival strategies that they do not even have the awareness that they  are living the lifestyles they didn’t choose, one which the power to change will always be in their hands.

The immediate post-independence generation is gradually fading away without winning back the Nigeria of their dreams. They allowed the criminal politicians and the military gangsters among them to get away just like that because of tribal or ethnic sentiments among other unacceptable reasons that promote evil over good.

Similarly the entire post-independent generations are entangled in a struggle between hope, promises and fading dreams. They grew up seeing their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, their friends and families carting away the treasuries from the local, state and federal governments.

Some of them are direct or indirect beneficiaries of this social malady. The majority are on-lookers shouting every weekend in mosques, shrines and churches. Some are disconnected totally from reality and thereby choose to kill, maim or kidnap others. They turn their anger and frustrations on fellow citizens using religion as a platform. Religion will remain among the most dangerous inventions of man.

As a result of the network of political gangsterism in Nigeria, the fight for a common country with fairness for all was lost a long time ago. It does not appear that the struggle for the emancipation of the masses will be fought again unless the civil society become organised and united.

When I am doing fine and when my family is doing better than our neighbours, l don’t care. This slogan is the hidden Nigerian anthem.

The selfishness and the evil in the hearts of men in any country are stumbling blocks working against the spirit of patriotism and the achievement of the common good of all.

There are radical ways to bring Nigeria back on track.

The government must work for the people and the people must work for the government. The political system must be right and the institutions of government must be functional.

All the things that have crumbled must be revived at the same time. Education, Health, Housing and Roads among a growing list of the things that have made life less worth living in Nigeria. Family planning and citizen orientation will avail much.

At some point the people must find the trigger to orchestrate the fight for what they want and how they wish to live a better life. The government full of corrupt people and treasury looters will not offer it to them on a platter of gold.

It must be emphasized that only an insignificant proportion of the Nigerian population have had it well. Even then they have co-existed with the wretched population in the same environment that is full of abnormalities.

All the sad situations in Nigeria are well known. Some people want critics to proffer solutions and we reply by saying the answer lies in good governance and accountability. It is as easy as doing what is right, condemning what is wrong and making sure you leave every situation better than you met it. How hard is that?

We have added that the political system and the political structures are not working. They give room to the emergence of criminals in public services under a unitary system that makes dictators out of democrats and tyrants out of soldiers.

Nigeria is always at a crossroads, the choices that the people and the government make each time are always on the wrong side of history. For example, Saraki is on trial and the man has not even resigned! Nigerian politicians are special breeds of criminals, hard-heartened and die-hard looters.

What decision can Nigeria make at this time? Another easy question!

After Saraki’s trial and wherever the law leaves him (free or in prison), Nigerians have a collective responsibility to continue this process of cleaning the political and public arenas.

There are Halliburton criminals in Nigeria and they are friends of Buhari, even travelling the world with him! Buhari is not even ashamed of what ordinary citizens are ashamed of. He is not yet a good ruler! It still looks like the birds of the same feather.

Nigerians have the power to occupy the entire country until the judiciary orders the police to produce all the Halliburton criminals in court. Let’s see where the judiciary will leave them when their trials are over.

Why should Nigerians even stop there? There are several hundrerds or thousands of politicians and military gangsters living in Nigeria and abroad who have looted the treasuries. Do they have 2 heads while Saraki has one?

Again, Nigerians have the right to occupy their country or the judiciary until justice served to one is served to all.

There are many ways to move Nigeria forward and two signals that need to be clear are that stealing is corruption and that no one is above the law.

One way not to move Nigeria forward is the ruling government playing the role of the opposition. The APC leadership has perfected the art of responding to PDP’s disruptive PRO machinery. The government that should lead is stupidly playing the opposition because of its lack of creativity and initiative.

As all these play out, if some people remain above the law, more than 90% of Nigerians will continue to live forever as slaves no matter the style of governance.

The way to make Nigeria great is to make every single citizen account for their time and service to country and humanity. Without complete and due accountability, without a system of government that removes power from one man in one place now called Abuja, Nigeria will crawl even when she celebrates 100 years of independence.

aderounmu@gmail.com

The Cost Of Freedom

Unless a country or a group of people are willingly to genuinely give their today in the name of true freedom, their children will never be free tomorrow.

The Cost Of Freedom

Which Way Nigeria?

Which Way Nigeria?

By Adeola Aderounmu

Nigeria’s 54th year as a so-called independent country was marked in several ways. One headline that caught my attention was the one that stated that poverty in Nigeria has been reduced by 50%.

The headline is first class fraud.

Statistics was one of my favourite subjects during my first and second degrees at the University of Lagos. It is one of those subjects that I really felt comfortable doing. At Idiaraba it was Medical Statistics and oh, how I enjoyed every bit of it and the lecturer was awesome.

Poverty may have been reduced by 50%, it depends on the sample size or the part of the population where you draw your samples from.

So I can conclude that if we take the population of the follow-follow people flocking Aso Rock since the inception of Jonathan’s administration, he has successfully tackled the poverty among 50% of the ass-lickers including the expanding society of Aso Rock Bull Dogs.

If I cast my dragnets at the places that I know like Oshodi, Ojuelegba or Okokomaiko, my data will produce a result that will make nonsense of the results produced by some drunkards in Aso Rock. More than 90% of the people will be below poverty level and living on less than N500 a day.

For more than ever before majority of Nigerians groan under an increasingly senseless and insensitive government. Increasing the death rate and lowering the life expectancy of a population does not mean that poverty has been reduced.

In several essays I have depicted the nature, spread and characteristics of poverty in Nigeria as one of the worst hidden tragedies in the world. I have also been very quick to dismiss the claims of the few people who escaped the threshold of poverty sometimes through luck or unmerited opportunities that their situations cannot be used as the yardstick.

The title of this essay came as a result of my feelings in recent months. I’ll approach it.

I do know, and convincingly too that there are a few people in Sweden who have cultivated the habits of reading my articles, not because they want to be “my readers” but because they “enjoy” this culture of gossiping about “what did he write this week”?

I am happy for them, that they found a weekly delight.

I’ll keep them in the dark by not defining their range but amongst them are people who need to understand though that I have the right to my views about Nigeria no matter what they think or feel.

I cannot help those who found out too late that they had been talking to someone who has been writing about Nigeria since 2001.

One of my pictures on Facebook must have tilted the table over. I had a T-shirt with the inscription Oduduwa republic on my mind. It is one of my ideas of freedom. The image must have gone viral among some folks. I am still happy for them and I hope they get a pat on the back when they make their reports.

I wonder how much shock my Swedish-Nigerian readers suffered in the last 4 weeks when I had written stories about love. I will choose love any day over a failed country under the bondage of crazy and deaf rulers.

The love stories came to me after a recent trip to Finland. I think my ancestors love nature and they prefer the solitude of a calm sea to bring me teachings and guidance.

Today I wanted to write a story about “The Dreamer Boy” but I thought some people will like to know if I am still in tune with Nigeria and how the drunkards have reduced poverty by 50%.

What is more interesting than this blatant lie is the growth and spread of individuals, groups and associations that are intensifying their doubts about their continuous recognitions as Nigerians.

They are weighing the options of bailing out of a jaga-jaga Nigeria. There are many t-shirts nowadays with a lot of messages and one boy even tore his green passport and posted it on YouTube.

I have a lot of reflections on this emerging trend especially among “Nigerians” who are far away from their regions in Nigeria, based mostly in Europe, Asia and America.

For the Nigeria we have today became a total mess as a result of our collective failures as citizens and participants or onlookers in the successive corrupt and useless governments in Nigeria over the years and even to this day in October 2014.

The Nigeria of today was not the dream of the men and women who fought collectively to wrestle the country from the colonialists.

The reason we write or recite or even highlights repeatedly our failures as a country is because some people need the education at some point on what has happened and what we expected. Where Nigeria is today on the scale of human development and quality of life is a complete disgrace to the intellectual abilities of the African race.

One failed government blames the other and the cycle of idiocy rotates as nobody tackles the menaces of corruption, federal character (yes, it is a menace), nepotism and tribalism.

It was the greed in Nigerians and the corruption in their veins that exposed the madness of the colonialists who married different nations into one entity. “Irreconcilable differences” is an expression made in Nigeria. The crazy rulers destroyed the institutions of governance and many crazy people in government stole for themselves, their friends and their unborn generations-even to this day.

Since the mid-1960s, no government has made efforts to return power and freedom to the regions just the way it was when education, health and technological developments were functional until greed and outright stupidity reared their ugly heads.

The process of divide and rule, looting and total disregard for the rules of law continued and reached a new dimension since the inception of pseudo-democracy in 1999.

For Nigeria I have oscillated between hope and hopelessness and my understanding of statistics says it is time to try something else.

I am all for the freedom and the emancipation of the people who are currently enslaved in Nigeria.

It is imperative to define the modalities and the cost of freedom so that the sycophants and the major players of today do not ruin the future of our children and grandchildren the same way they ruined our parents lives and displaced us to different places around the globe.

I wish that all the groups and associations around the world will emerge from their clandestine positions and start to talk openly. The Scottish people just had a vote. The outcome was not as important as the action they took but it will define the things to come in the future. Their children will grow up feeling more secured.

It is old fashioned to seek freedom in the dark rooms. It is very primitive to seek independence through confidential emails or social media closed groups.

If you want something, make it open, make it plain. Go for it and carry the people who need the change along.

Healthy debates, open groups, open discussions and other form of transparent dealings may help to check some of my personal fears regarding the stakeholders in all these clandestine groups scattered around the world.

What is the cost of freedom?

The cost of freedom lies in service to humanity. It is not looting the treasury and telling stupid lies about security and poverty.

The cost of freedom in public service lies in willingness to die at the altar of truth. It is not in building houses of gold on the polluted land across Nigeria.

The cost of freedom is the deprivation that comes with the belief that humanity comes before self.

The cost of freedom will be correlated to conventional free thinking and explorative mindedness.

It will not be locked to dying for the sake of acquiring virgins in an imaginary place. It will not have anything to do with deadly assembly at the feet of gangster mortals called prophets. The cost of freedom will rid a nation of the defenders of evil.

Unless a country or a group of people are willingly to genuinely give their today in the name of true freedom, their children will never be free tomorrow.

For the nations entangled in Nigeria these sacrifices are non-negotiable.  Along with the irrepressible truth, they will be the ultimate cost of freedom.

aderounmu@gmail.com

How The Nigerian Government May Have Sponsored And Financed Terrorism

By Adeola Aderounmu

When late Musa Yar Adua became the ruler of Nigeria in 2007 in one of the several disputed elections in Nigeria, one of his “achievements” was granting amnesty to the Niger Delta militants. His 6 or 7 points agenda including the vow to improve power supply never saw the light of the day.

The origin and the spread of militancy in the Niger Delta creeks are based on different arguments and different school of thoughts. The arguments are also influenced by political inclinations.

I know some people who earn their livelihood by taking dangerous sea trips to fish in Nigerian internal and territorial waters. Therefore what I know for certain based on eye-witness reports is that the militants became more “useful” when Obasanjo was aiming for his second term in office.

The allegations wrap Peter Odili in the game plan and the summary was that when the elections were over, the militants became more potent than ever before and also found new ways and tools to become more relevant than the pre-Obasanjo era.

The things that happened around that time would lend more credence to this narration from a close person. For, at that time in the history of Nigeria more people became aware of attack on national pipe-line and spate of kidnapping, first of expatriates and then of Dick, Tom and Harry.

When I was a young boy, at my early teenage years to be sure, I remembered that I swore never to step my feet on the soils of Northern regions of Nigeria. I think my opinion at that time was based on the news and images that I got about Northern Nigeria.

I started reading newspaper at the age of 8 and today I am still glued to my news-magazine subscriptions despite the availability of the internet and online news sources. So, I must have been well-informed about the “terrorism” of Northern Nigeria that came in different shades-religious, tribal wars and all sorts.

I remembered how I “worked” hard to make sure that my service year did not cross the borders of western Nigeria. I knew what I wanted and what I never wanted was to be part of the inexplicable madness of Northern Nigeria where my neighbour could be the one to slice my throat.

I envy those who went up north as the Northern images formed in my teen years is still with me and once I decided to leave Western Nigeria, it was on an international flight. If things were different-I would have been a good traveller not only across the world but also in my country of birth.

Nigeria got her independence in 1960. However, and so, so sad, Nigerians have not been able to successfully steer their country. As I prepare to send this story for publication, the signs became more ominous with the staggering internal rifes across different political parties.

You hardly hear of ideological debates. All you hear and see are egocentric views and mentally deranged arguments and struggles that show extremely low levels of human cognitivity. In summary, Nigeria is completely derailed and hope is lost.

From one government to another, impunity rose, corruption soar and the plundering of the country’s wealth by both people, local and international institutions and governments continue unabated. It appears the goal is to leave the country in an irreversible ruin.

Every time I write about Nigeria the intelligent questions haunt me and I don’t want to be the one to state that the largest accumulation of black people in the world resulted to one of the most useless forms of government on earth and an unbelievably resilient followership.

When Yar adua granted amnesty to the Niger Deltan militants, the signals were obvious. It appears that to be heard in Nigeria; you also have to be harmed. The militants gained access to government houses. Some of them got some of the best houses in Abuja and in their home states. Militants under Yar Adua became kings and lords.

When Goodluck Jonathan appeared, militants simply took over Nigeria. They got juicy government contracts and government appointments/jobs.

In short, as a militant, you can meet with the president easily compared to if you were a university professor trying to get a grant for a special research project. As a militant, you can get a scholarship award easier than if you are a hard working students with poor parents.

Over the years in Nigeria, mediocrity was lauded as a virtue. It grew with time and today you really have to be almost a “nonentity” to rise to position of power.

Aggression, violence and instruments of murder have been used to steer Nigeria for long and eventually these crimes came to the surface and became their “rule of law”. Good people became endangered species in Nigeria.

It was therefore easy for Boko Haram to rise. The origin of Boko Haram is still under debate especially considering the possible infleunce of foreign elements/powers. What is sure is that they became more prominent in the post-Yar Adua amnesty days.

Boko Haram may have existed when I made up my mind as a teenager not to step on the soil of the blood-spillers. They may have been their when the power hungry rulers of Northern Nigeria promised to make Nigeria ungovernable for Mr. Jonathan.

You see, in Nigeria treason is not even a crime. You can say these volatile words and walk free. You can annul and cancel elections and walk free. In the same way, you can rule anyhow and steal anyhow and nothing “go happen”. It is part of their rule of law.

Let us not be deceived by what appears to be the roles of established government worldwide in the rise and spread of terrorism. The Federal government of Nigeria will not be the first to directly or indirectly sponsor terrorism.

The role of the United States in the rise of Bin Laden’s led Al-Queda in Afghanistan are well documented. When Gadaffi of Libya became the target of the United States and NATO, terrorists were armed to aid the displacement and eventual murder of Gadaffi, just to mention a few examples. People are still studying the Syria scenario.

The now established terror groups in Northern Nigeria can partly be attributed to the failure of the various governments since 1960. Before 1999 the majority of the dictators and rulers of Nigeria were from Northern Nigeria.

They deliberately impoverished their people intellectually. They ensured that their people were educationally deficient so that the Northern elites will always have their ways among the ignorant populace. Today, the pay-back price is inestimable.

Ignorance is a disease. Northern Nigeria is that place that will go to war for events or happenstance that are not related or connected to Nigeria. When religious conflicts occur in other countries around the world, death tolls can be higher in Northern Nigeria than the affected countries themselves.

You will never find a greater cost for ignorance except the emergence of full-fledge terrorism itself. Northern Nigeria was a ready-made fertile ground for terrorism, thanks to dictators and thoughtless politicians from that area.

The militancy in the South of Nigeria followed a similar pattern. The governors of the oil rich states have over the years looted their people blind. What will remain inexplicable is how the looters and thieves from this region always have the backings of the people they steal from.

The Stockholm syndrome should be renamed the Nigerian syndrome. A situation where the people will defend or support their “thieving sons and daughters” should open a new area of research in human behaviour, psychology or anthropology based on the Nigerian examples.

Even the vocal leaders of the Niger Delta and those who served as ministers in federal and regional institutions like OMPADEC and NDDC ought to be brought to books. They coveted to themselves all the funds earmarked for the development of the Delta. They took from foreign coorporations and from state and federal government without accountability.

Therefore the fault is not only at the door steps of the unitary government headed by corrupt rulers since 1960. However it is well known that if the head is rotten, then the entire body is bad. That’s where the buck always stops at the door of the central government.

The Niger Delta militants are now waging “wars” that lack ideology. They have seen how “easy” it is to become super-rich and influential in government through the use of guns and gun-powders.

They have seen how their members have spread all over the world yet still siphoning amnesty funds like leeches and parasites. Oh! I hope I am not the only one who knows that militants at home and abroad earn more money every month that many teachers and professors labouring in Nigeria!

What these mostly non-combatant militants have not seen is the end to the spillage in their environment. What they have not seen and probably not looking forward to is the implementation of all the policies and promises that have been made by governments and agencies connected to the Delta.

They have grown to love the quick money and get rich anyhow style. Like their masters-the local chiefs and like the government of Nigeria, the future doesn’t count for them.

Truth is, for more than 50 years Nigerian rulers stole and carted away the treasures of Nigeria.

Truth is, everything was neglected including education, health and other simple basic infrastructure. Hence, in Nigeria, it actually ought to be a total war on bad governance. All patriotic Nigerians should actually be out there asking the government to surrender, pack and exit.

In Nigeria, the new full-grown terrorism and militancy are delayed responses to the now more than 50 years of absolute waste of independent status.

It appears that the 3rd generation of pro-independence Nigeria are also wasting away. With the spread of militancy and the popularity of terrorism, one can presume that knee-jerk responses on the part of Nigerian government have made these twin calamities into wars that the Nigerian military will not win.

The end may likely come when the system of governance change radically. Those who have tried to fight off terrorism in the absences of functioning governments and social justice always fail.

It’s been 53 years of stupid rulership. Leadership does not not exist in Nigerian politics or military dictatorships. Nothing (except corruption and vices like impunity) is working with the system of governance where the man at the center decides for the whole country.

This ineffective system of governance has rendered almost all Nigerian government institutions paralysed-they are places for self-enrichment and not performance.

With evidence starring at us daily, we see that the Police are corrupt, the Judiciary is corrupt, the ministries starting from the presidency in the federal system to the departments in the local countries are all means for self-enrichment and endless political hullabaloo.

Nigeria will benefit immensely from a sudden change of system of governance. This means that the unitary system of government needs to be abolished as soon as possible. Doing so will automatically punctuate the ambition of the Northern terrorists and their sponsors who seem to be making the capture of Aso rock their goal.

Nigeria can do without Aso rock by appropriately returning power to the regions. Most of the stupid intra- and inter-party wars lacking ideology will disappear with the change of the system of government.

Regional governments will restore the old Western Nigeria and the other recognised pre-independence regions with minimal frictions for re-adjustments.

The change of the system of governance will not return Nigeria overnight to the paradise it was in the olden days. It will serve as the first step among several other steps that are needed to start the long journey back to normalcy.

Citizen re-orientation programs which will include patriotism, dignity of labour, promotion of merits, top- level discipline, committment to job, family, community and nation/country are among the virtues that will be needed in the various regions that will be re-instated or reconstructed.

aderounmu@gmail.com

twitter @aderinola

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.

aderounmu@gmail.com

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