THE HYPOCRISY OF THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT ON NIGER DELTA
Since the oil exploration started by Shell BP which was the first multinational company to start full-scale Commercial production 58 years ago, the proceeds from this black gold have turned the fortunes of the Nigeria economy that joined the top oil producing countries of the world. Nigeria which was once agricultural based Economy diverted to oil. No doubt that the economy of Nigeria till date is dependent on Oil from the Niger Delta areas, no meaningful developmental projects has been carried out in those areas by series of government who brazenly neglected the area.
The people of the region has been suffering, many have died due to series of cholera outbreak owing to lack of portable drinking water, the land/water bodies is so polluted that farming and fishing activities has seized and the people are starving today. This is a scenario of starving the hen that lays the golden egg. Sometime in 1990, a man named Ken Saro-wiwa an environmental activist and writer from Ogoni kingdom rose to speak out on the neglect of his region by the Nigerian government, at the peak of His non-violent campaign he was arrested and tried by the special military tribunal for allegedly masterminding the death of Ogoni chiefs at a pro-government meeting and hanged in 1995 by the military dictatorship of General Sani Abacha. The Nigerian government has continued to haunt anyone who rises to criticise them on their nefarious activities meted to the people of the oil producing communities. November 20 1999, the Nigerian military invaded Ijaw
town of odi in Bayelsa state. The attack came in context of an ongoing conflict in the region over indigenous rights to the oil resources and environmental protection. The soldiers shot, massacred and killed thousands of unarmed youths and women because they demanded their rights of what belongs to them. This was barely 4 months into the civilian government of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. The people of Niger-delta have been subjugated to all manner of human degradation by the Nigerian government and it’s obvious it will not stop in the nearest future.
Series of previous government has made promises to clean up the oil spillage and improve the lives of the people of Niger delta. But never did anything meaningful to make it a reality. The NDDC and the Amnesty program was a like giving a piece of cake to the person who owns the whole package. It is ridiculous that the owners of the resources are being employed to secure pipeline and oil installations in their communities.
The new government of Mr. Buhari on assumption of office cancelled these programs and imposed soldiers on these communities, the soldiers has been on rampage, killing people, raping women and making the communities a war-like territory which made many of the villagers to vacate their land. The administration of Buhari shifted his soldiers from the Boko-haram battle to the south, the incessant killings in Gbaramatu kingdom of Delta state,the arrest warrant on Tompolo,the arrest of the Paramount ruler of Yeghe community in Gokana L.G.A of Rivers state Chief T.D Gbaranee was all strategies to demoralise the people from fighting for their rights, Mr. Buhari has turned the Niger delta to a war Zone.
The renewed activities of various freedom fighter groups in the Niger Delta was because of Buhari’s continued marginalisation of the people, treating them as criminals and enemies of his government. The decision of the Niger-delta Avengers to destroy all oil installations is due to the inability of the Nigeria state to see reasons to meet their demands, Mr. Buhari and his APC recently promised to embark on the implementation of the United Nations Environment program (UNEP) report but goofed when he said the exercise will take 30 years.
This is clear evidence that the government is not ready to implement the report, as it was in the past, they just want to deceive the people and the public. I wonder what the minister of Niger delta Affairs Mr. Uguru was insinuating when he said that the People of Niger-delta has benefited from the Buhari APC led government. It’s obvious he is trying to play sides with his slave masters who rewarded him with ministerial appointment.
Mr. Uguru should know that you cannot deceive people for too long, the owners of the resources have the right to do whatever they want with it. The continued blowing up of oil installations will not stop until your relinquish your hold on the resources since you life is dependent on oil. The people of Niger-delta are Biafrans and as such demand total separation from the concocted entity called Nigeria.
The earlier you understand this, the Better because the journey has just begun. No intimidation, propaganda and media sabotage will stop this revolution. Sovereignty belongs to the people and freedom is fundamental human rights which the people of Niger-delta have chosen. It is Biafra or Nothing!
By Ogbuanya Chikezie Nnamdi
For Family Writers