Oil Militancy, Religious Boko Haram And The Voice Of The Comrades

Posted: August 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Olumide Goodness Adeyinka

Within the drapery of the dark violent years of Nigeria’s history when evil reigned around governance and the masses, it will be said that the torchbearers of the campaign to settle evil with evil are the comradeship of the masses, those who flag the banner for regional balance of evil and violence are those trusted with the voice of the people. (OGA).

When a nation loses her voice, and the voice of any nation are the voices of the few radicals within that only see how things can be done differently and better, then such land becomes a stable for the gatherings of vultures. The dead is the place for the vultures!

I remember very vividly the POLITICS of the agitations of the Niger/Delta militant forces sponsored by the then undemocratically selected executive governors of the South-south states led by the Governor-generals then, James Ibori and Alams, to cause untold hardship on the Nigerian people by blowing up oil installations and making the nation lose several billions of dollars in earnings. I remember when it became a national concern, when several other splinter militant groups came up one after the other when some of their principals were arrested. I remember when the popular voice in the South-south then was that of support and solidarity to the legitimate plight of that zone. When some of us also supported by default the kidnapping of oil expatriates in that area just to sensitize the foreign oil companies of their brazen neglect of the people in the oil zones.

I remember it was within reasonable accommodation then to ensure fairness, especially with the attitude of the multinational oil institutions. It wouldn’t have been necessary if we had a government that knows its duty to the Nigerian people. Alas! We do not have one. The simple justification then was to empower the people to fight for their existence, and ensure that what is expedient is done to alleviate the sufferings of the people of that zone. It was when it got to the scale of rascal absurdity that some of us felt it was time to get the militants to drop their selfish anti-masses agenda of enriching themselves while their people were still suffering in silence. However, behind the scene was an agenda by the then South-south governors to ensure that they used the militants to score a political point that has ensnared us as a nation and blighted us as a people.

The agenda then was to force the government to dialogue and negotiate with the militants so as to calm the frayed nerves of the notorious gangs called militants. The government of Yaradua then, which was heavily indebted to James Ibori, kow-towed the selfish agenda with the magnanimity of his gentle heart and succumbed to the heavy price of paying the comradeship of violent men and women billions of dollars to keep them abroad in schools. Unfortunately, the foot soldiers of the militancy that were sent abroad were NOT the problem. The price of amnesty is of eternal value to Nigeria because it will forever be a reference point of setback to the unity and peace of Nigeria.

Unfortunately, the death of Yaradua in the middle of the confusion became an absolute minus to any sensible solution to the quagmire. Goodluck Jonathan was part of the whole scheme of things as the deputy governor of Bayelsa state. He was in the knowing from the get go! More unfortunate was his ascension to the acting position of the presidency. Most unfortunate for Nigeria was his threatened selection and eventual comic victory at the presidential election. It is an election that has defied logic and simple arithmetic. It was a victory for the rogues and rapscallions of the militancy in the South-south, but was laundered as a victory for the people of the region. What an absurdity of history today!

Now, in the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan, it is wearying to see that some of the wise Nigerians are caught unaware of the fact that Tompolo, Asari Dokubo, Tom etc were more active in the selection process and eventual victory of GEJ; and so deservedly should reap what they have sown. Frowning at their reward now is sickening, when it should have been foreseen in the months preceding the election. It is hopeless crying over spilled milk! Guys, we cannot do anything about it, actually there will be increases in their allowances and stipends at the damnation of any reasonable voice in Nigeria.

That said, the notoriety of the on-going dialogue and negotiation between the Islamic sect, Boko Haram and the federal government is not strange. It is a script well written by the Northern elites to score a balance in the economic game of impoverishing our commonwealth. Should it not make sense for them to feel a good turn deserves another? If Yaradua could approve settlement for the militancy of the oil fields, why shouldn’t GEJ settle the Northern Boko Haram insurgency even though the only field of agitation possible is religion? It would have some sense if the Boko Haram malady were about the moribund textile industries of the North or the abandoned agricultural mien of the zone. But since the urge for a dogmatist portentous economic balance was more superior to collective reason, religion became the only banner for agitation.

Suffice it to say that the Boko Haram palaver was a creature of necessity doctrine put in place to balance a South-south tilting economic superiority over the North.

What is good for the goose should be good for the gander is the prevailing argument that is popular now within Northern elites and leaders. The old voices of reasons within the enclave of the North are disappointingly leading the clamour for dialogue and negotiation with Boko Haram. Preposterous, to say the least!

This is my beef. That the trusted voices of reason have all sounded the crooked call for ‘amnesty’ using other verbiage that is not only strange but also ludicrous. The once-upon- a- time voices of hope and balance, the voices of reason and truth are now in the camp of posturing for a total dialogue with a group that has committed more evil than every other gang of its equal status in the past put together.

Where is the justice in balancing the evil of the past, no matter how disheartening and offensive it is, with present evil going into the future? Where is the patriotism or nationalism in it? It is so clear to anyone who can see that the evil done with the granting of amnesty to the fake and cowardice regime of oil militancy in the South-south will live with us as a bad taste in the mouth for generations yet to come.

To now add to that injury with the present behind-the-curtain dialogue and negotiation with the Islamic religious sect (what they call themselves) Boko Haram will be to quicken the process of tearing this nation to pieces in few years time. I can tell you the Ndigbos will come up with theirs and OPC will champion one for Yoruba too. Igbiras are already telling us they can act too, so will the middle belt lend their voice. The spiral domino effect will not only outlast Nigeria but will send us out as refugees in Ghana, Cameroon, Niger republic and Chad.

As a people, we must endeavor to be upright and just in issues bordering our common existence. Regionalism and ethnicity is a bane of any community of diverse people, so we must frown at the argument that makes us popular with our people at the expense of the Nigeria entity that we all claim to fight for in the past.

As it is now, my least concern is the billions of dollars rolled out to Tompolo, Asari Dokumbo and other GEJ boys since I know all they will do with it is buy common toys all over the world. Somehow, it will enrich the economy of other nations, and may be lift them out from the present global economic meltdown. My concern is the repeat of the mess within the very weak and delicate economic structure we now have.

The question to be asked is, how much development has come to the South-south since GEJ’s term of paying billions out to few entities? None! Nana. Zero. If we pay the Northern Boko Haram to stop unleashing terror on the people, the Northern people will NOT benefit from such, only few individual will!

Finally, it is not what you have done in the past that will count for you but what you did to the end. Regional politics should be dropped when serious national issues are been tabled for decision. The voices of the people should not be drowned by the agenda of the few people who are filled with greed and avarice to enrich themselves at the expense of the masses.

It will be said that I spoke!


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