A real Nightmare!
Last night 33 Nigerian miners were trapped underground and the government decided to send a Nigerian capsule down to rescue them one after the other. A homemade solution was promulgated penultimate (Nigerian English) with a view to placate resource control advocates on whose land, the Mine was located.
When the miners knew of the rescue plan, they began to argue amongst themselves on who goes first.
Fighting broke between the Tiv miners and the settler miners. The Hausa miners began fighting the Fulani miners. The Igbo miners argued that the southwest miners should shut up because they were the cause of the breakdown, hence should go last. This led to various ethnic interplay between the miners and thus distrust began to crumple the relatively peace in the mine.
The relatively few Itshekiri and Urhobo miners began to secretly plot a minority coalition to overthrow the mine supervisor. This ultimately broke down, as age old history of distrust could not hold the coalition. When the peace loving Kanuri Miners developed a lack of confidence in the supervisors ability (a Benue man), they plotted with the Hausa miners for a better solution to get the heck out of there, this coalition ultimately failed, because it was revealed that a settlement money had been passed under the table thus shattering the trust.
As everything began to unravel and chaos was developing, zoning was suggested but they could not agree on which zone will go first. Eventually in a struggle to determine who goes first, several of them got injured and MEND issued a threat message warning that they would set off a bomb if any South-south miner was critically injured. This explosion detonated a south east grenade whose safety pin was removed but not thrown.
Total darkness has engulfed the mine for the past 3 months.
All the miners have been forced to use lanterns with kerosene, a potentialdanger, especially that Nupe miners refuse to disarm pointing to the imbalance of power in the mine, if the south south miners had weapons.
Meanwhile, the FEC had awarded the capsule contract to JB (Julius Burger) and we are still awaiting delivery six months later. The root of the problem is that the (company) board of JB (Julius Burger) are made up of Arab, Indian and Nigerian “Big” men from across the varying Nigerian tribes, which prevents a credible probe.
There is a probe going on to unravel this and retrieve the award sum before we get to the issue of what formula to adopt for the rescue and which miner comes out first. In the mean time, traditional rulers from the miners’ towns are paying solidarity visits to the president to thank him for his efforts to rescue the miners. This (however) has also hindered the president to get out of the presidential villa to give attention to the miners rescue.
Another issue that we learnt went unresolved was the issue of prayer in the mine, as some of the miners were arguing about prayer space and a riot broke out between the Christian miners, the animist miners and Muslim miners about a lack of tolerance from the other side.
And the first lady had just invited the wives of the Nigerian miners to Abuja for dinner at the presidential villa. The first ladies from the 36 states will also be in attendance. All including the wives of the miners will wear the Goodluck for President south south attire.
CNN reported early this morning that after 10 months underground all the 33 Nigerian miners have died and the Nigerian government has declared seven days of mourning during which the Nigerian flag will be flown at half mast to honor the dead.
Meanwhile, JB has sued the FGN for the balance of the contract sum. But there is evidence that the probe will go nowhere as one of the board members is the president’s distant cousin.
A posthumous award of OON has been awarded to all the dead miners together with a cash lump sum, however there is disagreement about the sharing formula among the families.
Charles Sogbesan ( A POLITICAL SATIRIST)
In collaboration with–>Author unknown