IPOB: Who Are The Niger Deltans?

By Odimegwu Onwumere
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I have learnt early in life that the enemies outside can't hurt one if not permitted by the enemies inside. As a result, enemies are being created inside the Niger Delta because insiders allowed it. They allowed it when a section of the Niger Delta has shown divisive tendencies as if they solely own the Niger Delta. For instance, after Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike of Rivers State proscribed IPOB and said that his state is Niger Delta, some uncordinated voices from Bayelsa warned the IPOB that they are Niger Delta. This divisive behaviours among the parties compelled me to check again if there are no longer nine states that made up the Niger Delta.

My entreaty showed me that the Niger Delta region of Nigeria comprises nine states: Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers. So, how come certain states in the South-South think they are more Niger Delta than others? This is appalling and a divisive approach among states who were supposed to hold a strong bond. They avoided the mantra which states that divided we fall but United we stand. Besides, it is very wrong for the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) to see the #EndSARS protest in any parts of the states in South-South as the handiwork of the IPOB. This is a misplacement of aggression. There could have been a crop of the IPOB members in the protests but this should not be misconstrued as an IPOB protest. If any security officer from any parts of the country died in the cause of the protest in the South-South, this doesn't also mean that IPOB was responsible. Let the IYC quide its perception about the #EndSARS protest.

I have been preaching peace before and since the protest started across the country till today, and if we agree that the Niger Delta is not all about the states in the South-South, we should stop this glaring divisive mindset which has been the occupation of certain states that claim Niger Delta above others. We should learn from a statement such as Suzy Kassem's below:

"The most dangerous people in the world are not the tiny minority instigating evil acts, but those who do the acts for them. For example, when the British invaded India, many Indians accepted to work for the British to kill off Indians who resisted their occupation. So in other words, many Indians were hired to kill other Indians on behalf of the enemy for a paycheck. Today, we have mercenaries in Africa, corporate armies from the western world, and unemployed men throughout the Middle East killing their own people - and people of other nations - for a paycheck. To act without a conscience, but for a paycheck, makes anyone a dangerous animal. The devil would be powerless if he couldn't entice people to do his work. So as long as money continues to seduce the hungry, the hopeless, the broken, the greedy, and the needy, there will always be war between brothers."

The above narrative may be what is happening in the collective and expensive Niger Delta that was supposed to unite, but sadly, the enemy has planted seed of discord among people who were brothers but were divided on the pursuit for paltry. If we agree that there are nine states that made up the Niger Delta, we should understand that a Leonardo da Vinci warns against kingdom dividing against each other.

Vinci warns, "As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself." Let Niger Deltans not turn themselves into slaves just for the shear hatred of unity. Let's learn from the writings of Suzy Kassem:

"When two brothers are busy fighting, an evil man can easily attack and rob their poor mother. Mankind should always stay united, standing shoulder to shoulder so evil can never cheat and divide them."

How long shall we (the Niger Deltans) in Nigeria continue to divide ourselves among caste, creed, culture? We should understand that what is undivided remains most the jewel.

Oct. 28 2020.