How The Niger Deltans Can Get Their Freedom: The Action Plan! (Part 5)

11. Are they afraid of been raided by their neighbours, Ndigbos, if they form their own sovereign country?

12. Is there any justification for this fear?

13. If there is a justification, then is there any way for them to remain on their own and still protect themselves from the invasion of the Ndigbos?

14. Which issues could lead to tension between them and the Ndigbos?

15. What mechanisms, acceptable to the two parties, could be used to minimize or remove them completely?

16. As a sovereign country, what kind of political, economic and military relationships do they want to establish with other ethnic groups in Nigeria, especially with their closest neighbour, the Ndigbos?

17. If they eventually decide to form their own sovereign country, which ethnic groups would it consist of?

18. How do their people or indigenes feel about getting rid of the north, and forming their own separate country?

19. How are they going to sell such idea to their people?

20. Which territory or communities will go into forming their sovereign country?

21. Are they in support of Abuja being the capital of Nigeria?

22. Would they want the capital to be relocated to the South south?

23. How should the Nigerian army and police be restructured?

24. What is the minimum percentage of their indigenes that must be recruited by the Nigerian army, State Security Service and police?

25. What is the justification for the north to concentrate all Nigeria‘s ammunitions and military bases in the north?

26. Do they support the fact that all of Nigeria‘s ammunitions and military bases are concentrated in the north?

27. What do they think about the idea of redistributing Nigeria‘s ammunitions and military bases equally among the 4 regions?

28. What is their opinion on federalism?

29. How hard are they going to push for federalism?

30. How are they going to argue for compensation for past economic deprivation by the northern government? What formula will be used in the calculation?

31. What percentage of their indigenes must make up future cabinet of ministers?

If I were to be a consultant or adviser to the Niger deltans on what objective to pursue or adopt, then I will advise them to make “breaking away from Nigeria in order to rule over themselves and concentrate all their resources ‘exclusively’ on their own development” their primary objective. Based on my objective analysis, breaking away from Nigeria and forming their own sovereign country is the ‘most feasible’ way of achieving whatever mission they might have set out to realise within the shortest time possible. It’s only a sovereign country that can give them ‘full’ control over their resources and destiny. All other options are compromise, and fall far short of achieving their mission. It’s only a sovereign country that will give them the opportunity to use their resources to provide everything they want for themselves, and avoid the humiliation of shuttling to Abuja all the time with cap in hand to beg for a ‘fraction’ of what belongs to them.

Apart from the political and economic benefits of breaking away which were highlighted in my articles “One Nigeria: To be or not to be? (parts 1-6), there is another rational reason behind this advise . It’s based on simple logic and common sense. Presently, by taking up arms against the northern led federal government, the militants are already risking their lives. Therefore, what is the sense or the justification in risking their lives for peanuts. Why risk your lives for a mere 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 or even 50% increase to the Niger delta derivation fund? Since life is the most precious and invaluable asset possessed by man, why sell it so cheap? Why not risk it for 100 percent?! Why not risk it for the sovereignty of the Niger delta?! Why not solve this problem once and for all, and forget about it?

Since the risk is the same, but with different outcomes, rewards or dividends, why not go for the maximum dividend – sovereignty? In these crises, the best option for the N.D. is what we call “the pareto-optimal” in game theory. The pareto optimal is the best allocation that best serves their self-interest. In game theory, an allocation is pareto optimal if there is an alternative allocation at which one person is better off and no one is worse off. An allocation is not pareto optimal (i.e. it’s not a good allocation) if there is another better allocation at which at least one person is better off and no one is worse off. The N.D. crisis is a typical ‘zero-sum’ game, most especially with the north. Zero sum games are games in which the players have completely opposite interests, that is, the gain for one player equals the loss for another player. It’s a strictly competitive game in which the players can not hope to improve their pay off through any kind of co-operation. If the N.D. play a non-zero sum game or try to reach a non-pareto optimal with the north within the scope of Nigeria, the consequence is that they will have to compromise and settle for 5, 10, or 15% hand-out of their own oil from the north. Playing a co-operative, and not a competitive game with the north means that they will have to compromise their political and economic interests in order to accommodate the north. Playing a co-operative game with the north tantamount to the north dictating to them at the summit what percentage of their resources they are entitled to. Thus, their loss will be the gain of the north. That’s why I am advising the N.D. to seek a pareto optimal for themselves, and not for the north or Nigeria as a whole. Pareto optimal is about taking a position or pursuing an objective that best meets their interest. And the best way for the Niger deltans to achieve a pareto optimal (for themselves) is to play a non-cooperative game with the north by acting independently and taking a position that best serve their interests in the short and long runs.

Another major reason why I am advising the N.D. to make setting up their own sovereign state their main objective is that there is the danger that any (preliminary) agreement reached with the north at the summit may be over turned in the next 5, 10, 15 or 20 years by a northern military dictator, who might come to power through a military coup, or by a northern civilian president through a constitution review/amendment in the Senate or House of Assembly where his party has the overwhelming majority as is the case with the PDP today. Nobody can give a hundred percent guarantee that there will be no more military coups or election riggings in Nigeria. The north might want to set a trap for the Niger deltans by quickly conceding or agreeing to any of their demands now (at the summit) in order to cool down tension, and allow the militants to come out of their hidings, but later launch attacks or a man-hunt for them in the future. There is the danger and risk that the north might want to revenge in the future. However, if the Niger delta becomes a sovereign country, it will be very difficult or practically impossible for the north to do this.

Going by this reasoning, my advice for the Niger delta militants is that they should state clearly that they don’t believe any more in one Nigeria, and want to opt out. They should make it clear to the north that the purpose of the summit is to discuss about the peaceful dissolution of Nigeria and the terms. They should make it clear to the north that they are ready to discuss about concessions for a peaceful dissolution, and that that their decision to opt out of Nigeria is firm and non-negotiable! There are more than enough arguments to justify such a demand. They include the following:

1. The British formed Nigeria without their consent;

2. They have no legal obligation before Nigeria after October 1st, 1960;

2. After almost 50 years since Nigeria‘s independence, they came to the sad but correct conclusion that the political, economic and military structures in Nigeria are not compatible with their development and aspirations’

3. They want to rule themselves and concentrate their resources exclusively on their own development. This is the wish of their people.

TO BE CONTINUED….

Written by
Bode Eluyera
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1 comment
  • thanks Bode, but you should always finish your articles before submitting them. We want to be able to digest everything in one seating.

    Thanks sha.