NIGER DELTA ,Planet in Peril, INDEED!!

Well thanks to the Cable News network, (CNN) Nigeria once again made a major story on one of its program special, Planet in Peril. What is it this time? Well it’s the now world famous Niger Delta story, that’s what was on the news again.

Well this post is actually not about CNN and how it would rather show the ugly or troubled side of Nigeria to the world, and not try to balance those stories with all the Good or great things happening in Nigeria at the same time.

My issues on this post, is this our so called Niger Delta issue, fight for freedom or what ever they call it, that is now going on in the region, because to me I really don’t know anymore.

If I had grown up in another part of Nigeria, well my ignorance can be excused, but I grew up in the Heart of the so called Niger Delta, and I come from within the region, born and raised up in Warri, Delta state Nigeria, and having lived and worked in Port Harcourt for the last four years before living the country, hopefully to return, I ought to know better about what the problem in the region is , but the truth is that I don’t, and infact nobody really know what the problem is, as obvious as it may seem, because if we all know, why are we not solving it?.

Just incase you are reading this and, think why is he saying this? Well here’s why I am saying what I just said.

CNN will make the average world viewers and even some Nigeria’s oblivious of the Niger Delta issue, fell like it is Hell out there in the region, and that Nigeria or the Nigeria Delta is just one big hole on the face of the planet, possibly another Sudan or Sierra Leone in the making.

Well its not, but the Niger delta is actually what we can call a very complicated case of Evil done to a group of people or region.

First off, we have a Government, and by that I mean, the Nigerian Government since independence from the British till the present day, that has been so insensitive, greedy, corrupt and far from the reality of what is really going on in the Niger Delta.

Secondly we also have state Governments and Local Goverments within the region that, sadly enough have towed the same line as the Federal Government, both during Military and Civilian government.

Thirdly we have the major multinational oil companies, that have been the actual rapists on the ground in the Niger delta,

Fourthly the so called community Leaders within the region, and last but not the least, me, you and MEND and all the 1001 militant groups springing up everyday, we all have created this MONSTER! That we see today, called the Niger Delta crisis.

However, my list above is an encompassing one, I will try to make 2 exception, First the Federal Government of the day because it Seems to have a good intent for the region, but they are saddle with over 40years of neglect to deal with, lack of trust and to make matters worse the people within the region just cant wait anymore, so this young Government is left to deal with a monster that past Governments in the Military era and the (Obasanjor) OBJ, Government created. The second exception I will make, will be me and you, just so that you don’t get angry that I said you are part of the problem and decide not to ready through this, or visit my blog again, thirdly maybe one or two present Governor from within the region, because of their drive for change, but I wont mention names just yet.

Well CNN report got one thing right, the Niger Delta, is where the thirst for oil has created a deadly situation, the wealth created by the Black gold over the years has gone into pockets of some of the most wicked, greedy and corrupt people on the face of the earth, Presidents, Governors, Local government chairman, state and federal legislators, community leaders, certain foreigners etc, has eventually created a problem with a hydra head.

I for one believe the wealth underneath the earth in the Niger Delta, is meant to be a blessing, for Nigeria. First for the people within the region that are feeling the direct effect of the exploration activities, and also for the common good of the entire Nigerian state, but sadly enough this is not the case.

The wealth is in the hands of a few, some of them in Government others out of Government and these people are every where round the country, from up north, to down south, from the west and to the east. They have profited from the oil wealth in government purse through their corrupt days in office or out of office, through political connections etc, these are the people that will do any thing for things to remain the way it has always been, and rather unfortunately we have a lot of these people either still in government at one level or the other, or they are Godfathers behind the scene. These groups of people, are like wolfs in wolfs clothing, they are killer bees and will always be a part of Nigeria’s problem.

The so called many military or is it militant group we see in the Delta, some are even groups that represent the interest of this same people mentioned above, because since the agitation in the region is growing, they now had to look for other means to continue to milk the wealth from the region, and one of such is to have or sponsor groups in the Region through this so called Niger Delta struggle, so that with the instability in the region they can profit, either through bunkering of oil, or for those in government securing heavy security vote from national and state budget that they can plunder, that’s why for me, the credibility of a whole lot of these groups within the Niger Delta that go by one name or the other, is just a masquerade.

The ones that are really up in arms for a genuine struggle are few, indeed if any.

The Situation in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers state in the last few years, tells you a story of how politicians helped in arming young men to use them in rigging election, these young men becoming wise and kept the guns for themselves, and in some case split up because they two have tasted oil money, power and respect by the gun, and over time we now see, what we see in Port Harcourt and surrounding town and states, such as Kidnappings for ransom, Bank robbery, jail break, and the tussle for power by some of these gangs, that spilled into the street late 2007, and yet some of this same gangs, YES!! Gangs , have the nerve to call themselves freedom fighters, fighting to free who ?, definitely not me or the millions of Niger Deltan’s that so eagerly want to see a change in the region.

MEND, on the other hand, is still hard to place, they make strong statements and claims, sometimes blow up oil installations, and threaten the oil companies , but at the end of the day leaves everyone wondering, what do they really want ?, where do they want to take this fighting to ?, because to me, I see nothing so far that is constructive about the fighting, yes we all agree that the Federal Government, and the Oil companies have for so long robbed the Niger Delta people and we just cant take it anymore, so that’s why (MEND) are fight, but what about the many state governors from within the region that have also looted state treasury while people in the region suffer, what about some of the so called elders that have parleyed with Government , and oil companies to become rich and influential , while its people and the region sufferers, and now they are the ones calling themselves elder or leaders that want to mediated for peace, are these people not know as part of the problem in MEND books?

To Me, I feel If MEND must raise its profile as a true fighter, then its should not just be up in arms, and enjoy clips like the one shown on CNN where they call them “ One of the most Notorious or Violent militant in the world”, No! to me I think such report do more harm than Good to the cause of MEND, which if am correct is to liberate the Niger delta from years of Poverty and neglect, then it should not let it self be called a Violent group on international TV, its ok to show the Guns and Bazookas, the Hooded face and red head bands on military camouflage, but more importantly they should tell the Niger Delta people and the world, what they have achieved so far?.

So back to why I say the problem is complicated, you have groups within the region, some fighting each other, over who should be the Underground warlord e.g. Tom Ateke and George Sogboma mini war, some groups are just ethnic fighting, e.g. Okrika- Eleme, and the many other inter and intra ethic squabbles that comes up every now and then amongst the hundreds of tribe within the oil rich producing region.

We have the Oil bunkering groups some of which are from the group mentioned above and in some of the text I will write below

We have the criminal group or some time petty thief’s that take advantage of the situation and kidnap, expatriates, or wealthy Nigerians and sometimes regrettably little children also.

We have groups like the well known Militants groups MEND fighting the government Military forces protecting oil installations.

We have to groups that are always on TV, especially private TV stations in Lagos state, talking about the problems in the Niger Delta and how they are going to fight to the end to liberate their people, e.g. Joseph Eva, Asari Dokubo etc, and yet you will hardly see them on local TV or radio stations in the Niger delta region, at least the private radio stations, if people will want to argue that we only have mainly state run TV in that region.

We have the state Governors, most of whom where planted by their predecessors, so they really cant investigate past government as we have seen in the last one year plus now, none so far has even accused the immediate past government of corruption, maybe an exception will be in Rivers state, because the Governor came in via a court verdict in his favor.

And last but not the least we, have the me and you and the millions of Niger delta people group, who just seat and watch all the various actors or groups mentioned above do the, siphoning of cash to foreign accounts, the cat catch rat match, finger pointing, blame catapulting, propaganda war, and the shelling, shooting, bombing, that go on in the creeks, or water ways of the Niger delta region.

All these brings me back to where I started, which is this,. Where do we go from here? How can this problem be solved? how can the legitimate groups above be pacified and the criminal and evil one be clearly identified and totally alienated and flushed out, well its hard to tell, because sometimes, the boundaries within each of this groupings are not a clear cut one, today I can be the one bloggin and saying my bit or side of the story, who knows maybe tomorrow I might be amongst the masked ones in the creeks, brandishing a Gun on CNN, or who knows I can somehow find my self in government and get my conscience marred and lot the federal, state or local purse , or who knows I can still end up as an executive in the oil industry and look for all the best ways to continue milking wealth from the crude oil business, while the trouble in the region rages on.

The CNN report is just meant to do one thing, and the report Lisa Ling, said it over and over again in her report, if you listen to it well you will pick up on it. The CNN report just serves to show that a source of crude that is Vital to US economy, is being threatened, and with the pressure already in the US economy, if it should lose oil supply from Nigeria you can just imagine what will happen,that’s just it
So it’s not like CNN really want to show this region to the world, so that world leaders or the UN will debate, or pressure the Nigeria government to act, in the most expeditious and bold manner to address the biggest issue facing it nationhood, but that Nigeria’s oil is not a dependable source for supply. However Lisa ling personal statement, on the news show hit the point again, its greed thats at the bottom of all this suffering and trouble in the region

Despite the picture I have painted, I believe there’s hope for the region to change, to rise and to grow, the reason I believe this, is because of what we see today, it is bound to get this worse, before it will get better, although it would have been better if everything had worked well from the start, when oil was first supped at Oloibiri in 1956… or so, well that didn’t happen, but we are at the turning point now, lets keep hope alive and keep praying

See Video @ righthand conner, as you scroll.

This perhaps happens to be my longest post ever, well I have always avoided this topic, but I guess this evening was just the right time to get it off my chest!

Many people may have contrary views to some or all I have said here, but there truth is “it is, what it is


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