Are the Niger Delta Militants justified in taking up arms against the Federal Government?
Undoubtedly, they are justified in taking up arms at last against the evil Federal Government because they have exhausted all peaceful channels without any result. For 46 ‘good?’ years, the people have taken to peaceful demonstrations; begging the government, appealing to foreign oil companies to stop polluting their land. They realised that they have reached a stonewall.
They have arrived at the sad but correct conclusion that Nigeria is being ruled since independence by heartless leaders; all from the north or/and with military background.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that the only language that these thugs formerly in military uniforms, and now in agbada understand is force.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that if the lives and properties of these wicked people are not threatened in anyway, they will not lift a finger to make any redress.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that if they don’t blow up oil installations and rigs, the evil Nigerian government will not take them seriously.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that if they don’t start kidnapping senior government officials, their children and relatives, the Federal Government will not understand that they really mean business.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that the Federal Government does not understand the language of diplomacy.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that the Nigerian Government does not understand language of persuasion.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that the Federal Government does not respect gentlemen and intellectuals. They vividly remember how Abacha – a military dictator from the north hanged Ken Saro Wiwa and other Ogoni activists for their peaceful demonstration.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that they are dealing with arrogant, insensitive but empty-headed people.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that the best way to deal with these black colonialists is to return fire for fire.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that they are dealing with political – military civilians – who say one thing but do exactly the opposite.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that begging, negotiating, appealing or persuading will not yield any result.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that they have to determine their own destiny themselves, and not allow the barbaric descendants of Othman Dan Fodio do it for them.
They have come to the sad but correct conclusion that all along, terrorists in military uniforms are ruling Nigeria, and the best way to deal with them is to return terror for terror.
Ladies and gentlemen, honourable jurors, I will give you two examples to buttress my argument.
Israel forcefully took over Palestine’s territory. Israelis believed that they were invincible. They believed that they had the military might to suppress, oppress and humiliate the Palestinians. Actually, that was what they did to the Palestinians for quite a long time. Israel took to different military, psychological, economical, religious and political measures to force the Palestinians into submission.
Indeed, initially, the Palestinians were vulnerable. They did not have the means to buy tanks, helicopters, planes e.t.c. Even, if they had the means, they were no match for the formidable Israeli military machine – sponsored by the U.S. Israel receives billions of dollars from American government as aids every year. This amount constitutes about 90% of America’s aid to foreign countries.
All peaceful efforts to negotiate or appeal to Israel to return back to the Palestinians the occupied territory were ignored by Israel. Palestine’s petition against Israel in the U.N. were blocked by its political and economic godfather and sponsor. The Palestinians realised that they had reached a stone-wall. Moreover, they realised that if they were really serious and determined to get back their land, they had to change their approach and tactics to the issue. Unfortunately for Israel, the Palestinians were not only determined to get back their land, but they were ready to pay any price for it.
The Palestinians came to the sad but correct conclusion that in order to survive, and get back their land, they had to take to terror too, like their terrorizers. They decided to answer terror for terror. But, it was a different form of terror. Palestine Liberation Organization (P.L.O.) was formed.
They devised a simple, but very effective strategy. They started bombing Israelis, both soldiers and civilians with their suicide bombers. They were bombing Israelis in the buses, cafes, and restaurants, at mass gatherings, everywhere. There was no more hiding place for the Israelis except in their houses. Israelis became frightened. They were frightened to go out. They now lived in fear because nobody was 100% sure of getting home alive. For the first time ever, the Israelis realised that they were not only vulnerable before the Palestinians – who had no tanks, rockets, and atomic bombs e.t.c. But to their biggest surprise, they realised that they did not have an effective answer to this new method of waging war. What else can you do to somebody who is ready to bomb himself, but together with you?! There was panic everywhere, although, Israeli tried to put on a bold face.
Instead of addressing the grievances of the Palestinians, the Israeli government decided to call them terrorists. Yaser Arafat, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization was labeled terrorist no. 1 (that was before the advent of Osama Bin Laden) They said that they will not be blackmailed by terrorists. They said terrorists will not intimidate them. They said that they will not negotiate with terrorists. They said that their only answer for terrorists was to destroy them. Israel carried out their threats. It intensified its campaign of terror against the Palestinians, with the hope that they will surrender. In retaliation, Israel started assassinating senior HAMAS and PLO leaders. Israel embarked on bombing of Palestinians’ buildings, houses and mosques. Israel embarked on mass raids, arrests and assassinations of Palestinians. Thousands were accused of terrorizm, and thrown into jails without giving them fair trials. Israel tried to make life unbearable for the Palestinians. All international appeals to Israel to find a peaceful solution to the territorial problem were ignored.
However, what the Israelis did not factor into their calculation was “the resolve and determination” of the Palestinians to get back their land at any cost. The Palestinians stood their ground. They understood that if they understood that they had reached a point of no return in their campaign. They understood that if they really wanted their land back, they had to pay the dearest price for it. They understood that some of them had to lay down their lives for this noble course. Luckily for Palestinia, it had an army of volunteers, who were not only ready to tie the bombs around their waists, but considered it a honour to lay down their lives for such a noble course. They understood that freedom is not given on platter of gold anywhere in the world. They refused to be intimidated by the Israelis! They were not going to back down! Instead, they intensified their suicide bombings!
In a nutshell, after Israel had exhausted all its power, and realised that there was no softening in the Palestinians’ resolve and determination, it came to the sad but correct conclusion that there was no other option left than to negotiate with the Palestinians. They came to the sad but correct conclusion that Palestinians will never give them a rest of mind if they held on to their land. Israelis came to the sad but correct conclusio
n that Palestinians will never allow them to live in peace and harmony on the occupied territory. Israelis came to the sad but correct conclusion that the only way to stop Palestinians’ suicide bombers was to give their land back to them! Eventually, Israel had withdrawn from a substantial part of the occupied territory. Presently intensive negotiations are going as regards to Israelis withdrawal from the remaining Palestinians’ territory.