When Senators and House of Representatives members from Rivers State dismissed the call for a state of emergence in their state as “parochial, self-centred and politically motivated,” they spoke by divine inspiration.
However, their own parochial and selfish political motives did not allow them accept the facts on ground nor look beyond the controversy and even the sudden explosion of violent crisis that led to the call into what may be the unseen “hands of Esau with the voice of Jacob”
The lawmakers patriotically informed the world that the mayhem in Port Harcourt resulted from a struggle for supremacy by cult groups trying to define their domains. The truth or fallacy in this assertion is not the issue in this discourse, so let it just be.
Also reacting to the statement credited to the Niger Delta elders calling for emergency rule in Rivers State, the Peace and Rehabilitation Committee maintained that the “current military intervention to curb the violence by terrorists, criminals and cultists in Rivers State is government’s honest and determined effort to re-launch the state on the path of civility and integrity.
Presently, the concern of the government is to return the state to its glory of peace, calm and haven for national and international investments. Nothing will stop the government from achieving this aim.
Interestingly, at the moment, with a curfew imposed and the army about to stay on for six months or over fighting or fishing out gangsters and their sponsors, what would the Rivers or entire Niger Delta people call that situation- Army occupation; peace keeping mission; or cult fishing mission?
The truth is that the situation is nothing short of emergency rule “by the back door” as described by an analyst. The soldiers need to stay real long to actually return the state on the path of civility and integrity as it has become clear even to blind men that short time measures can no longer be accepted because it has never worked in the Rivers situation.
The current controversy over emergency rule or not in Rivers state was very unfortunate because when those prominent elders and leaders of the Niger Delta headed by Chief Edwin Clarke joined in calls for the declaration of a state of emergency in Rivers State, against the backdrop of what they perceive as the prevalent state of insecurity existing at the moment, little did they know that it will trigger-off what could rightly be described now as disintegration of the previously perceived united, homogenous and neglected Niger Delta unit in the Nigerian project.
Not surprisingly, Rivers State Government found a lacuna in the call particularly Clarke’s involvement in the suggestion. The government labeled all those behind the move as the “sponsors of terrorism and cultism in Rivers State .” This was an expected reaction out of anger.
But now that everybody has vented their anger either against or for the group of elders, it is time to do some serious thinking.
If the elders’ call was a covert Ijaw ploy to feign crisis in Rivers state for whatever reasons, then they should not be taken seriously because such plots cannot go beyond the creeks and waterways of the region.
However, “We will take it seriously when the real elders of the Niger Delta speak and not self-seeking politicians.” The question is: who are the genuine elders of the region as it is obvious that there is nothing like a conference of elders of Niger Delta ethnic nationalities?
However, was there anything wrong in Chief Edwin Clarke, a man perceived to have ‘no direct stake’ in the Rivers crisis by the Rivers government speaking for the overall interest of Rivers state and the entire region?
Does it matter whether those who met in Lagos saw themselves either as pan Ijaw leaders or Niger Delta leaders? Was this the first time Clarke was championing the course of Rivers state, Ijaw and the entire Niger Delta? Is Rivers state (upland segment) still part of Niger Delta?
Frank answers to the above issues would help place the quarrel in the ‘house’ in a proper perspective. It may also help us take more objective and honest analysis of the entire crisis including the cult clashes and the call for emergency rule.
This same Clarke championed the move for a south-south president in which the former governor of Rivers state of upland stock finally emerged as the region’s only standing flag-bearer until last minute maneuvers by the PDP leadership. Maybe that was before Clarke became an Ijaw-only activist.
The Rivers state government in its second reaction to the Niger Delta elders’ position clearly disclosed that it was pushed to the wall by “the criminality and unrepentant actions of cultists to invite soldiers to restore sanity to the state.” The question the government people failed to ask was: why the sudden explosion when all these groups have co-existed, though with some minor supremacy clashes?
And even before the last complete breakdown of peace and security in the state the situation since the onset of the phenomenon never degenerated to the point it got with the last show of shame. The question is: Why such sudden boldness and alacrity by these cult groups at a time that there were serious talks of peace and reconciliation among the groups?
Could it be that somebody or some groups somewhere would not want peace to return not only to Rivers state, but to the entire Niger Delta? If yes, who could this person or group be? This is a big food for thought for both defenders of Rivers rights and Niger Delta self-acclaimed leaders. Are politicians of Rivers and other Niger Delta states involved in fueling this latest escalation of crisis in the area?
Supposing agents of the Federal Government are responsible? Supposing some distress foreign oil companies decide to fund, arm and misinform some of the existing militant groups to pitch them against each other to destroy their strengths and organisation?
These questions may sound like abstract thing but from all indications, the major problem of majority of the Niger Delta people is that they cannot think in three-dimensions. They are so glued to their one-dimensional thinking that they first kill themselves before thinking through any problem or misunderstanding.
Meanwhile former Military President, Gen Ibrahim Babangida (rtd,) have said he was “very conversant with the happenings in Rivers State for a couple of days now”, and decided to send his aide to the Rivers state governor, Celestine Omehia, on solidarity visit because he (Babangida) is “a man of Peace, and believes that Rivers people are lovers of peace.” He called on the people of the State to support the peace efforts of the State Government, to ensure the restoration of law and order in the state.
And in what could be described as a show of humility, the embattled governor of Rivers state in his reaction declared that “For IBB to remember me, and by extension Rivers people, at this time when some are even calling for an emergency rule, is a thing of joy.”
This is not surprising because our people would rather prefer to relate with our brothers from other parts of the country than have genuine relationships amongst us. That mutual suspicion has always been there and will remain for a very long time except we especially our leaders change their mindsets and know who their real friends and enemies are.
If some people in Rivers believe that the “elders” call for a state of emergency in Rivers state has an Ijaw hidden agenda, what could be the hidden agenda in the brewing confrontation between Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) and Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) both supposedly pure Niger Delta or rather Ijaw groups?
President of the IYC worldwide, Dr. Chris Ekiyor in his reaction to an alleged contradictory statements from some ‘supposedly operatives on the next line of action by the Ijaw regarding the Niger-Delta struggle made it clear in Warri, Delta state that only the Ijaw National Congress (INC), currently headed by Prof Kimse Okoko and the IYC, can speak for the Ijaw nation and not MEND or any other group.
“First and foremost, MEND is a faceless organization. I don’t know who is in MEND and who is not MEND but I know that participants in MEND activities are pro-Niger-Delta struggle and in that group, we have different reports and cases by the different groups but we have not saddled ourselves with the responsibility of mending MEND but the organisation cannot speak on behalf of the Ijaw nation, it can only support the position of the Ijaw people if it finds the views correct.
“If MEND is speaking, it is speaking as an organisation, and the organisation we all know is faceless. Nobody has come up to say I am a MEND chieftain or identified himself as the head of MEND. So, any group can do anything and say we are MEND, that’s how I look at it and to harmonize such an amorphous organisation will be difficult.
“Now in the so-called group of MEND, you will find out that anybody who wants to score cheap popularity can write something and say MEND because MEND is dreaded for its actions but basically, every other Ijaw youth who is in the creek struggling and carrying out agitation, whether they are carrying arms or not, should not be demonized by anybody because in the first instance, if things were right, nobody will carry arms. Certainly, everything cannot be right but at least, near right.
The IYC leader confessed that “I have always said the struggles of MEND were commendable until when we started reading and hearing different versions”.
And this is where the entire matter lies. Is it possible to have dissenting opinions in the same MEND or has the organization been infiltrated from outside? Is it possible that there may be an ongoing covert operation by whoever to disorganize not only MEND but the entire Niger Delta struggle Rivers state inclusive?
These suspicions may be mischievous but the background to the latest development even beyond Rivers state provides a firm platform that firmly supports such suspicions.
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AJ , September 19, 2007
As long as Odili/Omehia are allowed to continue with all this Rivers cannot have permanent peace. It is quite unfortunate that Odili is now using Rivers to promote his Biafran Agenda. He has also told the Ijaws in Rivers that their sole crime was to allow him in 1999.
Odili`s cultic and tribal credential has ruined the whole of Rivers and in extension Nigeria.
Pastor Samyoung Onwuzulike Washington, D.C, U. S. A September 07, 2007
Beloved Nigerians, My brother Ogueri Njoku you are right, but two wrongs can never make a right.
We must forgive ourselves of the past, for us to move forward. If begin to give Nigerians the definition of Christ Power of Grace. The result will comes back to all universe.
When I said that I am Grace Samyoung The World sold to Egyptians. Later it appeared that Nigeria is the Egypt where The World sold Grace Samyoung.
The Grace Samyoung is Mystery of The events in Nigeria that kept Ibos under slavery, but Christ The God of Gods blessed us in the land of our slavery. Whereby Holy Spirit revealed President Yar,adua as King Pharaoh of 21st Century
The blessings Christ has blessed Nigeria through us will made Nigerians and the entire world believed that Christ is God of gods of all Universe.
Honey excus me for this Testimony. To Christ be the glory. He empowered me to declared peace in the world, but the world failed to know His power of Grace.
Now the world peace begins with Christ. Our Lord and God. Christ has siezed the power of Hurricane in U.S.A from year 2007. Very soon we shall extend it to Central America. This is the beginning of the World peace. The war also will go
when The World accepted Christ being The God of gods. He is God to the god of Terrorism. Please read the book of Isaiah 54:16,17.
Lord Christ said He created that Smith that mades all weapons, and the destroyer who operates with the weapons made by the Smth. Him Christ The God of gods created him. also. Therefore No weapon formed against you shall prosper in the name of Jesus Christ. My brother He is the Commander in Chief of all angels in the Universe.
Port Harcourt is among Grace Samyoung The World sold to Nigeria. The Egypt of 21st Century. is Nigeria. By Christ power of Grace all ruling gods in Port Harcourt and River State be calm in Jesus Christ name. Let there be peace amen.
Our battle is not of the flesh, but we shall win them with our love.
When Moses of the old and Children of Isreal came at the bank of the Red Sea.
The Army of Pharaoh were in their back, coming with speed to destroy them. In their from is the Great Red Sea of the death. Moses and the children of Isreal cried before Lord God. Lord God in His wisdom told Moses to raise his Rod across the Red Sea of the death. That Rod of Moses is Christ in His wisdom. The Power of Grace. Across the Red Sea are the place of their greater enemies.
The terminology is this, give the love of Christ to your enemies, then your Red Sea shall open to you. We shall give all our enemies the Love of Christ.
For Joseph to come to an understanding to give his enemies Pharaoh and the Egyptians the love of God kept him in prison for years. Untill he came to his senses and agreed to work with Pharaoh then his Freedom came.
The Freedom of Niger Delta and Ibos shall come, when they all come in knowledge of Christ Power of Grace. When we drop our weapons. Then Christ Power of Grace will fight for us.
Ogueri Njoku Owerri, Nigeria September 04, 2007
Until we appreciate the fact that Port harcourt which during the war cursed their ancestors by appropriating forcefully the properties of its owners and in likewise distanced themselves from their roots by aligning with invaders against their kin, corrupting their names to achieve indecent goals .Until they repent from the sin and make ammends, then shall peace begin to reign.
Look, see who is shouting for emergency, Clerk, Douglas .??/ look, see who is making the troubles, Soboma, Ateke, where are the Elechi Amadis. Minority in Power?????
Good morning Port Harcourt
Victor-Osa Asemota Madrid, Spain August 31, 2007
When we say 'Unity of the Delta' do we mean they should be united in kidnapping, terrorising and killing innocent people? The so called flag bearers of the Niger-Delta cause, are nothing more than terrorists. There's nowhere in the democratic world where violence is a justified means of achieving one's aims. The best way for the Niger Delta people to help themselves is to vote leaders they truly believe in, not the ones who provide more money and salt during electioneering capaigns. If the leaders don't do what they want, vote them out in the next election and on and on. Now, some may say that takes time. Yes, it does. Democray and its dividends are not automatic: they take time to develop If the people of the Delta want the police and and armed forces out, they should stop kidnapping people. Period.
Gaga Ekeh Atlanta, USA August 30, 2007
The "Unity of the Delta?" Remind ourselves;
I pledge to Nigeria my country,...
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