Petroleum: The endless agony, hostilities and massacre in the Niger Delta from 1966-date — By Emmanuel Gandu
The discovery of Oil (Black Gold) on January 1956 at Oloibiri in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa state, and subsequently many others in several Communities in the Niger Delta of Nigeria is rather becoming a curse than a blessing to these oil producing nationalities.
It is equally disheartening that it took about 20 years of legislation on the notorious Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to concede a meagre 3% of revenue accrueing from oil sales to the host Communittees, who incidentally account for 95% of the revenue that keeps Nigeria’s economy alive. What a travesty of justice, fairness, and a People’s sacrifice.
Paradoxically, the oil rich Niger Delta is the “goose that lays the golden egg” but have been wallowing in abject poverty as a result of the neglect of these host regions from oil exploration and consequences of environmental degradation, and pollution.
Regrettably, successive governments have continued to deny these oil producing Communities the joy of reaping from the blessings God had endowed them with.
Consequently, this neglect had given rise to endless agitations, and uprising for resource control by environmental activist and “sons of the soil” through violent means.
Unfortunately, the militant youths have been exposed to monumental and consequential levels of worst human conditions of deprivation, killing, and execution.
HOSTILITIES FROM 1966 – DATE
(1) ISAAC ADAKA BORO
One of the pioneers of minority rights activism in Nigeria is Isaac Adaka Boro.
He declared the secession of the oil rich Niger Delta which his Ijaw ethnic group in the Niger Delta supported by forming the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF).
Isaac Adaka Boro declared the Niger Delta Republic on February 23, 1966.
(2) KEN SARO WIWA’S MOSOP
The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) was formed in the late 1980’s and made active and popular in 1990 by Ken Saro Wiwa a highly intelligent person, writer, author, activist, and a world acclaimed advocate for minority rights.
Ken Saro Wiwa and his Ogoni People advocated for the control of oil production in Ogoni land, a struggle the Nigerian military rulers would not succumb to.
Ken Saro Wiwa along with eigth other Ogoni environmental and human rights activists of MOSOP were brutally executed by hanging in Port Harcourt on 10th November 1995 by the then Head of State Major General Sani Abacha.
(3) ALHAJI MUJAHID DAKUBO ASARI
Formed the :
(a) Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) in 1998.
(b) Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF) in 2001
Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) was formed in 2004 by Henry Okah, Tompolo, Ateke Tom, and etc.
(5) NIGER DELTA VIGILANTE (NDV)
Was formed by Ateke Tom in 2000 in order to control the oil exploration around the Port Harcourt area.
(6) NIGER DELTA LIBERATION FRONT (NDLF) was formed in 2005 by John Togo with the mission to secede from Nigeria in order to control the oil resources.
(7) NIGER DELTA AVENGERS (NDA)
Was formed in 2016.
It’s activities centred on the attack of oil installations and pipe line vandalisation. This was meant to create awareness for their demand for a sovereign country in the Niger Delta.
(8) NIGER DELTA GREENLAND JUSTICE MANDATE (NDGJM) Was formed in 2016.