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?

BA Lies Grounded (By Respect Nigerians Coalition)

Written by Respect Nigerians Coalition

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, on May 1, 2008, British Airways issued a Statement supposedly in defence of the action it took on March 27, 2008 over what it considers to be the unacceptable conduct of its Nigerian customers aboard the BA75 flight from London Heathrow to Lagos. Ordinarily, making such a statement should have been accepted as a responsible approach to dealing with the issues at stake, except that the Statement is far from responsible. Worse still, it is a wicked insult on the integrity of its fare-paying Nigerian customers.

When people who run an airline of the calibre of British Airways make the peddling of lies against customers an instrument of corporate policy, they not only demean themselves and the otherwise great institution they represent, they also abuse the trust of society. It is therefore incumbent upon decent people everywhere to expose them for what they are – little-minded people invested in prejudice and suffocating folly.

The British Airways Statement began by saying they “regret the upset that the events onboard the BA75 to Lagos on 27th March have caused in Nigeria”, yet the very next statements that followed this indicate that the last thing they’re feeling is regret. They repeatedly state that “the decision to offload passengers was made in consultation with and on the advice of the UK police, and the sole aim of this decision was to ensure the safety of our passengers, aircraft and crew”. But if this indeed was the case, why were these same passengers thoughtlessly offloaded from the plane just because a few of them dared protest the unjust treatment meted out to one of them? Was this the best course of action in the circumstances, considering that BA precipitated the protest by inviting the police and making false statements to them about Mr Ayodeji Omotade who was subsequently manhandled, arrested, stopped from travelling for his brother’s wedding, banned, had his money confiscated and his luggage damaged and held up for over a week?

However, the worst of BA’s lies was the claim that their crew were subjected to physical assault. It is instructive that throughout the coverage of this affair in the British media, BA had ample opportunity to state this (if it was indeed the case), but never did. Of course, they never did, because it never happened! The police who attended the scene never received a report to this effect and never took any statement from any member of staff supposedly physically assaulted. The police arrested only one man, Mr Ayodeji Omotade and his arrest was not based on assault of anybody. He was arrested on the presumptive ground of affray, but up till now, over two months after, he’s yet to be charged for any offence. Yet, curiously, after over a month, BA suddenly realized that their staff had been physically assaulted and felt convinced enough about this to make it into a press statement in faraway Nigeria a day after the ultimatum given to them by our organization, Respect Nigerians Coalition (RNC) expired!

BA obviously sought to undercut our resolve to make the airline see the benefit of being a good corporate citizen by cooking up this terrible lie! How was it possible that in a place supposedly under “very serious” disturbance by passengers and which needed about twenty to twenty-five police officers to restore peace only one man was arrested? How was it possible that in an enclosure like a plane, with cameras, crew and security operatives watching, only one man was arrested and not for physical assault on anybody? We have challenged British Airways in a face to face meeting with its Executives (which included Mr Adrian Mcloy, the BA Country Representative) at their Lagos headquarters to name the member(s) of staff supposed to have been physically assaulted, but they couldn’t!

We also want to use this opportunity to correct certain erroneous impressions presently making the rounds in the public space. The first concerns the idea that British Airways had made an apology to Nigerians. This apparently emanated from the report in the Nigerian Punch newspaper of Friday, 2 May, 2008 which carried the story of their press release titled “British Airways regrets the maltreatment of Nigerians“. We are hereby attaching a copy of that press release to let you see that there was nothing indicating an apology anywhere in that Statement. The fact that they claim to express regret does not indicate they’ve apologized. As shown above, the Statement is an exercise in contradiction, obfuscation, subterfuge and outright fabrication. It is indeed an insult on the collective intelligence of Nigerians! However, we note that even in criticizing British Airways, the Nigerian Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Michael Aondoakaa accepted this erroneous impression that the British Airways has apologized. They haven’t and we need to clarify this.

Secondly, we note the intervention of the British High Commissioner, Mr Robert Dewar. The Nigerian Guardian newspaper of Wednesday, June 4, 2008 reported him as apologizing to the Federal Government of Nigeria over the incident in question when he paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Minister of Information and Communications, Mr John Odey. We find this a curious diversion, not only because we have no issue with the British government, but also because Mr Dewar only went on to restate the lies peddled by the airlines in the guise of apology! At any rate, we do not think the issue concerns the British government. British Airways may be a British company, but it’s not owned by the British government. It is owned by shareholders, some of whom are Nigerians. We assume that all of these shareholders have a social conscience and would not want to be associated with a company steeped in discriminatory and racist practices – a company too vain to apologize for a wrong inflicted on its Nigerian customers.

Crucially, we want to use this opportunity to thank millions of Nigerians and well-wishers who have heeded our call to boycott British Airways goods and services since Thursday, May 15, 2008. They have made us very proud and strengthened our belief in the rightness of our action. The feelers we are getting right now are that British Airways is being hit by the action and they are running from pillar to post seeking ways to stop the bleeding. Of course, they know what to do based on our five demands; but they wouldn’t do so, because it is not in their nature to apologize to Nigerians, even though they’ve done so in the past when it concerns other people. We are deepening this campaign with more actions. At this point we can only ask people to continue supporting these actions once they’re announced. You can always get information on details of the campaign from and, two flagship websites that we employ for this campaign. Please, watch this space, because we are not giving up until BA does what is right by Nigerians and our common humanity.

Finally, we thank you, the Press. We thank you for your unstinting support throughout this campaign. Without you, Nigerians and well-wishers would not have been able to heed this call. Without you they wouldn’t have been able to understand the issues. Without you we wouldn’t be here. Without you British Airways would have ran roughshod over us with their well-oiled public relations machine, silencing the voice of a nation and all decent people worldwide. You know what this fight is about. You know it is not just about Ayodeji Omotade and the 135 passengers on that flight. You know it is about human dignity and national respect.

Please, keep the flag flying! We appreciate all you do. You make us proud, very proud!


Tosin Awotesu
Ebi Bozimo
Ishola Taiwo

(For and on behalf of Respect Nigerians Coalition)