Thoughts on “Naija Leaks” – WikiLeaks
Nigerian Curiosity has produced a synopsis of the “Naija Leaks“. The leaks provide an additional dimension to the relationship between the Nigerian government, Shell – an imperial empire in itself, and the United States government. The “Naija Leaks” should be read in the context of the “oil complex” – that is the relationship between the oil companies, the Nigerian Federal and State governments, traditional rulers, militants and the community and now unsurprisingly, as the leaks reveal, the United States government. A militarised relationship which was exposed early this week with the disclosure that the Nigerian military had framed Ken Saro Wiwa and Shell’s role in supporting the framing and implicit in that, the execution of the Ogoni 9.
The most interesting fact revealed is of course Shell’s total infiltration into all aspects of Nigerian politics and governance, acting as a spy for the US government. I find this somewhat amusing considering successive Nigerian governments over the past 40 years have been loving bed partners with Shell acting out some of the most brutal attacks on communities and the environment, not knowing that Shell was also very much in bed with the US government. In retrospect this is hardly surprising news but if one looks at Nigeria’s side of the relationship with Shell, it is apparent they were not aware of the duplicity and even more stupid had actually forgotten the Shell had “seconded people to all relevant ministries”.
Beyond that Ann Pickard’s comment on the probability that the amnesty of October 2009 would be short lived is prophetic plus her comment on Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, who unlike his counterparts in Delta and Bayelsa States, due to his lack of “political connections” has been unable to co-op any of the militants. The revelation that the PresidentGoodluck Jonathan discussed Nigerian elections with the US Ambassador is also revealing especially if put with other discussions of Nigeria’s internal politics such as the resignation of Yar’Adua, replacing INEC and even Jonathan’s choice of Vice President. All of which speak to the sovereignty of Nigeria vis a vis multinational oil companies and foreign governments – again nothing surprising here. The third revelation on the corruption of late President Yar’Adua because he was seen to be “incorruptible” whereas now we find he was much the same as all previous head of states.
Overall, as in most of the WikiLeaks elsewhere, there are no surprises here. As Nigerian Curiosity comments, will these revelations be published by the Nigerian media especially with elections next April? What I would like to see are similar cables for the period 1992-1995 and during 1998-2000, covering the heart of the Ogoni Movement for self-determination and President Obasanjo’s attacks against Niger Delta in Kaiama and Odi for example and also around 2005, the beginnings of the militancy movement.