Fight the Power

This is fighting the power, this is repping the hood, this is setting it off. I just wonder how many more people fighting for thier rights, are going to be looked upon as militants and the like. How long are we going to let this kind of shit go down in our homeland. Some times I think people have really "lost" thier minds. This is our people, this is our fight. Whats really hood about this whole situation is we are talking about the same old stuff, the same old natural resource, the same old funky ass spin. but before we begin our lesson lets do a quick review to get everyone up to speed. Please refer to my other entry on Africa if you need anymore background info.

Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new constitution was adopted in 1999, and a peaceful transition to civilian government was completed. The president faces the daunting task of rebuilding a petroleum-based economy, whose revenues have been squandered through corruption and mismanagement, and institutionalizing democracy. In addition, the OBASANJO administration must defuse longstanding ethnic and religious tensions, if it is to build a sound foundation for economic growth and political stability. Despite some irregularities, the April 2003 elections marked the first civilian transfer of power in Nigeria's history. A series of repressive and corrupt governments in Nigeria have been supported and maintained by western governments and oil corporations, keen on benefitting from the fossil fuels that can be exploited. As people and transnational oil corporations have been fighting over this “dark nectar” in the delta region, immense poverty and environmental destruction have resulted. There have been many clear examples of corporate influence in the Nigerian military repressing the protestors. The military have been accused of thousands of killings, house/village burnings, intimidating people, torture and so on. From Shell's involvement in the killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa to Chevron-marked helicopters carrying Nigerian military that opened fire upon protestors, the corporations are facing harsh criticisms for the way they have been handling (or encouraging) the situation. Criticisms abound about the way the oil companies have neglected the surrounding environment and health of the local communities. The Niger Delta is the richest area of biodiversity in Nigeria, but regular oil spills that are not cleaned up, blatant dumping of industrial waste and promises of development projects which are not followed through, have all added to the increasing environmental and health problems. The latest government has tried to be more democratic and open, which provides hope. However, there are still a number of problems to be solved, including corruption and religious tensions between Muslims and Christians. There were riots and killings, for example, at Muslim calls for imposition of Sharia, Islamic criminal law.

The Usual suspects:

Olusegun Obasanjo (born March 5, 1937) is the president of Nigeria (since 1999). A born-again Christian of Yoruba extraction, Obasanjo was a career soldier before serving twice as his nation's head of state, once as a military ruler, between February 13th, 1976 and October 1st, 1979 and again, currently, as elected president.

PERSONAL INFORMATION Full Name : Lieutenant General Martin Luther Agwai Date of Birth :8 November 1948 Place of Birth :Gidam Mana, Kaduna, Nigeria Armour Officers Basic Course (USA). : April-August 1974 Gunnery Instructors Course (UK). : January-April 1975 Armour Officers Advanced Course (USA) : August 1977- May 1978 Junior Division Staff College. (Nigeria) : October-December 1978 Senior Division Staff College. (Nigeria) : August1980- June 1981 Special Staff Intelligence Course.(Nigeria) : October-November 1983 British Army Staff College (UK). : September 1985- November 1986 National War College. (Nigeria) : September 1996 – July 1997 National Defence University (USA). : June 1999 - June 2000

The main multinational oil companies operating in the region are Shell (accounting for more than 40 percent of the volume of production), Mobil and Chevron, in that order. Other companies with significant presence in the Delta are the Italian company Agip, France's Elf-Aquitaine (commonly known as Elf), and Texaco. All of these companies operate on the basis of a joint venture with the Nigerian government. The itch: The upstream oil industry is the single most important sector in the country's economy, providing over 90% of its total exports. Oil is produced from five of Nigeria’s seven sedimentary basins: the Niger Delta, Anambra, Benue Trough, Chad, and Benin. The Niger Delta, the Onshore and Shallow Offshore basins can be considered fairly well to well explored. Ventures here are low risk and the basins contain about 80% of producing wells drilled in Nigeria. During the later 1990s exploration focus turned to high risk ventures in the frontier basins of the deep water offshore with encouraging success. These ventures are becoming increasingly attractive with developments in deepwater exploration and production technology. Nigeria is a member of OPEC. Its crude oils have a gravity between 21·API and 45·API. Its main export crudes are Bonny Light (37·) and Forcados (31·). About 65% of Nigeria’s oil is above 35·API with a very low sulphur content. Nigeria’s OPEC quota is 1.89 million bbl/d. The upstream oil industry is the single most important sector in the economy. In January 2005 Oil and Gas Journal estimated that Nigeria contains proven oil reserves totaling 35.2 billion barrels. The Nigerian government plans to expand its proven reserves to 40 billion barrels by 2010. Most of this is produced from the prolific Niger River Delta. Despite problems associated with ethnic unrest, border disputes and government funding, Nigeria’s wealth of oil makes it most attractive to the major oil-multinationals, most of whom are represented in Nigeria, with the major foreign stakeholder being Shell.
The truth and nothing but the truth: Shell in Nigeria Security Policy Our policy in response to community incidents is clear. We will neither use force, nor request its use to suppress demonstrations by peacefully protesting communities, even if oil production is disrupted. Dialogue to resolve the underlying problems - not force - is the answer in such situations. But there is a difference between peaceful protest by a community (where a large number of people in that community support the non-violent action) and criminality (or lawlessness) by groups of individuals. As in any other part of the world, the government has a duty and an obligation to uphold the rule of law - whilst at the same time respecting the human rights of its people. In areas where armed crime and lawlessness are widespread, appropriate policing is required. It is against the law to employ armed civilian guards in Nigeria. Instead, businesses apply for specially seconded police, whose sole task it is to provide protection against crime. The duty of these people is to protect and guard our staff and facilities. The military does not guard any of our operations, except the two crude oil terminals at Forcados & Bonny which are of strategic importance to the country. Hostage taking and violence Since 1998 there has been a spate of hostage taking and violent incidents involving the use of guns which at one stage, involved over 200 Shell staff and contractors being held against their will. Other incidents involved the forcible shutting down of facilities by armed gangs, road and rig blockades, seizure of equipment and widespread sabotage. One pipeline was blown up with explosives. These activities on the part of those who chose to take direct action against us precipitated a crisis, which to a certain extent still continues, although incidents of this nature have decreased in number since 2000. While there are ongoing problems in the Delta region, it is true to say that Shell Nigeria has a good relationship with the majority of its host communities. If this were not the case the company's oil production would have decreased considerably more than it has. Tackling unemployment and inequality, are the keys to reducing tension and restoring peace in the region. Some body must be smoking some good ass royal dutch crack cuz these fools dont even believe this shit. The shell truth was taken straight from their corporate site. Thats what happens when you wear wooden shoes...

The resistance:

Moujahid Dokubo-Asari, who heads the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force, is seen as a folk hero by many poor residents who complain they've never shared in the country's oil wealth. Dokubo-Asari claims to be fighting for self-determination in the region and greater control over oil resources for more than 8 million Ijaws. The NDPVF says it is seeking a better deal for the Ijaw people, the largest tribe in the Niger Delta which accounts for most of Nigeria's oil production.
The Egbesu Boys and the other Ijaw youths who are sabotaging oil installations issued an ultimatum called Kaiama Declaration on December 11, 1998. The Ijaw Youth Congress demanded the immediate withdrawal from Ijawland of all military forces of occupation and repression by the Nigerian State. Any oil company that employs the services of the armed forces of the Nigerian State to "protect" its operations will be viewed as an enemy of the Ijaw people. It has expressed solidarity with other peoples organisations and ethnic nationalities in Nigeria who are struggling for self-determination and justice, notably the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (Mosop), and the Egi Women's Movement.

The future:
No matter what you think, what happens at "home" affects us all. The struggle is world wide and there is no amount of rationalization you can feed me to change this. These people, our people, are getting played, my question is what are you gonna do about it? Talkin bout revolution aint nuthin but talk... Bricks cost about a buck at lowes, home depot, and the garden center. Luckily for you there is just about a shell station on every corner.

"I'll hit yo ass with a brick"

So Imortant I had to post this on both blogs...