Recently, President Buhari flagged off the Kolmani oil field which straddle Gombe and Bauchi states. One common phrase on the lips of most of the northern politicians at the occasion was: “we are going to avoid the mistakes of the Niger Delta.”
Apart from sounding appallingly pretentious, the statement connotes a sense of division. It tells everyone that the North is markedly different from the South, and does not hope to share in her problems.
Unfortunately, for almost 70 years that oil had been discovered in Nigeria’s South, the North has been the one managing it, and even determining who gets what. It’s therefore hypocritical to turn around and act as if the problem that had befallen the region was solely the region’s.
From Oloibiri through Ogoni, Nembe, Brass, Oguta, Gbaramatu, Gbarain, even up to the most recent one, Lagos lagoon, the North has been a critical stakeholder in whatever had befallen these places in their explorative activities, down to the revenue sharing formulas deriving thereof.
Therefore, the North should not pretend to have a different idea on what fate will henceforth befall their own region in its quest to enjoy the dividends of oil exploration and sales.
It’s true that the power brokers and community leaders in the South had grossly misrepresented and mismanaged the little dividends accruing to the region, it’s however not their fault solely.
Many of these southern power brokers are mere puppets of the ruling elites in the North that have used them to entrench their vested interests while ensuring that the voices of the common southerners never mattered.
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Was this not the reason why Isaac Adaka Boro and Ken Saro Wiwa were silenced forever? It’s time for all Nigerians to take responsibility for the failure that had befallen the Niger Delta instead of playing the ostrich. Enough of the pretense!
CREDIT: Facebook.com / Uzogara Tobechukwu
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