Nigeria: Back and furture stories to the present war in the Delta

The back story to the present military operation in Warri South West is beginning to unfold in some quite sinister ways. There are a couple of these stories I just want to highlight – I dont know what exactly they mean or where they are going but it seems to me that they could be part of something bigger.

In a recent Senate discussion Mohammed Ibn N’Allah, a senator from Kebbi made the following statement in response to John Halims Agoda (PDP, Delta) Daniel Metu and Hon. Tam Brisibe calls for restraint by the military…(italics below)

Although Hon. Daniel Metu and Hon. Tam Brisibe backed Agoda on the call for restraint, their resistance soon crumbled as the Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Hon. Mohammed Ibn N’Allah (PDP, Kebbi), took the floor by storm and unleashed a tirade of verbal attacks on the militants. He described the activities of the militants as pure criminality and total disregard for constituted authority.
“What is happening in the Niger Delta is pure criminality of the highest order, arising from total disregard for constituted authority. In Iraq, thousands of people lost their lives because of an insurrection against the government during the reign of former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein. We can do away with 20 million militants for the rest 120 million Nigerians to live,” N’Allah said.

N’Allah later said his statement was a “parliamentary joke but as the report goes on to state – this did not have any effect on the military decision. What it does show is there are some rumblings from the Niger Delta representatives and a degree of polarisation is developing. This in itself may mean little since they are for all intense purposes powerless at this time. But if one takes the view that the military option is a part of a well planned offensive against the Niger Delta resistance by the Northern mafia that runs the country AND the latest report from chidi opara reports then something might be brewing.

This group, according to a senior Presidency contact, “met recently and forwarded a memo to Mr. President to expand the JTF mandate to include the South-eastern and the South-western regions of the country”. This group we learnt comprises retired senior security and military personnels from Northern Nigeria. It has a retired Colonel who served in the military intelligence corps during the regime of Ibrahim Babangida as leader.

The report goes on to further suggest that the government is very concerned about the possibility of various Southern resistance groups might make an alliance against the North which could lead to a “new” and very different Nigeria.

The reason for this advice we learnt is the fear within the group that “disgruntled elements” in the South-west and South-east may take advantage of the situation in the Niger Delta to cause more trouble. The South-east and South-west are the locations of the Movement For The Actualization Of Sovereign State Of Biafra(MASSOB) and the Oodua Peoples Congress(OPC) respectively. MASSOB and OPC have separatist agenda.

This video by a Biafran secessionist [ranting and tribal abuse aside there are many truths expressed here] also reinforces the chidi opara reports suggestion that there is more going on than meets the eye. Add to this the attack on Abonnema in Rivers State earlier this week which is already an extension to the war.

Another piece in this unfolding tragedy is the British and more lately French governments offer to send arms to be used against militants and their support of Nigeria having a seat on the Security Council.

Two issues are at stake here for both Nigeria and these two European governments – the free flowing of cheap oil and preventing the break up of Nigeria in which all three of them will loose big time.

Finally tomorrow Nigerian Liberty Forum holds it’s State of the Nation forum in London. Given the above it is not surprising that the Nigerian High Commissioner tried to prevent the forum from taking place. Fortunately they failed but clearly they are worried. Nigeria being worried is good news!