MasterwebNews 7/10/16 - What is the sense in the Niger Delta Avengers` Insurgency?

Masterweb Reports: Prof. Lai Erinosho reports ] - The Niger Delta and the Avengers are assuming that they can make the country ungovernable under the present Buhari Administration just as the Boko Haram insurgency did to Goodluck Jonathan simply because oil which is the main stay of our economy can no longer be easily and effectively mined in their area unless their demand for more resources from the federation account is met. Well, I wish to urge them to have a second thought on the cost-benefits of the insurgency.


Background to the Crisis


I recall during my trips around the country when I had cause to discuss with our brothers/sisters of Niger Delta origin on the then 2015 forthcoming elections that finally brought President Muhammadu Buhari into office. Nearly all of them (i.e., Niger Deltans) who had a chance of discussing the elections argued ferociously that Jonathan deserved to be re-elected and indeed believed that he would be re-elected by Nigerians.


Second, many of them said that they would make our country ungovernable through the disruption of sale of oil in the international market if Jonathan was not re-elected. To them, all of us (i.e. Nigerians) will be the losers because we are all totally dependent on oil to keep our country’s economy going. Of course, the basis for the assertions rested squarely on the assumption that oil will continue to fetch huge sums of money for our country from the international market like it was doing for other oil producing countries, - Venezuela, Saudi Arabia etc. Oil was then selling at about $100 per barrel and Nigeria like others was carting away lots of money in US dollars.


Third, the supporters of the Niger Delta states and Jonathan who were mainly drawn from the Ndigbo in the south east encouraged their Niger Deltans to use religion as a ploy to galvanize the country to support Jonathan’s bid for a second and final term in office, forgetting that Nigeria is sub-divided into three religious subgroups, namely, Christianity, Islam, and the traditionalists.


Fourth, my Niger Delta colleagues in justifying the re-election of Goodluck Jonathan hinged their argument on the fact that Northerners had already been in power in our country for a little over 30 of about 50 years of Nigeria’s independence and what was wrong in Jonathan staying in office just for a handful of years. After all, Jonathan would not have beaten the record of some of the long serving Northern leaders whose performance in office was poor. The country did not revolt when the non-performing Presidents of Northern Nigeria origin were in office. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander they argued. Why was the country in hurry to push Goodluck Jonathan out office like a chicken!!


Goodluck Jonathan lost the election woefully and had to quit. His defeat was simply because the country was dissatisfied with his performance as president. A number of people hijacked former President Goodluck Jonathan for their own pecuniary benefits, grabbing all that they could grab and amassing stupendous wealth. Indeed, millions of Nigerians were angered by the idiotic performance of the PDP under Goodluck Jonathan and wanted change at all cost.


Former Gooluck Jonathan would not have come out alive from Aso Rock if the PDP had rigged his re-election into office. There were ominous signs on what would have happened in Nigeria in the aftermath of the election if this were to be case. Indeed, this assertion is not farfetched but founded on various sources on the state of affairs in Nigeria prior to the 2015 elections. Not surprising that Nigerians thanked the Almighty Allah and God for His mercies on the outcomes of the election. But let me give some evidence for the assertion about the impending doom that would followed the elections.


John Campbell, a former American Ambassador to Nigeria had in his book entitled: Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink suggested that Nigerians have a tract record when it comes to getting rid of their non-performing and/or sit tight leaders. He further noted he would not have been taken aback if this were to happen after the 2015 elections. The US State Department also predicted the disintegration of Nigeria in 2015 shortly after the publication of John Campbell’s’ book.


Nigerians were very furious with the American prediction. But the Americans had their reasons for this prediction because they saw it coming with the threats from different parts of the country and especially from those who believed time was ripe for a change of government. The Americans foresaw another civil war in the making which would have led to the disintegration of our country. Such a war would have led to devastation, destruction, carnage and unprecedented refugee crisis in the Africa sub-region judging by the population of our country. The Nigerian Armed Forces would have disintegrated because officers/men were already demoralized, aggrieved, and factionalized by the way President Jonathan was handling the Boko Haram insurgency. There was no sincerity in the prosecution of the insurgents because soldiers from certain sections/ethnic groups were being deliberately deployed to fight the war with their bare hands and of course they were being killed like flies. You will recall soldiers were already disobeying orders and quite a handful were court marshaled by the authorities. The court marshaled soldiers who were defended by Femi Falana were convicted and are now wasting away in prison.


Nigeria would have been broken into small republics with ethnic armies controlling ethnic enclaves at war with one another over the sharing of assets and liabilities of the country. The Americans knew all of these possible consequences would have followed if Goodluck Jonathan was rigged into office by the PDP by all means.


I have provided this background discussion to show that the on-going attempt by Niger Delta and Avengers can be explained against the backdrop of the disappointment of their people over the re-election of Goodluck Jonathan to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They had, and are still thinking as follows: - We will make Nigeria ungovernable. W

html add here