Governor Amaechi and the War on Ogoni – by Charles Wiwa
Published 21 August 2012
“Our Lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”
These were Martin Luther King Jr’s summation on the injustice suffered by Blacks in America during the Civil Rights era. To many, such an era may be a thing of the past & history, and better imagined; but as of fact, some of the lives lived today in the 21st century are worse than the treatment or freedom enjoyed by domestic pets, particularly in Africa. Ironically, nations like Nigeria that boast of being sovereign and endowed with natural resources treat their citizens in sub-human conditions, thus placing such nations and their citizens at the mercy of other more serious minded polities.
Ogoni had existed independently as a sub African unit before federalism was imposed on the varied nationalities forced into what is Nigeria today. This coercion was for the benefit of British explorers who later colonized, exploited the nation’s resources and Balkanized the people along ethnic lines. No doubt, there were, and there is still no contractual agreement signed by these groups to remain under the federation and, especially according to rules that are favorable to them. It is well known that when constitutions of Nigeria were either written or are revised even today, the major ethnic groups have used same old colonial methods of majority rule in selecting those that write the laws of the country without giving due prominence to the peculiar circumstances, sensibilities and sensitivities of the minority members of the federation. Such laws have, hence, not protected the minority groups, which are never adequately represented. One display of this imbalance is in the disproportionate number of states that make up the federation as more states have always been created for the majority ethnic groups at the expense of resources from the minority tribes. There is inequality in every sense and about everything Nigeria.
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