Nigeria will blow up in our face if we think since we survived Biafra war about forty years ago or Operation Wet E that preceded it, we could also go unprepared for imminent oil wells dry-up in 40 years in the Niger Delta. There is some kind of careless arrogance in Nigeria that everything can be swept under the rug.
So with impunity, we think we can crush any rebellion in Zaki Biam, Kano or in Odi. The only countries that survived are those who rectify their past and make amendments for the future. The countries that keep on repeating same mistakes eventually die.
It is true that we do not know if our leaders represent the true stakeholders in our Country but that is not an excuse or reason for failure. We fail because at the end of the day, we know the worst outcome is failure. Those who fail at the top and those who pay at the bottom are products of our society. In the North or South, our leaders dance to a gallery, they dance to placate the obsequious masses and their deep pockets. Those who started as freedom fighters in the South-south are not so different from Babangida and Abubakar who declared that likes of Alamsco or Abacha are saints, meaning compared to them or OBJ. But wait, e tu Buhari? These comparisons will make Amino Kano turn in his grave.
Our common vice as Nigerians is this excessive greed and ostentatious behavior that know no bound especially when we are in euphoric power like someone on steroids. But that is not most of us as I try to explain to fellow Africans, Robert Mugabe is not even a Nigerian. We practice it at home and it follows us outside the Country.
So whenever Africans clash, we fight without backing down, waiting for the other to blink first. If we know this, as we can not deny it, why let it wreck the only Country we have?
One thing is clear, unless we find a compromise; Nigeria will not be, even before the oil runs out in 40 years. Nigeria will not disintegrate because of Niger Delta, Nigeria will melt down because we take one another for granted. As long as we have spent leaders still hanging on or self-styled revolutionaries who refuse to negotiate for stakeholders, our Country is doomed.
Baby snatchers are not credible enough to get the confidence of either their own kin or the whole Country to abide with any negotiation. As it is we have lost control of a car speeding to destruction.
Some of us thought the best hope for Nigeria is through negotiated compromise by the North-central and the South-south. Walahi, cried Yoruba, Igbo and Fulani, they will never agree. The North-central is playing more Fulani than Dan Fodio and the South-south is too fragmented to the point of holding its own people to ransom. If these two sections of our Country can come to some compromise, as written repeatedly, no part of Nigeria can overrule them. Who born dog?
Unfortunately, these two sections of our Country bare the worst brunt of marginalization. Come what may, the Igbo, the Yoruba and the Fulani will survive. It is not that other part of Nigeria where these people occupy will go un-subdued, they will fare better. They have seen better days. The price they will pay is not as stiff. While each of these areas may survive, the viability of North-central or South-south could be debatable.
In forty years or less, as these spent leaders know, they will be gone and could care less if Nigeria goes with them. They refuse to disengage from the affairs of the Nation. If oil is the only commodity carrying Nigeria at this moment, alternatives will become cheaper as substitute in about ten years with the recent price. What are we going to fight over then? Think about where Nigeria could be today if we had compromised on Aburi blueprint.
Every leader that has promised to tackle the injustice in Niger Delta at the beginning of his term has failed. We can not say each and every one of them were insincere nor can we call the stakeholders in Niger Delta unreasonable while facing dwindling oil, increase suffering with inside or outside leaders claiming with impunity that they have not stolen us blind to be labeled a rogue. The consequence is more confrontations and escalation of self-serving violence.
Violence has relevance in world history because no power would let go a privileged pad without being forcibly dislodged. At the same time, there is a critical time to access the cost and benefit of violence and negotiate for the house before it goes up in flames. It is that point we are in Nigeria before all of us become homeless. A Yoruba adage asks us to keep our eyes on the price, Ti a ba sukun, a ma riran.
By the time we wake up, outside players will be manipulating us like Lebanon. They have already turned us into Muslims and Christian, French and English Africans. The stage is set for another oil democracy in Iraq. Even our cousins in the United States tamed their violence as Black Panthers. The Tibet monks and Tiananmen Square protest before them have to reassess their strategic to prevent self annihilation. Militants in Niger Delta are wasting one another competing for loyalty, tufts, arms and money. Voice of reason from anyone comes from a stooge.
We can fight for the next 40 years and loose everything or make a commitment to rebuild South-south the way we built Abuja. The fear is that we are not sure of those responsible enough to represent the stakeholders. We can transfer the whole of Abuja to South-south and still not end the violence. Nobody in his right senses can trust those who kidnapped and killed grandmothers and children to take care of the very weak in our society. Indeed, it can be difficult to differentiate between the vulture class and oil stakeholders.
Many of us are on record for supporting Yar?Adua as the least of all the evil leaders that were competing in courts as the winner of the 2007 Election. A year has gone by and some of us are still hoping we were right. He is being up-staged by the same spent and wasted talents of yesteryears who hardly see eye to eye. But could Balarabe Musa who claimed Yar?Adua is worse than Obasanjo be wrong? All the oil revenue thieving governors, former governors and civil servants are sleeping soundly at home these days. No fear whatsoever.
We are now going back to square one on Niger Delta confrontation. The exulted Armed Robbers of Government of yesterday that should have been caged may have hijacked Yar?Adua Government of today with threats of another coup. As long as they are still alive and kicking parading our street, they can teach us how unsuccessfully they dealt with Niger Delta. So Abacha, your input is missed, why did you die?
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