The Killing Fields of Rivers State

My question to the people of Rivers state is this: for how long do you want to kill your brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers in the name of politics?

Amaechi and Wike are not used to electoral victory through the ballots. Something drastic must be done this weekend in terms of security to end the spate of political assassinations in Rivers State.

The Killing Fields of Rivers State

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

It is hard to comprehend the intricacies and complexities of politics in Nigeria. For sure it is not a normal scenario.

I am not about to change my mind that politics in Nigeria is crazy.

In recent weeks murders or political assassinations have been committed in Rivers State. It is not certain in which direction the investigations are going or if anyone will be prosecuted.

Lawlessness is still a common denominator for politics and several other areas of the Nigerian society.

Political assassinations are rampant in Nigeria and there are many unresolved cases across the country over the past decades.

Hence the Rivers State scenario is not an isolated occurrence. It is a trend that is not about to end soon considering the forthcoming governorship elections and the intrigues that may emerge thereafter.

If taken as a micro-representation of Nigeria or just a case study on its own, what is happening in Rivers State is an escalation of the stupid political processes that occur seasonally across Nigeria.

Sadly, the murders and assassinations that we have seen in Rivers State are products of the mindsets of many people in Nigeria who continue to see politics as a means to an end. To them politics is do-or-die.

To them, politics is a source of deep rooted hatred and the elimination or assassination of political opponents can even warrant ecstatic celebrations including thanksgiving services in churches and mosques.

Politics in Nigeria is generally heart-breaking and in the Niger Delta, very crude too.

The fund that INEC may have expended in organising elections in the Niger Delta region in Nigeria since 1999 may as well have been used for direct development programs instead of the elections.

Again, I am not saying that this crazy situation is peculiar to Rivers State or the Niger Delta alone.

However since the political assassinations in River State is not ending, it is reasonable to use it as a case study.

Typically, ascension to political position in the Niger delta region (if you like say for Nigeria) has always been by anointment. This means that there is usually a general consensus about who is selected or anointed to contest for a certain political post.

It is so organised (or disorganised depending on which side of Nigeria’s home-grown democracy you stand) that the opposition candidate is also aware that his opponent is already approved for the position.

In the remote places of Bayelsa, Rivers and other places in the delta, it is described as clan-to-clan rotation of political appointments.

If Godspower knows that it is the turn of his clan to be sent to the parliament in 2019, he could as well lobby within his family and probably do nothing in the years running to the elections. By implication he knew that when he gets to the house of parliament (state or local), he will become rich. He will share with his clan if he is not selfish.

In essence the political positions are shared and rotated. Governorship positions are not exempted from this arrangement. The settlement of the Odili-Omehia-Amaechi imbroglio can serve as an eye-opener in case anyone is in search of proof of this arrangement.

In furtherance of this, the Niger delta of Nigeria is not usually a place where elections are allowed to take place at voting booths or the votes from the booths are not significant.

The common practice is to find a secure or hidden location usually away from the mainland where heavily armed people are on guard. It is here that the fraudulent massive thumb printings do take place.

In the Niger Delta, as it is also common in several places in Nigeria, the rigged votes do not usually correlates with the number of registered voters. It is because the rigging is so intense that the perpetrators always forget to take the population of the people into account.

There are connections between the politics of the Niger Delta and the retention of the some of the world’s poorest people in what is arguably one of the richest places on physical earth.

The Niger delta remains underdeveloped despite the oil wealth of the area. The permanently corrupt federal government is partly to blame but the bulk of the blame rest on the custodians of the wealth that have been allocated to the region.

The representatives of the region have taken turns via federal and state government appointments to loot in the various regional agencies that have been formed for the purpose of developing the area.

There is also no commitment by the people who get into positions of authority to develop the local areas and the communities because of the way people are appointed to political positions with the collective mentality that it is the turn of a certain clan to “chop”.

May I remind my readers again that this scenario has a national dimension but with varying consequences and implications.

If one looks at the cases of former governors like Alamieyeseigha, Igbinedion, Ibori and Jonathan as few examples, one can get a glimpse of why most of the regions away from the capitals are still not where they should be considering the oil wealth that are looted away by these fraudulent characters.

Fast forward, Ameachi and Wike are from the same clan- the Ikwere clan.

The people of River states consensually know that it is the turn of another tribe to become the governor of River states. This is definitely not a democratic approach and in principle democracy is alien here.

Historically, political thugs and militants re-gained prominence in this region during the 2003 election season. It was at that time that PDP had already taken control of the region and armed the ordinary people, mostly unemployed.

The Obasanjo-Odili collabo would need to answer some questions if a probe is set up today. Similarly, some politicians should be answering for the escalation of Boko Haram terrorists in the north.

Since Amaechi and Wike are not on terms and Mrs. Jonathan is trying to fulfil a promise of electoral victory for Wike, hell is let loose on Rivers State.

Wike has a constitutional right to contest under the platform of his choice. His ambition is normal and healthy but it is taking place against a practice that is alien to the people who even with the PDP would have preferred a candidate not from Ikwere.

There are allegations that the Jonathans have helped Wike in bulldozing his way to the top of the PDP ticket in Rivers State. It is in Nigeria that you hear such things like “by special arrangement, Satan will see God”. Money can do anything in Nigeria.

Both Amaechi and Wike know how the game is played. However since they are on opposite sides of the divide, they are both clamouring that the votes should count. This is new because both of them are not used to electoral victory through the ballots.

In the recent presidential election, it appears that the Wike’s faction-the PDP won the process of counting rigged votes in the bush and presenting it on photocopied papers to INEC. Typical!

Rivers State has been boiling before and after that. APC has suffered more. Her membership is severely decimated by deaths at the top level. Blood is flowing in Rivers and the federal government is acting dumb.

Adopting violence as a way of resolving their political differences is not the best way for Amaechi and Wike. Both are adamant and egocentric on this matter. Personal vendetta is now above the interests of the parties and the will of the people.

The River State crises are not a “small” problem.

There is tension everywhere. There are soldiers everywhere but no safety nets.

As the 2015 elections days approached, APC rallies suffered violent disruptions. People have been shot and people have been killed.

In public places nowadays in Rivers State, it is almost tantamount to a death sentence to mention APC.

Jega’s led INEC accepted a number of disputable results in the just concluded march 28 presidential elections. One of the obvious ones, even as seen through the eyes of the INEC returning officer, was that of Rivers State.

INEC’s fact finding mission’s report on Rivers State as presented by professor Jega was a cock and bull story. Next time, he should tell it to the marines.

However his submission on Rivers State has both advantages and disadvantages.

Understandably, due to the intricacies mentioned in the first paragraph of this essay, Jega’s tactics was an appeasement of the PDP at their sorrowful hour and a subtle counter attack to the display of madness by one Mr. Orubebe.

The acceptance of the results from Rivers State has set the state on virtual fire because it means that whoever rigged best the gubernatorial election on April 11 2015 will capture the state.

PDP has the advantage in Rivers State as it was able to control and manipulate INEC/INEC’s official on March 28 2015. This does not mean that the APC was saintly during the process. One party just overpowered the other, that’s it.

If the presidential results from River States had been cancelled, the tension may have been reduced and probably for the first time since 1999, the people may just realise that the days of rigging are over.

Again, that is also a probability because it seems that the crazy people are on the rampage and dominant in Rivers State. Who knows which way the wind will blow?

On the other hand, cancelling the Rivers State election could also have led to the cancellation of the entire process because there were contestable anomalies and widespread irregularities.

Nigerians accepted the results; the people chose peace above all. It may mean that they know that man made processes will never be perfect.

Now, some reports from the ground in Rivers State will support a hypothesis that the people are not ready to be subdued by the Ikweres for 16 years (Ameachi 8, Wike 8).  It is this hypothesis that Wike is trying to disprove against APC’s candidate, Mr. Peterside.

But only when the votes are counted at the regular voting booths can the truth be known.

Tribal politics is killing Nigeria and it is about to drown the state of Rivers.

Unless Amaechi, Wike and Mrs Jonathan’s influence are taken care firmly by the law, things may get out of hand in River State.

In Rivers State, APC’s agents were barred from polling booths during the presidential election of March 28, 2015. Who gave this order?

Accreditation started at about noon in several places? Who stage-managed the general delay?

What is INEC putting in place and what are the roles of the security agents to ensure that normalcy prevails in Rivers State on Saturday the 11th of April 2015?

Will the army continue to stand by the PDP only or will they stay away and allow the people to vote?

Who will count the votes? PDP’s or APC’s agents disguising as INEC’s official?

Which votes will be counted? Will they be the votes from the booths or the votes from the creeks/bushes?

The most significant question should be put to the people of Rivers: for how long do you want to kill your brothers and sisters, your fathers and your mothers, in the name of politics?

Not until the Rivers run dry…..

aderounmu@gmail.com

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Disgraceful And Shallow Campaigns (Part 1)

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

Disgraceful And Shallow Campaigns (Part 1)

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aderounmu@gmail.com

Why Jega Should Resign and Why INEC will fail again!

By Adeola Aderounmu

Electoral failures in 1959, 1979, 1983, 1993 (shame on you IBB), 1999, 2003, 2007 AND we are making the same mistakes in 2011. I thought people learn from their mistakes or from history. What a country!

In several essays I have called for transformation of the electoral process in Nigeria. By now Mr. Jega obviously has seen that it is impossible to conduct credible elections in Nigeria under the prevailing arrangements and circumstances.

I am convinced that the cancellation or the postponement of elections in Nigeria can never be due to non-availability of materials as claimed by Jega.

I believe more in what Jega said prior to the election date and on April 1st that all was set and ready for the elections on April 2nd than all the lies he is proclaiming now. What a Liar!

He is not telling the truth which may be related to the impossibility to conduct elections in 2011 using the process that was used during the time of the biblical Herod when people went to their home towns to be counted. Nigerians should be asking why all their looting politicians usually return to their homelands during census and elections. Why?

Jega was either taken by fear and the reality of the impossible tasks before him and INEC or he is executing a PDP agenda. This is a man who had ordered that people should be counted and accredited before 12noon and that voting should start at 1230. But when the day of election arrived Jega and his ill-prepared team saw that the time-scheduled election of their imaginations is a far cry from realities or the PDP agenda was unfolded to his face. Whichever!

Jega should resign because of the money he has wasted. That money would have provided jobs for thousands of jobless Nigerians. His lies and inconsistencies are too heavy to be accepted. He’s another sycophant in the making.

Jega has no more tasks to do as the boss of INEC. INEC itself should be disbanded with immediate effect.

I saw a video clip of one voting center in Lagos. There were several people who formed a crowd around the electoral officers. This is primitive and archaic. This is what will be repeated in the coming weeks. The process is wrong, too wrong.

There is no way a process that is more than 2 000 years old will work for 70m voters in the 21st century, never!

I warned about these things but Nigerians chose to ignore me. They deleted my articles and stories about Nigeria. I said that those who think elections in 2011 would be a success needs to get their heads examined. Even 24 hours to the election date I was still shouting on my blog that these elections are unnecessary.

We are repeating what we have done since 1959 that has always resulted in failure. Why are we repeating the same process again?

It doesn’t matter when or how INEC carries out these electoral processes, the point is that they will NEVER be free, credible or satisfactory. This is the truth that Jega should use the last layer of his fading dignity to address. On that one, Nigerians will believe him.

I have made suggestions on how Nigeria can carry out credible elections. What I have not mentioned is that if the people in Nigeria cannot understand and carry out my suggestions, there are people abroad-yes we can hire Europeans like Swedish people- who can help us organize our lives since we have failed to do it right since 1959.

Using simple forensic details, we can hire expatriates to help us count Nigerians once and for all. This will establish an everlasting process that generations yet unborn will enjoy and be grateful for.

Everybody gets an identity card and a social security number. All these details will be over in less than 12 months. It is not a function for INEC but the National Population Commission. They need help now and this is my candid suggestion.

The Nigerian Government should pally with the Swedish Embassy in Abuja. They should ask for help on how to have a successful and perfect head count in Nigeria once and for all. We have tried and we have failed, let’s get help we can afford. All the monies we have wasted conducting stupid and useless elections would have been enough to pay for these services that will be forever.

If the Nigerian government does not ask for help, I am already in the process of initiating one. I am sure that I will contact the Swedish embassy in Abuja officially in the days ahead. I owe my country all the help it can get to stop this international embarassment.

If we develop our postal system parallel to the forensic head count under the same period of time, everybody can receive his/her identity card and voter card at home by post. Alternatively we can create collection centers at all the local government offices for the IDs. The New Electoral body that will be formed will send out the voting cards/papers. It’s too easy.

I am convinced that citizen orientation and improved police and judicial institutions are necessary ingredients to the successful implementation of my suggestions. If criminals go to jail or get punished for wrong doings irrespective of how small or big the crimes are, a lot of things will be easier in Nigeria.

For the past 4 years I have written series of articles on how to count Nigerians and how to conduct credible elections.

Unless these things are done, Nigeria will NEVER have credible elections.

When it is season of election, the voting process should be flexible and people should be able to send in their votes by post. People should be able to go to voting centers even one month before the last day of voting. All these nonsense overcrowding on the days of election are archaic and primitive.

And on the last day of general voting all voting centers should be open between 8am and 6pm.

I have seen credible elections in Sweden as I have seen in several parts of the world. What is wrong with Nigeria and Nigerians? Are we daft?

The last counter argument I want to hear or read is that we are not matured for this process. Are we less intelligent than people who live in countries where peaceful elections are conducted? No!

Nigeria is using a voting process that is more than 2 000 years old.

Jega has fooled a whole country made up of over 150m people, an aggregation of the largest population of black people in the world. He should resign! He should also be ashamed of telling lies. I am so angry I can’t express my feelings about people like Jega.

If Jega is man enough, let him resign. Let him tell Nigerians the truth-that the elections will not be credible and that we need to go back to the drawing boards and find a more realistic way to conduct our elections so that we can have true democracy say 2 or 3 years from now.

Jega must not leave his position without apologizing to Nigerians. He fooled himself and he fooled us. Apparently this failure is not just about Jega, it is about a failed system. But an intellectual person like Jega owes us the truth.

Jega should give a full statement of accounts of how he has spent all the billons of naira that he has wasted in the last couple months. As much as possible he should refund to the national coffers whatever amount he can gather from everywhere he has wasted these funds. Someone somewhere in Nigeria must start doing something right. Why not Jega, a man whom much has been given in such a short time?

The greater challenge lies before all Nigerians. Is this how we want to continue with our lives? PDP is fooling us; the wicked party is fooling our family members, our friends and even our neighbours. In other parts of the world, a party like PDP would have been thrown into the dustbin. For how long will our consciences be bought with porridge and stolen funds?

No amount of postponements can solve the problems of elections in Nigeria. Without radical electoral reforms and a voting system based on credible processes that are supported by forensic facts and figures, Nigerians will continue to scream foul play for ever and ever.

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Nigeria needs no election in 2011

A Big Liar Called Jega and A Country Without Shame

Adeola Aderounmu

24 Hours before Nigeria’s Parliamentary Elections Jega came out to tell the world that all is set and ready.

The Elections schedule for April 2 2011 has now been cancelled. Jega said that it will now hold on Monday the 4th.

Jega is now singing a new tune that Election materials did not arrive. The same song that Maurice Iwu sang in 2007. We have now gone from wuruwuru to jagajaga. But why didn’t he say that the day before? Why did he wait until Nigerians have trooped out to election centers and some voters have even been accredited and were waiting to cast their votes?

In 2007 election materials did not arrive from South Africa. The Natural disaster in Japan has now been blamed for the man-made disaster in Nigeria. Japanese will be shocked and probably angry to know that the natural disaster that put them in mourning is the song on the lips of INEC and Jega.

One of my friends said he is investigating the real cause of the postponement. I am sure this postponement is connected to fraudulent activities. With time the bigger picture will emerge.

I argued in august 2010 that Nigeria does not need any elections in 2011. I stand firmly by my opinions in that article that we still don’t need any election in 2011. Anyone who wants to know what we need should read the article.

By the way, how foolish are the Nigerian government and INEC? Why can’t Election papers be printed in Nigeria?

That is just one question out of the thousands of questions that we are now asking.

Nigeria’s Jagajaga Politics, A Disgrace To Both Common Sense and Humanity

Adeola Aderounmu

Nigeria’s politics is total rubbish. There is nothing in Nigeria’s politics to support the true meaning of democracy.

Just the other day the rascal man from the delta who belongs to a rascal party was calling the other people rascals. When confronted, his yeye pressman said the name was not ascribed to anyone. I hope I have not ascribed rascal to that man whose wife thought she is a dame.

The shapes of things to come in the April polls have started emerging.

INEC has started publishing names of candidates. In several cases the names do not tally with the candidates that were selected in the various states. I won’t subscribe to that nonsense that anyone was elected. I have not seen elections in Nigeria.

What the candidates and their sponsors or godfathers have been doing is competition with money and votes buying across the nation. In some situations, candidates were forced down the throats of party members and delegates.

Nigeria and Nigerians need to define their politics. To say that it is democracy is pure madness. Nigeria is not a democratic nation.

The new battle for the soul of Nigeria has begun. The rascals across Nigeria are now into the usual roforofo fights. Lists of names and counter lists have been sent to INEC.

There are so many useless provisions, laws and appropriations that are easy to manipulate and misinterpret and use for different dubious purposes depending on the rascals involved.

Ogun state PDP for example has its own list. Obasanjo has his own separate list. The National body of the number one rascal party in Nigeria-the PDP- will soon come up with a new compromised list. And the names will keep changing and rotating from Ogun, to Enugu, to Kano and other states.

One set of looters will become angry, they will change party affiliation citing marginalization in the evil party they helped build, the party that provided them the means to loot and steal from the people. I called them political prostitutes in an earlier post.

Even Abacha’s son is back on the list of his political party. He won and was bashed but he bounced back.

In some places, evil is resurrecting and elsewhere it continues to rise.

Nigeria’s politics is complete jagajaga. Pure rubbish! It makes no sense. This is because there is only one goal and that goal is that politics is the number one way to become a legalized thief in Nigeria.

So when you think of INEC, ICPC and EFCC, just laugh it off because all these agencies are controlled by thieves and looters as well. In Nigeria, it is a survival thing.

For all the monies that have been stolen and looted at the presidency, at the executive arm, at the various state governments, at the local councils, and in the houses of assemblies and representatives, how much of it has been recovered by the EFCC? How many have been arrested and sent to jail?

One man took up the Dimeji-scam challenge, he went to court but both EFCC and ICPC want the case thrown out. You must love Nigeria. If you are a political thief or a looter, you are home.

So the scramble and struggle for political offices will continue to be a matter of life and death, do-or-die. I mean if by now, all these thieves know that they will go to jail for all they have stolen, there will be no list/ counter-list flying around. What will be emanating from INEC will be authentic lists of the selected.

Sadly that is not the situation. And I continue to urge Nigerians to see INEC as INEC. Don’t look up to Jega. People who occupy that kind of position in Nigeria are usually helpless. They are not the problem and they will not be the solution.

One man can make a difference only if the man has incorruptible principles and a charisma that is volatile or infective. These are the characters of the men who started the ongoing and persistent revolts in Tunisia and Egypt. But in a country where for inexplicable reasons, we the people are sagged and unbelievably and scandalously passive, it begs for more than a man. It begs for the removal of the religious veils sown by commercial religious rulers and worn by our compatriots.

I’m trying hard to remember not to use the word leader for anyone in political or religious institutions. In Nigeria, there are no leaders.

Our system is wrong. No individual will be able to run INEC successfully until the fundamental issues have been addressed.

No individual will be able to run EFCC or even the Nigerian presidency successfully until we address the basic/ fundamental problems facing Nigeria.

All these weak, incompetent and useless public institutions will continue to follow the schemes of the evil people in power and all of them will take as much money as they want, and they will never get enough. It’s a curse that must be broken.

We left the drawing board a long time ago or we set out without a compass. We have no bearings.

Today Nigeria is not seen as a country. To many of us it is an economic jungle and survival of the fittest is the name of the game. It’s a rat race!

It therefore becomes imperative that some serious negotiations must take place among all the various nationalities within Nigerian to define the purpose for the nation (or nations within Nigeria).

Actually there is no one way forward and there are no simple solutions since the country has been plundered for over 50 years by thieves, sycophants, looters and tropical gangsters. Even foreigners have looted our treasures. We cracked big time!

Nevertheless to emerge from the present useless order of things, something very radical and probably unconventional must be done. Something must happen to eradicate all these bad people who continue to represent Nigeria. Change and accountability must come one way or the other.

These recuperations, in its sociological sense must be initiated by the ordinary people when they have become organized. One charismatic man or not, the people it is, who must fight for their freedom.

Nigeria May Never Get Better

By Adeola Aderounmu

The just concluded fraudulent elections in Delta State confirmed my fears and argument that Nigeria is not ready for new elections. Change is not coming soon. In a previous article posted on my blog and on NVS I have stated that there are several fundamental issues that needed to be addressed before conducting new or rerun elections in Nigeria.

Until those issues are addressed Nigerians will never know what it means to have a free and fair electoral process. It will never happen in our life time unless the fundamental issues are addressed. As far as I am concerned Nigeria and Nigerians will never have free and fair elections in 2011 and not even in 2012. We are not just ready! We can’t keep expecting positive results or outcomes for things we are ill prepared for. It will not happen.

It is so sad because it appears that the third generations of Nigerians are already wasting away. We don’t seem to realise the seriousness of the issues at stake. When it comes to governance and our perception of politics Nigeria is a nation stuck in prehistoric time. We are so backward it is almost impossible to know where we belong to in the time machine.

The rerun election in Delta state, if used as an indicator of human intelligence, showed that majority of Nigerians are disorientated. The thing is people are counting on Jega. Jega is one man and he has no control over the stupidity of the general populace. Jega is a person and not an institution. INEC as an institution lacks the foundation and the majority of the Nigerian people are completely disorientated and malformed in their mentalities. So this gives you a tragedy that is convoluted. Nigeria is a rolling dilemma.

Several institutions are programmed to fail to suit the status quo of the useless and senseless Nigerian political class. The ignorance of the people doesn’t help in any way. Check out the celebration, parties and the drums beating all night in Delta State. Some millions of dollars that should have been used to develop the state and to provide essential services were wasted in one night for parties and stupid celebrations. The next day the people return to their lives of hopelessness and extreme poverty and penury.

A few beneficiaries of the controversial mandate will return to the state treasury and continue the looting process. Every four years different types of fools and sometimes the same incumbent nonentities return to power and keep the status quo. In general the states remain underdeveloped and the country at large gets closer to disintegration.

I am not afraid of disintegration. This country has never been united. A group of tropical gangsters have kept this country together for their own selfish gains. It pains that the rest of us have not been able to fathom how to break the chain of events. A few among us went in and joined the wagon. They promised to change things but they soon get mixed up in the entire dirty game.

Hope may be lost now because it appears that the rest of us are just waiting for our own opportunities to get crunches of the national cake. Nigerian young men who are in their 20s and 30s and even early 40s who have managed to become something in politics have not had any impact on the polity. What I know and heard is that they are also looting the treasuries wherever they find themselves. They do little and steal so much.

So the problems in Nigeria today are not only due to old and bad leadership. It has infected everything and everyone. Make I no chop my own? If na you you no go chop? Abeg I go support the man o, maybe something fit drop for me? We have all kinds of slogans and national disorientation that has left this country as a complete jungle where anything and everything is possible.

Nigeria is a completely lawless society where political thieves and looters get away. They live among us and they are our brothers and sisters. They are our uncles and aunts. It is Nigerians who destroyed Nigeria. We don’t question those who get rich overnight because “he don hit”. If we do, they say “you be bad belle”.

In general people live anyhow and do anything. The government does not function as the regulator of things. The government and the people are entirely disconnected. It is what I saw and something I’ve always known.

Anyone who is expressing disappointment about the rerun election in Delta State is either a fool or an idiot. And if anyone expects that the other elections in 2011 will get better, that person needs to go for a quick medical examination. Delta State is one state, Nigeria is 36 states plus Abuja, the scale of violence and rigging will be unimaginable when the time comes. Sporadic shootings will turn to massive shootings and bombings. The signs are ripe and too obvious to disregard.

The Nigerian government has closed all schools because of voters’ registration. Every time this type of anomaly occurs, my mind races to the intelligent question. Seriously you can’t get to the bottom of the abnormal mentalities of Nigerian rulers. What has the nearly extinct public schools and the [rich-parents, privileged-children private schools] got to do with registration of voters? Have they looked at all the options and that is the best solution? But don’t forget that the children of these useless politicians are not in Nigeria. They are abroad getting the best of education that they denied you and me.

I stand firm on my argument that Nigerians do not need any elections in 2011. We have been a laughing stock among comity of nations. We are the country that doesn’t know how to count and add numbers. It’s so tragic. Nigerians can’t line up to be counted on a simple electoral queue. And we know why. It is partly because the winner takes it all, as in the loot and the money to be stolen from government.

Until the fundamental issue of census is taken care of, we are wasting our time. They say Kano residents are more than Lagos residents and one of my best friends concluded that by implication, Lagos residents are probably about 30m. Seriously you get confused in this fooling game.

Forensic and computing technologies must be up and running before any successful elections can hold in Nigeria. These are among the suggestions I made in previous essays that are available on the Nigeria Village square. (How to count Nigerians and Nigerians don’t need elections in 2011).

There are more voters in riverine delta than urban delta in Nigeria. This simple but crazy deduction by INEC would have been checked by proper census and forensic evidence. Let’s go on with our foolishness as a country and we will always return to square one. Nonsense!

Let us not also forget that proper election is one thing, accountability and seriously sending looters to jail is another thing that can be used to check the nonsense called Nigerian politics. It’s hard to find a starting or turning point since all the key players in Nigerian politics have been and remain thieves and looters. Start from the presidency and take it down, in a normal country these people will be answering for crimes against humanity because of their involvement in politics that has destroyed Nigeria and Nigerian lives.

Again, it’s always hard to discuss Nigeria and I never know where and how to cut the arguments. Nigerian children are at home because of election matters; this is what the incompetent Jonathan administration wants people to believe. But we know that Jos is boiling and in fact boiling over, -a revelation of Nigeria as a failed country and a society on the brink of collapse.

Foreign influences are now in control in Nigeria. Since we couldn’t get our acts together, we have allowed terror groups and counter groups to find niches in our territory. We ordered the mayhem and it has been given to us in dozen-folds. One day they will tell us the truth-that our children are at home, not because of electoral matters but because of the massive bomb threats across the nation.

This is where public looting, useless elections, useless anticorruption agencies, useless government, extremely bad rulership, senseless followership, corruption itself and useless national character has landed us.

What a failed country..!

Who will save our souls?

Why Nigeria Needs No Elections In 2011

By Adeola Aderounmu

Nigerians must insist of credible elections. It is the first prerequisite for the turning point that we continue to seek for.

We know that corruption, stupidity, senselessness and outright madness dominate Nigerian politics but credible elections remains the most single important avenue to start re-addressing our national woes.

Next in line is the scrapping of the EFCC and its replacement with a genuine, transparent, efficient and neutral body that will zealously pursue investigations and prosecutions of political criminals, looters, fraudsters and others who mismanage public/private funds. The new body must be able to arrest or prosecute anyone irrespective of their positions in the government or society.

When our elections are good and when any kind of political thief at all is sent to locations like kirikiri maximum prison, discipline and sanity will return to our lives. The future will be ready for our children.

However I don’t think Nigeria should have any elections in 2011.

Come September the 19th 2010 I will vote again in the Swedish Elections. I voted 4 years ago as well.

My voting card has been sent to me by post. I can actually vote before September 19 at some designated centres. But if I wait until the 19th, there will be a lot of people and I must cast my vote latest 1800hr.

Nigeria should probably avoid elections in 2011.

If Elections are conducted in Nigeria in 2011 under the present arrangements of things, political assassinations and kidnappings will rise to new heights. Many saints and lambs will be slaughtered in the survival game of Nigerian do-or-die politics.

Any election that will be conducted in Nigeria must meet international and acceptable standards. Anything short of that must be avoided. The time on our hand between now and when INEC planned to conduct new elections (January-April 2011) is likely too short for Nigeria to achieve the prerequisites for credible elections.

As I write I am convinced that all the political parties are already planning how to stuff ballot boxes with fake election materials. Plans are in top gears in Nigeria to ensure multiple registrations and multiple voting among many other electoral vices.

In 2007, across Nigeria from the Deep Delta to the Hot Deserts of northern Nigeria, PDP chairmen, godfathers, touts and thugs across Nigeria sat in secret locations thumbing on electoral materials. Other political parties fought hard too in this useless game of dirty politics but the machinery of the PDP was too sophisticated in these cheating games plus having Maurice Iwu doing the deeds of the most wicked ones. See how people were sweating in secret locations heavily guarded by men with sophisticated weapons of war and even cutlasses!

Under the present circumstances in Nigeria this feat will repeat itself in 2011. PDP will once again use the machinery of the government to outwit the others. Political madness will continue and Jega will be helpless. He will cook lies like the actors before him who occupied the seat. The problem will not be Jega.

We fail to see that the system in Nigeria have turned all good men and women to vultures and stupid liars. In today’s Nigeria I have no living hero. I am standing alone on my belief and principles of do it well or get out the way! Don’t ignite my anger by reminding me of your favourite internet-popular czar because Obasanjo, Andy Uba and the jet loads of prostitutes and raw dollars are still flying.

The malpractices associated with our elections must be tackled before new elections. The scenario of stuffing ballot boxes, multiple voting, voting at secret locations, intimidation, assassination connected to elections and as a matter of fact the simultaneous eradication of corruption and the eventual delivery of the dividends of democracy are tied to one thing: credible elections where votes are counted to elect public officers knowing that the votes will be re-counted every 4 years.

If a politician knows that his position is jeopardised if he doesn’t deliver in office, he or she will start to perform before the next voting season. We must ensure at any future election that votes are what bring people into offices and can be used to sweep them away. Until then the intimidation, kidnapping and even assassinations of political opponents and genuine reporters of political affairs will rise and we won’t have performances in offices. Organised corruption will remain our hallmark.

Since we can have a new face for our anticorruption agency after a fine electoral process, then those who loot even after being voted into offices must face judgment. Hopefully the useless immunity clause will be removed by emerging revolutionary minds in our society. Let everyone go to judgement irrespective of their positions.

Nigerians must insist on the removal of the immunity clause after a viable financial corruption agency is established. EFCC is not on my mind. That is just a toothless bulldog whose activities where ruined since Obasanjo’s yeye 3rd third bid. EFCC died with the 3rd term agenda. Wake up gullible people!

What then do we need in 2011?

In 2011 the Ministry of Internal Affairs must step in. That Ministry must work hand in hand with all other public and private institutions in Nigeria to ensure that it makes an appropriate list of Nigerians. The Ministry of Internal Affairs must ensure that every living Nigeria carries an identity card with each person having a specific number. That number will be a key number for the electoral commission.

We must find everyone living in Nigeria and ensure that they carry an identity card. In everyway possible double or multiple registrations must be avoided and punishable with long-term imprisonment. I recommend 15 years minimum.

In 2011 Nigeria must gather together her computer gurus, forensic experts and statisticians who know what figures and numbers represent. This group of people are part of our sources of the hope for the future.

Look around, see the computer gurus in Nigeria. Get the technology, train them if necessary and give them the incentives to allow them face the task without fear or favour. Computer experts and statisticians in Nigeria must rally round the Internal Affairs Ministry and INEC. They should propagate these ideas. They are experts and they know what to do.

Between now and the end of 2011, they must work round the clock to make those missions possible and they must report to the appropriate authorities when some idiots start to rare their ugly heads in multiple registrations.

In 2011 Nigerians must ensure that one major thing happen. This is the radiation of both truth and trust among the citizens-that we can make it if we work together. Our collective aim will be to ensure that this process work. This process will establish everlasting sanity when it comes to identification of individuals and the eventual benefits in elections and other endeavours of life.

I am tired of people saying this is impossible in Nigeria. If this is impossible then it means the black man is not intelligent. It means that he is so foolish that he doesn’t even know what he needs to get himself a decent life and to make his society better for his own benefits. Are we stupid? Are we retarded?

Impossible is nothing! Candidly from my perspective, Nigerians should forget about elections in 2011. I tell you all these assassination will cease. Political violence will vanish once those illiterates, thugs, educated morons and daredevil politicians know that something is on ground to computerise the system-something that will checkmate their atrocities before, during and after elections. They will simmer down. Political manifestos and reasoning can prevail again in Nigeria.

Let each person carry an identity card with peculiar numbers. At the end of 2011 or whatever time our geniuses have finished with the identity card registration processes, INEC should send out voting cards that tally with the identity cards. When a person cast his or her votes, the system automatically records it. And since we have put our geniuses in place at the beginning to avoid double registrations, attempts by people (some will beat the system anyway) to vote twice will be minimal.

But I tell you with the simple finger print technology and dedicated statisticians and forensic experts on ground, there may never be anything called double or multiple registrations. This is where the rule of law, its effectiveness and application come into play.

We must not forget that if we fail in our next election, the black race failed, again! We are then simply dumb and foolish. We will then not be able to protest that we are not intelligent enough to carve our activities and carry them out successfully. If we fail it will go a long way to show that colonisation of the black race was far better!

If we fail like we did in 1959, 1979, 1983, 1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, then take it or leave it Nigerians are very bad species of the black race. If we fail again, then there is something wrong with our cognitive abilities. A thorough anthropological research will be required to verify why we allow the few thoughtless people among us to continue to dictate the pattern and emergence of our political structures. We know that our political display and the outcomes reflected by extreme poverty and diseases for examples have been used as the benchmark to “judge” who we are and how we think.

The turning point for Nigeria is now or never! We have had enough of stupid and useless elections since 1959! Haba ! Ki lo deee!!

Did we pay mugun fees? To whom? Let’s get the ID card scheme and elections right jooo!

My suggestions may not be the most appropriates especially against the backdrop of our extreme diversities of opinions. Our views of life, essence of living and the way we see relationships between humanity, public service and our interplay with nature are too diverse that we have always failed to find common grounds. It’s a dilemma.

Yet I’m convinced there are ways to pursue and execute credible elections that will neutralise all the electoral failures since 1959. We are 140m but democratic successes have been recorded in India where you’ll find more than 1b people.

INEC must ensure that all Nigerian voters are registered not only on paper but on the computer system in all your offices across the nation.

Please don’t give us the excuse that Nigeria is not yet that developed. We are sensible and we must begin to do things in compliance with the present age and technological advancements.

Credible elections after 50 years of waste and hopelessness must happen now or we will never have them.

Postpone those elections until the initial things are done right! Why the rush? Where are we heading with stupid elections?

Put everyone on the database and ensure that the compilations, distribution/collection of voter’s card tally with the finger prints or any other forensic/character recognition feature.

Nigerians should be able to vote even before the election dates to avoid crowding at the voting centres and late voting on the last day.

Apart from the voting centres or tents on the streets, open up the post offices and other special centres for pre voting.

Men and women above 80 years old and people with disabilities should vote before the actual election day if they so wished. Send them special forms with your staff and party representatives in attendance. Provide credible witnesses when these categories of people cast their votes at home or at the hospitals. Don’t tell us you don’t have the possibilities to serve everybody, unless you mean that INEC can’t think of how to solve problems or face tough challenges.

The Electoral Commission must ensure that the election materials are available several weeks in advance. As suggested earlier, let our pre-voting period span at least 2 weeks before the actual voting day.

Once a vote is casted, that person’s name is ticked on the database as “having voted”. Therefore an individual cannot vote twice. INEC’s staff members must be well educated and trusted. Those found wanting should be dismissed immediately or prosecuted if they engaged in criminal manipulations.

When the final count is made, the cumulative total of votes casted must tally with the ticks on the central database in your establishment or at your headquarters.

INEC must function not as a Jega-entity but as an organisation with structures that any dude can mange with minimal intellectual capacity.

INEC must avoid half-baked elections or do-or-die elections just because we must have elections. In 2007 we became a laughing stock in the comity of nations in the name of power transfer. It was one of the biggest shames I’d faced in my life. The black man was reduced to “incapable” to do the right thing. In addition to outstanding stigmatizations, he became the one who can’t count and add.

We want to get it right this time and we don’t want any excuse.

The people should know how the electoral commission is collaborating with the various ministries especially the Internal Affairs’ Ministry.

Tell us how the postal agencies can work with you to ensure that voting cards or papers are delivered to the right persons from age 18 when the time comes.

If it will take 2 years to get everything perfect, please start now. Provide a timeline of what it would take and how Nigerians can have credible elections.

In our next elections, everything associated with violence and stuffing of ballot boxes must be made irrelevant and worthless.

Stuffing of ballot boxes and printing of fake electoral materials will be useless if a person’s number is ticked on the database after casting his or her votes.

Please don’t tell us that we don’t have the technology. We have the money for anything in this country. We can afford 10 presidential jets if we so desire. What is computer technology for Nigeria? Piece of cake!

Nigeria and Nigerians must not go ahead with any crude voting methods. All the political parties are probably now scheming on how to surpass one another with the ballot stuffing. Kidnapping and all forms of madness associated with elections will be reduced or eliminated if the eventual playing field becomes open, clear and non-surmountable by evil machinations now dominant in Nigerian politics.

PDP was dominant in 2007 because they had more access to INEC and the instruments of governance. The order of things must change and the scheming of INEC is the biggest source of checkmate. Nigeria must for once give Africa an example worth emulating.

A neutral INEC with computer based analyses of voting and results by applying state of the art technology will make sure that all those planning to rig are wasting their time and energy.

My arguments about the 2011 elections can be expanded beyond this scope. The bottom line is that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. In history nearly has never caught a bird.

Please and please no more primitive elections in Nigeria. No more procrastination on the application of computer, information and communication technology in our elections.

If we must shift our elections to make room for the application of the latest technology to ensure that our votes are counted, so be it. We have wasted 50 years of our lives and two generations. This ingredient-a credible election-is a needed stepping stone for the turning point.

It is about time our voted are counted. INEC has an obligation to fulfil one of the things that give us our sense of dignity. The realisation of our fundamental human rights to vote and be voted for since 1959 is back in INEC’s court. Let time not be a hindrance.

The time for wishful thinking should be over. Somehow all the genuine advocates of true democracy and trusted agencies responsible for the protection of human rights and democratic principles must work hand in hand in unity and trust to carry the citizenry along on the need for transparency and accountability in the on going electoral processes.

We have been through wuruwuru, please let us not see jagajaga.

If we fail again this time, I will come back to the intelligence question: how intelligent are we really in solving our problems and taking stands for the essence of our lives?

The solutions to Nigeria’s problems lie on our hands, how we think, how we act. The solutions are collective responsibilities and are multi-faceted. We can rekindle the dead hope of Nigeria.

I am convinced beyond reasonable doubts that a credible and acceptable electoral process is the single most important step forward in healing Nigeria. The entire healing processes are cumbersome and extremely long but results can be achieved when my children’s children arrive if we start now.

aderounmu@gmail.com