TAKING A SECOND LOOK AT THE NIGER DELTA


The Niger delta is infamously becoming synonymous with violence and youth restiveness; decades of neglect despite huge profits from oil exploitation in the region has culminated to destruction of oil facilities, hostage taking and oil pilfering by people, especially the youths as a way of showing its grievance. This led to the formation of armed groups (militants) like the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger delta People (MEND) and Niger Delta Volunteer FORCE (NDVF), etc with the sole goal- greater control of the region’s resource.

When oil was first discovered in Oloibiri Bayelsa state in 1956, promises of heaven on earth were made both by the oil exploiters and the Nigerian government to the people of that settlement. Promissory notes were left unfulfilled by the creditors, not because the vaults were empty but the twin evils of corruption and greed proved to be stronger values. Today, Oloibiri is a barren land, dried up, like the well weaned mammary glands of  an old woman. The Oil Companies have vacated the area, leaving the people helpless, with no land to farm on and rivers to fish because of the damage done as a result of spillage. What an injustice?

The recent attack by the Nigerian military on the region could be tagged as barbaric. A step which was applauded by the national assembly and fully in support of, displays the level of injustice we have in Africa. Genocide is not only in the numbers but the act, the Nigerian military actually committed Genocide when it lunched that attack on a community resulting to the death of over 1,000 innocent citizens. The reason given for this was the abduction of 14 expats by the militants and their demand for ransom which is their usual practice. Though, unjustified, but not enough to wipe out a whole village, this is undemocratic and dictatorial. Dialogue remains the only option, in a democratic setting like ours. Come to think of it, the Nigerian government already knows what this people want.

The military should take the fight to the creeks were this militants have their camps not the villages were innocent citizens reside after been treated unjustly by the Nigerian government. On the other hand, it’s a shame on the national assembly to encourage such an act of dictatorship; these are Nigerians with rights and privileges.

The struggle did not start today, it started with likes of Isaac Boro, he was killed by the Nigerian government, and next in line was Ken Saro-Wiwa who was unjustly executed by the Nigerian government. Killing all the people of the Niger delta will not work, because more and more will resurrect as history has shown. Nigerians are one and should be treated the same. The Niger deltan has suffered so much injustice from the Nigerian government and is fighting back as a way of showing their resistance, not that they are necessarily violent.

It’s time for peace in that region, the Nigerian government should go for dialogue, the people of that region should be treated fairly for a continuous Nigeria and for posterity.

Emmaefe, CONNECTAFRICA

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2 Responses

  1. Very sad, that in this day and age something as barbaric as this can still happen….

  2. IYC: State Officials Arming Militants in the Niger Delta

    A major and deadly intervention by the Nigerian army is underway for almost two weeks in the conflict-ridden, oil-producing Niger Delta. Last Thursday, I had an interview with Udengs Eradiri, Secretary General of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC). He points to the fact that officials of the Nigerian government and army actually equip the insurgents and take part in the oil bunkering business. Read the interview in the German daily Neues Deutschland tomorrow and on this blog on Wednesday (extended English version).

    rubeneberlein.wordpress.com

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