NIGERIA'S MANY GENOCIDES
There has been a series of accusations, claims and counter assertions by the Nigerian military and the various freedom fighters of the Niger Delta. The Ayakoromor community which bore the brunt of the assault and raping of their lives and ancestral homeland have told and retold the story of how they were killed and their homes razed. But it seems that some people including some so-called “leaders” from the area are bent on distorting everything and would turn this most unfortunate tragedy into some sort of a joke.
It is quite ironical to note how terrible and most discomforting the level of condescension and defeatism to which the psyche of the Niger Delta “leaders” of thought has descended. When someone in the person of Godwin Ogbetuo, the Chairman of the Delta State Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum could be quoted as calling the ongoing genocide by the Nigerian government and the oil companies in Ayakoromor as “an act of God”. (See Nigeria’s Vanguard’s report of December 10, 2010). That statement can only be classified as the height of insult on the sanctity of human lives and people’s universally accepted right to life and existence. However, on a second thought, one might want to consider the statement as a mere shameless display of the ignorance of a people’s predicament by someone who should know better. But whichever of the two is the case it nevertheless stands as an indictment on the legitimacy of anyone in a position of leadership in any society. Indeed it calls to question the sanity of an adult to whom such a statement is credited in the face of the gravity of the situation.
The head of Nigeria’s army Ihejirika claims nobody was killed. The leader and spokesperson of the military gang of criminals that invaded the community, Charles Omoregie says that it is normal for people to get killed when there is a military campaign such as the one that took place in Ayakoromor. That is the closest to truth that any Nigerian can ever tell anyway, otherwise lying is a Nigerian’s second nature, no matter how highly placed.
The surviving community people and leaders said the Nigerian army forced them to bury their own dead in front of the courthouse in the town in a mass grave. For goodness sake these claims are verifiable testimonies, why can’t someone go and check them out? Some of the people whose friends, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, children and parents were killed by the scared Nigeria’s military bandits have said that they counted up to 150 bodies of their own people whom they knew while they were alive but the head of Nigeria’s army says no civilian was killed. Going by what is known about Nigeria and Nigerians, no doubt, by the time a few more days passes it would be suggested by the Nigerian army that the Joint Task Force (JTF) troop was never even around Ayakoromor in Burutu Local Council on the first of December 2010. When that denial happens it would be the most natural thing to expect from Nigeria and Nigerians because in Nigeria nobody ever tells the truth and no promises are ever kept.
The people of Ayakoromor are being told to accept this genocide as an act of God to which no one can do anything about. Nothing can be more insensitive and insulting to a people’s pain and suffering than that. These people whose murder was a premeditated act by Nigeria and the oil companies cannot be regarded as some kind of expendables that can be wasted at will by some rampaging monsters. They did not commit any crimes or broke any known law. Their only offence was that of being humans and living on a land that contains oil.
Now let us consider who are civilized and who actually are the criminals and murderers in the matter. John Togo and his fellow freedom fighters only take hostages of oil workers and make demand which is the liberation of their farmlands and waters from pollution and complete devastation. They want to maintain a decent and autonomous existence on their ancestral lands and waters where they have farmed and fished for thousands of years. They have never been known to harm any of their hostages. While on the contrary Nigeria’s government, Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Afren and the rest of the oil companies sack villages and murder children, their mothers, suckling babies and pregnant women and burn down their homesteads.
We hope that there are still some decent people all over the world who will know the truth and tell it in spite of who it is that is frowning. We believe that the declaration of the verdict in the above issue of who is right and who is wrong will not be left to sell-out “leaders” who would call deliberate acts of genocides by a state and its cronies of oil companies as “acts of God”. It is also expected that decent people somewhere will work together to find a permanent solution to this predicament that the people have to go through on a regular basis.
We also believe that the solution does not consist in Edwin Clark sending some materials worth less than $3,500 (N500,000) for the hundreds of survivors of the terrible genocide. We believe that there are still enough of conscientious people who will be bold enough to say the truth which is that John Togo is right, decent and a just fighter for the rights and freedom of his people while Nigeria and all the oil companies are wrong and are the actual criminals and bandits that must be stopped today.
We hope that some honest and sincere people will step up to declare that Nigeria is an illegitimate state which must be divided up today along the cultural lines which is why there has been so much clashes and bloodshed of the innocent since the past 50 years. Some people must show enough courage and tell the world that people cannot be forced to continue in a union that has continuously murdered and dehumanized them.
The extant Nigeria makes complete nonsense of what a nation should be and must be reconstituted in line with the wishes of the various constituent ethnic peoples (over 250 of them) in order for true nation states to emerge. Enough of these killings because these people being killed are no expendables, they are actual human beings.
The December 2010 Ayakoromor genocide is yet the latest in the many genocides of the Nigerian state in the name of keeping Nigeria one. The Biafran Genocide of 1966 to 1970 claimed 3.1 million Igbo/Biafrans because Nigeria and Britain wanted to keep Nigeria one. And the question will always be what cost do you use to keep a country united? How much of the blood of the so-called citizens must be shed to maintain a united state of Nigeria?