lunedì 9 luglio 2007

Shame on you!

Since the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa the entire world has come to know more about the sufferings and the problems encountered by the indigins of the Niger-delta. Infact, there have been demonstrations, conferences, awareness campaign and several boycotts by these international citizens, some of whom did not even know about the existence of Nigeria before then, in favour of these defenceless victims. Their cause became the cause of all those around the globe who are sensitive to anything that could be termed as social injustice. The results obtained by these mobilization might not yet or even never be evident and it might not even change the unscrupulous exploitation practiced in those areas. But, sometimes it is just enough to let people hear your voice, as a little african animal would say: “My shouting, yelling and desperation after my capture is not for my release, because i know it is impossible, but serves to let the people know about the injustice incured!”
The MEND came up with arms and voilence, kidnapping and extorting their victims for the same cause. Kidnap is considered one of the most dangerous crimes ever in any part of the world and the protagonist are always seen as monsters, never to be forgiven. But that was not in the case of the MEND. Their method gained them sympathy rather than hatred, even from their own victims.: they were officially refusing any negotiation for ransom; fixing the date of the release of their victims from the date of their capture; inviting the international press for the hand-over of these victims; treating them as they would treat their own elderly fathers and uncles and begging them for forgiveness on release, etc.
One of their victims once said, when asked about the treatment received: "You know the Africans respect the old people a lot. Every morning, they will come to greet us and assure us that nothing will happen to us. They were giving us mineral water and soft drinks, and probably consuming dirty waters themselves."
No one can justify kidnapping, being a severe crime, as a legal means for the pursuit of any objective, whatsoever. But it is also importante to observe that nobody has condemned them to such an extent as to consider them neither monsters nor very dangerous criminals. They undoubtedly represented that secret and unpronounced desires of so many nigerians who are today suffering the social injustices caused or related to petroleum in our country, without having the possibility or the courage to identify themselves in any kind of battle to fight them. Recently, those at the Aso Rock seemed to have noticed the presence of these angry individuals in the Niger-Delta area and are tempting to consider it a problem to be addressed. Maybe something positive may happen this time. Maybe because the world has known, they will no longer be shot at site, but invited to negotiate. And any kind of negotiation that will go to alleviate the sufferings of the poor masses is always considered something positive.
Now what has all this got to do with the kidnap of a 3 year old kid? Who are these monsters deliberately instigating the entire world to crucify them alive? Is there any part of Nigeria whose tradition sanctions or tolerates the use of a kid to purnish his father or mother?
Well, it was with greatest regret and aprehension that I followed, together with many others, the ordeal of the kidnapped kid in the hands of these criminals. It is also very painful and even more shameful to me when I read from the media something like: “The kidnappers are asking the father of the “British kid” to come and replace her.” No kid in any part of the globe should neither be a victim nor subjected to any kind of abuse, but the idiots responsible for the kidnapping of this “British kid” in order to get her “British father”, forgot or refused to acknowledge that the mother of the little girl is a nigerian and living with the whole family in Nigeria. They denied this kid her right to be their fellow citizen, as being also a nigerian kid! And that is another severe and unpardonable crime altogether.
However, I was a little bit relieved when I read that the MEND officially disclaimed any involvement in this horrible crime. To make this more credible, I think they should help in isolating these criminals in order to preserve their already argued reputation.
May God bless all those who helped in her release and a big shame on anyone involved in this terrible act!

Blessing Sunday Osuchukwu

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