From every African standard and yardstick Port Harcourt in Rivers State is a beautiful city with beautiful people. A visit there may confuse a first-time visitor who had been to
Extreme violence has given birth to chaos and anarchy in the city. For the past week or thereabout cultism and cults have taken over governance with their agents spreading death, destruction and mayhem; blood and tears and sorrow. Celestine Omehia has been reduced to ceremonial Governor with the militants ‘administering’ the city their own violent way. Without the
That is how bad things have deteriorated and how low the city has sunk, the lowest in recent memory. Yet there are hard truths in the PH ‘war’. Last weekend I called a good friend of mine, a senior advocate, resident in
The lawyer said that some of the cult groups he had sighted in his area wore full military and police uniforms thereby disguising themselves from the original military and para-military forces. He told me that the
Criminals and criminal acts have since usurped the genuine agitation for resource control in the Niger Delta. From kidnapping of expatriate oil workers to even school-going kids, illegal oil bunkering rings to occultic
Yet the pertinent questions to ask are these: who between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta states governments are guiltier in the pauperisation of the majority Niger Deltans? The Federal Govt. that gives out monthly ‘allowances’ to the states while cornering the lion share of the huge petro-dollars or the state governors who pocket the monthly federal allocation instead of using it for development of their various states? Who wittingly or unwittingly is benefiting from the siege on PH? Who is reaping from the nightmare of PH residents?
The bloodbath in
The militants’ claims of abandonment by politicians having used them to ride to power must be treated seriously. In
The current governor, Celestine Omehia, replaced Amaechi as the PDP’s candidate in the guber polls. By allowing Peter Odili to steal more than enough as governor between 1999 and 2007 Rotimi Amaechi must have ‘struck’ a deal with him: impeach me not and get installed as my successor. Only for the rug to be pulled under Amechi’s feet at the eleventh hour; that was unfair if you ask me but it serves Amaechi right. Odili betrayed Amaechi and the Ikwerre man is not happy about that. While Odili is enjoying his loot somewhere Amaechi feels he will only take his pound of flesh by venting his anger on the streets thereby destabilising the Omehia administration.
Today the anger of dashed ambition and betrayal has manifested on the streets with Amaechi cult boys taking on the Omehia cult boys with the former more formidable on the ground having established ‘strong structures’ since 1999. I gathered that between Omehia and Amaechi there is a kindred kind of tussle running over for a long time. There is this envy fuelled by ambition and passion for supremacy.
If President Yar’Adua genuinely wants peace to return to the deserted streets of
Between the late British Lewis Vernon Harcourt (whose name was used to describe the Port of the