Wednesday, 06 October 2004
Now that the Nigerian federal government has reached a tentative truce with the untouchable “Alhaji Dukubo” I think that the rest of our country is entitled to some explanations from the presidency and there are so many unanswered questions, among which are, who is Dukubo? How did he come about his weapons, for himself and his gangs? Was Dukubo at anytime a dangerous tool and instrument in the hands of PDP? An instrument and tool deployed for political benefits to the PDP? As have been stated by so many?
Speculations are rife, to the effect that this Alhaji is armed and dangerous, and that this Alhaji, is being treated with kids’ gloves, because he is part of the now famous and fabled PDP “family” hence he is being treated to a presidential jet and all the politeness by the federal government. The Alhaji is said to be a creation of the PDP political machinery; this according to credible sources.
It is alleged, that Dukubo agitations and propaganda, have nothing whatsoever, to do with resource control, revenue allocation and the principles of derivation and equitable share at all. Dukubo also, said to be motivated by personal animosities arising from unfulfilled promises made to him by the PDP before the elections in 2003. Alhaji Dukubo is therefore a monster of the PDP creation, a monster gone haywire and too powerful or out of control of the PDP henchpersons, which explains, the willingness of our federal government to negotiate with this Alhaji?, while accusing Uwazurike and Ojukwu of being threat to national security, as the duo are threatened with SSS “chat” arrests? Alhaji Dukubo is the elephant in the room story of the month. He has weapons upon arsenals, he openly declares in violent and criminal intent, but the SSS is inviting Ojukwu to discuss what? Illegal oil bunkering, or perhaps, gratuitous violence for which Dukubo is known?
All this is completely amazing to reasonable persons! Alhaji Dukubo makes no secrets of his treasonable undertakings, he has displayed guns and bulletproof to the BBC, to Reuters etc and his illegal activities are now known to the whole world, including the federal government of Nigeria. His utterances are repulsive, as there are clear indications, that he is not altruistic or populist.
He and his followers are said to have been responsible for countless death in Rivers state. He continues to threaten more violence instead of renouncing them? There seem to be a pattern emerging from these, as PDP continues to describe the most aberrant or even violent behaviors, as family matters. Are all these Dukubo dare-devilries family matters of the PDP still? Especially as Alhaji Dukubo espouses all manners of violence, threatening anarchy and civil war ruination of Nigeria etc
How is it that this Alhaji is not considered a national and international security threat? As some have amply described him as a thug, political thug or even terrorist? Why does he deserve special concessions? What exactly is going on in Nigeria? Why do we have some Nigerians operating outside of our laws, above the laws and due process? Why? There are those who are public officials, and contrary to our constitution and laws, they continue siphon our national monies and resources to overseas countries, as some refuse to declare their assets and the others continue to maintain foreign accounts, all in clear violation of our rules and laws. And now there are those with illegal weapons receiving presidential treatments? Has Dukubo bullied his political bosses to negotiations or even blackmail? Could this spur more other anarchies by armed militia from every region of Nigeria? Has the Nigerian federal government worried about copycats, following in the violent footsteps of Dukubo? Are we rewarding violence and illegalities in Nigeria?
Any group of Nigerians who manage to accumulate enough illegal weapons, can negotiate illegalities with our government? It is now as if, our democracy is turning into, “Oh, you have guns? The president will see you immediately? Or is the case, as have been speculated, our president is simply taking orders from London and Washington, to keep the oil from Nigeria flowing at all costs, particularly in view of the November 2nd elections in the United States, is Nigeria simply another Saudi Arabia, bent on skewing American presidential elections outcome in favor of Mr. Bush? With so many other ethnic, religious and sectional militias all over the place in Nigeria, is Mr. Obasanjo sending the wrong message and precedent, be chummy with this Moujahid Alhaji?
Some oil companies have admitted, once again, that they bribed criminal gangs in the Niger Delta, to keep oil flowing! These oil companies ought to have and demonstrate good corporate citizenship and responsibility, but, frequently, the bribe to evade taxes, they bribe to garner contracts, these oil companies defy the National Assembly, by ignoring summons from it, these oil companies pollute the Niger Delta, the flare gas endlessly and go scot-free, the bribe criminal gangs to “protect” their operations, are there any consequences to all these?
In an article last year http://www.nigeriavillagesquare1.com/Adujie3.htm, I stated the superior benefits of long term planning and benefits of good corporate citizenship and responsibility by foreign companies making huge profits in Nigeria “Shell Oil, Mobil, Exxon, Texaco, Schlumberger, Halliburton etc all make billions of dollars of profits yearly from their Nigerian operations, Just imagine if these companies were to devote only one million dollars annually to improve the local communities that is the source of their mammoth corporate wealth? Imagine if these companies act as good corporate citizens and responsible companies and provide local communities with clean water, electricity, schools that even teach petroleum oil technology to the locals, and help maintain the roads and sponsor yearly local cultural festivals? Etc.These are not new things, these types of things are what these same companies engage in, in America and Europe in order to attain public goodwill, in order to attain good image, in order to catch attention and advertise themselves and their products! Why can’t they do these things in Nigeria? I have witnessed these companies do these things in their home countries without requests, without urgings without agitations!I strongly believe that these activities enumerated above will help to stem the frequency of disagreements between these companies and the host local communities where they operate, engaging in these activities are certainly cheaper than the cost and efforts expended on resolving riots, hostage takings, kidnappings and all other actions that are usually undertaken by the locals in desperation and after years of frustrations, investment in these communities will also help to make these companies to look good and may actually endear them to the locals! Hence good corporate citizenship and social responsibility, It is a win-win situation for both corporations the local communities! But now, it has become even more an imperative for these companies to demonstrate good corporate citizenship and a sense of responsibility, obey Nigerian laws and treat the local communities with respect, instead of resorting bribing thugs; Just as the Nigerian government should ensure safety and security, which in turn, will make it needless, for these foreign companies to bribe gangs for protection of persons and investments! It is really a shame to read of cases where corporations now pay ransoms and protection money to criminal elements! Where is the law? Where is law and order in Nigeria? Why does our president mildly describe these elements as mere rascals? Nigeria is now in the international news on a daily basis, and usually, in the negative territory! Why?
Political compromises as alternate dispute resolution is a commendable public policy strategy, as Nigeria needs to avoid needless violence or crises that detract from economic and political development, (which are already delayed and late in coming), but, even so, we must pause to ask ourselves whether we are setting dangerous a precedent? By appearing to negotiate with thugs or anyone with a gun? Where do private citizens/persons acquire these illegal arsenals? The president will see you now, because you have guns!
Why is it, that those with audacity, to engage in illegalities with impunity and those with penchants for shredding or disregarding our constitution and our laws, are the ones with respect? Governor Yerima Ahmed of Zamfara state has committed more provocative acts, that threatens Nigeria’s unity, than anyone else in Nigeria in recent times, his actions and utterances are rudderless and extremely irresponsible, as they have been misguided and neither the PDP or the federal government of Nigeria have rebuked or chastised him strongly enough, as he continues to push-the-envelope and our collective national patience. Governor Ahmed strikes me, as someone without vision or ideas for governance hence he resorts to ill considered actions and utterances, just to distract the people and electorate of Zamfara, from his ineffectiveness? And he is not chatting with the SSS? Perhaps it is because, he is untouchable or because he has absolute immunity or both?
Other news emanating from Nigeria, equally suggests, that Edo state among others, threaten national security and unity through the imposition of arbitrary fees, selectively imposed on motorists passing through the state, which is similar in its implications, to the disparities in school fees for Nigerians from other states of origin, imposed in Zamfara by Governor Ahmed, right to travel, inter-state commerce is impeded by all these. Nigeria’s federal government, ought to deal with these national security/unity shredding issues. Nigeria’s National Assembly ought to tackle these vexing issues, but instead, the senate goes on strike to spite El Rufai?
National unity is being threatened daily by acts of discrimination and segregation, of indigene versus settler, disparities in school fees or even the rights to use federal highways… And should NYSC send Youth Corps members to these discriminating states.
There are Nigerians and foreigners who would be glad to see Nigeria disintegrate and our government is playing into traps.
A Nigerian, made the following comment on an internet-forum during the week: “the Nigerian system made Dokubo possible. Why did the PDP or their governors need to arm this thug in order to contest elections?” “It is a very common thing for armed gangsters and soldiers to turn on their masters in the midst of an unjust mission, either for a larger share of the booty or out of regret for the evil mission they have been pursuing.””Dokubo has seen that the oil in the Delta has been stolen from its owners, so he just wants a small share of the booty. He is stealing from the thief, using "Ijaw self determination" as his cover. Another very common tactic in this evil world of ours. “ I am left wondering whether this Nigerian is right in his assessment and why Dukubo has such audacity with weapons, violence and endless threats of mayhem, and he receives presidential audience/welcome in Abuja?
Many citizens of Nigeria from the Niger Delta resent the fact that resource control or derivation arithmetic of revenue allocation has been trivialized by this Alhaji. Why are Nigerian laws being selectively applied? It must be realized that, the rule of law and due process are not helped, when some are allowed to thumb their nose and sneer at laws and rules
Environmental pollution and degradation experienced by the people of Niger Delta for decades, from oil spillages, poisoned fishing waters and farmlands, that are serious life and death issues, in the oil producing areas of Niger Delta, is now personalized to political pimping and some Nigerians have the effrontery to describe Dukubo as some robin hood? As if he was some altruistic public spirited person?
Where were the Police, the SSS or the Customs as Dukubo and others amassed their weapons/arsenal, what border or entry point did these weapons pass through? Why are we treating private persons with caches of weapons, with kid gloves? Or this vindicates the allegations of those who have repeatedly accused the PDP and Nigerian government of creating and fostering thugs and criminal gangs to commit election frauds and malpractices, political assassinations or sundry hara-kiri, it vindicates the unhindered supplies of sophisticated weapons now in the hands of those who would do harm to Nigeria for selfish gains, and effect, the PDP and our government have created a classical Frankenstein monster, now more powerful and unwieldy , than the PDP who created it?
This is outrageously offensive! And the Nigerian governments, that is, the government of the Niger Delta and the federal government, have a great deal of explaining to do to all Nigerians. Who created this Alhaji, his gangs and arsenals of weapons? Are we about to witness replications of negotiations with multiplicities of ethnic thugs with private armies and militias?
Two articles appeared in The Guardian Newspapers on Wednesday October 6, 2004 written separately by two distinguished Nigerian gentlemen both articles portrayed very frightening prospects for Nigeria, as they articulated the dire state of affairs now.
Is Nigeria really being presided over by a den of thieves? Is Nigeria being run for personal benefits? Was the decision to negotiate with the Moujahid Alhaji informed by our national interests or the corporate profits interests of multinational oil corporations? Or the interests of the home governments of these foreign oil corporations and worse;
Is Nigeria about disintegrate?