By Bellarmine Nneji
Both some of their leaders of thought that are supporting them and other agitators from different zones and regions who are by the side hailing and prodding them on in further infliction of collateral damages on themselves and the Nigerian economy should think twice in this type of option and approach. Only the Niger Deltans will bear the direct impacts of this onslaught on their environment. The butterfly effects of this their belligerent approach may not reach these their perceived enemies and spectator fans.
The way is going about, may all end up in a sort of cad mean victory. Whichever way it ends, it is advised that they should employ a well- reasoned out approach to their onerous struggles so that posterity will not blame them. The government should also be sincere and pragmatic in looking into their plights. Peace is a common good which all should cherish.
There is what is called intergenerational equity. Nigerians should be conscious of that. We are paying currently for the wrath incurred on this planet earth by our predecessors. Many nations have lost their territories due to anthropogenic factors which were taken for granted or waved aside by our predecessors.
They equally had the same mentality some of us are having today that each generation will take care of its own problems, that they will definitely have the necessary wherewithal and technologies to take care of such. Today, we can see how such paralogisms are playing out in certain nations and societies. With respect to climate change, mitigations and adaptations can no longer save some nations. Their problems have gone beyond such measures. Some nations today geographically speaking have been washed away by inundation. They have lost their territorial sovereignty and integrity, a foremost criterion for nationhood according to the Montevideo Convention. This has become a current challenge in international relations.
The Niger Delta region is a possible and potential victim of inundation as a result of climate change. We do not pray for that to actualise. Let them not add salt to possible impending injury by becoming their own albatross.
The environment protects those who make serious efforts to protect it. This is the law and logic of nature in the case of one’s immediate environment. This should serve as a caveat.
Thus one may just admonish here that present and future agitators who abhor the dialogic option should do their feasibility and other impact assessment studies very well. What is intended to be achieved should not be far outweighed by the cost and process of achieving such. Mimicking the Bible one may ask, what does it profit a person to embark on an expedition to freedom which he or she knows will glaringly and ultimately land him or her into servitude?
Our people have a saying that anaghi aso mgbagbu eje ogu – war as a necessary corollary inevitably involves some being shot and killed. What matters is that despite casualties, the war must be won otherwise it becomes an exercise in futility which will make posterity to ever blame the architects. Winning a war is one thing, then what is left as prospects for survival is another thing altogether. This is because it is believed that it will be sheer foolhardy to embark on a war that leaves one worse off even if one wins the war.
This dicey situation calls for a reflection on this food for thought. He/she who has a Chinese shop should always try to ensure that scuffles and other bull-like behaviours take place outside his/her shop. This is because if s/he fails to ensure such, it will amount to double tragedy as it will lead to broken wares and the wares can in turn also pierce ones foot or leg and thus constitute health hazards as well in the midst of already incurred economic costs.
A Chinese shop owner should be diplomatic in the face of trouble shooting or menacing visitors and adversaries. However, this does not mean he/she should be cowardly. Let the militancy in the Niger Delta not become the Niger Deltans own albatross on the long run. Climate change has brought humanity to a tight corner. Let us not narrow our chances of survival down into a cul de sac.
Dr Nneji is a visiting lecturer at the Department of Philosophy, Seat of Wisdom Major Seminary, Owerri, Imo State.