- Politics and Social Issues
TWO US CITIZENS ABDUCTED IN NIGERIA
The recent news coming out of the coast of Akwa Ibom, an oil producing coastal region of what is anomaly referred to as Nigeria, is the abduction of some foreign oil and gas workers by unidentified gun men in speed boats. P. J. Crowley, a spokesman of the United States State Department has confirmed that two American nationals are among the seven people whose whereabouts are unknown as at the time we are reporting this. The other people include two French, one Canadian and two Indonesians. Crowley also confirmed that some members of US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have gone to assist Nigeria’s corrupt and inept security operatives in trying to rescue the men from their captors. Our hearts go out in sympathy to these men, their families and friends and hope that they will be freed soon without any harm to them.
It must be recalled that these men are said to be working for Afren PLC, a civilian company that was incorporated in London and does much of its oil and gas exploration businesses in Africa. Akwa Ibom is among the many Niger Delta communities who are fighting for freedom from the Nigerian state. The Southeastern region which comprises all the Niger Delta and Igbo heartland up to all of Anioma across the River Niger had fought a bitter war with Nigeria between 1967 and 1970 when they declared their independence as sovereign and independent state of Biafra. The war ended with the defeat of the Republic of Biafra by the combined forces of Nigeria, Great Britain, USSR, Egypt, East Germany and the uncaring attitude of United States.
All these countries ganged up with just one aim on their mind, you guessed it right, oil. When that war ended the victorious nations moved in, occupied the conquered peoples and their land and continued the ravaging and raping, in the so-called peacetime the peoples and their environment without any remorse for several decades. After more than thirty years of reckless raping and devastation of the peoples’ lives and environment, the entire Biafran Homeland became blighted and desolate. Decades of gas flaring and millions and millions of barrels of oil spills into the rivers, creeks and sea of the region combined to render the place inhospitable and inhabitable for the mainly agrarian and fishing population.
And because these indigenous peoples had been defeated in war they could not protest this inhuman subjugation and destruction in their own ancestral homeland. The murder, bombing, strafing, shelling and starvation of their children, their mothers and the civilian population were still fresh on their minds. So it was not until the generation who were born after the war became men enough to begin to ask why the relentless and remorseless destruction of their land by the occupying forces of Nigeria and their allies did the rest of the world knew of the irreparable damage that has been done to the people and their homeland.
This new generation of deprived men and women decided to take their destinies in their own hands and protest this injustice and, some people, especially those who are benefiting from the destruction (some people call it blood oil, as in the Blood Diamond movie) want to criminalize them. Like we said earlier, Afren and all the other companies such as Shell and Exxon operating in these areas are civilian businesses but for them to be able to carry on their businesses in these places since the past ten years, they have to rely on a ruthlessly armed military protection. The truth is that civilian businesses do not need any military force to protect them when they are operating within a civilian population if they were running their businesses responsibly, taking into consideration in their actions, the well-being of the local people and their environment.
The other truth is that one of the indices of a failed state is its inability to provide security for its population and guests in their midst and, a complete breakdown of law and order within its territory. An entity can no longer be regarded as a sovereign state once it cannot provide protection and security for the people within its borders. Nigeria has a combined security force of many tens of thousands of personnel with billions of dollars in annual budget but they are completely riddled with corruption and totally incompetent such that both citizens and foreigners alike within the country are on their own. They must make provision for their own private security both in their homes, at their places of work and on the streets.
United States must go to rescue their citizens and so must the other countries whose citizens’ lives are currently in danger because Nigeria that is supposed to be their host has failed. There is presently no Nigeria and it will never be again, like a pack of cards which truly it had been, it has fallen. The world must come to the reality of this truth. Nigeria has used all kinds of oppressive force to instill fear into the people and subjugate them but brutal force and injustice cannot last forever. When Ken Saro Wiwa the renowned writer and environmentalist and, the other Ogoni nine were murdered by the Nigerian state for protesting the total degradation and destruction of their homeland and environment, it was an opportunity for the world to wake up, but it then failed to act. Presently there may never be a better time for the world to wisely partition up the place into at least six different countries and stop this madness before it turns into an uncontrollably blood bath and another shame on the face of the collective human conscience.