I write, the NigerianState has
Armed Forces, the largest on the African continent, on the hapless and
over-exploited people of the Niger Delta. A most horrendous and
onslaught, the ongoing military blitzkrieg has been conceived to
subjugate, and if need be annihilate, a target group that has
Niger Delta struggle for a decade now. The commando-like pounding of
communities and creeks is nothing but war. Yet, the Federal Government
convincingly shown the world any instance of a casus belli. So far
innocent citizens have died, hundreds of
displaced, hunger and hardship now stalk the living.
The Niger Delta debacle is avoidable.
However, Nigeria's ruling elite ever so well steeped in buccaneering
engagements have conspired to make life "short, nasty and brutish"
for Niger Deltans. At the core of the
crisis is the deliberate unwillingness of the nation's misruling
rule well. Infernal misrule, monumental corruption, Machiavellian
Mephistophelian guile and utter disregard for fairness, equity and
culminated in the ongoing imbroglio.
The fact remains that the Niger Delta
of the most naturally endowed regions in the universe. Its oil and gas
for over 95 per cent of Nigeria's
revenue. Yet, Niger Deltans live in abject
having lost all the insignia and appurtenances of humanity. A torched
landscape, polluted air and rivers now define the Niger Delta. Gone are
enchanting flora and fauna, the fishes, and all that once made the
arcadia. The NigerianState and oil
multinationals have visited both ecocide and genocide on the Niger
region. The tragedy of the Niger Delta is already too well known to be
The ongoing state orchestrated war
achieve nothing. It will further exacerbate the crises. The Niger Delta
fighters, be they revolutionaries, militants, or "criminals" as the
state brands them, should be invited to a peace talk. What is needed is
force nor monologue. The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger
(MEND) is not a shadowy or shambolic organisation.
is a well organised movement in the
vanguard of the
Niger Delta struggle. It is in the best interest of all for the NigerianState
to recognise the body and "jaw jaw" with its leaders; one of whom is Henry Okah whom the NigerianState
has taken hostage.
The resistance being put up by MEND is justifiable. In all history,
people under such inhuman oppression ultimately took up arms to right
MEND has repeatedly and most eloquently articulated its demands which a
well-meaning state should not hesitate to grant. Such contentious
adherence to the principles of federalism and resource control form the
raison d'etre for MEND's
Successive Nigerian rulers have
short-sighted, if not the Niger Delta debacle would not have been. The
in the region portends grave danger not just for Nigeria,
but for Africa and probably the
world. As the
crisis escalates, the loss in human terms would aggregate a holocaust.
effect on the Nigerian economy would be suicidal. The Federal
it is losing N8.7 billion daily to the ongoing crisis. This is a
the diabolic intent of the NigerianState.
The region is the
nation's cash cow yet it is so impoverished. Ever so astigmatic, the NigerianState is yet to gauge the future
of the ongoing action.
Ever so quick at giving a dog a bad
order to hang it, the NigerianState has again
called the agitators criminals, militants and other denigrating labels.
fact should be known that the state made them so. The real culprits are
fighters, but government functionaries past and present who run Nigeria
aground. Those men and women who stole our future
today. To be sure they have their collaborators in the private
in the armed forces, police, universities, judiciary, in fact
Niger Delta struggle, and indeed the struggle to reclaim Nigeria
not end until these cabals are undone. They swell their ranks everyday,
certainly they cannot undermine the struggle.
There is really no doubt that the
struggle has been infiltrated by criminals. However, these
"criminals" are ironically agents of the ruling party. They form the
bulk of thugs they used to rig elections in 1999, 2003 and 2007. The
also work hand in hand with politicians in hostage taking, kidnapping, bunkering and in perpetrating other heinous acts.
"criminals" are also on the pay rolls of governors, legislators,
military officers, business barons, among others who are in the sleaze
and the downtrodden. This is a country with a cancerous soul!.
The ongoing war in the region has
lie to Niger Delta governors' claim that they have achieved peace. It
lesson to them that they should begin to build peace instead of buying
it. The Yar'Adua government should begin
to implement the
recommendations of the Niger Delta Technical Committee. The MEND
revolutionaries are not likely to give up the struggle until they are
that the government is serious and sincere. They have seen through the
gestures such as the Niger Delta Development Commission, Ministry of
Delta Affairs, Six moths Amnesty period and other such hokum designed
by the NigerianState. The federal
invite the fighters for sincere dialogue. All the stolen billions being
recovered from thieves in positions of authority should be ploughed
develop the region. The Niger Delta governors should also stop the
corruption going on in the states. There is an emergency on hand, and
cannot afford to fiddle like Nero. They should use the billions they
every month for the welfare of the people. They shall know no peace
people are contented.
It is shocking that President Yar'Adua has not made any public statement about
going pogrom. However, it is more shocking that the baby Speaker of
House of Representatives, blabber mouth DimejiBankole has commended the soldiers for
murdering Niger Deltans, and has urged
them to extend the holocaust to Bayelsa
and RiverStates. All Niger Deltans whether, Efik,
Urhobo, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Isoko,
Anioma, etc, must rise and rally round the
cause. They should mobilise and internationalise
the campaign to emancipate the region. They should let the world know
of the ongoing Niger Delta genocide.
teaches literature at the DeltaStateUniversity, Abraka.