BreakingNews 21/8/16 - The Travails of the Niger Deltans and the Daredevilry of Militants

[ Masterweb Reports: Ikechukwu Enyiagu reports ] - The responses from most Nigerians every time militants are alleged to have blown one pipeline or the other irritate every sensible person. They just go: "fools, idiots, let them destroy their lands, we will deal with them, Nigerian Army, wipe them off; the touts are destroying their lands, if they like it or not, Niger Delta oil remains ours" etc. It's truly a pity. If we all continue to wire our thought patterns this way or allow these political harlots and treasury looters who cling to the rudder of Nigeria’s ship as if it were a part of their palms to continue to humor our collective docile brains and mock our dirty thinking caps with their well-known tribal, religious and nepotic politics, it may never get better for anyone; things will surely get worse for everyone so much so that, in a no distant end, Nigeria may enter into history as a 'was once’ country which ended - only worse than Babylon. It should not take a rocket scientist (here, I have no intent to borrow this phrase from one politician well-known for mouthing off only so he could secure a goldmine of an office) to know that a military offensive in the Niger Delta will be the worst mistake this government would ever make - considering the high level of ethnic, religious and political restiveness being experienced today. The Ken Saro-Wiwa issue, the Odi massacre, and several other unjust treatments meted out to these people by oil companies and the federal government are still fresh in the minds of every child born there and, therefore,  directly responsible for their militancy. Those who instigate another civil war in Nigeria with the self-assurance that Nigeria would repeat the blow it dealt on Biafra, do not, perhaps, understand the difference between the task of traveling from Lagos to Abuja to deliver a letter and that of simply sending an SMS or a Chat message to pass the same message. They are stuck with the cave. But things have changed!



Just a day back, or so, it was revealed that the Nigerian airforce is to take delivery of 12 new Mi-35 attack helicopter gunships from Russia while expecting a new set of fighter jets from the United States of America. The reason, according to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Abubakar, was to rid the country of terrorism in the North East and other serious security issues confronting the country, such as Niger Delta militancy. Going through many online fora, the thought-pattern of most Nigerians remain pretty much the same: verbatim of children who have truly lost their way. Suddenly, the issue of budget padding disappeared, Chibok girls became a temporal history, panama papers and halliburton flew off, and punching away the I-am-better-than-you on device keyboards became the new food that quenched the hunger squeezing life out  from many. Suddenly they started clapping like caged monkeys: “kill them, kill them!” In their foolishness they have once again given their lives to the politicians who have, over the years, gained mastery of how best to excite and indulge their gullibility, vulnerability and never-understanding brains. At every turn, these online puppets clamor for the deaths of common Nigerians -  be it for stealing a kobo or a handset - while they feign wailers and zombies when politicians are discussed. They rejoice that the government claims not to have money to run things right but would procure gunships and gunboats to kill people who have, over decades, been used and abused - with their lands rendered infertile and their water poisoned. They are happy because the government is preparing to kill poor and frustrated youths who are waking up to say: “hey, you must hear us!” Or perhaps you are all clapping because the government, albeit discarding history, is seemingly bend on repeating it and on committing genocide just as long as certain vested interests are maintained. Woe betide ignorance!



Now, tell me: how do you expect those from those areas to react today - putting into considerations all statistics? Watching "Black November" might - just might - give any novice a hint of their situation. And it hasn't changed a bit. Some people came into your father’s house, with certain government people backing them with arms, and claim to have the government’s approval to use your farmlands and streams as specimen that would be mutually beneficial. Out of innocent curiosity, and having faith in your government, you stood aside and watched them. Years and years you saw them lift gold and precious stones running into billions of dollars from your father’s land without as much as give you a smile. You complained repeatedly and nothing was done, but you could not stop them because they were backed with federal forces. Therefore, you shook your head and decided to return to the remaining small portion of your water and land only to find out that what they have been doing for decades has rendered your lands infertile and, not only that, your beloved water could no longer provide you with the fishes you were used to which was your only luxury. The water became a drink to death. You turned toward your houses and, behold, some of you began to fall dead on the way because of the government’s impudence which refrained them from demanding that what they considered wastes, like flared gasses, were controlled. So, today, you look around what’s left of what your father handed down to you and you become ashamed because there is nothing left for you to bequeath to your posterity - all thanks to the government representing you. Today, some of your children, having witnessed the cruelty of such invasion, have grown up to be men. And they are finding it excruciatingly difficult to live through the hypocrisy of the government and its effect of them. Worse is when they look at the developments going on in other parts of the country with the proceeds from their land and even how the companies destroying their lands have mounted their puppet handles in far-away state so as to be far away from the repercussions of the destructions they have stirred up. What would you do? Even those you sent to represent you before the government have betrayed you because they were shown money in one hand and threatened with a gun in the other hand. They call it “the federal might.” You have written to national and international bodies with nothing coming out of it; instead, some of you have died for daring. Tell me: what would you do?



Truth be told, no other section of Nigerians could have stomached this thus far. And I daresay, if I had found myself amongst these organized youths trying to make their imprints in the sands of time, woe betide me if I do not join them. When you go through what they have gone through and you know what's obtainable as your rights, first of all, as from Niger Delta, and then as a Nigerian, you would understand why all these charade from the government won't hold a sand. It's either they control their resources or the government controls it and gives them no reason to think that their resources are being mismanaged. The end-option would be a separation and a declaration of their sovereignty. You can rant all you want from your evil and most darkened heart as to why they should be destroyed, but you cannot deny that, putting you in their shoes, you would probably have done worse - that is, if you had the balls to stand for your rights.



I feel for the youths of Niger Delta who do not sympathize with the militants, although the militants themselves have not killed their own in any frenzied exhibitions; so far, they have only made material points. At this very stage for those boys, I see that 'death' is nothing more than a passage of heroes or cowards. And I must hasten to add that every Nigerian should be as 'mad' as they are if that's what it would take to retrieve and extricate our future and that of our posterity from the hands of these political demons birthed by the brutish British. Many government apologists would gladly arm their thoughts with the fact that Nigeria nearly wiped out all Biafrans when they demanded to keep a state which would guarantee their safety seeing that even the government was in bed with some sections and ethnic groups to destroy the Igbos and their brothers from the South South. These set of thinkers and ‘fellow Nigerians’ are warming up in their hearts and with their words for a repeat of the genocidal crimes of the federal government in another area of the then eastern region. They seem too sure within themselves that today’s Nigeria is a giant in war but a midget in peace. And, as far as they can prove a certain superiority and slave-mastery point, not minding that the consequences of the crime on 1967-1979 have not left us, they are satisfied. This is how deep Nigeria has fallen in every sense. With all the imaginary academic excellence and superiority, these crop of thinkers still believe that any federal military is scarier or deadlier than any well funded and trained group wearing military camouflage and carrying corresponding arms. The mockery of Biafra stems from the fact that the South East political stock and the financial bigwigs within are still living in the fear of the 1967-1970 defeat of Biafra. They do not want to risk their comfort for their people - not even legally. This has, supposedly and over time, worked in favor of the ethno-religious government of Nigeria; That only tells why
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