OIL AND NAMA*.
Since a Fulani politician from Jigawa State declared that Bayelsa oil belongs to Jigawa State, the Nigerian Nation has known no peace. Prior to his pronouncement, Bayelsa people used to pay for Fulani cows. Following his pronouncement, Bayelsa people and other oil producing people stopped paying for Fulani cows. They reasoned thus: If Bayelsa oil belongs to Jigawa State, then Jigawa cows belonged to Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Anambra and Ondo people who produce oil.
The stage was set for violent confrontations between oil producers and cow producers. The indiscriminate trampling of farmlands in oil producing areas further heightened the tension between farmers and pastoralists. Once Deltans discovered that Bayelsans were not paying for Fulani cows, they also refused to pay for Fulani cows. Fulanis see the act of nonpayment as cow rustling but the Bayelsans see it as fair distribution of the National cake. You get my oil for free and I slaughter and eat your cows in exchange for my oil.
Soon the nonpayment for Fulani cows spread from Delta to Anambra, to Enugu, to Ebonyi, to Abia, to Rivers, to Akwa Ibom, to Cross River, to Benue States and so on. Fulanis fearing the collapse of their cow business acquired AK-47s with the help of their friends in high places who are the real owners of the cows and went on a killing spree directed against the “cow rustlers.”
The cow rustlers who do not see their actions as cow rustling but getting their fair share of the National cake are now regrouping for retaliation against the Fulanis. In the next phase we will see the deployment of rocket launchers, Ogbunigwes, Anunuebe and Odeshi against the Fulanis. With the 19 Northern Governors backing the Fulani carnage, a much broader civil war may be in the making.
I wish that the Fulani politician will withdraw his statement and apologize for his slip of the head. Following his recantation, Fulanis will start paying for Bayelsa oil and Bayelsans and people from other oil producing areas will start paying for Fulani cows and peace will reign in the land. Does Jigawa also own the pollution caused by oil exploration in Bayelsa? If the answer is in the affirmative, then we must find a way of exporting the pollution to Jigawa and everbody will be happy.
*NAMA – COW.