Hypocrisy of the call for dialogue on Niger Delta criminality

It was the juju music maestro, chief now evangelist Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi who sang in one of his songs that “Ninu gbogbo ohun ti Eledumare daa si ile aiye, awa eniyan la soro” meaning that of all the creatures of God, man is the most difficult”.

This lyric in one of the songs of the musician now an evangelist of God is corroborated by the management scholar, Prof Albert Schein, who posited that man is a complex being. By this, he meant that man is the most unpredictable of all creatures of God. Man on his way out of a place will tell you, I am coming, when in his heart, he knows that he is leaving but doesn’t want the other person to know. By the nature of creation, one can never know what goes on in the mind of man.

The complexity of man was even corroborated further by God in the Bible when he lamented that “This people (man) honour me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me’, hence they say one thing and act the opposite.

Following the recent spate of bombings of oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta region by a group called the Niger Delta Avengers who have vowed to cripple the Nigerian state if their political demands are not met, one is not surprised that man being what he is, has not deviated from his character of hypocrisy by calls from certain quarters on the federal government to engage in dialogue with the so called group.

One recollects that when the boko haram terrorist group was over running the North East part of Nigeria by attacking security establishments, communities, killing, maiming, destroying properties and abducting innocent Nigerians, this group of people saw it rightly as criminality and condemned calls for dialogue as suggested in certain quarters to the federal government.

But today, the pendulum has changed and is swinging in another direction as same criminality like in the North East has resurrected in the Niger Delta and those who condemned calls for dialogue in combating criminality in other peoples part of the country are now calling for dialogue to combat criminality because of their interest in the area of the Niger Delta. Or are they saying that the lives of Nigerians who have been imperiled by this act of criminality in the immediate neighbourhoods where this bombings is taken place, whose eco system is damaged and far, who are suffering from this economic loss to the Nigerian state, don’t matter?

This is nothing but hypocrisy because like we say, what is good for the geese must be good for the gander, if we can use military force to arrest criminality in the North East, such measure should be applied wherever such criminality rears it’s ugly head to endanger national assets and security.

The government of the federal republic of Nigeria has a constitutional responsibility to protect lives and property and threat to the existence of Nigeria wherever it rears it’s ugly head and would have failed God and man and thus confirm Nigeria truly, as a theatre of the absurd if it succumbs to the blackmail of negotiating with criminals.

The prevailing issue in some parts of the Niger Delta region is a clear case of criminality which should be treated as such by bringing the full weight of the law against such violators and their sponsors. The Niger Delta region of Nigeria is made up of 9 states with constituted authority and mechanisms for resolving conflicts whenever it arises because it is bound to arise. But for a group of people to resort to carrying arms against the state for whatever reasons is condemnable and unacceptable.

Thus, the government must be encouraged to ignore the hypocritical calls for dialogue with criminals called militants and exert its constitutional authority in bringing about peace to a region troubled by the criminality of some few who don’t have the mandate of the generality of the people of the region but are only carrying out the criminal bidding of their pay master by disrupting public peace and endangering national security.

The restoration of peace to the Niger Delta region is a constitutional responsibility which the government owes the Nigerian people.

Nelson Ekujimi wrote this piece from Lagos.

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