Nigeria, a country held to ransom.

VP-Osinbajo-President-Buhari-Gov-el_Rufai of Kaduna State

Special to USAfrica magazine (Houston) and, first Africa-owned, US-based newspaper published on the Internet

A country held to ransom. For the 91 million Nigerians who languish beneath the international poverty line. By Kene Obiezu, contributor

Today, if Nigeria`s teeth are set on edge it is because years of gleefully eating sour grapes have now caught up with the country, reducing generations of teeth that were once  white into a  decaying mass of brown  and black.

 If today the country is reaping rotting fruits in abundance, it is just deserts for a country that shockingly but methodically went about burning its bridges with other sectors of its economy once oil was discovered in commercial quantity in 1956, in Oloibiri, now part of the newly created Bayelsa State.

 As corruption has raged unchecked in spite of the hypocritical and hubristic posturing of successive governments, the engine of Nigeria`s national life has increasingly failed to come alive. All these have laid the foundation for the desperation now sucking the life out of a country that has in less than seventy years of independence suffered what no other country should ever have to experience.Nigeria, a country held to ransom.

 For the 91 million Nigerians who languish beneath the international poverty line, hearing that Nigeria is Africa`s largest oil and gas producer makes sense only to the extent that those who bludgeon their way into government are able to batter the public treasury, steal as much as they want and create exotic bubbles for themselves and their families in which they remain untouched by the fires raging elsewhere in the country. Beyond that, Nigeria`s oil wealth is a fairy tale to the children who hear the angry growls of their empty stomachs and the silent crying of their parents at night as uncertainty over the next day bites.

Yet, Nigeria has oil. In abundance. If providence knew that one day two hundred and sixteen million people would be sheltered under the roof of a country of such breathless diversity as Nigeria, it made abundant provisions to cater for all. To this day, lamentable mismanagement continues to  compromise everything.

In Nigeria, the cuffs of misery seem currently split between the Niger- Delta region of Nigeria and Kaduna State in North-west Nigeria.

 For the Niger-Delta, environmental devastation and degradation continue to taint the story of a region from which Nigeria has drawn most of its enormous wealth. The exploration of oil in the region has left people gasping for breath from what is an environmental disaster many years in the making. The wanton oil theft which is now threatening the economic viability of the country has cast into sharp relief some of the many problems of the region.

 On March 28,2022, terrorists overran a train travelling from Abuja to Kaduna. About nine passengers were slain and many other abducted. The terrorists have since taken to tormenting Nigeria with a careful blend of outrageous demands, outlandish threats and the agony of their victims. In this time, Nigeria has been so sorely tried.

  With oil production dwindling and rail transport suspended from Abuja to Kaduna, the Federal Government recently got into the habit of awarding contracts seemingly to ensure that normalcy is restored to those areas.

Yet, what is raising the most eyebrows is the identity of some of those who have been awarded these contracts.  It would appear that some of those who have now been awarded the contracts know a thing or two about the activities that necessitated the contracts in the first place.

 If they do, and it appears they know more than a thing, then it would be that in deliberately creating unfavourable situations or colluding with those who do, they have foisted on Nigeria a situation where they must be paid to quench fires they deliberately created.

 They hold Nigeria to ransom. The ransom is costing the country billions of naira every month. In a less dysfunctional country, they would be answering questions. Here, however, they smile to the bank, monthly, hefty checks in hand. follow Kene @kenobiezu 

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