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NIGER DELTA IS NOT THE ENEMY BUT THE LEVERAGE TO SUCCESS

Nigerians are mad as hell as terror interrupts their daily lives. Children, old people and relatives are kidnapped and killed while car bombs have become another part of the equation we have to deal with. It is getting worse, not better. It used to be the fear of armed robbers, it has become more. Corruption of power, minds and our youths have become daily occurrence and many of us are looking for whom to use and blame. It is human nature to look for culprits but we must not limit it to certain areas and certain people. We all have them growing in every community. We need not make it worse.

Some of us have equated those loud destructive militants in Niger Delta that have

hijacked a good cause with many people from the areas that are also the victims of the excesses of these thugs. They dress up as freedom fighters but stifle the law abiding young men and women in their areas in competition for attention and handouts from the highest bidder. We must judge people by the contents of their character, behavior and interaction with their fellow countrymen not by hooliganism on sale for favors.

Our natural resources have divided us, we maim and kill one another over it and what brings us together has separated us from one another more than ever. Out unity as a Country is not just for the sake of unity to fight to a standstill but to peacefully coexist so that we can put our heads together to build a great Country and a great Continent. A failed marriage without bloodshed and killing is better than a marriage without any life. Those who think they can bleed us to death just because they fought a civil war must think about their own mortality, they cannot rest on forced bloody coexistence forever.

There are those who have arrogated the security of the Country only to themselves and nobody else would do as well. It a ploy and a fallacy which they think they can carry out by making the Country ungovernable. They will go to any extent to bleed and kill anyone they can, just to make their point, in the hope that at some point Nigeria will cry for their comeback. It is the only training they have and a desperate move that can only fool weaklings. These cowards can be tackled head-on and brought to justice accordingly.

Politicians want to use militants from Niger Delta as security test for Presidency. It is sheer hypocrisy for some old spent leaders that should be cooling heads in sanatorium after mismanaging Nigeria for about 38 years during which everything that could go wrong went haywire, to rise up in gangs and exploit the deadly act of October first in Abuja. These are people, as if they have some monopoly on security, that have never found the solution to Jos riots in the past, waiting to happen again tomorrow. Oh, without them, Nigeria will burst in flames? It did many times on their watch.

Fortunately, they neither represent North nor South. Actually, they do not know where they represent going by the wretchedness they perpetrated on either region. Instead of mourning the dead, condemning the act and looking for solutions, they saw staged opportunities for political leverage to beat their chest on who can keep the Country secured. Everyone pleads to them to let Nigeria be while some ask that others rule for the next 38 years, they will not listen. It is too sweet an entitlement to give up until their hands turn cold. Any opportunity they have, they use it to condemn any leader except those from their region. Yet they claim they will die for one Nigeria in pieces.

What is clear is that to gain power and set Nigeria straight out of the jaws of sharks is a determined mission that can be perilously achieved. Nobody is going to cede power by entitlement or in a platter of gold plated flying saucer. As dangerous and vicious as politics has been in the past, these people as they promised are threatening mayhem if they do not have their way. So Nigeria must be prepared, it is even going to get worse before it gets better unless these cowards back down. They have backed down before.

Solution must come from us. When we are sick and tired of taking it, we can stop tolerating self interest, greed and discard opportunists whose only goal is to exploit our weaknesses and ride us all the way to the House of Representative, Senate and to the Presidency. Even in countries where people vote against their self interest in the name of democracy, when they are mad enough, politicians that spend millions lose. If we cannot take it anymore, we must give notice that we are fed up.

Every country has its rich and poor areas, a common interest or wealth utilize its riches to enhance poor areas to reach their potentials in order to contribute to the common good. If we had leveraged cocoa from the West, coal from the East, groundnuts from the North and oil from the Delta, Nigeria would have developed enough intellect and inventions to move the whole Country forward. We have relaxed on past effort, waiting and counting manna from heaven. No country and no great people survive on manna.

It is not all parts of United States that are rich, all parts of Germany do not make Mercedes and not all parts of Japan makes electronics but together each of these countries have become rich and still struggle to be wealthy. What we have in each part of Nigeria are abundance of natural resources that will never last forever but can propel and prepare us for takeoff, if we were wise to throw out the bums.

If what unite and makes other countries prosperous divide us it is the fault of the people that tolerate and encourage the leadership we deserve. Those leaders are our sisters and brothers, coming from our mothers and fathers from the same communities.

Trouble makers will always seek more trouble if they see it as a means to their goal. They must be checked, put under surveillance and if necessary under house arrest incommunicado. The greatest democracy do not take its liberty for granted when law and order is threaten. Some of them have been bold enough to threaten that hell will break lose if they do not get their way. Let the hell fall on them. The best man must win elections, not renegades hiding under the freedom they denied everyone.

Farouk Martins Aresa

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