“Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.”
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Henry David Thoreau.
“British soldiers coming to Niger Delta is an affront. It amounted to double jeopardy to bring in British soldiers when the people in the region were still suffering from the activities of the British companies. The Nigerian military could not be used to quash the genuine agitation of the people.”
The Special Adviser to the Governor of Delta State on Students’ Affairs, Mr. Michael Akpobire. July, 2008.
“I have been to almost all corners of the Niger Delta, and a visit to the Niger Delta will make our shame very glaring. The Place has virtually been abandoned, you won’t believe it is part of Nigeria and also, if you see the oil pollution there, fisher men cannot fish again and fishing is their occupation. Agriculture is no longer possible and, yet, we say we want them to be part of this country and to be loyal. I think the Niger Delta trouble makers have been pushed to the wall to do what they are doing now.
Nigeria is like a marriage which nobody wants but the marriage nobody dares dissolve…”
Richard Akinjide. Former Attorney-General of the Federation under Shagari.
Excerpt of interview given in January, 2008.
“Peace in the Niger Delta will be determined from the mangrove creeks and not from air-conditioned rooms in Abuja,”
Excerpt of statement released by MEND after the Yaradua led Federal Republic of Northern Nigeria announced the formation of a 40 man Niger Delta committee . September 2008.
“I do not believe in Nigeria. So, the idea of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a big fraud. I do not believe in it and it can’t work. The immediate way out is the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference of ethnic groups that will renegotiate their membership of the country. The era when they intimidate people with troops is over. In this world, nobody has exclusive preserve of terror. If they think that they will terrorize us and fight us,that time is over. It is gone and it is gone forever, so as long as they come into our land to attack us, we have every right; inalienable right to defend ourselves. Why don’t they go and say that oil in Chad or Cameroon or in Saudi Arabia or Libya belongs to them? They are talking because our elders allow them to talk. It is their arrogance. First, they are parasites. They contribute nothing; absolutely nothing intellectually or resource wise to this entity they call Nigeria. They are only parasites. We all saw what happened to them in the last four years of Obasanjo’s regime when they lost virtually everything; how they were hunger-stricken and became beggarly, so their boast does not affect anyone of us. They are men and we are men. If they send their men, we will defend ourselves. We will not only defend ourselves, we will carry the battle to them wherever they are. They cannot come to our land, destroy our land and kill our people and cause mayhem. We will take the battle to wherever they are. You take somebody else’s resources and you have the temerity, instead of you to be begging, to pour invectives. Did they conquer us? What power do they have? The Biafran war they are talking, we fought it. Did they fight it? Did Murtala Mohammed not run away? Which of them fought the war? We fought the war to keep this dubious entity one. It was our blood and sweat and resources. They didn’t fight the war. Who never knew about how Murtala Mohammed cowardly ran away at Asaba? The problem of the Niger Delta is political. Our sovereignty was stolen from us by the British and that’s what we are talking about. Until that issue is addressed at a sovereign national conference, all these half measures will come to nought. The decision of this sovereign national conference will be subjected to a referendum like it was done in Ethiopia when Eritrea left or as it has been attempted three times by Quebec in Canada.”
Asari Dokubo. Leader of NDPVF. Excerpt of interview given in July 2008.
“My suggestion is that you have to realize that the day of non-violent is over; that the day of passive resistance is over. The people of China grew tired of their oppressors and the people rose up against their oppressors. They didn’t rise up nonviolently. It was easy to say that the odds were against them, but eleven of them started out and today those eleven control 800 million. They should have been told back then that the odds were against them. As the oppressed, ‘The odds are against you.’ When Castro was up in the mountains of Cuba, they told him the odds were against him. Today, he is sitting in Havana, and all the power this country has can’t remove him. They told the Algerians the same thing: ‘What do you have to fight with?’ Today, they have to bow down to Ben Bella. He came out of the jail that they put him in, and today they have to negotiate with him because he knew that the one thing he had on his side was truth and time. Time is on the side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. You don’t need anything else…The system in this country can not produce freedom for an Afro-American. It is impossible for this system, this economic system, this political system, this social system, this system, period. It’s impossible for this system, as it stands, to produce freedom right now for the black man in this country. And if ever a chicken did produce a duck egg, I am quiet sure you would say it was certainly a revolutionary chicken!
Malcom X. Excerpt of speech.
ROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. THE NIGER DELTA PEACE JAMBOREE:
FROM GAMBARI SUMMIT TO SPECIAL MINISTRY FOR THE NIGER DELTA.
The issue of the new special ministry of Niger Delta just created by Yaradua is so important that no amount of space and time devoted to its analysis could be too much. As a matter of fact Asari Dokubo, one of the leaders of the militant groups, has made it clear on several occasions that the ONLY ACCEPTABLE solution to the Niger Delta crisis is the convocation of a S.N.C. where every ethnic group will renegotiate its continued membership in Nigeria, the evil creation of the British. However, instead of heeding to this reasonable and fair call, which would have provided a quick and peaceful solution to the deadlock in the region, Yaradua and the north have decided to ignore it and went ahead on a lonely but fruitless journey by unilaterally announcing the formation of a special ministry for the Niger Delta.
Within 3 months, about 4 proposals have been considered; and killed before they could even take off. Niger delta Summit, discussions, war threat, 40 man committee and now a new and special ministry of Niger Delta have been put forward as solutions to the crisis in the N.D. just within 80 days! What does this unilateral decision as regards to a special ministry of N.D. tells us about Yaradua? First, it tells us that in actual fact Yaradua does not have any concrete plan as regards to resolving the Niger Delta crisis right from the onset. The fact that Yaradua jumps from one plan to the other without even giving any one of them a real trial, goes a long way to prove beyond any reasonable doubts that this man from Katsina, who entered Aso Rock through the back-door, NEVER had any real ‘Road map’ as far as resolving the Niger Delta crisis is concerned. The bitter truth is that Yaradua, a.k.a. ‘Mr. Go Slow’ is a COMPLETELY confused man. Obviously, the decision about a special ministry was made out of desperation to cool tension in the region. Yaradua led Federal government just needed to tell the militants anything so that they could lay down their arms and come out of the creeks hands up in the air. It was not a desire born out of a deep conviction to correct more than 50 years of oppression, suppression, humiliation, economic deprivation that the people and the region were subjected to by the north. It was more of a time buying and Public relations exercise on the part of Yaradua was made out
Secondly, as has already been mentioned in part 6 of this series, chronicles of political events in Nigeria, have proved over and over that THE NORTH AND YARADUA CAN NOT BE TRUSTED under any circumstances! For example, how can one trust a man who again lied to 140 million Nigerians; who are yet to forgive him and recover from the shock and psychological trauma of the farce that was called election in which he emerged as the president, that he was going on lesser hajj in Saudi Arabia, when in actual fact, the primary purpose of his visit was to undergo a kidney transplant? We should not also forget that during the presidential campaign and immediately on attaining power, he told the whole nation that the reason for his endless trips to Germany was to treat catarrh. Yaradua never for once admitted that he is suffering from chronic kidney problem. He only admitted to this fact after the secret behind his medical jamboree abroad was leaked to the nation by Nigeria’s foremost investigative journalists. How could we trust a man who would rather entrust his body, life and details of his health to foreign doctors instead of Nigerian doctors? How can we trust a man, who talks about the rule of law all the time, but constantly violates it himself and has done very little or practically nothing to uphold it?
Thirdly, the timing and speed at which the special ministry was announced ought to make one to be suspicious. The plan to form a special Ministry of N.D. was revealed or reconfirmed after the return of Yaradua from a 2 week medical holiday in Germany and Saudi Arabia. It’s obvious that while in Germany and Saudi Arabia, he must had met with the British and Americans who pressed him to go ahead with the idea of a special ministry for Niger Delta. Otherwise, how does one explain the fact that it took almost one and a half years for Yaradua to arrive at the conclusion that a special Ministry is the best solution to the Niger Delta crisis? A recently released report by a reliable Nigerian news media about the special Ministry revealed that Yaradua was not just consulting with the British and Americans, but in actual fact are the architects behind the whole idea. Names of potential Nigerians that could head the ministry have already been submitted to the British and Americans for screening. Ibori is rumored to stand the best chance of heading the new ministry. Never mind the fact that he was arrested and later ‘quickly’ released again by the EFCC after threatening to ‘lay it all bear and name names of his accomplices in high places. What an excellent method of getting the EFCC to be off one’s back. And, never mind the fact that Ibori has been detained and questioned on several occasions by the British government for money laundering. What other evidence do you need in order to believe that Nigeria is STILL A BANANA REPUBLIC AND A COLONY of the British put in the custody of the descendants of Usman Dan Fodio? Try to imagine a situation in which the British sends a list containing the names of potential candidates to head one of its ministries to another country for screening and confirmation.
Furthermore, the unilateral announcement of a special ministry for the N.D. without any inputs or consultation with the militants, go a long way to show that Yaradua and the north have very little regards for the Niger Deltans, a region that the north in actual fact owes its COMPLETE existence to. By ignoring the militants, Yaradua and the north has once again not only demonstrated their arrogance, but are as well trying to deny their existence and continue portraying them as jobless bandits and terrorists, who are not fighting for a just cause, but are only out to enrich themselves through bunkering and kidnapping of innocent Nigerians and foreigners for ransom.
ECONOMIC IMPLICATION OF THE PROPOSED SPECIAL MINISTRY FOR NIGER DELTA.
We have just carried out a general analysis of the new special Ministry of N.G. being produced by the northern led government of Yaradua, we will now try to carry out an economic analysis or to be more precise, economic implication of a ministry of Niger Delta. From the economic point of view, what does a ministry of Niger Delta mean? It means that the north will be giving the Niger Deltans just a ‘minute fraction’, of their own money, say 0.05% (please note that it is not 5%, but 0.05%) at best. But, out of this 0,05%, about a fifth of it, at most, will in actual fact get to the indigenes simply because the remaining would be embezzled by corrupt politicians through inflated contracts. It will definitely be an additional and guaranteed avenue for politicians to enrich themselves. And, needless to say that most of the contracts that would be awarded and actually implemented would not only be inflated but carried out mainly by foreign companies. Thus, by accepting a special ministry as a solution to the Niger Delta crisis, the indigenes will be giving out 99.95% of their oil and gas revenues for free all in the name of building One Nigeria that they were roped into by the British.
In order to get a better understanding of the economic implication of the new ministry of N.D. that Yaradua, the British and Americans are proposing to the Niger Deltans, a concrete example needs to be given. Imagine that your backyard contains Bitumen that can give you $20 billion every year. A stranger comes up to you and says ‘Mr. S, you know what? I will take complete control of this Bitumen in your backyard, but you don’t need to worry about how to sustain yourself because I will set aside 0.05% of $20 billion every year for your upkeep. However, this money (0.05% of $20 billion) will not even be handed over to you in cash to spend as you wish because I am afraid that you might spend it any how. Therefore, it will be in my custody. I will set up a special ministry which will be run mainly by my people and some of your people ‘that are loyal to me. They will determine your needs themselves without consulting you and pay for them from this money that I have set aside. But, God forbids Mr. S, if you don’t agree with this ‘perfect arrangement,’ I will wipe you and the whole of your family from the face of the earth. And by the way, I’ll like to remind you that your territory is surrounded by my thugs waiting for an order from me.” If we are to call a spade a spade, and not just a working tool, then, obviously, this special ministry is nothing but continued ‘legalized robbery and internal colonialism.’ NO MORE, NO LESS!