United Ijaw * Welcome to United Ijaw on the web. Our preference is national self determination, the independence of Ijawnation as a Sovereign State. A state that promotes sustainable economic and social development, democratic principles, liberty, free enterprise, equal rights and justice. This is our story, this is our struggle. **** On Kaiama Declaration We Stand **** United Nations Under Secretary-General, Dr. Antonio Maria Costa, in Abuja condemned the theft of Nigeria's assets by past corrupt leaders. He said that kleptomaniac leaders stole more than 400 billion dollars from the Nigerian treasury between 1960 and 1999. **** IJAWNATION THINK! THINK. **** Almost $170 billion of the country’s wealth disappeared and ended in the private accounts of individuals between 1999 and 2003 alone... Priye Torulagha ****Nigeria has failed Niger Delta – Nnamani **** Resource Control: Niger-Delta governors are traitors – Evah **** Only the fear of a volcanic social eruption from below can stop barbaric behaviour by holders of political power – Gani Fawehinmi ***** “ if the Confab and Nigerians are not willing to heed to Resource Control, they will take it by force” - Oronto Douglas We Dare To Be Different.
Population: 14,833,421



Oil-rich country that leaves its terrorised people in poverty

Why Obasanjo Has Failed Nigerians - Soyinka

"Between 1970 and 2000, the number of Nigerians living in poverty -- less than a dollar a day -- has risen to 70 percent from 36 percent and per capita gross domestic product has fallen to $1,084 from $1,113 in purchasing power parity terms.

At the same time oil revenues have boomed. Since 1965, oil has generated about $350 billion in 1995 dollars for the west African nation of 120 million people." ---
IMF 8/1/03
Culled from The San Francisco Bay View,
September 17, 2003
Dena Montague

U.S. Corporations Contribute to Corruption in Africa 
During most of July, 80 Nigerian women, aged 25-60, peacefully took over a Shell Oil pipeline station near Warri in the Niger Delta, stopping production of 40,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Although Nigeria is Africa's largest oil exporter and the fifth-largest source of U.S. oil, residents of the oil-rich Delta are among Nigeria's poorest. The women say the oil companies and the government divert the profits, leaving local people to fight over the crumbs. "Our children and our husbands have never been employed by the company. We want to know why they should continue operating here," one of the women asked Shell.

The story is an old one. The people are poor while corporations and government officials grow rich on the natural resources that should bring benefits to the poor.

Recently Halliburton Co. was forced to admit it paid a $2.4 million bribe to a Nigerian government official in exchange for tax breaks. Payments were made in 2001 and 2002 by Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Halliburton has been involved with several large-scale projects in Nigeria. In 1999 Kellogg Brown and Root began what was then one of the largest construction projects in Africa: a major expansion of Nigeria's liquefied natural gas plant in Rivers State.

Halliburton has been active in the Niger Delta and has several collaborative projects with Nigeria's largest oil producer, Shell Petroleum Development Co., including development of the first major offshore oil and gas facility for Shell.

Shell has a sordid history in the Niger Delta. Earlier this year, the company was ordered by the Nigerian Court of Appeals to pay the Ogoni people approximately $2 million for environmental damage. Few Nigerians anticipate Shell will actually make payments to the Ogoni. What Shell has made are direct payments to notoriously corrupt and violent Nigerian security forces during the Ogoni uprising in the 1990s leading to the execution of environmental and human rights activist Ken Saro Wiwa. The company has also imported arms on behalf of the Nigerian police. Recently, Shell was forced to shut down operations due to political unrest in Rivers State related to the oil  industry.

Rivers State, where much of Halliburton's interests are concentrated, has drawn attention not only for the political unrest in the state, but it also has been cited because of widespread electoral fraud organized by President Obasanjo's ruling PDP party. Oil companies in Nigeria see Obasanjo as a strong ally due to his oil friendly policies. A summary of findings by Nigerian Civil Society found that a free and fair voting environment across Nigeria was "the exception rather than the rule." In some areas, voting malpractice was "part of a systematic plan to either disenfranchise the voters or distort the votes."

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported:

The Justice Development and Peace Commission which deployed 30,000 observers across Nigeria "described as 'incredible' official results showing nearly 100 percent turnout in southern Rivers State with 2.1 million of 2.2 million registered voters casting their ballot for the ruling party on a day when observers reported a low turnout. And in the volatile oil-rich Niger Delta, ethnic Ijaw militants questioned electoral commission figures showing a 98 percent turnout near the oil town of Warri. Weeks of fighting between Ijaws and people from rival Itsekiri and a boycott organized by Ijaw militants ensured there was practically no voting in the area. An electoral official assigned to work in the area told UN Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) that top politicians in Obasanjo's PDP had taken home electoral materials and ballot boxes which they filled and returned."

While most Nigerians acknowledge widespread fraud in recent Presidential and National Assembly elections, Official U.S. reaction to the Nigerian elections has been supportive of Obasanjo and his ruling PDP party. U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Howard Jeter claimed the elections in Nigeria, "had sent a signal to the rest of the world that the country was consolidating its democracy."

Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, Halliburton has helped develop projects in at least 20 African countries, including providing military support in Somalia and Mobutu Sese Seko's Zaire, as well as assist in the development of deepwater exploratory offshore wells in Angola and Equatorial Guinea.

At the same time the Halliburton bribery scandal broke, another scandal was revealed by The Independent, a major British newspaper, involving ExxonMobil and another oil rich African country, Equatorial Guinea. ExxonMobil is facing an investigation into an alleged payoff of up to $500 million transferred into a private U.S. bank account apparently controlled by the president of Equatorial Guinea. Ken Silverstein has written an excellent piece on the politics of oil in Equatorial Guinea entitled "Oil and Politics in the 'Kuwait of Africa", describing rampant corruption and poverty in the oil rich state while oil executives actively court the state for favorable oil deals.

Dena Montague is a senior research associate with the Arms Trade Resource Center of the World Policy Institut
e and can be contacted via e-mail at montd033@newschool.edu.

Why Obasanjo Has Failed Nigerians - Soyinka
By Ndubuisi Ugah

Culled from ThisDay of 03/03/04

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, yesterday said the Obasanjo administration's "inability to truly uphold the ideals of democracy" has largely been the reason why some of the socio-economic and political problems facing the country have remained unresolved.

He said "the parlous state of the economy, the sudden drift of the polity to a civilian dictatorship, cynical manipulation of the judiciary, leading to a loss of public confidence as well as the general state of insecurity" were all indices of the creeping fascism being foisted on Nigerians by the administration.

Soyinka, who addressed newsmen yesterday in Lagos, on the "State of the Nigerian Nation" as a prelude to the first meeting of the Citizen Forum, expressed regret over the situation in the country.

He added that, "the trends are ominous and needs to be urgently, indeed desperately reversed, if the nation is to have democratic future, bonded by a share in opportunities, and a basic sense of security for all citizens".

The Nobel Laureate observed that irrespective of ideological leanings and or party allegiances, Nigerians now feel demeaned as they are perturbed about the general state of decadence pervading all tiers of governance, "where the people are regarded as prostrate preys, subject to the whims and caprices of jungle lords".

This, he said, has been a reccuring phenomenon in the numerous face-offs often witnessed between the government and the labour union, rights groups and other civil society groups.

He added that democracy was not all about elections and electing representatives into public offices but, rather a vehicle for the transformation and upholding of the tenets of democracy .

He further described the situation in the country as that of "an on-going agenda for the destruction of intellectual institutions, usurpation of popular will by Mafioso conspiracies, arrogant insensitivity to mass economic realities, erosion of checks and balances in the separation of powers."

Apart from this, Soyinka said the Anambra State political crisis was an off-shoot of the Federal Government's ineptitude to curb the rising incidences of the violation of the fundamental rights of the masses as entrenched in the constitution.

"It was Anambra State today, it might be Ogun, Kwara or any other state tomorrow", he said while urging Nigerians not to sit down and allow the democracy, which some Nigerians paid supreme prices for to be rendered powerless, submissive and irrelevant by "jungle lords".

On the issue of some Ministers being paid in foreign currencies, Soyinka said "Nigerians should stop mixing up issues. For instance, Okonjo-Iweala came and negotiated with the Federal Government who needed her services as an expert and her terms of service were accepted. If there is any one to blame, it is Obasanjo who due to reasons have failed to address issues that need to be addressed".

He pointed out that the ministers could as well have been contracted as consultants but because the government saw their relevance to the country's development, they (ministers) were thus appointed based on their experiences and track records.

He,however, expressed regret over the declining value of public issues being published in the media, saying that the trend needed to be addressed.

"Issues are no longer constant on the pages of the newspapers, electronic media.The longest I have seen is the Anambra state crisis.There are no follow ups again. It should not be the usual faces all the time addressing issues, at least there should be new faces contributing to burning issues of national concern", he declared.