How the Niger Deltans can get their freedom: The Action Plan! (Part 7)

by Bode Eluyera


The political implication of the new ministry is that dejure, it will be on paper that the Niger Delta now has a special ministry set up by the good Samaritan Alhaji Yaradua, but defacto, the Niger Deltans will have practically no control over how it is run. The new ministry will be like any other ineffective ministry that is being run by incompetent, corrupt, visionless and morally bankrupt ministers. Most importantly, Yaradua will go down in history as the first and only Nigerian president with the courage and wisdom to resolve the Niger Delta crisis at last. Praises and commendations in superlative forms are already been sent to Yaradua notwithstanding the fact that the ministry is even yet to be set up officially, talk-less of it completing a single project.
With the signing of the new ministry into law, the crisis in the region will be formally declared solved and closed FOREVER – never to be returned to again. And Yaradua and the north will at last get the mandate to refer to the militants as terrorists, bandits, robbers, kidnappers who are only destabilizing the region and disturbing him from turning the Niger Delta into the ‘garden of Eden’ like Abuja. He will have the carte-blanch to restore peace and order to the region by any means. Thus, a man hunt and massacre of the militants in the creeks with his Hausa/Fulani soldiers will take off swiftly.

Furthermore, those who are optimistic about a special ministry for Niger Delta need to be told that it’s too early to start jubilating. They need to be quickly reminded that ‘it is one thing to announce the formation of a special ministry, but it is another thing entirely to make it function properly.’

As we are all aware, Nigeria, since independence, has had a number of ministries including the ministries of power, water, transportation, industries, agriculture, health, industries, internal affairs, petroleum, education to mention but just a few. What are the achievements of all these ministries for the past 50 years? How many homes has the ministry of power, for almost 50 years of its existence, been able to provide uninterrupted electricity to? Since almost 50 years of its existence, what percentage of Nigerian homes has the ministry of water been able to make pipe-born water available? How has the work of ministry of transportation reflected on our transportation networks: roads, rail transportation, water transportation, aviation? How many national airlines does Nigeria have today? How many planes can Nigeria boast of today? It’s a known fact that Nigeria’s dilapidated roads are death traps which have sent uncountable number of Nigerians to their early graves. Likewise, up till today, Nigeria still holds the world record in the number of deaths through plane crashes. Recently, it was reported that most of the equipments used at Nigerian airports are outdated. Where was the ministry of aviation/transportation when these equipments were being installed?

How has the ministry of Agriculture made Nigeria to be self-sufficient since almost 50 years of its existence? It’s a known fact that Nigerians feed mainly on imported foods.

How many houses has the ministry of works and housing built for Nigerians within almost 50 years of its existence? Within almost 50 years of its existence, what percentage of Nigeria’s indigenous products or goods has the ministry of Industries helped Nigerian industries to produce for Nigerians and for export, compared to those that are imported into the country?

How is the level of health care system in Nigeria today since almost 50 years of its existence? Has the ministry of health made access to quality health care services affordable to most Nigerians since its existence for almost 50 years? Why are Nigerian doctors, nurses and other medical personnel trooping to western, Arabic and even African countries like South Africa if they are contented in Nigeria? Are Nigerian hospitals well equipped with state of the arts medical equipments? Why is the average life expectancy in Nigeria a shocking 42.2 years, one of the lowest in the world, despite the fact that the ministry of health has been in existence for almost 50 year? It’s an open secret that Nigerian Teaching Universities are mere consulting centers. Northern Nigeria has the highest number of polo cases in the world and Nigeria has one of the highest cases of mothers that loose their lives during delivery. How did the ministry of health allow things to degenerate to such level?

How has the ministry of internal affairs been able to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians since almost 50 years of its existence? Why is it that despite the existence of the ministry of internal affairs for almost 50 years, nevertheless, uncountable number of Nigerians were left to face their agony alone in the hands of armed robbers? Why does the Nigerian Police hardly come to the aids of Nigerians, but instead prefer to brutalize them? How has the ministry of Justice ensure that an average Nigerian, irrespective of his income, could count on the judicial system to be fair to him or her? Many Nigerians were What impact has the ministry of education made on Nigerian education since almost 50 years of its inception? Why are lecturers forcing students to buy their handouts in order to pass exams? Why are Nigerian lectures trooping to other countries including African countries that are even poorer than Nigeria to teach? How has successful is the ministry of education in resolving the issue of adequate funding of education at all levels within almost 50 years of its existence?

Since almost 50 years of its existence, what positive impact has the ministry of Petroleum had on the lives and economy of Nigerians and Nigeria respectively as regards to availability of petrol and at an affordable price? It’s a known fact that practically all the refineries in Nigeria are grounded and that prices of petroleum in Nigeria is one of the highest in the world despite the fact that it has the 6th largest reserve of crude oil in the world. Nigeria, a country with 140 million people, rely completely on multinational oil companies to drill its oil despite the fact that Iran, with a population of 70 million; 2 times less than that of Nigeria, and Venezuela, with a population of 20 million, 7 times less than that of Nigeria, have long kicked out all multinational oil companies from their respective countries and are drilling their oil now by themselves? What has the Ministry of Petroleum been doing for almost 50 years? Undoubtedly, we can continue the assessment of all of the ministries that Nigeria has ever had in the past 50 years, unfortunately, the result is the same. THERE IS JUST NOTHING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT PRACTICALLY ABOUT ALL OF NIGERIA’S MINISTRIES THAT HAVE BEEN IN EXISTENCE FOR ALMOST 50 YEARS. THEY HAVE ALL FAILED WOEFULLY!


Now, here comes the one billion dollar question ‘if the above objective analyses that we have just carried out reveal that all the ministries that Nigeria has ever had in the last 50 years have failed woefully, what makes us think that the new special ministry of Niger Delta, which is supposed to combine and perform simultaneously all the roles and functions of all other ministries: transportation, health, works, housing, education, aviation, power, agriculture, industries, mining, petroleum, youth development, e.t.c., in other words ‘ALL MINISTRIES IN ONE, will be able to perform up to expectation? What makes us think that the special Niger delta ministry will not share the same fate with other failed Nigerian ministries? What will be so special about this ministry that it can not fail? Certainly, one does not need to be a sooth-sayer to predict that the new special ministry is doomed to fail! Furthermore, as has already been mentioned, if after 8 years as the governor of Katsina state and 16 months as the imposed president of Nigeria, Yaradua is not even capable of establishing a state of the arts medical centre manned by the best of the best of Nigerian doctors, nurses and medical personnel to treat his ailment, but instead prefers to shuttle to Germany, what makes us think that he will be able to monitor the new ministry and ensure that it delivers as promised?

And by the way, what is the difference between a new Niger Delta ministry and the previously established Niger Delta Development Fund (N.D.D.F)? What is preventing the northern led federal government for almost 50 years, or since the creation of N.D.D.F., from implementing the same projects – that could have brought development to the region and people – now entrusted upon the new ministry? Are we to understand that the government has abandoned N.D.D.F. because it believes that it has failed? And if so, what makes the northern led Federal government think that this new ministry will be different from N.D.D.F.? Is there any basis for such optimism? And, is the new ministry NOT going to be managed by the same old, corrupt, incompetent, visionless and morally bankrupt civilians and retired criminal officers? Or, is Yaradua planning to employ Marsians to run this new ministry?

Suffice to as well say that this unilateral announcement of a special ministry as well lends strong support to the assertion that the relationship between north and the South in general is not a partnership relationship, but a colonial and/or Master-Slave relationship. In an equal partnership relationship, where there is trust and mutual understanding, partners consult one another before taking vital decisions. A partner does not take a unilateral and vital decision that will have a serious impact on his partner(s) without discussing the details with him/them. In an equal and trustworthy relationship, partners solicit for inputs from one another in order to resolve serious crises. Unfortunately, as far as the Niger delta is concerned, since Yaradua and the north do not regard them as equal partners, therefore they do not think it is necessary to discuss or consult with them about how to overcome the impasse in their region.

Therefore, even if there is no any cogent or genuine reason to reject the idea of a special ministry – although, in actual fact, we have given more than enough – the mere fact that Yaradua and the north took a unilateral decision on the Niger Delta without involving the major stake-holders: the indigenes and the militants, is definitely more than enough reason why the militants, as a matter of principle and honour MUST reject this new proposal from Yaradua – no matter how well intentioned it may be. Without any exaggeration, this act on the part of Yaradua and the north is big insult and a ‘dirty slap’ on the face of the militants and the indigenes.

These northerners need not only to be forced to eat the humble pie, but need as well to be told that they are nothing but a bunch of ungrateful parasites! What makes Yaradua think that he is the Almighty God who is bestowed the sole right to unilaterally decide how the Niger Deltans, who have nothing absolutely in common with the descendants of Usman Dan Fodio, must spend their resources? What legitimate right does Yaradua have to decide unilaterally how the Niger Delta crisis must be resolved? WHO THE HELL IS SHEHU YARADUA? In case we have a short memory, then, we need to be reminded that Yaradua himself was imposed on Nigerians through a fraudulent election, the worst ever conducted in the history of the country. Thus, Yaradua himself is nothing but a thief in possession of a stolen mandate. According to Femi Falana (S.A.N.), one of the worst crimes that could ever be conducted is election rigging. Subsequently, he does not have any moral right whatsoever to present any plan, talkless of a unilateral plan, on how to resolve the Niger Delta crisis. Almost 18 months into his reign, Nigerians are yet to see just a single agenda from his 7 point agenda, which were announced immediately after taking over power, being successfully executed. Instead, so far, all Yaradua has succeeded in giving Nigerians are his expensive medical bills paid from the oil in the Niger Delta. What an ingrate! Nigeria They need to be put in their place!

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