United Ijaw
"Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them." -- Orison Swett Marden *****Only the fear of a volcanic social eruption from below can stop barbaric behaviour by holders of political power..... Gani Fawehinmi ***** Above all, however, let no one deny this inalienable right of a people, a right of any people, at any moment, under any circumstances, to embark upon the quest of coming into their own self-defining, self-constitutive history... Prof. Wole Soyinka ***** "We’ll no longer restrain our youths" – David Ejoor, former Military Governor ***** “ if the Confab and Nigerians are not willing to heed to Resource Control, they will take it by force” - Oronto Douglas ***** "We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot."-- Eleanor Roosevelt
We Dare To Be Different
"No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow" ... Alice Walker
Ijaw Pro-Active Leadership Council
NDDF       IDF      NDM      NDDC      NDAF
Email: ijaw@unitedijaw.com , letters@unitedijaw.com

An Open Letter to President Umaru Yar'Adua

Mr. President,

We are writing to register our displeasure and calling on you to cease and desist the ongoing slaughter of innocent Ijaw women and children and the wanton destruction and bombardment of Ijaw towns and villages in the Niger Delta area under the pretense of apprehending militants. You are visiting Odi, Odiama, etc on us again. If Ijaws are truly Nigerians, then this carnage must stop now.

We are deeply saddened by this unfortunate action of yours at this moment in our history. Too many innocent civilian Ijaws lives and properties have been destroyed by succesive Nigerian administrations including yours. It is time to be serious about the grievances of Ijawnation and the Niger Delta at large.

We remind you that you bear responsibility for any and all atrocities committed by the Nigerian military on inncocent and peace loving Ijaw civilian women and children.

Mr. President, stop this indiscriminate slaughter of innocent and defenceless Ijaw women and children now. Enough is Enough.

Titoe Miriki
Ijaw Pro-Active Leadership Council

Ijaw Pro-Active Leadership Council

NDDF       IDF      NDM      NDDC      NDAF
16011 SW 154 AVE. MIAMI, FL. 33187

Website: www.unitedijaw.com
Email: ijaw@unitedijaw.com , letters@unitedijaw.com

Letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the appointment of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo as Special Envoy

November 17, 2008

The Honorable Ban Ki-moon
United Nations
Secretariat Building, Room S-3800
New York, NY 10017

Dear Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

Greetings from Ijawnation.

I am writing in order to convey to you our deep sadness over your recent appointment of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo as your special envoy in helping to solve the humanitarian crises in Congo arising as the result of the ongoing armed conflict.

Your Excellency, we the Ijaws, the foremost indegenous people of the Niger Delta area of present day Nigeria would like to remind your excellency and indeed the world of the atrocities committed by your special envoy against the Ijaw while he was president and maximum ruler of Nigeria.

Your Excellency, On November 19, 1999, on the pretense of arresting the alleged assailants of 12 policemen in Odi, Bayelsa State, your Special Envoy Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, ordered the Nigerian Army to embark upon ethnic cleansing with the singular purpose of teaching the Ijaws a lesson. On his direct orders, the army totally destroyed Odi, killing, maiming and raping over three thousand innocent and defenseless women, children and men. Your Envoy Gen.Olusegun Obasanjo bears full responsibility for these crimes against humanity committed during this invation.

Allow me to share with you and the world a quote from a Nigerian Senator who visited Odi after the siege.

What I saw in Odi reminds me of a phrase in Latin: hori willet wizzle, meaning horrible sight, agonizing, embarrassing, shameful. This was what I saw. I saw a degradation of human habitation and sadness written on the faces of hapless and helpless women, faces that showed mourning." Even the Butcher of Abuja did not do this! I hope one day Obasanjo will be put on trial for this, the murder of Lady Kuti, and other heinous crimes that apparently doesn't bother the conscience of this 'born again christian'. How any human being can support this sort of thing, especially in a 'democracy' is way beyond my imagination" ...Senator Durojaiye

Your Excellency, your Special Envoy Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo also ordered the invasion of Odiama, another Ijaw town in 2005 with similar deadly consequences for innocent and unsuspecting mothers, daughters, children and the elderly.

Allow me again to share with you a quote from Odiama after the siege.

“When the soldiers arrived at the community yesterday with their gunboats, our people thought they came for peace, and so no one raised any dust. Our chiefs gathered immediately at the palace of the Amanyanabo to await the soldiers to explain their mission, but the next thing that happened was shooting, shooting, shooting…. firing and firing. The soldiers were shooting at everyone, and started burning houses at the waterside”  – Philemon Kelly Dickson, Odioma community spokesperson

Your Excellency, you can imagine our sadness and frustration when we see your special envoy Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo parading as a peace maker before the world press. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo, a man with much innocent Ijaw blood in his hands should not be your envoy, rather he should be standing trial before the International Court of Justice.

Your Excellency, we urge you to take immediate appropriate action to remedy this oversight as this appointment if allowed to stand, contradicts the basic tenets of the foundation of the United Nations. The UN cannot be and must not be a party to rehabilitating the image of a ruler accused of ordering the massacre of innocent Ijaws. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo must be brought to answer for his role in the massacre of innocent Ijaws in Odi and Odiama, Bayelsa State. Nigeria. We shall never let Gen. Obasanjo or the world forget about his atrocities in Odi.

Yours sincerely,

Titoe Miriki, President
Ijaw Pro-Active Leadership Council

Ijaw Pro-Active Leadership Council
NDDF       IDF      NDM      NDDC      NDAF
16011 SW 154 AVE. MIAMI, FL. 33187

Website: www.unitedijaw.com
Email: ijaw@unitedijaw.com , letters@unitedijaw.com


Dear Mr. President,
Prime Minister,
UN Secretary-General,
Chair of the African Union,
Secretary of the Economic Community of West Africa,
National Assembly Representatives,
Secretary General of the European Union,
Friends of the Niger Delta, Citizens of the World,
Indigenes of the Niger Delta and Fellow Ijaws, we send you a greeting.

We come to you in the name of our most precious asset and resource, the heroic peoples of the Niger Delta, who were forcibly incorporated through colonial aggression and have suffered extreme marginalization, exploitation, neglect, deprivation, and oppression for almost 100 years now. There is no doubt that the people of the Niger Delta face many uncertainties and challenges as they attempt to unshackle themselves from the yoke of colonialism, marginalization, exploitation, intentional neglect, deprivation, and oppression. We are a people at the crossroads of history and we question why we are the way we are, and why we should remain the way we are. There are many reasons why we are where we are today, but we can get out of it. 

 Friends, fellow citizens, regional and world leaders, and citizens of the world, we choose what we can become over what we already are. All are not well, have never been well and will never be well with Nigeria as currently constituted.

Friends, fellow citizens, regional and world leaders, and citizens of the world, we are not unaware of the lackluster drumbeat of the crusade against corruption in Nigeria. We remind you that almost $170 billion of the country’s wealth disappeared and ended in the private accounts of individuals between 1999 and 2003 alone. This is possible because in Nigeria those in positions of political power have imposed on the politically powerless people of the Niger Delta an economic arrangement in which the oil resources of the region are forcibly taken without the consent of the people. Apart from that, the financial returns on the resources are used to develop the infrastructure of the regions from which the leaders come from while nothing is reinvested in the region that lays the golden egg. As a result, the region that lays the golden egg is the poorest and the most underdeveloped. For its abundance and generosity, the region is being annihilated through massive pollution.

Fellow citizens, friends, regional and world leaders, and citizens of the world, under what natural right and or natural law or international law is it justifiable for people to be deprived of the right of ownership to the resources and products of their lands so that others may gain? Of course, there is no natural law or international law of that kind. Therefore, it is obvious that the oil revenue distributive system or order or policy in Nigeria is indefensible, not in Nigeria, not in Africa, and not in the world. It is therefore obvious that Nigeria is carrying out an economic war of aggression against the Niger Delta people. There is no doubt that the war is intended to decimate the population through incremental economic strangulation, environmental destruction, and unbearable military occupation.

Friends, fellow citizens, regional and world leaders, and citizens of the world, we are well endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights which include Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness, Proprietary Ownership of the Resources of the Land, and Self-Determination. However, these inalienable rights are thwarted from materialization in Nigeria by forces of retrogression, of darkness and destruction. When a government or leadership of the government becomes too corrupt and destructive, when a series of abuses and usurpations reduce our people to mere background participants and paupers, while our fraudulently elected officials and embezzlers cart away and loot our treasury, it is our Natural Right and Moral Duty to publicly and forcefully demand change.

We are also aware of the political trickery and machinations going on under the guise of a National Political Reform Conference in Abuja. A national reform dialogue, whose outcome was predetermined by its mandate, is an insincere dialogue that will not lead to anywhere. Nigeria, as presently constituted, is flawed, damaged, and broken and needs drastic surgery. We are participating despite apparent flaws because we are peace loving people and we long for a better future for all people.

Citizens of the world, without ambiguity or double talk, we want to make it crystal clear, and as forcefully as possible, to the Nigerian regime and to the world that the Ijaw People demand the right of self-determination now. Time, history and culture have given the Ijaw and Niger Delta People a unique identity. International law, universal principles, the UN Charter and resolutions regarding the rights of indigenous people legitimize our right to determine our own future. Ijaw People love peace and we long for peace and progress, but the Nigerian state, as presently constituted and ruled, has made peace and progress elusive. We say to you and the world again, it is time for us all to seek other political ways. The people of former Czechoslovakia did and are now happier and much hopeful of a better future.

39 years ago, Isaac Adaka Boro, Nothingham Dick, Samuel Owonaru and 159 heroic sons of the Niger Delta brought the world’s attention to the plight of the Niger Deltans in the 12 Day Boro Revolution. Despite decades of brutal military and police means, including outright military occupation, in an effort to destroy and expunge the idea of freedom, economic and political rights from the minds of the downtrodden peoples of the Niger Delta, the spirit of the revolution is well and alive in us today. And today, we remind you again that new generations of restless and discontented Niger Deltans are demanding their rights for self determination and economic autonomy. We are tired of 100 years of forced amalgamation, servitude, massacre, injustice and outright scorn by the Nigerian nation. We are angry, agitated, and frankly, we will be restless until the yoke of oppression is broken from our neck. We say to you loud and clear, it is time for all ethnic groups to freely and without fear, favor, or threat choose and control their future and destiny. It is time to end the Nigerian nightmare, peacefully in a constitutional and legal manner.

We remind you that our lands have been the main financial lifeblood of the Nigerian state for almost four decades. In return for our generosity, Nigeria has unashamedly paid us back with severe neglect and abandonment, political and economic deprivations, joblessness, biochemical poisoning through pollution, brutal military occupation, and extreme poverty. Despite threats to our Lives, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness, Proprietary Right of Ownership, and Self Determination, we refuse to bargain or negotiate our birthright. This is our land which our God Almighty, in his infinite wisdom, has bestowed upon us and knows we are the best inhabitants to take care of it, just as He has bestowed upon each and every ethnic group in Nigeria a land with resources to enjoy and take care of.

We have been agitating for this inalienable right while resisting the violent aggression and economic exploitation of the Nigerian state. And we shall keep on agitating and resisting for as long as necessary, using political and legal means. This does not mean that we advocate violent confrontation, but we will not sit idly by while Nigeria which has destroyed our God given land, air and sea can go on killing our most precious resource, our heroic people, with impunity. We cannot and will not sit here and die. It is time for us all to go our separate ways peacefully.

Any real and lasting peace can only come about as a result of a just separation which will enable all Nigerians to feel truly free and in control of their own future. Our sufferings are best summed up by these words from a freedom agitator who said: “the illegal military occupation has had devastating and dreadful consequences for (Niger Delta people): suffering, pollution, famine, poverty, rape, disease, death and an intolerable physical and psychological repression have been the fate of our people. The occupation has also prevented our people from building a just, democratic, free, and prosperous society”. This ought not to be. This must not and will not continue. We say to you categorically and unequivocally that by God’s grace and might, this is not our portion, not our destiny; we refuse and reject it completely and totally.

We remind you of the words of our brother who said, “Ijaw silence on any matter is always tactical and not based on foolishness or ignorance. That is why when they react, the process is volcanic.” The window of opportunity for diplomatic talk is fast diminishing, therefore, let us redeem the time. We prefer an alternative political arrangement that leads to self determination for all rather than the present arrangement. We believe in establishing an alternative political arrangement that guarantees self determination for all Nigerian groups through peaceable political and legal consultation, consent and cooperation. Nigeria has been a living nightmare since its forced inception. An alternative arrangement that guarantees self-determination is necessary if the Ijaws and other Nigerian groups are to fulfill their destinies. It is the right and prudent thing to do and we pray that God give you the revelation and wisdom to do the right thing.

Nigerian Leaders:

We take this opportunity to ask you to do the right thing. It is time to stop the enslavement of the Nigerian people. Why continue to impose on the African people an entity created through aggression?  It is obvious that the Nigerian experiment has been a total failure. Kindly allow Nigerians to freely determine their fate and stop imposing an unworkable state on them.

Fellow Nigerians

To you our Northern Arewas, Western Ooduas and Eastern Ndigbos etc., we simply ask that you search deep inside your souls and see if your cultural and religious beliefs and teachings allow you to forcefully take another persons land and God given resources because of draconian laws and decrees such as the Land Use Act and the Natural Resources Act enacted by illegal and illegitimate military dictators and colluders. Whatever your conclusions, we pray that the Almighty God grant you wisdom in your decision making process, for you must believe that we will not continue to sit here and die. God has given you fertile land to produce cash crops, and cattle to feed the nation. He has provided you with abundant natural resources such as coal, bitumen, bauxite, copper, gold, etc, but most important, He has provided you with the wherewithal to propel you to a better society. In order for all ethnic groups to achieve greatness and realize their full potential, and build a happy future for generations yet unborn, we say, it is time for us all to look at other political arrangements that do not result in the enslavement of the African people.

Again, we take this opportunity, on behalf of our most precious resource, the Niger Delta people, to express our deepest gratitude to all our brothers and sisters, the fair minded Nigerians, for the support and solidarity they have showed towards the Niger Delta cause to this day. We also extend our deepest gratitude to self-determination minded brothers and sisters in Arewa, Ndigbo, and Oodua.

Regional Leaders

We are all quite aware of the injustices, political and economic exploitations, and deprivations that led to bloody civil wars in Nigeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast. We are quite aware of the millions of African people who have died as a result of injustice, political and economic exploitations, and deprivations since the imposition and perpetration of the colonial system on the African people. Please do not allow a similar disaster to befall Nigeria again. Therefore, use the position and authority of your office to persuade Nigeria to enter into a serious dialogue in order to ameliorate the unbearable conditions imposed upon the Niger Delta and other parts of the country.

Delegates to the National Political Reform Conference

Delegates to the National Political Reform Conference, although very imperfect and does not meet the expectations of a National Sovereign Conference, nevertheless, use this rare opportunity to look at other ways of dealing with the Nigerian situation. The present structural and institutional arrangement has suffocated and violated the natural rights of the people of the Niger Delta and the entire African people of Nigeria. The present arrangement has not benefited the Nigerian people, apart from the very few who have colluded with outside interests to exploit the nation. Therefore, as you deliberate, look at alternative political arrangements that would be beneficial to all Nigerians, regardless of ethnicity, sex, religion, and political affiliation. The people of Czechoslovakia, in order to set themselves free from an unworkable political system, voluntarily parted ways. Today, the Czech and Slovakian Republics are very progressive and peaceful sovereign nation states.

African Leaders

Since the forceful institutionalization of colonialism, Africa has never seen peace.  In fact, the unquestionable acceptance of the colonial order in the continent has led to constant conflicts and bloodbaths. Please, do not allow another African disaster to take place in Nigeria like in Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, and Rwanda etc. The Ijaw people are tired and want to determine their future as they see fit.   

World Leaders.

In particular, the political leaders of the United States, Britain, France, Italy etc. support democracy and freedom by encouraging your multinational corporations to stop working with the Nigerian government to decimate the people and the environment of the Niger Delta. If you truly believe in democracy, human rights, freedom, and a free enterprise economic system, please persuade your friends in Nigeria from further perpetration of the economic war of aggression against the people of the Niger Delta. The Ijaw people are peace loving and would like to build a mutually beneficial economic arrangements with various economic stake holders. The present economic arrangement is a serious violation of the economic and political rights of the people of the Niger Delta. Their patience is running thin.  

World Citizens

To friendly individuals, governments, and the international political, human rights, and environmental solidarity movements that have always supported us very effectively, we say thank you so much for your unselfish support.

Let us join hands in solidarity to fight for peace, for justice, for equity, for freedom and for the right of all the peoples of the world.Lets us continue to fight for Democracy by enabling people to determine their fate. Let us work together to stop another Darfur from taking place in Africa, particularly in Nigeria. Africa has shed too much blood. It is the right and proper thing to do. 

On Kaiama Declaration we stand.

Long live the Niger Delta!


Titoe Miriki, President.

President Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria)
Prime Minister Tony Blair (Great Britain)
President George W. Bush (United States of America)
President Jacque Chirac of France
Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan (United Nations)
Security Council (United Nations)
Jack Straw, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State

Speaker, Nigerian National Assembly
Speaker, United States Congress
British Parliament


Ijaw Pro-Active Leadership Council
NDDF       IDF      NDM      NDDC      NDAF
16011 SW 154 AVE. MIAMI, FL. 33187

Website: www.unitedijaw.com
Email: ijaw@unitedijaw.com , letters@unitedijaw.com

Dear beloved people, friends and fellow citizens,

They went to bed with the devil, they sowed their seed with the enemy, now they must reap what they have sown. They have forgotten that the devil only come to steal, cheat and destroy. The enemies that they so coveted and colluded with against the interest of their people are now demanding their souls. They colluded with the devil to spill the bloods of our innocent mothers, fathers, and brethren in Odi, Odioma and indeed Ijawnation. They colluded with the devil to defraud Ijawnation and deprive Ijawnation of her rightful resources and revenue; resources that our youths gallantly gave their lives for in Kaiama and all over Ijawland. The bloods of the innocent are crying for justice. All the perpetrators of the tragedy and massacre at Odi, Odioma and numerous other Ijaw towns will not know peace until justice is served.

Beloved people, friends and fellow citizens, we are witnesses to the forces of retrogression, of darkness and destruction; we are witnesses to a government and leadership of the government that is too corrupt and destructive, and we are witnesses to a series of abuses and usurpations that has reduced our people to mere background participants and on looking paupers, while our fraudulently elected/imposed officials and embezzlers cart away and loot our treasury. Beloved people, the dye is cast, the day of reckoning for this failed state called Nigeria and her leadership is at hand, for it is our Natural Right and Moral Duty to publicly and forcefully demand change.

Beloved people, friends and fellow citizens, there is a new generation of Ijaws and Niger Deltans, a new generation of restless people who are asking the right questions. We are asking new questions, we are receiving new revelations and we will receive new answers. We will be restless until we break the yoke of Nigeria from our necks.

We pray that may the Lord who breaks the yoke; break the yoke of Nigeria from our necks. May the Lord grant you a new spirit of restlessness, may you never be contented with your present situation within the failed state of Nigeria, may you never be contented with Ijawnation and the Niger Delta in this current situation; may you never again read the news about our land and laugh about the situation; may you be provoked, may you be angry at the conditions of our beloved land. The next time you read any newspaper article or turn on the news and you hear the statistics of waste, injustice, graft and corruption in our land, take good note of it, and don’t just see it as normal, don’t see it as business as usual, it is abnormal, it is not our portion, it is not what God has intended for us; our people deserve better and we must demand and assert our God given rights to better things.

May God’s speed and peace be with us, may his power uplift us, may his grace cause the heavens to open up to Ijawnation and the Niger Delta, may He cause our minds to work differently, may new revelation and insight be our portion, may we have the courage and boldness to enter our nation and turn the horrible situation around, may we be builders of waste places, may we be transformers of societies, may we be builders of a great Ijawnation and Niger Delta, may Ijawnation be blessed because of us, may the Niger Delta be blessed because of us, may we turn the situation around, may we rebuild Ijawnation, rebuild, Odi, rebuild, Odioma, rebuild, Kaiama, rebuild, Trofani, rebuild Patani, rebuild Warri, rebuild our beloved Ijawnation, because that is our heritage, that is our commission. We are the last hope for Ijawnation and the Niger Delta and we shall not fail in our restlessness to build a great and prosperous nation.

Let us join hands in solidarity to fight for peace, for justice, for equity, for freedom and for the right of all the peoples of the world. Lets us continue to fight for responsible and responsive leadership and for our people to determine their fate.  

On Kaiama Declaration we stand. We will not sit here and die.

Long live Ijawnation, Long live the Niger Delta!


Titoe Miriki,


Note: Prayer portion adapted from the sermon of Dr. Mensa Otabil’s book,  Buy The Future

Ijaw Pro-Active Leadership Council
16011 SW. 154 AVENUE. MIAMI, FLORIDA 33187

July 11, 2003

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Letter to President Bush of the United States of America on his August Visit to Nigeria.

Mr. President,

We welcome you to Nigeria on this August visit of yours as the President of the United States. The United States has long had a tradition of promoting liberty, justice, the rule of law and is proud to stand on the side of brave people everywhere who seek the same freedoms upon which the United States was founded. And each year the United States reaffirms her determination to work for freedom around the globe. We the Ijaws, one of the indigenous peoples of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria numbering over 14 million, welcome you and wish you well .

Mr. President, as you once said, in too many corners of the earth, freedom and independence are the victims of dictators or elected tyrants driven by hatred, fear, designs of ethnic superiority, religious intolerance, and xenophobia. These despots deny their citizens the liberty and justice that is the birthright of all people. Some governments starve their people, take away their voices and in many other places, people are denied the most basic rights to speak in freedom, and their daily lives are haunted by the fear of the secret police. Mr. President, these are words and facts that you are well aware of and have alluded to in the past. We welcome you to our world as Ijaws of the Niger Delta.

Mr. President, as you are well aware, we Ijaws have long sought the same freedoms upon which the United States was founded. The freedom to have a voice on how the resources from our land are taken and utilized by the national government, of fairness and of simple human dignity. Mr. President, the resource is oil. For far too long, we have been subjected to tyrannical decrees, our lands and resources forcible taken against our will, our environment and basic livelihood destroyed and polluted from decades of exploitative exploration activities by successive governments and the giant oil conglomerates such as Shell, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, TotalFinaElf, and Agip. It is immoral and unconscionable to note that these oil conglomerates who do business in the United States, and profess in their boardrooms to be corporately responsible and responsive, and despite four decades and hundreds of billions of dollars in  revenue from exploration activities on our land and sea, have left us the host communities, with ecological devastation, misery, sorrow, tears and blood. In short, Mr. President, our human rights, dignity, voices and birthright as Ijaws are effectively suppressed by brutal intimidation and physical harm because of oil on our land. This Mr. President is unacceptable and must come to an end..

Mr. President, we are sure that you have seen or will see Abuja and some institutions that are worthy of your commendation. Institutions such as schools and health care facilities. What you may not have known is that Abuja and most of these facilities were built from the resources forcibly decreed on the oil producing Niger Delta. Despite hundreds of billions of dollars of revenue accrued from exploitative oil exploration on our lands, and despite abundant fresh water, we have no electricity, no potable water and no noticeable  infrastructures, but we are left to breathe polluted air, drink polluted water and our farms lay waste, while our beaches are eroded and polluted due to the effects of devastating oil exploration. These are results of decades of policies instituted by successive nonchalant administrations. We therefore, would like you to see the true picture and hear stories of decades of unjust tyrannical decrees and the effect on our people and our environment first hand.

Mr. President, if you know Abuja, you should also know about Odi, Finima, Oloibiri, Kaiama and other devastated Niger Delta communities. You have no doubt  seen past man inhumanity against fellow man during your visit to the slave trade posts on Goree Island in Senegal. We invite you to take 10 minutes of your busy schedule to have an eyewitness and another life changing experience of modern day servitude, and of what four decades of servitude and marginalization has done to our people and land. Allow us to intimate you with this quote from a fellow Nigerian who once said,  "It seems to me that the further away you are from where the  resources of this country are produced, the better you profit from  it. The people who are nearer, who are proximate to the source of  the resource are poor. During the Oputa panel sittings I shuddered  to see the depravity of the people in the oil producing areas. I don't  think it is right for us to feel that as long as we can hoodwink, pull  the wool on the face of our unfortunate brothers, wave our  authority and powers and the amount of weapons we can use to level them, we wouldn't have a conscience" ...  Mr. President, the precedent quote does not even begin to paint the dark abyss and distress that decades of governmental policies have visited on us, the  Ijaws.

Mr. President, you once said that "those in other lands seeking to unshackle themselves from dictatorship will also have America's support," all we are asking for is your administrations solidarity and support to end these conditions of servitude. We ask you to use your good offices to encourage change and if need be compel the oil conglomerates to be corporately sensitive and responsive in their operations in our environment. We ask that you use the US or international legal system as a tool for positive change. We have one land and one home, and it is our birthright to live freely as we choose and enjoy the resources of our land and sea, without being subject to environmental pollution, shoreline erosion, devastated livelihood and physical harm from constituted authorities every time we ask for fairness and voice our frustrations due to exploitative oil exploration activities on our birthright land, which we now have no control. Again, as you once said, Mr. President, "They are the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity." We agree with you, our birthright to self dignity is nonnegotiable.

Mr. President, we are aware that Nigeria plays a vital role in the oil industry and we Ijaws are in the middle of this role. We can assure you that the United States have no greater friend than the Ijaws in seeing that oil exploration activities on Ijaw land and sea are mutually beneficial to both sides. All we ask for is fairness and choice, a non negotiable human right. Mr. President we are weary of servitude, tired of being a captive Nation and we are resentful.

Finally, Mr. President, history teaches us that when people are given a choice between freedom and tyranny, freedom will win. And as you once said, "One of our greatest strengths in this struggle against a world of fear, chaos, and captivity is our commitment to standing alongside people everywhere determined to build a world of freedom, dignity, and tolerance." we ask you again to use your good offices to reaffirm your commitment and devotion to the aspirations of all peoples for liberty, justice, and self-determination.

Again, Mr. President, we welcome you and thank you for your time. We bid you God's speed as you return to the United States.


Titoe Miriki
Executive Director.

Hon. Dr. Condoleeza Rice, National Security Adviser
Hon. Colin Powell, Secretary of State

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Ijaw Self-Determination Now

Spirit of Restlessness

Letter to President Bush on his August Visit to Nigeria.