…If Chief Nyesom Wike Of Rivers State In The Niger Delta, A Christian, Is Not Good Enough To Be Minister Of FCT, Then Niger Delta Oil & Gas Is Too Good For Nigeria
The Niger Delta Self Determination Movement (NDSDM) was not surprised to read the detailed transcript of Sheikh Gumi’s hate speech against the Niger Delta Region [and its people], through his attack on the former Governor of Rivers state, Chief Nyesom Wike, whom Tinubu appointed the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Gumi’s hate speech has encouraged other Clerics to come out with more videos, full of lies, to encourage hate against the indigenous people of the Niger Delta. Gumi is either pretending to be unaware of the 1999 military decree, (1999 Constitution) which favours the Muslims of Northern Nigeria, packaged and imposed on Nigerians under his kinsman, General Abdulsalem Abubakar – the Military Ruler of Nigeria after the death of General Abacha.
Like how Lugard created Nigeria and hoisted “One Nigeria” on the indigenous people of Southern Nigeria for the benefit of the United Kingdom and Northern Nigeria; I mention United Kingdom and Northern Nigeria because we must not forget we were packaged to continue serving them with our lives and resources, especially after October 1st 1960, (Nigeria’s independence day). When it suits them, they are quick to remind us that the 1999 Constitution clarifies – any Nigerian is free to live anywhere in Nigeria; but forget to accept that same 1999 constitution implies – any man or woman can be Minister of FCT.
FCT does not belong to Muslims or Christians, it is the Capital of Nigeria. They lie to their followers who believe whatever they say because they are clerics. They create hate against Christians and Southerners.
Before we go any further, Gumi must be reminded that before the indigenous people of the geographical area today named Abuja (FCT), were the Gbagyi (Gwari). Other indigenous people in the area include the Bassa, Gwandara, Gade, Dibo, Egburra, Nupe and Koro.
During the 2014 National Conference convened by President Goodluck Jonathan – Niger Delta Self Determination Movement – concluded, so long as the Ethnic Nationalities continue to dwell in the false concept of one Nigeria, the future of the indigenous people of the Niger Delta remains at risk in the geographical area named Nigeria.
Niger Delta Self Determination Movement takes this opportunity to call on all the indigenous people of the Niger Delta region – owners of the oil and gas in our Creeks, Mangroves, Swamps and Rivers – who have the sole right to decide on what is their best interest; it is our responsibility to ensure our grand-children and the generations coming from them have their ancestral land and resources for a secure future. To achieve this future that is possible, we should start by coming together as equal people and partners of the Niger Delta Region and work together for our future. The future of the next generation of Niger Delta is in our hands, not in the hands of strangers.
The statement that the former Governor of Rivers State, before he became Minister of FCT, had stopped Islam in Port Harcourt is false; the highest concentration of Northern Muslims in Port- Harcourt is in Minister Nyesom Wike’s Obi-Akpor LGA.
It is an absolute shame when the ‘elders’, educated men and clerics teach the youth lies, and to lie. Perhaps Gumi and his kinsmen who misrepresent the people of the Niger Delta should tell their followers that Abuja, and anywhere else in Nigeria they may choose to call their own, was built with money from the oil and gas that was and continue to be stolen from the Niger Delta with the instrumentality of the 1999 Constitution, which favours the North of Nigeria.
While it is very provocative for hate speech, religious bigotry, disdain, disrespect and arrogance to be heaped on the Niger Delta people, it is the responsibility of NDSDM to ask ourselves and the Niger Delta people – are we aware that our blood, sweat, oil, gas and future continues to be used and controlled by outsiders and strangers to the Niger Delta region, who do not respect the sacrifices that we have made, even as our oil and gas continues to be owned and controlled by the very people who have no respect for us?
President Goodluck Jonathan, a Chirstian, was called an infidel when he was finishing the tenure of late President Yaradua and during his elected tenure 2010 to 2015; he was deemed unsuitable to govern the Northern regions. Fast forward to 2023, it is Minister Nyesom Wike, a Christian, who is an infidel and not fit to be Minister of the FCT. According to Gumi, the FCT – which belongs to all 200 million plus Nigerians, belongs to Muslims only?
During disasters in the North, Governor Nyesom Wike assisted some states in Northern region financially, he was a Christian then – why did they accept financial support belonging to the people of Rivers State? Greed and ungratefulness are a shame on the receiver, never a sign of foolishness on the part of the giver.
President Jonathan accepted defeat and congratulated Gen. Buhari (Rtd), not because he lost the 2015 elections, but because – keeping true to his campaign slogan when he ran for the Governorship of Bayelsa state in 2007, before he was picked as Vice President to late President Musa Yaradua – “no one’s political ambition is worth the blood of any citizen”. President Goodluck Jonathan ceding the election results even before the end of the counting was to save Nigerians from the threat made by Rtd General Buhari, by his statement – “blood of dogs and baboons flowing in the streets”. Let that never be seen or assumed to be weakness on the part of the people of the Niger Delta, the owners of the oil and gas in their ancestral land. The dream and false belief that one day the Niger Delta will stop being a Christian region is a fantasy; if there is any region in this made by Lugard Nigeria that is a primarily Christian region, it is the Niger Delta. If there is any doubt to this, then Nigeria should invite the United Nations to conduct a religious census in the Niger Delta region.
The Minister of the FCT, Chief Nyesom Wike, is a Christian and an Ikwerre son of Rivers State; he has every right, and even more, the abilities and capacities to minister the FCT better than the people who preceded him. Love Wike or hate him, he is not a man who anyone threatens, whether he is right or wrong, he does not scare.
The audacity displayed whenever things do not go the way Northern Muslims want, originates from the unfortunate position of some Niger Delta politicians and electorates, who have forgotten that it is our oil and gas that keeps Nigeria running as a country. It is unfortunate that we, the impoverished, neglected, undeveloped and denied people of the oil rich Niger Delta continue to allow our sons and daughters, who in the name of politics and political parties, sell our collective patrimony, rights, pride and power, for politics and money.
Some Niger Deltan people’s want for power and money has blinded them into forgetting that the power and money which they have sold the Niger Delta region for, is rightly Niger Delta money in the first place.
If the oil and gas were domiciled in the North, Yoruba or Igbo land, Nigeria will not be referred to as One Nigeria; the reason Nigeria is still a nation as currently constituted is because, figuratively speaking, some Niger Deltans have turned the region into a man whose eyes are open but cannot see.
So that NDSDM is not misunderstood – this position on the lies and hate speech of Sheikh Gumi and other Clerics is not just a response to the lies and hate speech against the Niger Delta people, this position is a clarion call to all indigenous Peoples of the Niger Delta region, to look back and ask themselves how long has this injustice gone on for? How much longer will we let it go on for? Are the people of the Niger Delta Region a conquered people? Are the Niger Delta people slaves in Nigeria? Moving forward we believe we must answer these questions.
Ordinarily, if the Niger Delta people have been aware of our worth and value, we should have begun the process of uniting the Niger Delta to speak with one voice – in different languages – after the 2015 elections. By now we would have gone far into developing a United Strong Niger Delta Movement and the process of peaceful, intellectual discussion would have come a long way. Instead, here we are in 2023, our politicians and traditional custodians still declaring that they believe in one Nigeria – begging to be citizens of Lugard’s Nigeria – with Slogans like “We believe in Nigeria, Nigeria belongs to all of us”, while the people who bring no economic value to the sharing of Niger Delta resources continue to receive the lion’s share of our resources and believe that they are too privileged to thank the Niger Deltan people.
Is it not ironic that Gumi is threatening Tinubu that ‘they’ – who are they you may ask – will not let Tinubu come back after 4 years. We understand the reference to having the power to allow or disallow Tinubu another 4years; Tinubu who funded their kinsman to become President is the same person he is threatening.
The political threat against Tinubu is not as a Muslim who refused to act in the interest of the Muslim North, rather against Tinubu as a Southerner.
There is no doubt in the mind of NDSDM, since the movement was established, that what we want for our Niger Delta region and its people is nothing less than ownership and management of our resources. It is critical that there is no ambiguity in our wants for the Niger Delta Region – we want autonomy for our people, region, and freedom from the knees on the neck of the Niger Delta people. We need to ask Shiekh Gumi, since, according to him, Niger Delta people are Christians, infidels and cannot be trusted; and as he claims that Niger Deltans want to harm him and his people; and that the South will not govern after 4 years – when can we start the discussions to go our separate ways? One of the core pillars of NDSDM, since its establishment in 2014, is the want for the Niger Delta people to make our decisions regarding our future. As our politicians, their followers, and business owners, especially in the oil and gas industry, have failed us, woefully. Niger Deltans, there is no political party in Nigeria that has anything worthwhile to offer us. Politicians and political party leaders understand there is oil and gas in the belly of the Niger Delta, so they gang up with strangers to plunder our resources, further impoverish us and destroy our environment.
They encourage their bed fellows to ignore the few Niger Delta indigenous people who speak truth to power and call them out on the injustice that we have endured for over 60 years and continue to endure till today.
Niger Deltan people do not be fooled by the damage control going on at this moment over the hate speech by Gumi and his followers. It means nothing to them; it should mean nothing to us – other than it is time that we get our own act together and accept “the only thing holding Nigeria together is our [Niger Delta]and failure to accept that Nigeria is nothing without the Niger Delta. Nigeria needs the Niger Delta to r emain in Nigeria, more than the Niger Delta need Nigeria.”
Some of our own Niger Deltans are our first and major problems. We, the indigenous people of the Niger Delta region; in fact, the women – mothers, wives, sisters, grand-mothers, must change the narratives for the future. From here on, as a daughter, sister, mother, grandmother and major stakeholder in the defence of the Niger Deltan people’s rights to our resources, development and the future of our coming generations, the call of the NDSDM to Niger Delta women is not to forget that “women are the frontline defence of our Niger Delta and the backend defence of our Niger Delta”.
Everything, no matter how unacceptable, has inside it the solution to the aggravation. Gumi’s uncontrollable outburst of hate and disrespect of Nigeria’s Christians and Niger Deltan people, by calling out Tinubu for appointing Chief Nyesom Wike as the Minister of FCT, and the lies accompanying the outburst, has set in motion the desire of Niger Delta women to take control of our present and the future in which we are to live, work, develop, and raise our grand-children for the future. For us women of the Oil and Gas rich Niger Delta, it is not about power for greed and money, but power for the sake of justice, equity, freedom and the future.
Niger Delta Self Determination Movement (NDSDM)