Niger Delta Militancy: Agitations or Irrational Irritability? – By Joseph Odok

There is a popular story of a man that caught his wife doing some wrong. He got so infuriated and began beating up the wife. Bystanders applauded the man as he continued the beatings, yes with the support of all. After the beatings, he got the wife naked to her utmost embarrassment, tied her hands and feet, left her on the heat of the sun from morning to evening without food.


When the villagers were returning from their work,  they saw the wife naked and panting. Surely this did not go on well with them, they got infuriated with the man and saw the man a demon. They rendered insult on the man and ostracized the man from the village. Yes the wife was wrong but the man got irrationally irritated and excessive in his actions.

This story can be likened to the actions of some Niger Delta militants, sure there are instances of neglect of the Niger Delta Region by previous Nigerian Governments. Yes revenue release by federal government to the region has not brought any meaningful developmental change. Yes some Niger Delta stakeholders have corruptly enriched themselves from what was supposed to be our common patrimony, sometimes our brothers prove themselves worst enemies. Yes the goose that laid the golden eggs that feeds the nation is grossly underdeveloped. Yes from Isaac Boro to Ken Saro-Wiwa to the full blown Militancy today, there have been agitations that can be said to be legitimate demand for social justice. Yes the government of Nigeria has sometimes acted  in bad light by collaborating with trans-national oil companies to oppress the Niger Delta people. Yes agitation is one option of civil disobedience to address some serious issues of social injustices and inequality in distribution of wealth. Yes nationally, the international and local community applauds the agitation of the likes of Isaac Boro and Ken Saro-Wiwa but in recent times, the agitations of some Militants in the Niger Delta Region is recently condemned as Irrational Irritability.

Some group of persons see such agitators/militants as criminal opportunist. More so because agitations by most militants has led to economic imbalance with the justification of violence as a quick way to wealth.

A gang of criminals have taken over advocacy, their stock in trade is pipeline vandalism, oil bunkering, kidnapping and some other humanitarian abuses. These gang of agitators are stupendously rich and are recruiting so many loyalist making dialogue with government difficult.


The wealth gained from the lucrative business of Militancy is used to buy properties outside Nigeria. Some are rumoured to own private universities, jets, and huge account deposits in foreign banks. Militancy is defining itself as a form of criminality that pays more than civility.
The environmental effects of pipe line vandalism has polluted our lands, farming is no more possible, what way Nigeria?

The tasks before the Niger Delta Development Commission chaired by Distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba is enormous. Poverty makes people Irrational and an aggrieved person is a destroyer. Civility is increasingly seen as foolery and cowardice, federal government is wrongly perceived as funding only the violent and neglecting the larger law abiding citizens of Niger Delta. There are increasing groups of agitators with the vision of satisfying their pockets. Peace, security and development have eluded the land

Which way Niger Delta? Peace comes with Justice, restorative justice and not selective Justice is the sure way to the solution of the Niger Delta Question.

Joseph Odok

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