Salute To Vanguards For Justice

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For a State Governor to state publicly that he had been “fortified by God to defend the interest of the State against forces of darkness”, is not just a courageous and cheering news, but a strong message also. Those who actually know the precarious position of Rivers State in the oil-and-gas dominated politics of Nigeria would have a strong sympathy for the governor who made that statement and also salute him for his courage and patriotism.
In the past, when a politician says: “I’ve been fortified”, the mind of a listener to such a statement would be that such politician must have gone to Ijebu-Ode or India to have himself “cooked” in order to get some power known in Nigerian agbero-lingo as “Odeshi”. But in this case, it is not a matter of Ijebu fetish affair but a statement made at a special luncheon for the Christ For All Nations (CFAN) President, Evangelist Daniel Kolenda, and his team at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Sunday, November 11, 2018.
Especially when the Governor added that “I can tell you that I am more fortified and prepared to go and defeat satan and his agents,” then it would be understandable that the matter goes beyond ordinary politics. For the governor to say that “those who know what I am saying, know our background…” would mean that the Port Harcourt Gospel Crusade which was an international affair, was an opportunity to send a message to a wider global audience.
There is hardly much doubt that honest sections of the international community know the deadly nature of Nigerian politics and also the precariousness of Rivers State and the Niger Delta zone in the political game. What even Nigerian spectators rarely know is the fact that the “forces of darkness” whom the governor made reference to in his speech, include indigenes of the endangered zone who rarely know that they are in danger. For personal gains such indigenes allow themselves to be used by the core forces of darkness, to undermine the interest of their state, in the name of politics.
Without enumerating how peripheral “errand-boys” can be used and dumped by their ruthless masters, let it suffice to say that Rivers State is lucky to have a governor who knows the game and is out to protect his constituency from predators. Similarly, it would be quite elementary to enumerate the antics of state agencies often used to intimidate and fight strong vanguard for justice and truth, especially minority ones.
The reader may ask: What justice and truth are “self-acclaimed” vanguards defending to the extent of declaring that they have been “fortified” for the battle? Not many indigenes of the Niger Delta zone know that there are ruthless hawks and wolves who own the oil blocks and wells in their ancestral lands. Such “owners” would stop at nothing to divide, rule and enslave indigenes of the communities which they had captured, not militarily but by the instruments of state policies and oil politics. Those who cannot fight to win the predators usually join them as errand-boys and fifth-columnists, against their own. In military lingo such collaborators with invading forces are known as saboteurs. Minority groups are the prey!
In the unfolding Nigerian scenario, the “fortified” vanguard waging an unseen war against “forces of darkness”, would be seen merely as a political lone-gladiator. But those endowed with hypodermic vision would see not a politician fighting against political opponents, but an instrument serving the course of justice and truth. Those who do not know what the “justice and truth” are in the Nigerian oily politics should be told the truth, that the entire Niger Delta zone is a hostage community.
Having been held hostage, those who claim not to know what justice means, should be told that resource control is a legitimate right of communities which produce the oil that services the nation’s economy. Such right to own their resources and pay appropriate tax therefrom constitutes the issue of “hostage” that is the plight of the Niger Delta states which produce the nation’s oil wealth. Rivers State is the chief state of that zone and the “fortified” Chief Executive of that state is the chief vanguard for justice and truth in the distorted Nigerian federalism that preys on minorities.
Politics is merely a camouflage for a process of depradation and plundering of the wealth and right of a zone that has been held hostage through indirect strategies. Let the Akwa Ibom strategy not feature in Rivers, because someone there is “fortified”.
Dr. Amirize is a retired lecturer at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.