The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presently has about 42 Ministers or thereabout and out of this number, Chief Timipre Sylva is the only Ijaw man.
Since the discovery of crude Oil and Gas at Oloibiri-Otabagi in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in 1956, the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta has continued to shoulder the economic burden of this country.
What Ijaw people need to know or realize is that, the major beneficiaries of our abundant natural resources who are mostly people from other ethnic groups are not happy each time the true story of the oownership of crude oil and gas is told. They are not also happy that the world know, it is resources from Ijaw land and the Niger Delta region that has sustained Nigeria since 1956 till date.
The concerted effort to declare every part of Nigeria as Oil and Gas Producing Areas lays more credence to my submissions here. We do not need to be reminded that it is because of the above envy and jealousy that they are always setting our great people against each other.
Our aggressors and antagonists are very smart and intelligent. They know, they can never manipulate, exploit, marginalize, oppress, repress, suppress or subjugate us when we are united and so, in order to keep us perpetually weakened and subjugated, they always instigate so much violence and division in our midst.
Today, it is fast becoming obvious that there are some powerful forces who are using the NNPC against Ijaw interest. Remember, the NNPC enjoys high level of Independence from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Have we wondered why the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources was tactically and strategically removed from the NNPC Limited Board?
Answer to the above question is very important because I still remember how we almost demanded for the head of Chief Timipre Sylva after the Senate Passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the Presidential Assent to the historic Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Most persons who do not understand the workings of the system blamed everything on Sylva. Most of us do not know the pains the Widow with very antagonistic in-laws go through most times very quietly and silently.
Chief Timipre Sylva is a very proud patriotic and outstanding Illustrious son of the Ijaw nation who is ready to sacrifice anything and everything for the greatness, growth and development of our great people hence the unimaginable zeal, devotion, dedication and commitment he put into the realization of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and it’s enormous Benefits to our great people. Unfortunately, he may be fighting silent battles that many who are not in his shoes may not appreciate.
Widows and Orphans may appreciate the exact message I am trying to pass here. It is very difficult to be a lone voice like the Cricket in the gathering of Hens and still succeed especially considering the high level of hatred those who are stealing our natural wealth have for Ijaw people with no exception.
No Ijaw man is exempted from the above hatred, no matter how highly educated, religious or whatever. They may not hate you as a person but because of your ethnic identity that they always keep under watch. Ijaws are like the Jews who are also endangered species because of our God-given resources.
It is natural to disagree within and among ourselves, but such disagreements should be managed such that it does not deprive the whole Ijaw nation what is our due.
The great Scholar, Political Scientist cum Philosopher King Harold Laswell defined Politics as who gets What, When and How (1936), but in the midst of our attempts to get what, when and how, we should strive for the Common Good to the Greatest Majority.
Ijaw people need to rally around to strengthen the only eye that we have in the present Federal Executive Council (FEC). We need to pray for him and also support him to succeed and not to attempt to pull him down.
I see the emergence of a greater, more united and very prosperous IJAW NATION.
~~~ Most Senior Comrade Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli
aka Mirror and Conscience of Society
* Former National Director of Mobilization & Chairman, Action Committee
Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide
* Former Acting President
Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide
* National President
Niger Delta Nonviolence Agitators Forum (NDNAF).