The other day, the Wall Street Journal wrote that the Nigerian government was paying ex-militant warlords the sum of $40m a year to secure our oil pipelines. That’s $40,000,000.00 which is equivalent to N6.3billion, or in everyday terms, a shitload of money.
Our people are so scandal-fatigued, however, that the news roused our ire as much as an expertly applied feather in the hands of a skilled courtesan. Some parties issued statements, but that was about it as we all sighed, hmmed, and moved on.
We are paying these men what amounts to a yearly ransom, above and beyond what the Amnesty Programme already costs the taxpayers. It is no wonder then that Asari Dokubo, recipient of around $9m a year, can declare his willingness to plunge the country into chaos should anything happen to Mr No Shoes.
And when you add this to the “Maritime Security” contract handed to Tompolo, you have to ask why our police and military are still receiving allocations in the federal budget. Why don’t we just hand policing over to Boko Haram? Afterall, they just hacked the SSS and revealed classified details of top officers including their phone numbers and home addresses. Hell, they probably know who the DG spent the night with, and seeing as GEJ once declared that they were in his government, he might as well make it official.
Asari and co hijacked a legitimate struggle and successfully made it about themselves, and became fabulously rich as a result. The annual ransom they are now being paid is the ultimate insult to the memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa, who apparently died because he failed to assemble an army of well-armed thugs.
That might not have helped him though, seeing as Abacha had zero interest in “capturing” votes.