By Adeola Aderounmu
Take it or leave it, the war has been declared on both sides. The militants (in as many factions as possible) have declared a war on the Nigerian State for quite a while now. To deny this is to be insensitive to the killings that occur daily in this area. It will be a complete aberration to miss the interpretation of the spate of kidnappings and insecurity in this region as a war.
I have written about this war before in October 2006 and August 2007. Those articles were based on my encounters with a friend who works in Port Harcourt and my brother who is constantly exposed to the perils of this region because he is a marine engineer. When you hear firsthand accounts of what is going on in the Niger Delta, you will agree that a war was declared on Nigeria in the most silent way possible.
Whose fault is this war? Well, blame it on the Nigerian Federal Government and also on the various state governments in this region. Indeed, the militants are not saints too. Each of these 3 parties has serious faults but the bulk of it rest on the table of the (usually) illegitimate governments that have occupied the center in as many years as possible. Today Nigeria is still governed by an illegitimate government!
And that illegal government has now gone to Britain to buy guns and other weapons to counter the war in the Niger Delta. This is the solution that the evil government in Nigeria has for the people of the Niger Delta. The useless government is also to receive all kinds of military assistance from Gordon Brown’s country. Britain and the US will go to any extent possible to protect their interests. If it means brothers killing brothers in another country, so be it! In Nigeria, the oil deposits in the Nigeria Delta remains the most important thing to the British and the US. It is irrelevant to them that the government is illegal or bastardised.
In my own words in one of my previous posts on the Niger Delta. Rather than concede defeat, the Nigerian government will go to war with the militants if the need arises. History will repeat itself, fatally. The reason is not farfetched. This country that has been run by mad men since 1960 is totally dependent on oil and oil exports. There has been a total neglect of agriculture, tourism, science, medicine, technology and all that is needed to make a country grow.
Northern Nigeria and the rest of Nigeria look up to the oil in the Delta for money to run every little details of our National Life! In the process, there has been absolute neglect for the welfare of the indigenes of the area. The various states government in this region are also guilty of neglecting the people because the regional politicians stole money and embezzled as much as they can-the people can go to hell!
In addition, the foreign companies that operate in this area have not done enough to assist in the plights of the indigenes. Instead, they have continued to pollute the land and water. The problem of pollution has been worsened by illegal bunkering and the activities of the militants who also steal oil to sell and finance their war.
The results are here with us today. Two or more wrongs will never make a right. War is not the solution. It is not the way out. Peace talks or Niger Delta Summit is not the way forward. There have been many summits in the past, what happened to the outcomes/deliberations?
The Niger Delta issue is one of the many atrocities that the Nigerian State has committed against the citizenry. What is actually needed in the Niger Delta and indeed Nigeria is a total transformation of lives into that which is worth living. The targets should include letting clean water run in every home, to provide decent schools for the children, good roads and modern hospitals.
These are provisions and conditions that should have been made without demands. Where serious environmental damage has occurred, the communities should be compensated depending on the degree of damage. The oil companies in the Niger Delta should clean up their mess and pollute no more. The Environmental Protection Agency must ensure strict compliance.
Power supply in Nigeria is near zero percent! Such a serious problem should be tackled wholeheartedly as it can transform the economy positively. Agriculture should be re-initiated, expanded and mechanized. The abundant mineral resources in the country should be put to positive use to bring about economic growth.
Education, basic infrastructure, housing and social welfare should be re-engineered towards giving Nigerians a better life. The eradication of poverty should be pursued zealously and dedicatedly.
Corruption, nepotism and tribalism should be phased out of our existence. We should learn our priorities and set them straight and right.
Nigeria is supposed to be a great country and a model for Africa. Unfortunately she is regarded as a sleeping giant in the heart of Africa. If Nigeria permits it, her land will become like the rest of those places where Britain and America are spearheading wars.
Surely, we don’t want that in our country. We must look inwards and solve our problems. We must find peace and the best way to do this is to ensure that there is JUSTICE.