This article was published in September 2008. I reproduce it here in the face of the dismantled PHCN and the hope for a steady supply of electricity to Nigerians via the new power companies that have been created.
What will tomorrow bring? What have the blood and sacrifice of the past done to shape the events of today? Let Bartholomew Nnaji, the Power Minister, and others responsible for waking up this powerless power sector, refresh their memories of the things that the water that passed under the PHCN bridge carried along.
….And they beat him to death
Somewhere in Lagos, a woman will be in distress this day. Her head will be held in her hand. Tears would have dried up long ago, but the heaviness of her heart will remain for many months, perhaps years to come. When a light bulb burns in her house and requires a change, her helplessness in this simple task would cause her to remember…if only he was alive. A cold lonely bed will keep her awake many nights and she will curse the day he took up his job at the Power Holding Company of Nigeria [PHCN]. For Mrs Ademolu life will never be the same again.
Her husband, Mr A.B.Ademolu, the Marketing Manager of PHCN Akute branch, went to work on Tuesday 19 August like any other day. There was an Olympic Games football match between Nigeria and Belgium scheduled for the afternoon that day, but Ademolu was not going to be able to watch that match. He had work to do and was not going to allow the lure of football take him away from his job. With others in his team, they began disconnection of electricity supply to those who had unsettled bills with PHCN.
At Arinfala town in Akute, a member of his team, Justus Akinwale, was disconnecting supply to a house during the match when a mob descended on him, beating him blue and black. Like a good boss, Ademolu moved in to save his boy from further beatings.
The mob pounced on him, beating him to death. An eye witness quoted by the Nigerian Compass of Wednesday 20 August puts it like this: 'they pursued him from the spot of the incident right into the PHCN premises. He was dragged out of the van and beaten until he fainted. We poured water on him but we couldn't revive him. We rushed him to the hospital. Even Helene who is the head of this branch also fainted. She was taken to the hospital. I heard she is in coma. We called the police in the heat of the attack but they arrived after the incident'. And then…Ademolu died.
Culprits have been identified and arrested by the police, particularly a burly machete wielding man, who directed the operation. One or two will be convicted and probably receive the death sentence for premeditated murder. They will die as thoughtless scapegoats who allowed themselves to be made victims of the greed and licentiousness of others.
Who actually killed Ademolu?
He died in the hands of all those who were indicted in the power probe conducted by the House of Representatives. Ademolu was killed by all those who took billions of Naira from the Nigerian purse to build power plants and failed to deliver. He was killed by those officials of the Obasanjo administration who approved the release of billions of Naira to contractors without due process and without adequate supervision to ensure that the money was spent to provide electricity supply to Nigerians. He died as a result of the wickedness of every person who has corruptly benefited from a power contract.
Ademolu also died in the hands of vandals of power lines and transformers. Suppliers of
transformers during the day and removers at night. High tension cable thieves who cut power lines to resell to PHCN and other electrical projects, callously disrupting power supply to many areas for months. Who are these men? Many will be quick to tell you that they are Ademolu's colleagues at PHCN, past and present.
Who else will have the expertise to dismantle transformers and cuthigh tension cables except those schooled in the handling of such death propelling materials? You may be tempted to say on this occasion 'the chicken has come home to roost'. The lesson to whoever of Ademolu's colleagues who are involved in these acts of sabotage is 'what goes around must come around. If you seek prosperity through the distribution of misery and discomfort to others, misery and difficulties await you at your post of success.
This is not to suggest that Ademolu had any part in any acts of sabotage of transmission lines or transformers in the past. I do not know. But the word of God says in Exodus chapter 20 that he punishes the children for the sins of the fathers, to the third and fourth generation of those who hate him. Who can hate God more than anyone who makes life uncomfortable for the creations in the image of God?
Ademolu was also killed by those who fail to pay bills for electricity. Recently the
Governor of.......state told government agencies not to pay PHCN bills again. His reason: we have paid consistently and we get no power supply for the money we are paying. The governor is in good company for many Nigerians belong to this club. By PHCN records, the bulk of the income of the organisation comes from the south-west, particularly Lagos. In other parts of the country, income does not match or justify the wattage of power released and consumed in those places.
During my sojourn in Port Harcourt, I once heard a respectable Senior Advocate of Nigeria say that if any official of PHCN came near his house for any disconnection exercise, he would personally take a gun and shoot him. Some grievances are genuine, many have taken refuge in poor performance by PHCN to deny it the little revenue it would have used to somewhat try to improve services. Poor service killed Ademolu and every contributor to poor service via refusal to pay bills, is a murderer.
Ademolu was also killed by those who make it impossible to sue PHCN. When the laws of a country make it impossible to extract legal redress from a non-performing public utility, people will give vent to their frustrations through violence. I was particularly touched by the experience of a family that had struggled over the years to acquire some conveniences of life.
Proudly they displayed the new colour television that adorned their living room for all to see. Finally they had been removed from the category of the wretched of the earth and their children would no longer have to go visit their neighbours to watch television. Two weeks into this novel status, PHCN struck with a high voltage discharge that burnt out the new pride of the family. That voltage discharge did worse to the heart of the father of the house than an accidental bullet discharge from a policeman's gun would have done. If he had the opportunity, that gentleman would have killed a thousand Ademolus, because the system denied him an opportunity of redress.
There are many murderers in our midst and many more will die arising from their activities. The corrupt contractors and government officials, the criminal PHCN workers and contractors, the idle and unimaginative lawmakers and the indolent initiators of government policy who have allowed personal gains to rob Nigerians of a good life. Murderers all. When the misfortunes of murder begin to visit, many will ask, when did we kill?
But the word of God says in James chapter five as a warning to rich oppressors who keep us in darkness and cause the death of the likes of Ademolu and those who will die for his murder: "weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. Your wealth has rotted and moths have eaten your clothes……you have lived on earth in luxury and self indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered innocent men who were not opposing you".
When the cries of the people have reached the ears of God, then the chicken will come home to roost for you too.
Ignorance, Greed and Selfishness
This article was sent to my mail box many years ago. It is supposed to be the text of an article read by Dee Lee of Harvard Financial Educators on a radio station in New York. Many years have passed since this went into circulation, but the events of today make it appear as if it was yesterday.
We have every reason to be proud of black people all over the world, but we would only fall prey to the denigration here if we fail to critically address the issues raised here. Even the leaders of our people are guilty of some of the charges here. Look at Ibikunle Amosun, busy destroying everything in sight in Ogun state. He was handed a hand over note which he apparently did not read before making pronouncements. Obsessed with the goal of destroying the achievements of his predecessor, does he not fit into the bill of the black man here?
He is not alone in this; so are many of our leaders. And by their bad examples they have polluted and corrupted the values of the followers. Little wonder real development has been so difficult. Sorting out power supply has been impossible. Scams of all kinds, from petrol subsidy to pension funds have dominated the public space. Corruption is stacked to high heavens; all to meet an insatiable appetite for worldly consumption. Read and say to yourself that whoever wrote this has lied.
THEY ARE STILL OUR SLAVES. We can continue to reap profits from these blacks without the effort of physical slavery Look at the current methods of containment that they use on themselves: IGNORANCE, GREED, and SELFISHNESS.
Their IGNORANCE is the primary weapon of containment. A great man once said, "The best way to hide something from Black people is to put it in a book." We now live in the Information Age. They have gained the opportunity to read any book on any subject through the efforts of their fight for freedom, yet they refuse to read. There are numerous books readily available at Borders, Barnes &am p; Noble, and Amazon.com, not to mention their own Black Bookstores that provide solid blueprints to
reach economic equality (which should have been their fight all along), but few read consistently, if at all.
GREED is another powerful weapon of containment. Blacks, since the abolition of slavery, have had large amounts of money at their disposal.
Last year they spent 10 billion dollars during Christmas, out of their 450 billion dollars in total yearly income (2.22%).
Any of us can use them as our target market, for any business venture we care to dream up, no matter how outlandish, they will buy into it.
Being primarily a consumer people, they function totally by greed. They continually want more, with little thought for saving or investing.
They would rather buy some new sneaker than invest in starting a business. Some even neglect their children to have the latest Tommy or FUBU, and they still think that having a Mercedes, and a big house gives them "Status" or that they have achieved their Dream.
They are fools! The vast majority of their people are still in poverty because their greed holds them back from collectively making better communities.
With the help of BET, and the rest of their black media that often broadcasts destructive images into their own homes, we will continue to see huge profits like those of Tommy and Nike. (Tommy Hilfiger has even jeered them, saying he doesn't want their money, and look at how the fools spend more with him than ever before!). They'll continue to show off to each other while we build solid communities with the profits from our businesses that we market to them.
SELFISHNESS, ingrained in their minds through slavery, is one of the major ways we can continue to contain them. One of their own, Dubois said that there was an innate division in their culture. A "Talented Tenth" he called it. He was correct in his deduction that there are segments of their culture that has achieved some "form" of success..
However, that segment missed the fullness of his work. They didn't read that the "Talented Tenth" was then responsible to aid The Non-Talented Ninety Percent in achieving a better life. Instead, that segment has created another class, a Buppie class that looks down on their people or aids them in a condescending manner.
They will never achieve what we have. Their selfishness does not allow them to be able to work together on any project or endeavor of substance. When they do get together,their selfishness lets their egos get in the way of their goal. Their so-called help organizations seem to only want to promote their name without making any real change in their community.
They are content to sit in conferences and conventions in our hotels, and talk about what they will do, while they award plaques to the best speakers, not to the best doers. Is there no end to their selfishness?
They steadfastly refuse to see that TOGETHER EACH ACHIEVES MORE (TEAM) They do not understand that they are no better than each other because of what they own, as a matter of fact, most of those Buppies are but one or two pay checks away from poverty. All of which is under the control of our pens in our offices and our rooms.
Yes, we will continue to contain them as long as they refuse to read, continue to buy anything they want, and keep thinking they are "helping" their communities by paying dues to organizations which do little other than hold lavish conventions in our hotels. By the way, don't worry about any of them reading this letter, remember, THEY DON'T READ!!!!