Saturday, October 22, 2005

Your Excellency, President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.

Chief. Olusegun Okikiola Matthew Obasanjo
The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

Your Excellency,

“Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.”
Thomas Jefferson
"The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
Thomas Jefferson
"Only the best is good enough for us."
Bishop Ajayi Crowther.
I am the Publisher of the NIGERIAN TIMES web site and weblogs for the promotion of public enlightenment on the current affairs in Nigeria in relation to the rest of the world and reporting the current affairs from the rest of the world in relation to Nigeria.

I believe that enlightenment is the vital instrument for human development for the advancement of human civilization. And lack of enough enlightenment has caused collateral damages in the world. To prevent further Man's inhumanity to Man, we have to employ and deploy all the instruments of enlightenment in the media to save humanity from self-destruction.

I will always say the truth even if the truth convicts me.

I believe you are not ignorant of the Internet. Remember the PROJECT HOPE you launched on line during your first term in office.But, you may not know about the Nigerian Times. Because, of the ignorance of your appointed officers whose responsibility is to inform you of the developments in the media such as the importance,relevance and significance of On Line News Media of which the emergence of weblogs cannot be ignored. I hereby advise you to take note of these developments and factor them into your national development programmes for the benefit of Nigeria. News Bloggers should be participating in your regular meetings with media practitioners. Because, we have very important roles to play in the promotion of the international image of Nigeria in the world through our global network in the blogosphere.

I have only three points to make known to you in the following order.

1.The recent news of the so called debt relief granted Nigeria by the Paris Club needs to be debated in the National Assembly and members of the public should be active participants in the debate to address the grey areas of this dubious debt relief riddled with White Lies. Because, I am not convinced that it is actually a debt relief.

2.I am tired of hearing and reading the news of villagers in the Niger Delta harassing and embarrassing officials of the multinational oil and gas companies to extort financial settlement from them all the time. Because, that will not solve the wide spread damages done to our environment and these collateral damages have been causing the deprivations we suffer daily in our communities where the majority of us are paupers harrowing in the misery of our penury.

I am from the Niger Delta of Nigeria and I am very much involved in the agitations of my suffering people who have been wallowing in polluted waters and choking from polluted air. Our waters are polluted daily by oil spills and the emissions from gas flares have polluted the atmosphere of our environment. The Niger Delta is an environmental disaster in dire need of remediation. The Niger Delta is a time bomb and only God knows when it will explode. And Nigeria and the multinational oil companies are sitting on the keg of gunpowder and when the violence shall erupt, I would be blameless. Only God can contain the anger of my people. No week passes that they will not demand more compensation from either Shell or ChevronTexaco, because, they are the biggest oil companies operating in Nigeria.

The solution to all these violent agitations is simple. The corrupt government should stop misappropriating the billions of dollars that the multinational oil and gas companies have been paying the Nigerian government for the benefit of the host communities in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. The 13% (thirteen percent) derivation given to us is not enough and we refuse to continue to accept it. Even, the 25% we demanded at the last National Political Reforms Conference is not good enough. We demand at least 50% or let us have the natural control of the economic management of our resources and pay taxes to the Federal Government of Nigeria as it is done in America. The US Government does not control the revenue from the oil in Texas. Texas only pays taxes for the oil resources. Therefore, we hereby demand the total resource control of all our oil and gas resources in the true equity of true Federalism, as it is the practice in the United States of America. The Federal Government of Nigeria should hands off our oil and gas resources. This is the only solution. Otherwise, we will continue to demand for our legitimate rights to possess our possessions.

I am tired of the perpetual deprivations of my people in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. And I want the government of Nigeria to meet with our community leaders to address the issues at stake in the best interest of all the bona fide stakeholders in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. And the Federal Government of Nigeria should stop using our resources to fund the Islamic states of Northern Nigeria. If these Islamic states can have the rights to impose Islamic orders in a secular sovereignty in violation of the Federal Constitution of Nigeria, then we of the Southern States can have the rights to control our natural resources. Let the Northern States control and manage their resources. Let every state in Nigeria control and manage their resources in true democracy and governance of a true Federal Republic of Nigeria. Then, the people of the Niger Delta of Nigeria will stop the further embarrassment and harassment of all the multinational oil and gas companies operating in our communities. No amount of tokens in cash or kind will be enough compensation for the collateral damages done to our ecosystem and welfare in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

But, where there is no justice, there will be no peace.

3.I believe in one united Nigeria. And Nigerian Times will cooperate and support all the stakeholders to put heads together and join hands together to live and work together in Love, peace and unity for the nation building of a New Nigeria in the leadership of Africa among the comity of nations in the world.

To listen and to learn and make amends is the only true education.

God bless you.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Yours faithfully,
Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima.
"Orikinla Osinachi"

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