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The oil rich region of the country has been abandoned, allowed to rot. Niger Delta that produces what the nation feeds on and derived her name as the 6th oil producing country of the world has been allowed to decay internally and externally. Today we hear of Abuja as calm, clean, well patterned and well organized. Abuja has no engine oil, talk more of crude oil that can sustain it.
The Federal government only thinks of and sees Niger Delta region as a means to an end, as an object to satisfy one’s (nation) need. They forgot that they ought to give back to the region some reasonable measurement of development to encourage the people. Federal government is being Machiavellian towards Niger Delta. The paramount interest of the government is to milk the area of its nutrients and allow it to perish.
Today Niger Delta is like a city after earthquake. When people talk of Niger Delta, two things come to mind, either the oil or the militants. Why? People talk more of the militants than the developments that ought to have taken place. Niger Delta is the soul of Nigeria , no Niger Delta no Nigeria . The day Niger Delta cease to exist, Nigeria will go into existinction because government rely so much on gift of Niger Delta which is the oil.
It is appalling to know that a region that has and still feed a nation cannot boast of infrastructure. The Nigerian government has labelled the freedom fighters militants, thugs, hoodlums; name it, before the international community not considering their plight and the injustice melted on them. It is pertinent to not that one man’s militant is another man’s freedom fighter. The craving of the people of Niger Delta has been brushed aside as inconsequential.
Abuja today has many names like little London , New York City, etc, why not Niger Delta that has the resources? Why Abuja ? All these and many more are critical questions in the minds of Niger Deltans, some truthful Nigerians and the International Community. Giving back Niger Delta her due is not too much. Abuja has robbed, enslaved, colonized, and exploited Niger Delta.
It must be equally noted that some Niger Delta leaders are middlemen between Federal government and Niger Delta region, between the oil companies and her people. These so-called jobbers’ benefits from the exploitation exercise. They team up with the federal government to exploit and enslave the people of Niger Delta. That is to say, they have traded the development for personal gain. In this whole drama of insincerity, who is deceiving whom? The Federal Government or the middlemen?
To silent the angry youths, they labelled them criminals, militants, kidnappers, bunkers, e.t.c., and after which amnesty was granted them. Why giving a dog a bad name in order to kill it? That shows that what they are after is what comes out of the area (oil).The government will always tell us that the plans for Niger Delta is in the pipeline and when the people and youths decide to go to the pipeline to get it has themselves, they call them bunkers.
Abuja cannot sustain itself let alone the country but Abuja today is the centre of attention and attraction and the talk of the country. Abuja is adjudged to be the finest city in Nigeria and a city of opportunity, many of our youth corpers want to serve there. The crème de la crème in the society today live there because it has tight, security, good roads, and other basic amenities.
Niger Delta is the life-wire, the breath, the “Hantu” (force which makes event and motion of all sorts possible). Without oil Nigeria as a nation will be crippled, and dwindle to an intrevable point. That implies that Niger Delta is the motion and events of Nigeria . Without Niger Delta, Nigeria cannot breath. It is equally known that Niger Delta is the heart beat of the nation. When the heat of a man stops beating, he dies
Niger Deltans are peace loving and hard working people. Niger Deltans are asking for attention, for basic amenities. The youths called militants are potential leaders of this great country of ours. Among them are brains greater than that of Barrack Obama, Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Gate, e.t.c.
The oil in Niger Delta is not a curse as presume by some folks, it is a blessing indeed. The leaders of Niger Delta and the Federal Government have made it to look like a curse. Federal Government should have a long term plan for Niger Delta to curb the condition of the region. Nigeria cannot do without Niger Delta. Niger Delta remains the “kpim”, the carrier and sustainer of the country. Thank God for Umaru Musa Yar Adua who introduced the amnesty programme, kudos to him. But the programme must be complimented with development of the region to avert the minds of the youths away from militancy. It is not possible to take a child’s belonging by force and ask the child not to cry.
However, my advice to Niger Delta youths is that destruction is not all that matters. It will retard the development of the region and the little the government is doing will not have effect. Sidney . J. Harris writes: “Young people searching for their ‘real self’ must learn that the real self is not something one finds as much as it is something one makes; and it is one’s daily actions that shape the inner personality far more permanently than any amount of introspection or intellection”. Long live Niger Delta, Long live Nigeria .
Comr. Idahosa Samuel Igue
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