6. CONTINUOUS EXISTENCE.
Last but not the least, it’s worth reminding us that the future and/or existence of the new ministry will be determined solely by the president. After some time, a new president – or even Yaradua himself (why not?) – could decide that there is no need for a special ministry for the N.D. and scrap it. He can always and easily find any flimsy excuse to do that. He might admit the creation of a ministry of the N.D. is after all a mistake – and not a well thought out solution – on the part of his government. If the president decides to scrape the new ministry, there is nothing the Niger Deltans can do about it. They have no veto power. Moreover, it’s not written in Nigeria’s 419 Constitution that the new ministry must exist forever or a specified period of time. There is no law that says that the president does not have the right/power to scrape it. Now, please try to imagine that after a year, Yaradua scrapes the new ministry because he thinks that it is controversial, what are the Niger Deltans going to do then? Will the militants – who have risked their lives by taking up arms against the federal government – go back again to the creeks or what? What additional evidence do you need in order to be convinced that the proposed special ministry of the N.D. is nothing but a cat in a sack? Are you convinced now beyond any reasonable doubts?
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE SPECIAL MINISTRY OF THE N.D.?
The question before us now to ask is: ‘what is special about this new ministry of the Niger Delta?’ From this analysis, it’s obvious that there is nothing special about the new ministry of N.D. although, officially it is called ‘special ministry’ of the N.D. It does not have any special status whatsoever. It’s just like any other ministry in Nigeria run by incompetent, corrupt, visionless and morally bankrupt politicians. It’s worth noting that the present minister of the ministry served as a cabinet minister in Obasanjo’s government. Did he achieve anything substantial then? Definitely no. On what basis should the Niger Deltans now believe him or naively think that he is going to perform miracles?
Similarly, it will be naive on the part of the indigenes of the Niger Delta to expect that Yaradua will provide the long awaited development that has eluded them for almost 50 years when even Yaradua himself was not capable of building a common state of the arts medical center/hospital that will cater for his chronic ailment for 8 good years, as the governor of Katsina STATE, and almost 20 months in the capacity of imposed president of Nigeria. Up till the time of writing, he still shuttles to Germany and other countries in a big Boeing, bought from the oil revenues in the N.D. So far, all he has given Nigerians and Nigeria are expensive medical bills for his treatment.
SPECIAL MINISTRY OF THE N.D.: A TIME BOMB IN WAITING!
Apart from all the numerous serious defects of the so called special ministry of the N.D. which have already been highlighted, suffice to say that the most worrying aspect of this ministry is not even its ineffectiveness in resolving the crisis in the region. In my opinion, based on my analysis, what is most frightening about the N.D. ministry is that it is a time bomb in waiting that is bound to create even more problems in Nigeria. The creation of a N.D. ministry will destabilise Nigeria further. This serious assertion, undoubtedly, needs further explanation.
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF THE NIGER DELTA?
First, for the sake of our analysis, it’s important that we start by making some clarification. When we say ‘The Niger Delta,’ what exactly do we mean by this by the way? If you don’t mind my asking you for a little favour, please answer this question before reading on. To the best of my understanding, by definition, and strictly speaking, the Niger Delta includes all the tribes whose territories are either located by/along the N.D. or very close to it. Please compare your definition with mine before reading on. Do you agree with my own definition or not? If not, why?
If we accept – and go – by this definition, undoubtedly, technically, the N.D. includes Ondo, rich in oil, and even Lagos states respectively which belong to the Yorubas, one of the 3 major tribes in Nigeria. Based on this fact, it will be appropriate to ask the following questions:
(1) Does the new ministry of the N.D. include both Ondo and Lagos states respectively?
(2) If not, why?
(3) What criteria or formula did the northern led federal government use to determine which states, territories and tribe are included in the N.D. ministry?
The second destabilising factor in the creation of a special ministry of N.D. is that some states right now believe that they are also entitled to a special ministry and are already demanding for one. For example, Lagos state believes that its ports and the financial transactions that take place on its territory are strategic and bring substantial amount of revenues to the coffers of the federal government and some prominent politicians and business men are already openly demanding for a special ministry for Lagos. Is the federal government ready to look seriously into Lagos state’s case and create a special ministry for it too? If not, why?
In January 2009, Ogun state announced that a commercial quantity of oil reserves has been discovered on its territory. When exploration starts, if Ogun state demands for a special ministry, is the federal government going to create one for it too or include it in the one that has already been formed?
Before the creation of Lagos, Ondo and Ogun states, now with proven oil reserves in commercial quantity, the Yorubas had just one state – the western region – headed by Pa Obafemi Awolowo, all the revenues generated in the region, mostly from agriculture (cocoa) were used to provide free education and develop the region which included the present Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara and part of Kogi states. It’s worth noting that after the defunct of the western region, the new states that emerged in its place were created by northern military head of states without any concrete formula, criteria nor consultation with the leaders of the Yorubas.
The main purpose of state creation by the northern military dictators was to divide and weaken the Yorubas, and not facilitate their development as an ethnic group. Pa Awo, then, in the capacity of the Premier of the western region, was able accomplish much more the region and the people without the oil in Ondo state now than all the present Yoruba states fragmented from the western region.
There is more than enough basis to assert that state creation by the military headed from time immemorial by the northern criminal officers, who always shot their way to power, was meant to divide and weaken the 2 other major tribes, the Yorubas and Ndigbos. For example, how does one explain the fact that the former Kwara state, which is a Yoruba territory, was later divided into 2 – the new and smaller Kwara state and Kogi states respectively, with the latter out in such a way that it now consists of the former Kwara state and other states, created earlier. The Yorubas (which are one of the 3 major tribes in Nigeria) in Kogi state, who were part of the former Kwara state, to their nightmare discover that they constitute the minority in Kogi state. They are subjected to unprecedented oppression, suppression by the non-Yoruba ruling elites. Their lands are been confiscated by force by the state government without any compensation. Personally, I can’t understand the logic or rational for braking Kwara state up.
Compared to their brethrens in Kogi State, the Yorubas in Kwara state don’t fair better in any way. Although dejure, Kwara state is 100% Yoruba state, but defacto, it’s status is doubtful. The north has almost succeeded in northernalizing it, and turning it into a pseudo Yoruba-Fulani state. On one hand, the so
called father of the state, Olusola Saraki, bears a Yoruba name, on the other hand, he has always positioned himself as a northerner: he refers to himself as a Fulani man, distances himself from Yorubas in other states and attended only the meetings of northern state governors when he was the governor – to the best of my knowledge, he has never attended any meeting of South west governors. This tradition is continued by his successors – including his son, Bukola Saraki, the present governor of the state. But most of Saraki’s children are claiming to be full-blooded Yorubas. Who are we to believe now? Olusola Saraki or his children?
Did Saraki claim to be a Fulani, and not a Yoruba man, and allignes himself with the north in order to realise his selfish political ambition and economic interests, or he sincerely believe that he has nothing in common with the Yorubas? The king is now Zulugambari, a Fulani man. Does the fact that Alimi, a barbaric and ungrateful Fulani warderer – who was invited to Ilorin by Afonja, the Alaafin of Oyo’s war general in Ilorin – but later betrayed him by revolting against him: raided and succeeded in capturing Ilorin, a Yoruba city, with the help of the Sokoto Caliphate, automatically means that Ilorin and/or Kwara state are no more Yoruba territories and now belong to the Fulanis? What if tomorrow an Oodua republic emerges, are the Fulanis going to lay claim to Kwara state and the other Yoruba territories in Kogi state? How I wished that our historians like Prof. Bolanle Awe, will clearify this issue. Ever since Ilorin fell to the descendants of Usman Dan Fodio, the Yorubas in Kwara state are being suppressed and oppressed by the Fulani aliens. Their lands have been confiscated without any compensation and handed over to light complexioned Zimbabwean farmers, who fled Zimbabwe after the lands of Zimbabwean blacks that they illegally occupied for centuries, was at last taken away from them by Mugabe.
Personally, I find it ludicrous that a Fulani by name Gambari, the former Nigerian representative to the U.N. is claiming Kwara state as his state! How does one explain that? When did Kwara state become Fulani’s laqnd?
Similar examples abound in the S.E. and S.S. respectively where northern military officers purposely included oil producing Ndigbo terroitories into S.S. states, and the Ndigbos, in those states, discovered, to their surprise, that they now constitute a minority group.
My question goes thus ‘Since Ondo state is 100% a Yoruba territory – i.e. belongs to all Yorubas including the Ijebus, Egbas, Oyos, Ibadans, Iseyins, Ijeshas, Ifes, Ekos, e.t.c. are they entitled to lay claim to the mineral resources in that state for the development of the Yorubas and Yoruba territory as a whole?
Before the creation of states, the Yorubas saw themselves as one indivisible people/tribe – the sons and daughters of Oodua – where all resources; both mineral and human, should be mobilised towards their collective development.
Unfortunately, the creation of states engineered by Nigerian northern leaders has divided and is still dividing the Yorubas. Oodua must be rolling in his grave by now. The creation of states has led to a situation whereby Ondo state – an extension of Yoruba territory – its indigenes, now believe that the oil on their territory is exclusively for the development of the state and its indigenes – and not the entire Yorubaland and Yorubas.
Based on my objective analysis, the most serious threat to the ministry of N.D. and the political stability of the country will come from the Yorubas. But this is not because they are against the indigenes of the N.D. – infact, suffice to say that that the Yorubas have always sympathised with the plight of these people and on many occasions call on the northern led federal government to do justice in the region – but because they will also want to be treated equally.
It is a well known fact that a large amount of bitumen has been discovered in the South West. In fact, it has been revealed that practically the whole of Yoruba territory is sitting on bitumen and the reserve is second largest in the world! Bitumen, as is well known, is not only in high demand all over the world, but has almost equal value with oil. Now, the question I have for Yaradua and/or his new minister of information is this: ‘Will he or any future president create a special ministry for the Yorubas when exploration commences if the Yorubas demand for it?
The above comprehensive analysis has not only once again revealed the ineffectiveness of the creation of a special ministry of the N.D. as an antidote to the crisis in the region, but has as well proved the following:
(1) The creation of a special ministry of the N.D. will escalate problems in the country in the nearest future;
(2) Yaradua is a dumb and incompetent president’
(3) Yaradua is surrounded by incompetent advisers;
(4) The N.D. ministry is a fraud, hypocrisy and manipulation on the part of Yaradua, his government and the criminals surrounding him;
(5) State creation in its present form in Nigeria – with diversified ethnic groups – unlike in the U.S., is ineffective for administration purpose;
(6) states were created in Nigeria by northern military leaders – who came to power through coup detats, which is not only unconstitutional, but as welll constitutes a serious crime punishable by firing squad – with the sole aim of divining and weakening mainly the Yorubas and Ndigbos respectively.
DON’T BUY A CAT IN A SACK FROM YARADUA!
First, before we further, let me quickly ask you a simple question: ‘What other evidence do you need in order to be convinced that Yaradua’s ministry of N.D. is nothing but a cat in sack?’ Are you convinced now beyond any reasonable doubts that the N.D. ministry is a cat in a sack?
Even to an optimist – but an open-minded one – the above comprehensive and objective analysis is more than enough to prove that Yaradua’s special N.D. ministry is a cat in sack. Subsequently, my advise to the militants and indigenes is to turn it down. It’s not even worth considering. Tell Yaradua to his face that you don’t need it and that he should go to hell with his special ministry! Personally, I have earlier stated, I will NEVER be a party to a doubtful and costly deal – which was worked out without my knowledge nor participation, and the details of which are practically unknown or elusive to me. It’s just too risk.
If the militants and the indigenes allow Yaradua to sell a fake ministry of the N.D. I am convinced that they will live to regret it. By the time they realise it, it will be too late for comfort. It will be too late to complaint talk less of crying. Most importantly, all the sacrifice, endurance, suffering, armed struggle, deaths, e.t.c. of the militants all these years will amount to nothing!
But if at all I were to take the risk – though, as I have earlier stated, it doesn’t really worth it – of buying a cat in a sack which I am promised will bring me peace, happiness and prosperity within a certain period, then, I will definitely try as much as possible to get some clarifications by asking the seller the following questions:
(1) How long will the cat live if taken care of by me properly?
(2) How much prosperity will the cat really bring me?
(3) How much happiness and peace will the cat really bring me and how long will they last?
(4) When exactly will I start feeling the impact – peace, happiness and prosperity – in my life?
(5) What will happen if on getting home I discover, to my greatest surprise and disappointment, that it’s not a cat that is in the sack after all – but, for example, a cobra with 2 heads?
(6) What if the cat turns out to be a blind, deaf, dumb, sick or an invalid?
(7) Is it possible that the cat can run away?
The purpose of the questions above is to simplify decision on whether to even consider taking the risk of
buying the costly cat in a sack. However, Irrespective of how assuring the answers of the seller to my questions may sound, since I am engaged in a very risky venture of buying a very costly cat in a sack, I still have to insure myself against all risks involved in buying the costly cat by entering into a legal agreement with the seller where the following provisions will be made: