We have no drinking water, it is polluted with oil. Our Crops cannot grow; the soil is soaked with oil. Fishermen and farmers have fold up. Our children are sick and we can’t afford proper health care. We have no good schools, no scholarships. Our youths have no jobs and we have no future. While we squander in privation, Oil corporations make Billions from our land and the government fatten their accounts with the oil that burns our comfort.
We are the people of the Oil Rich Niger-Delta of Nigeria. We have spoken and cried and we have been killed for crying for justice. Those who spoke out in the day were killed at night. We have been pushed to the wall and we have sought extreme measures to save our livelihood, now they call us monsters.
The cities of the Niger-Delta Region are packed full with young men looking for ways to keep body and soul together. Most of them have turned to armed robbery because the oil corporations and government have deprived them of development and opportunities.
The abandoned people of the oil rich region have turned to oil theft to get rich quick and it has proven difficult to have them give up these illegal activities that are causing the country to loose billions. Perhaps the billions they refused to better their lives with initially?
It must be said though, that these youths do not work for themselves. They are mere ponds of the top political Godfathers in Nigeria. These top Nigerians use these youths to protect their stolen oil bunker ships.
These top-dogs also use the youths to blow up pipelines, forcing the oil companies to shut down the flow, and when the oil flow is shut down it allows the bunkers to install their taps in the pipes. This means of tapping oil requires considerable expertise, usually supplied by a former oil company employee.
Surprisingly, to some, the tens of thousands of stolen tons of crude oil have ready legitimate markets in Eastern Europe and America. These activities claim lives on daily basis as violent clashes ensue between diverse bunkering factions and the military, plunging the poor natives of the region into further chaos and misery, the oil and the money made can, therefore, be said to be covered in their tears and blood. But the international buyers couldn’t care less and neither could the Nigerian consortiums that run the cartel, after all, the gains are enormous.
The real crisis, they say, is the correlation between politics and crime. Corrupt politicians and military officers arm the youths and use them to steal oil and protect their lucrative positions in government. With this truth, any endeavour by the Nigerian government to bring harmony to the oil-rich region is defeated before it is implemented. It is said that the youths are so hungry and angry and the Godfathers are so corrupted and connected that if the government tried to go after them with force, the country could be thrown into civil war or even a coup. They are so strong; they could bring about a state of emergency.
With the Illegal dealings generating $60m a day, in a place where unemployed youths and guns are in surplus, the battle against their enterprise cannot be easily won. But peace can be hoped for once major infrastructural development, basic amenities and jobs are brought to the region.
The Niger-Delta youths only want better standards of living that can be afforded by the oil boon that has brought them quandary. It is up to the Nigerian government, and the rest of the world to appease them for peace and stability sake.