Margaret Hill, the three year old daughter of a British expatriate worker has been kidnapped in the Niger Delta on her way to school. The militant groups have reached an ultimate low as in desperation they have turned to the innocent children. Many people have raised an uproar and it was reported on the BBC UK website that the British Consulate is demanding an immediate release of the child.
So far, all those who have heard about this story, have heaped alot of curses and insults of outrage and disgust on whoever is responsible (as it is the usual culprits MEND have denied involvement); which of course is not unwarranted. But I am curious to see if anyone is aware of the bigger picture at stake.
I am not too sure of the geography of the niger delta but from my own understanding (and here I emphasise the word "my"), the niger delta probably began its decline after the Biafran war. The discovery of oil is probably the biggest catastrophe to befall the region. the last time I was there which was in 2002 when I made road trip through the east, we passed abandoned farm lands and riverways; made unusable and toxic by the resultant pollutants of exploration.
For a people who have been reliant on the land for their livelihood, the inability to use these must mean an immediate and destruction of their socio-economy. Now, I am not much of a politician and I am aniticipating the comments to this post to be lengthy discourses on how incomplete my analysis is; but I need to ask how any one is surprised that suddenly out of the ashes of a raped and defiled people arose a vigilante group emulating terrorist antics as their only means to garner attention.
The thing is though that just like their terrorist mentors, the only response their going to get is a reciprocated show of force. To appease their foreign masters, the Nigerian government is going to dispense on the offense military force instructed to take no prisoners and leave no stone unturned. What we are going to now see is an even greater disaster to the Niger Delta people than they are already experiencing.
For a region that gave Nigerians the audacity to walk around with the arrogant pride of people of means, they sure have very little to show for it. All their great minds have either been poached or fled to the south west or Abuja or worse still to the same foreign lands that are responsible for the abuse of their people. All those who remain are not skilled enough to manage what little they have or are more motivated by a sense or entitlement and greed that they covet it all for their private and personal gain.
I am in no way advocating for militant groups. Violence and intimidation never gets the desired result and only breeds hostility. As it is, many are forgetting that the most violent of Nigerians reside in the Sharia brainwashed states of the north (yeah, i said it, go burn what's left of Kano)and are writing the vibrant and colourful people of the Niger delta as a bunch of trigger happy, barely literate, errant individuals. Some of them are but the majority are just like you and I, praying for the morning to bring a respite to their problems.
I pray Margaret is returned home soon. She is only three and only God knows what the poor thing is going through. And her mother is probably loosing her mind.
I am also praying for an end to the rape of the Niger Delta. Like any woman who has been abused for so long and too long, she too adopts the characteristics of her abuse and uses it on others, whether they have anything to do with her condition or not.