THE KILLINGFIELDS OF THE NIGER DELTA
As at the last count, over the weekend, 150 civilians have been reportedly killed in Ayakoroma in the Niger Delta for the Nigerian government by its military. With no humor intended, these body-trophies will make a befitting Christmas present for the government in Abuja when sent to them there. Alternatively the bodies can be sent to the country home of Goodluck Jonathan in Bayelsa in the Niger Delta. With that gesture probably he will be made to understand that he is personally responsible for these unwarranted deaths.
When that is done maybe Jonathan will then find courage to say no to those people who are pressurizing him into the slaughter of a people whose only crime is that they exist within an area that has oil. The question will always be who does he Jonathan want to impress by sending troops with war planes and killer weapons into these villages and hamlets to sack, pillage and murder the people? Maybe he needs to be educated on the fact that he can negotiate his way out of the supposedly difficult situation.
He does not need to tell these governments and oil cartels off to their faces if he thinks he has not got the balls. But he can let them know that the game has been changed and that they, the oil companies can now stop dealing in the Biafra/Niger Delta oil through the Saudi Arabian Wahabis and start dealing directly with the real owners of the oil. The earlier he, Jonathan realized that he can turn the table and stop these killings the better.
The Wahabis of Saudi Arabia had been using the Arab North of Nigeria to run the oil business in the Biafra Land over these years, allocating the oil to whomsoever they would want favor from. Therein lies the reason why, for some Biafrans who have wondered why the British, the other Europeans and United States oil companies and governments had chosen to do business with the Islamist Arab North of Nigeria instead.
Right now, as events have shown, the West made a mistake in siding with them to murder the 3.1 million Biafrans in the years between 1966 and 1970 for the oil in Biafra. We believe that some people of good conscience in the West today will be ready to right the wrongs done in the killings. The oil does not belong to the Arabs or to all of Nigeria as they have always brainwashed the willingly ignorant ones. It belongs to the indigenous and original people who live on the land. And it must be for their benefit and not to their death and destruction.
Yar’adua as head of Nigeria initiated the comical program they called amnesty, it was a ruse. In the first place it is deceitful to use the word amnesty or pardon in reference to the freedom fighters of the Biafra Land and Niger Delta. The people there do not believe that they have committed any crime or broken any law. Rather they believe they have suffered untold and unjustifiable injustices that need to be corrected. They believe they have been denied, deceived, destroyed, pillaged, raped, polluted, sacked and murdered for no just cause.
And if they were correct in their belief then it will be wrong to talk of such people as needing any pardon or amnesty. Going by that line of reasoning the right term would be restitution and freedom. What they need is not the development of their space by a people who have perennially denied, deceived, destroyed and killed them in all these years. What they need is the freedom of their political space from all infringement and pollution from outside by a people who do not have their interest at heart.
These freedom fighters do not have to really look far to find an evidence of the deceit in Yar’Adua and his Nigeria as it has been going on all these years? While he Yar’Adua was talking of amnesty to the freedom fighters, he was in the same breathe paying $3.5 billion for military warplanes and other sophisticated war machines to fight and kill the same freedom fighters in the Niger Delta. The sincerity of the program can also be crosschecked with the fact that within the same period the total budget for the Niger Delta was less than half of the same figure.
Despite the fact of all this known deceit it may still be necessary to ask here, what actually do these people want? What are the freedom fighters fighting for? Going by what they say, they are fighting for an independent sovereign state, free from all external interference and oppressions. For the avoidance of any more unnecessary bloodshed it will be good to note well this particular point as it is central to the argument. Down through the years it has seemed that the rest of the world has continually failed to get this message right. Biafra and the entire Niger Delta have continued to say that what they need is a political space free from all external influence so they can develop at their own pace and deal with whomsoever they wish to.
The oil companies as well as the various governments will come to realize sooner than later that they are wasting their time dealing with the wrong people, the Arab Islamist North. True justice can only be rooted in truth, honesty and sincerity. And to all watchers these attributes are still lacking at every level in this matter and, so long as they keep missing it will be impossible to find a lasting solution to the problem. If history can be depended on then we can conclude that truth and justice can never be bombed and killed into non-existence. They can only be suppressed for a while and try all you can they will continue to surface until they assume their rightful place. It is only wise to confront them today rather than continue to postpone that which is inevitable.
The only true and honest solution to the problem is to divide up the present configuration of Nigeria into different parts along their cultural boundaries. That is the only way to create true sovereign nations and that will end all the killings and bring progress and development to all the regions. The Islamist North has already chosen their Sharia laws and ways and that is all good for them. No one should deny them of this their right, but the other parts to which such a practice is alien must not be forced to live by that cultural norm. That will be immoral and unjust and will continue to engender constant clash and unnecessary deaths of the innocent people.