Still On The Matter-The APC Mandate

Any corrupt Nigerian who is holding on to what belongs to the people and government should be made to vomit them. All the ill-gotten material wealth and whatsoever they claimed or acquired or built at home and abroad through their lootocracy must be regained through the appropriate agencies. That is change and a promise kept.

Still On The Matter-The APC Mandate

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Mr. Buhari is yet to announce his cabinet. This issue will not go away until the names and faces of the ministers are made known. There are many theories why the ministers have not emerged.

Not least is the flying allegation that people like Obasanjo, Tinubu and Amaechi among other politicians have their own candidates and slots for some of the ministerial positions. It is also possible that ministers have not emerged because (probably) it is hard to find people who are active in politics who are not corrupt.

So it is likely that Buhari is turning down lists and names of people with criminal records coming from all quarters. The APC is on its way to breaking the Nigerian record of running a government without ministers, a kind of pseudo-autocracy.

Other things have been happening, things that may shapen the APC mandate. If taken to the expected extent, such things will definitely shape the future of Nigeria.

There has been quite a number of arrest or interrogations in recent weeks. As a matter of fact the number of bad or corrupt people interrogated since the inception of the Buhari/APC administration is more than the number that were interrogated during the 6 wasteful years of Ebele Jonathan.

One early disappointment was the acquittal of one Femi Fani-Kayode. The EFCC should cover its head in shame for not being able to bring justice in that case. Femi Fani-Kayode will remain a criminal in the people’s court of justice.

He is not the only living Nigerian who has been part of the destruction and looting of Nigeria. The list and names are endless. One can only hope that the outcome of his trial will not be a predetermined template for all the APC politicians and godfathers that we hope to see behind the dock soon as this war on corruption rages on.

Well, it is very important that what the Buhari administration has started continues to take its course through the agencies that are set-up to do just that. If the cleansing process is aimed at PDP politicians or only those who served under the criminally-inclined Jonathan administration, then there is palaver and k-leg in the matter. That is injustice.

The recent and ongoing revelations into how the economy was destroyed under Jonathan even as Mrs. Iweala continued to dish out rubbish economics and cooked reports to Nigerians and the entire world is rather sickening.

At this point l think Mrs. Iweala needs to be sent to a reputable institution in Nigeria for psychiatric evaluation. With some high level of flawed confidence and unpatriotic arrogance, she supervised the wasting of Nigeria’s fortunes while dishing out stories of number one economy and all that.

How can an individual be so wicked and heartless? What has happened to dignity and self-respect? What happened to the family names that we were brought up to protect and maintain? What has happpened to the audacity of walking away when one’s principles are compromised? Now, everybody including Ngozi is blaming Jonathan. What nonsense! You were all partners in crime! Heartless criminals!

The APC mandate cannot unfortunately close its eyes to these obvious crimes against humanity otherwise APC and Buhari will automatically become criminals too. These crimes must be pursued by the appropriate agencies and investigations and prosecutions brought to logical conclusions. Any other approach is tantamount to the Nigerian government being at war with the citizens.

Those fools from the Niger Delta who are hinting that Jonathan may be sent to jail should please shut up their mouths. The interests of 150m Nigerians cannot be slain because Jonathan is from the Niger Delta. They should please go and sit down somewhere.

The rest of us are watching and observing the processes that we hope will consume even part of those who started it. Who told them that Buhari will not answer the call of justice when his time is over? Has anyone told them that we are not going to see Babangida and Obasanjo on trial?

They should put on their seat belts as the wave of justice takes its course. Some of us have waited all our lives to see justice and any attempt to trivialise or tribalise it is completely unacceptable. What we look forward to is sustenance of justice and to make it a way of life forever in Nigeria.

Rather than shout foul as the investigation of the Jonathan administration proceeds, they should be asking for the extension of the investigation into all the other arms and areas of governance. They should be clamouring for justice in all the states of the federation irrrespective of whether they are under the control of APC or PDP or ANPP or the Labour party.

They outght to continue to remind APC and the Buhari administration that this should not be about Jonathan-Sambo investigation but also Obasanjo-Atiku investigation for their 8 years of corruption and looting. They outght to know that Babangida is alive and hale enough for judgement and justice.

Nigeria is broke and one person that knows that so well (pending her psychiatric evaluation actually) is Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Therefore anybody in Nigeria who is holding what belongs to the people and government should be made to vomit them.

The APC mandate must ensure that all of Nigerian currencies that are stashed away in foreign countries are retrieved and returned to the government. The people at home and abroad who have laundered the funds should be brought to justice.

All the structures that are built abroad by corrupt politicians or their accomplices (in form of family, friends and other cronies) should be confiscated, sold and the funds returned to the Nigerian treasury.

All the structures, hotels, SPAs, estates, cars, and whatever objects that people have acquired using Nigeria’s stolen wealth (or other forms of ill-gotten wealth) that are located within and outside Nigerian should be occupied by appropriate security forces or government agencies and handover to the Nigerian people and government.

We know how much civil servants and politicians earned and we know that all the wealth that these criminals boast of are not achievable in their life time multiplied by a certain factor x…how did they come about all these massive wealth? It can only be through primitive accumulation, stealing and looting.

The APC mandate promised Nigerians a change and we are watching. The sudden activation of the EFCC (though we expect them to nail their cases too) is a welcome development. The independence of the EFCC must be sustained. Again, we are watching. We will keep writing!

I will not finish any article without emphasizing that while it is Nigerians who brought woes upon themselves, it is imperative that a long lasting political solution will be inclusive for the redemption of Nigeria.

Today, Nigeria is running a system of government where almost everything depends on Buhari. Earlier it was dependent on Jonathan and before him on Yar ’ Adua and Obasanjo in that order since 1999.

In the 21st century that type of government is archaic and out of fashion. It is actually a senseless system of government. Whatever changes that have been introduced since May 29 2015 in Nigeria can collapse if Buhari collapse. That is not how to run a government. That is definitely not how to run a country!

Those in the National Assembly must play their roles. We know that they are mostly chasing wealth and power as the Saraki syndrome has shown us. We are still hoping that the likes of David Mark and Dimeji Bankole will be interrogated (and possibly face prosecution) so that they can return all that they stole from Nigeria back to Nigerians.

All the houses and structures they put up or bought at home and abroad while in office must be returned. These suggestions must transform to reality before the expiration of the APC mandate so that the change that the APC promised does not become a total fraud. That was by the way.

The National Assembly is indebted to Nigerians in fashioning a long-lasting political solution that will put the Nigerian political scenario on the right path. They should read the history of Nigeria and help Nigerians to understand that regional government was more functional than the unitary system that was created by the corrupt military.

Governance must be close to the people and for Nigeria everybody’s fate cannot continue to rely on the events in Abuja. It’s like mass suicide.

It took so long to realise that Nigeria is really messed up. If the internet was not developed and if the social media was not made interactive, Nigeria will probably be another story today. Still the division among Nigerians is massive.

Therefore, no matter what the future holds, either in a unitary Nigeria or in the various regions and states of the federation, Nigerians will always need patritotism, dedication to duty, family and community. There will be no true change if everything must depend on the government.

In this changing world occupied by transient beings, the people need to know that it is a collective responsibility if greatness must be attain.

Honesty, tolerance, selflessness, kindness, awareness of nature/environment and pursuance of the common good of mankind are ingredients that must be imbibed by all and sundry.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Stop press: when l woke up on Sunday morning (19-july) to continue/finish this article l read an headline somewhere that Buhari’s ministers have not emerged because those nominated so far are deemed to be part of the corrupt Nigeria

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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

A Season Of Uncertainties

Is this the Nigerian future: to create a country determined by interplay of terrorists, dictators and authoritarians?

A Season of Uncertainties

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola_2013

Nigerian politicians and rulers are out doing what they know how to do best. They are now telling lies in accordance to their ritualistic electoral campaigns largely without manifestos, without ideologies.

In a 2-part essay The Kings Are Mad, l highlighted some of the problems facing the Nigerian people whilst the rulers continue to lie, make empty promises and merry.

Mr. Buhari has now promised to send corrupt politicians to jail. Well, we don’t know how the February elections will turn out and many people are still afraid of the destructive roles that Boko Haram can play.

Apart from the obvious threats that Boko Haram poses, the entire polity is over heated.

But Buhari must be promptly reminded that his era as a dictator and tyrant are over. If people are corrupt they must first pass through a process of lawful prosecutions. It would be very, very interesting to see a bold system in Nigeria where all the political criminals in APC, PDP and other small parties can be put to trial.

A legal war on corruption and political criminals that may even consume the originator is long desired in Nigeria’s rotten political sphere. First, let them remove the stupid and useless immunity clause.

On his part Mr. Jonathan has been going about in Nigeria exposing his ineptitude, more or less disgracing himself and his political party, the PDP. Never in the history of Nigeria has anyone seen such an incoherent, unstable man at the helm of affairs.

It probably sounds wiser for Jonathan to call off his campaign until he can gather his thoughts and speak sanely.

Up till now, he has not been thinking before speaking. It appears there is no reservoir of intelligence left to tap from. On several occasions he has given opposite views on the same discussions.

After reviewing his contradictions in the press, how does it feel to look in the mirror and see the face of an unrepentant, lazy liar? How does it feel to be a commander-in-chief of a weak and defeated armed force on home soil?

In 2011 Jonathan made more than 200 promises on his campaign trails. He was going to be a magician l thought. He told Nigerians to discard him into the dustbin if electricity is not stable after 4 years of his reign. That is one major reason he should have passed the mantle to another candidate in his party. Perhaps someone else in PDP got some brains that work!

Jonathan exhibited the cruelest attribute of a dictator in recent memory when he ensured that only one nomination form was printed for the PDP primaries. He killed the idea of intra-party democracy under his watch! Greed is an incurable disease.

On his campaign trail this week, Jonathan has avoided issues and concentrated mainly on responding to whatever Buhari or APC have done or said. He puts himself and his party in a defensive role. As l write l don’t know my home telephone number by heart and l have no plan to memorize such. What is wrong with Mr. Jonathan?

Nigerians must blame themselves for the choice that lies ahead of them. They created or allowed a system that permits evil to prevail over good. Now they will choose between 2 undesirable elements whereas there are political solutions that could bring out the best men and women locked up (in their safe havens) by a cruel political system.

Now, on one hand is this liar, a sinking man in a PDP boat. Jonathan has no vision beyond his Bayelsa enclave where he has now armed the Southern terrorists with state of the art weapons. He handed over the security of Nigerian waterways to Niger Delta terrorists and continues to stock their pile with all kinds of arms and ammunition from around the world.

On the other hand is a former dictator with earlier indications of sympathy to Boko Haram and a man who will probably still not hesitate to create retroactive decrees to satisfy his thirst for brutality and injustice. Buhari is pretending to be a latter day repentant democrat.

A real political solution will bring about the emergence of true federalism or regional autonomy pre-January 1966 Nigeria. This is one way to rid Nigeria of authoritarians like Jonathan and dictators like Buhari who are both sadly products of a failed unitary system of government.

A real political solution will rid Nigeria of these national nonentities. A real political solution will bring out the intelligence that will rescue the nations locked up in non-functional Nigeria.

The persistent political nonsenses are thriving amidst very serious uncertainties. I have previously highlighted some of these uncertainties in recent essays: Daybreak 2015 and A Waiting Mayhem. The mayhems are here already.

The lazy government of Jonathan is on a campaign trail. It appears all the security apparatuses in the country have been totally deplored on this selfish campaign trail.

Since the emergence of Mr. Jonathan, Boko Haram has shown superiority of warfare combat than the Nigerian military. This is both disgraceful and embarrassing to a country that prides herself, falsely that is, as the giant of Africa.

There has been a form of de-classified information in the international community stating that the Nigerian government is contemplating postponing the 2015 elections. Against the backdrop of preparedness of INEC and the threats of insecurity across Nigeria, the truth will soon emerge.

Furthermore the escalation of massacres in North Eastern Nigerian coincided with the assertion by the governors from this region insisting that elections must hold in their states. Therefore it seems that the terrorists are hell bent on thwarting any plan towards conducting elections in Yobe, Adamawa and Maiduguri.

There are several problems in Nigeria. The most pressing since the emergence of the lazy Jonathan government is lack of security. It appears that Jonathan and his cohorts are prepared for the self-destructive process that could accompany forthcoming elections.

For, it must be stated clearly that it is uncommon and actually unthinkable that a country that wants peace for the people would go to an election year or period with as many problems.

What are the plans made to retake the terrorist-occupied states before the February elections? How can a presidential election be valid if elections do not take place across the country?

Nigeria herself is being held hostage presently. There are some hypotheses indicating that this may be true.

Firstly, it will be very sad if the APC adoption and support for Buhari were built on the fear created by Boko Haram. Many people are anticipating that Boko Haram will close shop if Buhari is elected. But that hypothesis was put to test in week 2 of 2015.

Boko Haram was reported to have massacred more than 2000 people in the town of Baga effectively closing down the town. Rather than slowing down, Boko Haram is decimating Nigerians and taking more land space.

There is unrest in Jos this weekend. Jos remains a boiling point of ethnic and religious problems. It is a permanent volatile city that swells for revenge and counter attacks dating back many years, precipitated by the British rule. The torching of the Jonathan PDP buses will definitely be a tip of the iceberg, if history is anything to go by.

Secondly Jimi Agbaje attested to the second hostage situation when he stated that the Nigerian economy will be crippled by the Niger Delta militants if Jonathan is not re-elected. Is that what Jonathan went to tell his “fada”-Babangida in Minna?

Was the meeting a sponsors’ meeting? Was a battle line drawn between what Boko Haram wanted and what the Niger Delta militants wanted? Is this the Nigerian future: to create a state determined by interplay of terrorists, dictators and authoritarians?

Few people were reported killed in Rivers State when Buhari flagged off his campaign. In the South, this is a preamble to the waiting mayhem come February 2015. There are weapons and small arms everywhere in Nigeria.

This will be a remarkable year of uncertainties.

The price of crude oil continues to drop in the international market.  Nigeria is officially broke after all the lies told by Mrs. Iweala under whose watch billions of dollars continue to disappear.

In any case massive retrenchment looms in the air; unemployment is set to reach a new record high in 2015. Austerity measures will be re-introduced; realities of life will bite harder in Nigeria.

Unfortunately the costs of running the government will likely go up and politicians will continue to loot the treasuries across the country.

What will Nigerians do regarding all these uncertainties and realities? Will they reach a new level of threshold of human resilience?

Change is the most common expression in the air.

People need to be informed that change is beyond replacing one man with another man.  A cosmetic change is too superficial. At this point there should be a simultaneous, energized clamor for a long term political solution for Nigeria. The most important change will be to eradicate the power at the center that makes demons out of men and Jezebels out of women.

For growth and development, Nigeria needs to reinvest in public education at all levels making them free and compulsory. Nigeria needs to pay more attention to health, science, medicine, family planning, technology and attainment of the millennium development goals.

For the economy diversification cannot wait because crude oil will either suffer extinction or its use will continue to diminish. Today, crude oil no longer has the relevance it has in the last couple of decennial. Alternatives are emerging every day and the global pursuit is to limit the use of petroleum products to products that are not obtainable from other processes. Running cars is not one of them!

Every part of Nigeria needs repositioning for increased and improved agricultural productivity. Oil Palm, cocoa, groundnut, yam, cashew and all the other agricultural products must receive renew attention and implementation of development policies.

The natural resources need to be retaken from fake expatriates and corrupt, foolish, illiterate ministers who keep selling them abroad cheap! More investments in this area under the control of the regional governments will be desirable in a reformed political system.

In all other areas, there should be strict regulations on areas where Nigerian and Nigerians are being robbed every day. The communication industry, power generation and distribution are examples of where better control will bring genuine revenues that can be used for development and remove the exploitations that Nigerians face ignorantly!

At all cost, power supply must improve and be stable.

Production and manufacturing in Nigeria can be developed without denying Nigerians the right to import desired goods and services. Long term development goals and programs to improve the standard of living without unnecessarily increasing the cost are very much desirable.

Change can come to Nigeria but the people must be wary. They have already tarried.

They need commitment, patriotism, trust and rededication to humanity and country.

By supporting the calls for regional autonomy or true federalism, Nigerians can remove the cankerworm sucking them at the center and reposition the country where it belongs-a global giant-say in 50 years if they start now.

Criminals and Looters in Government Are Not Distracted

By Adeola Aderounmu

It is the people of Nigeria who have turned all their attentions away from what brought them to the present predicament that threatens the totality of their existence. The thieves in government have kept their focus intact.

In almost every part of the world one of the most talked about phenomena these days is undoubtedly the “bring back our girls” campaign. It is this sort of scenario that some opportunists (individuals and groups) have waited for to bring them back to public space and to win sentiments borne plainly out of hypocrisy and eye/lip services. Some are simply capitalising on the situation to give their own agenda a lift.

Meanwhile as the government of Nigeria was perambulating and talking rubbish everyday and buying the time it doesn’t have, the business of stealing and cover-ups in government are going on as usual. It is possible because stealing according to Mr. Jonathan is not corruption and because the people are suffering from the Nigerian syndrome. I have defined the Nigerian syndrome in a previous essay.

One thoughtless fellow called Maku spoke on behalf of the government and said that it is the main opposition party that is organising the “bring back our girls” campaigns. I didn’t know that all the people bouncing on the trampoline of the campaign around the world including notable celebrities in Hollywood now belong to the Nigerian APC. The APC of Nigeria must be the biggest political party in the world.

The people of Nigeria are easily distracted. This is a recurring dilemma for them. They cannot keep up with the loads of distractions provided by the failed and selfish governments since 1960. They don’t asked questions once you load them with deceits. When they asked questions, they move onto the next thing without seeking answers to their questions. Stupid answers are often satisfactory. These are parts of the reasons why nobody has found the courage to call Babangida a thief and initiate his prosecution for all the missing oil money during the gulf war.

Invariably, from one failed government to another the stories are similar. Oil money is always missing. If it is not at the NNPC, it will be among the execu-thieves. This oil money is so slippery it can also get missing at the state and local levels. As a tradition, oil money is always missing in Nigeria.

Now Nigerians have forgotten about the unanswered allegations of several billions of dollars that the Jonathan government also cannot account for. This confused government set up a committee to look into the matter. That in itself is a partial admittance that something is missing anyway. Then in the middle of the entire wahala Mr. Jonathan went on air during his chat to tell the world that “America will know” if billions of dollars is missing.

Ibori_loot-

Why did Jonathan set up a committee to ascertain the allegations made by the central bank? Mr. Jonathan should just have asked “America” since “America will know”. Anyway the senate committee has now dismissed the allegation and concluded that “no money is missing”. This is despite the fact that there is absence of proper coordination between Nigeria’s financial bodies concerned with the sale of crude oil. We can now turn off the sound of Fela’s music-Oil money is (not) missing.

In any case the Nigeria house of representa-thieves and legis-looters are not unfamiliar with the way the corrupt government of Nigeria operates. Nigerians have myopic memories and are long-suffering. Nigerians are the most distracted group of citizens in the world. They suffer from their own syndrome-the Nigerian syndrome.

Many arguments, verbal or written efforts to make Nigerians reason are lost on many grounds not least on the tribal cards. Don’t argue with an average Nigerian on the tenets of good governance. The Nigerian syndrome is yet incurable. Yea right, the problem of looting did not start with Jonathan…why should we complain now? Why did you leave out Obasanjo? What of Shagari? The reasons not to start and finish the war on bad governance have been integrated into the cycle of idiocy in downtown Bongo.

The ethnic card will even be used to justify the crimes committed by one governor Akpabio. This man has ruled for 7 years in Akwa Ibom and as he prepares to leave the seat of government, he ensured that his financial future is secured. In Nigeria, criminals continue to parade the government houses in different forms and shade.

The selfish and self-serving Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr. Akpabio (This man has no record of mental or physical disability to support his pension. But he will get:N200 million per annum, basic, N100 million, medical allowance, 5-bedroom maisonette, Accommodation allowance of 500 per cent of annual basic salary, Medical allowance not exceeding N12 million per annum for one surviving spouse)

The selfish and self-serving Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mr. Akpabio (This man has no record of mental or physical disability to support his pension. But he will get:N200 million per annum, basic, N100 million, medical allowance, 5-bedroom maisonette, Accommodation allowance of 500 per cent of annual basic salary, Medical allowance not exceeding N12 million per annum for one surviving spouse)

There is definitely going to be an argument that he was a good governor or that he could have looted the money anyway like Babangida and others. In Nigeria a critic may never win any argument. The Nigerian syndrome is vast.

In Uyo and across all of Akwa-Ibom, I’m looking forward to the following campaigns, #akpabiobringbackourmoney

#no-pensionforakpabio

#socialjusticeforall

#socialsecurityforakwaibomites.

Nigeria remains in a big mess today for several reasons that some of us are not tired to write about every week. It is very important that the collective intellectual consciousness of the people do not give in. It must not dwindle. It must tarry and persist. For in relenting, evil will continue to rise and subdue good totally.

Nigerians must know that there will be no messiah in Abuja, not now, not in 2015. The system of government is so ill-structured that Abuja would not be a major factor for the eventual freedom and stability of Nigeria. Hence it is very important that we don’t forget to tune up the ways that may end the senselessness in government whilst we point out the persistent evil and crimes in the land,

Nigerians must ensure that the non-corrupt intellectual class rises up to do the needed. In several states in Nigeria, former criminals, former thugs and former riff-raff hold sway in governance. Government has been used to reward insolence and barbarism. In government it has remain impossible to be above board. All who come into it exit it as criminals or with criminal tendencies. It’s worse for those who came in as criminals. Regardless they all ruined Nigeria!

akwa ibom

In every region, in every community, in very part of Nigeria, there is a need to change the mentalities of the people. I am aware of the agitation of the people from Western Nigeria. They are seeking self-determination or autonomy. But they must know that some people amongst them were part of the problems with Nigeria. They have been part of this nonsense going on in Nigeria since the fake independence in 1960. Therein lies a huge danger ahead should Western Nigeria emerge today.

The autonomy of Western Nigeria should not be sought as a license for the elongation of criminalities in the Oduduwa region. Before dawn, the Yorubas should have a full functional road map and blue print that will ensure that their self-governance does not lead to self-destruction.

In the end all the geo-political regions of Nigeria should be allowed to determine their own future. The benefit or probability of marching on Abuja/Aso rock by criminals and terrorists should be zeroed.

I strongly hold the personal view that irrespective of the aims of the Northern terrorists, and irrespective of the primary goals of their sponsors, the dismantling of the useless unitary government will promote the emergence of regional autonomy and make a complete mess of their ambitions. Who will march to Abuja or throw bombs in Abuja if there is no government there to be overthrown or if the power in Abuja is ceremonial?

I reiterate that no group of people would allow its own race to self-destruct or to be persecuted unjustly when the conditions for social justice and fair play are the rules and not the exceptions. A word is enough for the wise goes the Yoruba adage. When received, it becomes whole within.

Talking about social justice, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. I hope that Mr. Akpabio has made plans to ensure that all the unemployed people of Akwa Ibom will enjoy some benefits. If the people of Akwa Ibom have no social security in place, they have the right to sack all the dummies who rubber-stamped Akpabio’s looting largess.

If the people of Akwa-Ibom remain quiet and passive, they are drowned in the Nigerian syndrome. They are probably distracted as the looting continues. They are not alone, Nigerians are all guilty of the lack of will to sack corrupt governments and make them face proper justice. They are guilty of being at home with a system that is not working. It beats my imaginations!

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(After publishing this story, there are now more information that some ex-governors in Nigeria started this criminal activity of milking the states they ruled over, so Mr. Akpabio is not the only governor with criminal tendencies. There are many of them in Nigeria)

British Oil Thieves In Nigeria And Fake Oil Refineries

Adeola Aderounmu

It was a week when the Nigerian JTF brought the face of evil to the front pages. 2 Britons who have been involved in crude oil theft in Nigeria were apprehended and arrested. Of course, many other (local) people were arrested along with them.

The syndicate offered N20 million bribe to the authorities, but this time there was no way ahead as the bribes and even more offers of bribes were rejected.

These britons must have been in this business for sometime because they kept saying that they will get out of the mess by offering bribes to the commanders of the JTF.

Britons stealing Nigerian Oil

Britons stealing Nigerian Oil

In any case now that some of the people destroying Nigeria have been arrested, one hopes that they will face the law squarely.

The Niger Delta of Nigeria has been subjected to more than 50 years of spillage and complete mess. No one knows when the clean up will start but we know that it may take about 100 years to clean up the mess. This is a complete tragedy to the people of the Niger Delta. Their own people have failed them, the governments (state and federal) have failed them and the international community does not give a damn about them. They by themselves always support the criminals they have chosen as leaders and that falls under my definition of the Nigerian syndrome. What a dilemma!

Fake refinery REUTERS PHOTO

Fake refinery
REUTERS PHOTO

There are probably thousands of illegal bunkering and even more fake oil refinery in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

Complete tragedy and absolute mess!

aderounmu@gmail.com

The Elizabeth Dafinone Story (Exclusive)

The Elizabeth Dafinone Story

Written by Adeola Aderounmu and Elizabeth Dafinone

Former Senator, David Dafinone has been described as probably the most distinguished Deltan man alive in Nigeria. He is the patriarch of the renowned Dafinone Dynasty. His family owns a Guinness world record for having the largest number of chartered accounts in a single family. Apparently not all the Dafinone children became chartered accountants. One of them was neglected and abandoned to a lonely fate in faraway England.

This is the story.

David was studying at the University of Hull when he met and fell in love with a Scottish woman named Helen Joan MacKay. The affair was not a one night stand. They had a relationship and lived together in Hull. David‘s first child Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone was born on the fourth of June 1955 in Hull, England. At that time, Joan was a housewife so to speak.

Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone's birth certificate

Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone’s birth certificate

Earlier, during WWII she trained as an SRN nurse in Edinburgh Royal Hospital. She told of how the nurses had to stay on the wards during the bombings to look after the patients. Sometimes she peeped out of the blackout curtains and saw the faces of the German pilots looking to see whether they had hit their targets.

During the time that the romance between David and Joan bloomed and produced a child, Joan’s family was skeptical about the relationship. They did not approve, not because they were prejudice, they just thought it unwise for two people of such different backgrounds to be together. Joan completely cut herself of from them after that, in order to be with David.

Young Elizabeth Dafinone and Yound David Dafinone

Young Elizabeth Dafinone and Yound David Dafinone

Unfortunately for Joan, in the late 1950s David met and had an affair with a young girl from the West Indies. Her name is Cynthia. When Cynthia became pregnant David was forced to leave Joan and started living together with Cynthia. Cynthia may have arrived in Britain along with her family earlier in the 1950s. It was a time when a lot of West Indians were encouraged to go to Britain to work. She may also have lived in Brixton, an area of south London.

Things turned sour for Joan, who had given up everything to be with David. Her parents were dead but she had two brothers. One was a lawyer and the other a doctor. When David abandoned her to hook up with Cynthia, Joan was completely devastated. Having lost her family to be with David, she was too proud to turn back to them. She became a lonely single mother.

That was the end of the chapter for Joan in David’s love life.

When David separated from Joan, his family members in Nigeria were not pleased. Apparently, his allowances were stopped and David had to work at the post office for a short while to make ends meet. In Britain at that time (1950s) discrimination on the basis of colour was rife. Joan Dafinone (formerly MacKay) was left alone to bring up a mixed child. She had no help.

Elizabeth, her only daughter and the first child of David Dafinone, was brought up in poverty. She and her mother moved from one place to another, usually finding bedsits. In the harsh freezing winters of the 1950s, they had just a two bar electric fire to keep warm. Elizabeth had burn marks across her legs caused by staying too close to the heat to get warm.

It was a long season of impoverishment for Elizabeth and her mother. At some point, they lived almost entirely on custard. A pot of stew could be managed for a week. David Dafinone abandoned his first family as they suffered. He sent neither money, birthday or Christmas cards.

At some point Joan embarked on a campaign of survival. She tried to reach out to David and also to the Nigerian High Commission in London. Her efforts yielded no results. Instead David resented her. Elizabeth recalled that she and her mother got help from the Church and a few kind people that they met.

The years passed by, Elizabeth came of age and the struggle remained unbearable for her and her mother. Her mother literally lost her mind because of the struggle. She went insane. Elizabeth’s closest friends saw her pains during her mother’s ordeal. As a result of David Dafinone’s betrayal, Elizabeth’s childhood became a long nightmare. A young girl at that time, she suffered some of life’s most dreadful ordeals-a broken home when she was a toddler, poverty and then a mother who became mentally ill.

Something remarkable happened when Elizabeth was about 14 years old. One day David and Cynthia showed up where she and her mother lived. Joan became hysterical when she saw them. After the couple left, Joan laid on the couch for days. She sobbed. She screamed. She felt a heart-wrenching pain.

Before the shocking short visit ended, David promised to pay for Elizabeths’ school fees so that she could attend a boarding school. This offer was soon taken up and Elizabeth left London to attend a boarding school for girls in Hampshire for 2 years. When she came home during the holidays, Elizabeth returned to her life of poverty. School was a relief from some of the pressure and desperate sadness she had to endure.

As a young girl, Elizabeth travelled to Nigeria to find her father. She made her way from London to Sapele with £100 GBP in her pocket. David was in Lagos when she arrived. So, she found her grandmother who welcomed her and took her in with love and warmth. She immediately adored her Grandmother who was the first relative and Nigerian person to make her feel loved and wanted.

Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone and her Grandmother in Sapele (circa 1979)

Elizabeth and her grandmother in Sapele around 1979

David Dafinone soon found out Elizabeth was in his mother’s house and arranged for her to be driven to his home in Apapa. It was here that he made a comment that he never completed. “l loved your mother, but…” David took to calling Elizabeth, Lizzie, and promised again to look after her but the promises he made were only partly fulfilled. His words were “you can have anything, but your mother will get nothing”

He sent £1000 via an assistant named Solomom Onomakpome so Elizabeth could continue her education at a higher level. Cynthia had expressed shock when she found out that Elizabeth had stayed with David’s mother in Sapele. Elizabeth believed that Cynthia was not keen on Nigeria and could only say negative things about the country in which she now lived.

After school, Elizabeth studied nursing because that was what her mother wanted her to do. But it was too distressing for her. She found it heart-breaking and can still clearly remember the individual characters who she nursed through their pain and subsequent death. Elizabeth went further to study French and Italian at university.

After the inital £1000 to help her in her studies, financial assistance from David Dafinone stopped abruptly after he received a long letter from Joan, who lambasted him for his initial neglect of Elizabeth. So, Elizabeth worked her way through university with the help of a UK student grant. Obviously, she found it hard financially on her own and on occasion found herself homeless in both Paris and London. However, she made it!

Over the years, Elizabeth spoke many times with her father and Cynthia. Both of them were aware of her struggles but did nothing, despite her father’s wealth. In one conversation, Cynthia said “I feel sorry for you!”

The struggle is not over from Elizabeth. Now divorced, she has continued to look after her ex-husband for many years. He’s living with cancer and has gone through a transplant. It has been a life loaded with difficulties caused by lack of support from David Dafinone. Amidst this she raised her own daughter.

David Dafinone remains a well-respected Nigerian patriarch. When his fame was on the rise and Elizabeth showed up in Nigeria, it seems that all he could think of was a complete cover-up of her existence.

When back in London, David telephoned Elizabeth to tell her of her mother’s letter and said he had been embarrassed by her appearence in Nigeria. Surely, the apprearence of a child you had in England cannot be the worst scandal in Nigeria during the 1970s. It’s doesn’t augur well with the image of the Dafinones that David neglected his first family and made them suffer for most of their lifes. Joan died in poverty in 2002. David was a wealthy man from a young age. He could have taken care of them.

Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone

Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone

Terri (aka Daphne) Dafinone, one of David’s children once told Elizabeth that part of the problem was that she was estranged from her roots. She implied that since Elizabeth did not know her Nigerian family or country, she had been left on her own without the knowledge of where she came from. But who created the problem? When he abandoned Elizabeth as a toddler, David created the problem that would last for two life times.

Elizabeth cannot be sure that her mother Joan did no wrong. Why did David abandon Joan? Why would a father walk away from his first child just when she started to hit the floor and walk around? Was it because as Joan had claimed, Cynthia had family who forcibly persuaded him?

Whatever it was, Elizabeth was innocent because she was just a child. Why did David suffer Elizabeth, like he did Joan? Why is Elizabeth not fit to be revealed even now that David has hit 86? The denial has been extended to Elizabeth’s young daughter who was recently told “to go back to the hell she came from” by her grandfather-David Dafinone. Elizabeth has been called a “cheap blackmailer” by David Dafinone. A similar expression was made in an anonymous email sent from one NIGERDELTA account. It is a strange accusation because although David Dafinone obviously has something to hide (his first daughter), Elizabeth has not asked for money to keep her story quiet.

Joan brought up Elizabeth to love and respect her father, despite what had happened. This, Elizabeth has done all her life, keeping silent and never arguing or causing offense to him or the family. However, when Elizabeth’s child was insulted and became upset before she even had a chance to explain why she had called her grandfather, Elizabeth couldn’t hold back any longer. She decided she had enough of the denial. A loving mother, Elizabeth has endured a lot but she will not sit back to see her child suffer verbal abuse.

This is not a story of hate. It is not about revenge or retaliation. Children are real people and adults who bring them into this world must be able to stand up to their responsibilities. It is shameful and very cruel to turn one’s back on an innocent child, a toddler in this case

This story, “The Elizabeth Dafinone Story”, is one of survival in the absence of a father who abandoned his family. It is the story of a young girl who grew up without protection and love from her father. It is a story of rejection that has left irreparable emotional and physical damage.

David Dafinone failed woefully in his obligations as the father of Elizabeth Oghenorvbo Dafinone and now as the grandfather to her daughter. His lack of responsibility, integrity and even politeness, begs disbelieve. It is shameful behaviour from a man who presents himself as an admired, respected Senator and patriach of Nigeria.

All her life, all that Elizabeth ever wanted from her father was some love and care.

When a man is separated from a woman because they no longer love each other or for other reasons, the interest of the child/children involved in the union must be paramount. If this story changes for the better just one parent’s attitude to their child, it is a story worth telling.

aderounmu@gmail.com

elizabeth.dafinone@gmail.com

Why is the cost of gas soaring?

Adeola Aderounmu

Slowly and steadily the price of gas has increased and surprisingly it is no longer part of the BIG news. I really don’t know why the price of gas has increased to a record high in Sweden. Gas is now sold for over 12 swedish crowns (12:37) the last time I checked.

Few years ago there was a lot of concern when the prices were hitting 11+ and now that it is even worse there is almost no news about it. It seems that some people are now succeeding in raking more profits for their government or petrochemical industries. Who knows, it could be one way to save the climate. But I doubt the latter since the cost of gas has never been shown to decrease its consumption.

On the contrary people cut down on other expenses and spend the same amount of money or even more on gas when the prices are high. I surely do hope to find the answer to this nagging question in the nearest days: why is the cost of gas on the rise? I hesitated 2 weeks ago before filling the tank of my car. I actually thought the price will fall during the week but I was wrong. So I was compelled to buy gas on a monday.

Still it would be nice to know the origin of this money sucker. Is it due to something happening in the ever turbulent Middle East? What role has the deadly Nigerian Delta got to do in this persistent development? Is it OPEC? Is it some gaseous organisation turning in more profit to salvage the global economic meltdown. As consumers we surely deserved to be carried along.