When you had your back against the wall and you had nowhere to go and you had no peace to offer, nothing, because you had nothing; and your bully wanted to devour you, indifferent and pushed you further into the wall, then you had one choice and one choice only, TO FIGHT BACK!
Fought back you have and now the world recognizes you, your strife, and your barrenness, you, impecunious but willing to take up arms against your country, indifferent before, now contends with your power.
Their scorn, your source of strength now presents you the greatest opportunity. Your power beyond measure now your greatest resource, quite possibly your hindrance, depending on how take it from here, hence these conversations.
When you know what you have, I hope you are ready. I hope your new capacity does not become your albatross. You have a great lesson to learn from your big brother NIGERIA who has lost its own way.
My dear brothers in the delta, you have fought back, sometimes for personal gain, mostly against the injustice meted to you. Please don’t forget who this is all for, Please do not. You were never fighting for yourselves; you were fighting for something quite outside, an altruistic cardinal reaction for something much bigger than yourselves. For your children and children’s children sake now is important for the sake of history.
The issue today is not so much as the incumbent query of the percentage, that is left to the civilized future. To discuss something as rudimentary as percentages (Say for instance 10%) today is to disrespect the importance of this moment.
We have important things to talk about.
The exigency of immediately.
How YOU got here, the world knows, the tactics you availed yourselves to, attempting to turn back the clock are not exactly au courant.
The Ogiek are doing it in Kenya, the Navajos in the USA, the indigenous are doing it Guatemala, the indigenous in the Philippines. Today, as we speak Ecuadorian indigenous such as the Shuar are fighting back, fighting against antiquated water, land and mining laws.
When the 10% materializes and when it looms, what do will you do with it?
Where will you go with it? I already know how powerful you were, not because of the size of your guns, but what you decided to with it. Now both sided have shed blood, what do we do with the blood?
If you fail to come together as a Delta nation, you will have failed
If unimportant issues such as which local government gets what school or what village gets which hospital or what road passes through which hamlet or which family gets what contract, what jobs, other unnecessary primordial parsimonious selfish nearsighted squabbles, then this will have been all for nothing.
To consider this a struggle larger than yourselves is to not get into the “sharing operandi” an operandi that will not benefit your children, your community, your society, your legacy.
It is a time for the best brains that you have, your best brains, locally, nationally, internationally to recognize the urgency of now. To differentiate you from the larger society that squandered its own opportunity using your money, It is not a time for contract sharing, contract manipulation, thuggery, bullying or the oppression of the same people you fought this fight for.
The moment I saw your brothers in Abuja sitting at the table of Power, Ekpemupolo, Henry Orkar, Ateke, Dagogo, sitting with power, I knew the golden opportunity had presented itself.
If you did what some did with bunkering proceeds; all this would have been selfish and unimportant. If you bought expensive cars and built mansions, it is your prerogative, but it would have been selfish. If you behaved like some of your Governors, some of your Legislators, some of your South South leaders who race for personal wealth at the expense of needy Deltans, then you will be no different.
If you bought white elephants, you will be no different from them.
From Cross River to Ondo, the paradigm has shifted; the communities now have the direct responsibilities for their children and generations unborn.
When the 10% arrives and if it does, please let your children feel it.
If your hospitals are less than world class, you have failed, if your schools are lees than world class, you have failed, if your living standard are less than world class, you have failed, if your communication systems are less than world class you have failed, if your research institutions are mediocre, you have failed.
If you think you can get there overnight, you will fail.
To be really elementary remember the saying “Rome was not built in a day”
As you remember that, think of Singapore, the UAE, Qatar, Even morocco 25 years ago. So remember if you benchmark against mediocrity, you will fail. The paramountcy of this power, dictates the desperation of its efficacy.
Let’s see the rise of the new Dubai, a Singapore, a Bahrain, a Brunei, where GDP, s and PPP, s actually have meanings, where the wealth of its peoples both potentially and actual are visible, impinge and congruous to their existence.
I anticipate the same vigor used fighting for your rights, getting the worlds attention being used to check your own personal demons. Malignant spirits that would tempt personal gains over selfless sacrifice. When you wake and see these polluted lands, you will understand. When you think of the ultimate sacrifice of Ken Wiwa, you will appreciate.
When all your intellectual brains come together please set for us an example,
We hope to learn a thing or two from you. When the short sighted ones deviate, hold their feet to fire. When your monarchy act unpatriotic, hold their feet to fire.
This is the only way.
We hope to eyeball you from wherever we are and wonder in amazement how this great land of yours has been transformed from nothing to something.
When your institutions are a thing of envy, your people proud, your land peaceful, your economy diversified, your industries booming, your ocean blue,
We hope to pay for a visit to enjoy your success, charge us, we’ll pay.
The competition between you and your benchmark will be tough, I know you will win. Please don’t be like Nigeria or Equatorial Guinea, then again who am I to pontificate, you already know better. Peace, urgency and prudence from Ikang to Ago Najo. My children (Niger Deltans) wait.
You have 15 years, GET STARTED!
When the 10% arrives and I hope it does.
Good Luck and Godspeed!