We live in troubled times, yet for some unexplainable reason I still find it an interesting time. With a financial crisis pounding the global like a high-arcing ballistic trajectory detonated in the western world. A flu viral infection transmitting among people, helping us all understand how connected we all are, after all. Has left me saying, globalization now has one more definition in my books.
For the most part of the 1st hours, days, weeks, and even month in 2009, all we heard was Israel bombing targets in Palestine and Palestinian fighters in Gaza firing rockets into southern Israel. Even then the news of clashes and rumors of impending war never seems to stop. Pakistani military deploying fighter jets and helicopter gunship to flush out Taliban militants, the Sri Lanka's government declaring victory in its war with Tamil Tigers and North Korea defying world powers and carrying out nuclear bomb testing.
One region where a military action is currently raging on, that would have been spared this war news frenzy; if people had just done the right thing at the right time. Would have been the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, and that's the crux of my writing, that's my main concern.I really don't want to go into the politics of long term neglect and marginalization of the Niger Delta, that's way in the past and now part of our history. What concerns me and I believe concerns us the most it the Now! And the Future!Let's not kid our self any longer in Nigeria and the Niger delta, because the time has come that we must ask ourselves the question who's fooling who?
Fighting, flushing out or even killing our so called militant boys and any local community standing in the way and then leaving the political godfather figures that created militancy or are still aiding the militants for personal financial gains. Makes me ask “who’s fooling who”?Can we trust Militant leaders who have fought gang wars amongst themselves, committed atrocities against their own local people, and people from other communities within Niger Delta, yet now claiming to be freedom fighters and vigilante force to achieve total control of resources in the Niger Delta, Makes me ask “who’s fooling who”?Scaring away investors, threatening investment on ground, creating lack of employment and even loss of jobs for people, in a world already plagued by a hard hitting financial crisis.
All in a bid to achieve a goal, which up till now is still incomprehensible due to lack of cohesion and a unified front in this quest for development in the Delta region, Makes me ask “who’s fooling who”?Listening to news about the hard working Governor of Lagos state and his team, as they strive to deal with the challenges of Lagos in the West of Nigeria and contrasting that with the continued justification by the Nigerian federal government and Niger Delta Governors in the South of Nigeria, that Militancy is the reason for lack of development or slow down in the pace of developmental projects. Makes me ask “who’s fooling who”?
With 10 years in Democratic governance, and the federal subventions, oil derivatives funds, Niger delta development commission NDDC, various state development commissions, excess crude account, oil and gas company development project e.g. school blocks, pipe borne water, local community health centers, scholarships etc. And yet we still cannot even say we are getting somewhere with the Niger Delta issue. Makes me ask “who’s fooling who”?
With an estimated 140 million population, 36 states, 774 local governments, 8,810 wards and 375 ethnic groups. Yet just 6 core-states in the South-South Niger-Delta zone (Delta, Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross Rivers) being the hen that lays the golden egg. Makes me ask “who’s fooling who”? When are we going to utilize the vast resources up north, east and west to also generate foreign revenue? The Educated Nigerian youth, especially a Niger Delta youth that have paid the price of seeking quality education locally or abroad, having their destiny entwined with those who prefer not to invest in any form of personal development, even if it just as a welder or mechanic, but will rather form the vast majority of people carrying guns in the creeks, is an ignominy.
We must tell ourselves the truth, that we must do if not anything, because it's not hidden. The solution to the Niger Delta problem like those of the Nigeria state at large lies with us. Its not going to come from the West, they can help, but we have to solve it.The good the bad and the ugly, that's where we now stand in the Delta, however ours is not a battle of quick draw, ours is a battle of truth, justices, and equity."No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities - always see them for they're always there." Norman Vincent Peale
Kumesine Wilson A.
Huddersfiled UK. May 2009.