Once upon a time Nigeria was a struggling country located on the west coast of Africa mired in centuries of strife and dereliction from European colonialism. The misappropriation of resources, the blatant disregard for human life from constant civil and tribal warfare, slavery and exploitation left Nigeria a shell of a country. But that was the past. Now Nigeria is on the precipice of being the most highly fueled economy on the African continent.
How was such a war-torn chaotic country able to create success where there only should have been failure? Well the lifeblood of all of modern society is now a resource that they can proudly call their own, oil. And when a country has oil, it is only a matter of time before it becomes a hot-bed for imperialistic strife. China’s growing middle class, as well as India’s burgeoning population, mixed with America’s insatiable appetite for all things oil will make Nigeria the site for a very tumultuous landscape in the near future.
Unfortunately, for the people of Nigeria what was probably seen as a blessing to help stimulate their economy and bring social and political stability will end up being the device that causes more death and destruction than peace and prosperity. As much as one can want to believe that the “economic partners” that are being created in this country have altruistic motives driving their desire to “help” this country.
The truth is that they are all just jockeying for position to see who can get the rights to this precious resource. And it has been my experience that when people don’t get what they want through the proper politically diplomatic channels, the diplomacy of violence is then utilized to get what they want. Subversive tactics, illicit threats, bribes, corruption, and murder will mar the political landscape of this nation. The truly sad part of this whole episode will be that the people of Nigeria will be the ones to suffer. They will see none of the profit from this resource, yet they will drown in the destructive wake of the storm of interest this resource has created.
Do not look for the mass media to report on this issue. They will not. Although the US has become increasingly more brazen with their actions domestically and abroad, they still realize that bad press will cause just enough of a headache to give an edge to a competing country. And they do not want that. There are billions of dollars on the line.
However it is not too late for this nation. If we really are serious about breaking our dependence on oil, saving our environment, ending wars abroad, and stifling the funding of terrorist regimes, then we have to kick this habit. We can ill-afford to continue the life of an addict who slips on and off the wagon only to wind up in a dilapidated house, in the company of a putrid lover, and questionable alliances to whomever is willing to give us our next “hit” of oil.
We all have to do our part; vote for alternative energy bills, drive environmentally friendly cars, frequent places that utilize alternative energy, and make sure that you stay aware of what the politicians around you are doing. They represent your wishes and desires, not the interests of the companies they have become beholden to. If you do nothing but complain, you have nothing to complain about other than your inaction.