The US/China/France/UK/Israel “Scramble for Africa” vie for “Humanitarian” Honors in Nigeria

[IRecent years have seen the insertion of imperialist forces and inter-imperialist hegemonic claims into every corner of the world, under the guise of “humanitarianism” or “disaster capitalism.”  The US has been most prominently displayed in this practice, having honed the method as a public doctrine after failing the “winning hearts and minds” test in the Vietnam war, and then doing medical rescues in the period of recovering from the so-called “Vietnam Syndrome” (ie, reversing the functional anger and opposition to imperialist wars).  In recent years, as the world imperialist system has become more crisis-ridden and internally contentious, other imperial powers have entered the “humanitarian imperialist” contest as well.  Today, the new “scramble for Africa” is focused on the struggle to rescue the Nigerian girls abducted by the diabolical and malevolent “Boko Haram” gang which grew in the vacuum of elite corruption and sectarian power, and mass poverty in Nigeria, which are the fruits of colonialism and neo-colonialism, and of a regime that cannot or will not keep Nigerian people out of harms way.  The US has drones from its nearby drone base in Niger, and some troops and “advisors” from AFRICOM; France has some forces on the ground, a legacy from the French colonial (and more recent neo-colonial) wars in neighboring countries; Britain has some surveillance planes; Israel has sent Special Forces commandos/shock troops, at Goodluck Jonathon’s invitation; and China, not one to be left out or to forget their massive recent Nigerian investments, has sent a PLA frigate, and given a new satellite to Nigeria to run their media and tele-communications and surveillance ops.  See the 4 articles below for more self-determination-breaking-news on these opportunist/imperialist relief efforts from the US, China, Israel.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Nigeria: Police Kill University of Uyo Student During Protest Over Campus Buses, Lecture Halls

Police shot and killed at least one student of the University of Uyo Wednesday as a demonstration by students over insufficient lecture venues and campus transit buses transportation system turned violent, witnesses said.

Some residents of the area said three students may have died after police fired live ammunitions into a crowd of protesting students. But the witnesses said they were certain of one casualty. Police authorities in Uyo could not be immediately reached for comments.

A school spokesperson, Godfrey Essien, said he was on leave and was piecing details of what actually happened.

Residents say the students, mainly of Science and Engineering faculties, went on rampage for several hours on Wednesday in protest of poor transportation system for students after authorities ordered the relocation of the Science faculty from the school’s temporary site along Ikpa Road to the permanent site at Nsukara Offot.

The new site lacks enough infrastructures to accommodate the relocating Science students, and the Engineering students who had moved in earlier, leading to frequent confrontations.

The Engineering students are said to occasionally bar the Science students from using the limited lecture rooms and school shuttles between the old and new campuses, about 10 kilometers apart.

N200 per day bus

The transfer of the Science students merely compounded the hardship already faced by students on the permanent site, situated along the road leading to the city’s new airport.

The tipping point for the students, according to residents, came after the Science students were ordered to pay N200 per day to use the campus shuttle buses, against the N1, 000 paid per semester by the Engineering students for the same service. Continue reading

Nigerian: Demands to end state repression of independence movement

Nigeria: MASSOB Gives Army 48 Hours to Release Detained Members

Beatrice Onuchukwu

24 January 2012

Awka — The Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) yesterday gave the Army a 48-hour ultimatum to release the corpses of three of its members allegedly killed on Sunday by soldiers from the Onitsha Military Cantonment, and 46 of its members arrested by the soldiers. Comrade Uchenna Madu, the MASSOB Director of Information at a news conference in Onitsha yesterday stated that the Army has provoked MASSOB by illegal killings and detention.

“If the issue is not addressed, the Army and the Nigerian state will see the violent side of MASSOB,” he said.

Madu lamented that the non-violent posture of MASSOB has been mistaken for weakness and cowardice by security operatives, “who now derive joy in the killing and intimidation of unarmed MASSOB members”. Continue reading

Nigerians in US and Occupy Movement protest Nigerian government’s removal of oil subsidy (2 articles)

Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigerians in Atlanta Protest Subsidy Removal

Nasiru L. Abubakar

10 January 2012–Nigerians and friends of Nigeria, including leaders of the “Occupy Atlanta” movement, staged a protest against the removal of fuel subsidy and rising insecurity in Nigeria.

According to a post by one of the organizers of the event, Farooq Kperogi, the demonstrators will march to the Nigerian Consulate in Atlanta, United States and called on those living in the Atlanta to endeavor to attend.

A letter delivered to the Consulate General said following the removal of subsidy said “Nigerian mineral wealth should benefit Nigerians, not Shell Oil and other multinationals. The removal of this subsidy is clearly the design of the international Monetary Fund.”

Mr. Geoffrey Teneilabe, the Consul-General, said the protest can hold outside the premises of the Consulate General of Nigeria in Atlanta.

“While we negotiated where to protest, Baba Garba, Consul (Economic, Commerce, Education/Nigerians In Diaspora Organization), attempted to call the police on us. I think he just wanted to intimidate us. Of course, it didn’t work. We later protested outside,” Kperogi said.

“They wrote down my name and that of a leader of the Occupy Atlanta Movement called Taylor Morris, took pictures of us, and promised deliver our letter to the government in Nigeria.” Continue reading

Nigeria: Privatisation – Labour’s Rally Paralyses National Assembly

At the National Assembly in Abuja yesterday as armed security men tried in vain to bar hundreds of protesting workers from entering the complex.

by Cosmos Ekpunobi And Adekunle Adesuji

23 September 2011

Business activities were disrupted for several hours at the National Assembly yesterday as the organized labour stormed the complex to protest what it called anti privatization programme of the federal government.

The peaceful demonstration almost turned violent, when the workers rained abuses on the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and other lawmakers who had come to listen to the protesters.

The Deputy speaker who lost his temper in the process exchanged abuses with the workers.The story was not the same when the vice chairman of the senate committee on labour, Oluremi Tinubu arrived the scene to address the protesters. She was cheered by the angry workers.

Movement in and out of the complex was obstructed for hours as anti riot policemen formed a barricade to prevent the protesting workers from gaining entrance into the complex. Continue reading

Nigeria: Over 200,000 People at Risk of Losing Their Homes

Amnesty International, 28 October 2010

The Nigerian authorities must suspend a series of planned demolitions and evictions in waterfront areas of Port Harcourt that will leave over 200,000 people at risk of homelessness Amnesty International said in a report released today.

“These planned demolitions are likely to plunge hundreds of thousands of Nigeria’s most vulnerable citizens further into poverty,” said Tawanda Hondora, Amnesty International’s deputy Africa Program director. “The government should halt the waterfront evictions until they ensure they comply with international human rights standards.”

The Rivers State government claims the demolition of the waterfronts is necessary to implement the Greater Port Harcourt Master Plan, an urban renewal project launched in 2009. The development of the waterfront promenade is a central feature of the Master Plan – which encompasses the whole city – but full details have not been made public.

“None of the affected communities have been adequately consulted about these urban renewal plans and this has resulted in a great deal of uncertainty and insecurity,” said Tawanda Hondora. “The government must make every effort to identify alternatives to evictions, using them only as a last resort.”

The Nigerian authorities have not developed any resettlement plan to provide alternative accommodation to the hundreds of thousands of people likely to be evicted.

On 28 August 2009, Njemanze, a waterfront settlement, was demolished as part of the urban renewal plan. It is estimated that over 13,000 people were forcibly evicted without adequate notice. They lost their homes and, in many cases, their possessions and livelihoods.  One year on, many still have nowhere to live.

Forced Evictions in the Port Harcourt Waterfronts.

Chidi Ekiyor, 15 years old, has been sleeping under a flyover since the demolition of the house he shared with his aunt in Njemanze. Chidi told Amnesty International that he has been arrested five times since he lost his home. Most nights he and the other boys are harassed by police or older boys who steal their money or beat them.

“Cash is the problem,” Charity Roberts a primary school teacher who lives in a property marked for demolition told Amnesty International. “Right now people don’t even have enough to eat. How will they relocate? There are some people [whose livelihood depends on] the waterside [fishing etc]. What would they do?”

The Rivers state government claims to have undertaken a buy-out scheme, purchasing all the properties on the waterfront and paying owners a replacement value for them. Under this scheme however, tenants, who make up the vast majority of the waterside population, are completely ignored and can claim no entitlements. House owners who do not want to sell their houses are also given no alternative. Continue reading

UN Report Whitewashes Mass Murder, Ecocide by Shell Oil and Nigerian Government

For more than 50 years, the Royal Dutch Shell corporation and its Nigerian government partners have inflicted the world’s worst oil pollution on the people of the Niger River Delta. Now, the United Nations squanders its dwindling prestige to help whitewash the vast environmental and human rights crime. According to a UN report, the Nigerian people are to blame for soaking the Delta in 9 to 13 million barrels of oil.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Click on this link:20100825_gf_NigeriaOil.mp3

“The United Nations has attempted to facilitate a corporate-government cover-up of monumental dimensions.

In July of last year, Amnesty International released a report, documenting the vast environmental and human rights degradations imposed on the people of the Niger River Delta by 50 years of oil exploration and production. Amnesty International sent a letter to Peter Voser, the newly appointed CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, the dominant company in the Delta oil fields, asking him to “come clean” on the “failures and poor practice” of both Shell and the Nigerian government. A little over a year later, Royal Dutch Shell and the Nigerian government have presented their answer, in the form of a monstrous whitewash produced in collusion with an agency of the United Nations. Continue reading

Nigeria: Shell Threatens to Invoke Force Majeure

Muhammad Bello

20 August 2010

Port Harcourt — The Shell Petroleum Company has reiterated its intention to invoke force majeure in the Niger Delta region as a result of the recent destruction of two of its pipelines in Cawthorne Channel, Rivers State.

Precious Okolobo, the company’s spokesperson, warned that the company may not meet its contractual obligations on the Bonny Light crude.

“The force majeure we declared is effective from August 16. By this, it means that the company is invoking the legal clause that frees it from its obligations due to events beyond its control. The crude deferment followed attacks on and crude oil theft from our Cawthorne Channel in Eastern Niger Delta”, he added.

Over the weekend, He lamented that there were three separate attacks on its pipelines between August 1 and August 12, forcing the company to halt production.

Shell, Nigeria’s biggest operator in the oil sector, produced an average of 629,000 barrels per day last year as against 850,000 barrels in 2008.

AllAfrica – All the Time

Nigerian women block gas pipeline


Lagos – A group of Nigerian women in the country’s oil-rich south said on Friday they had blocked access to a Chevron natural gas pipeline to protest poor living conditions in their community.

Women from the Ugborodo community in Delta State want Chevron to provide access to electricity and address damage to the environment, community leader Thomas Ereyitomi said.

“They are not allowing access to the plant and to allow any form of operation to go on,” he said of the protesters.

“It is immoral for Chevron not to provide basic amenities in a community in which they operate and generate money.”

Chevron officials declined to comment, saying they would issue a statement later.

Ereyitomi did not provide the number of people taking part in the protest, but claimed that it involved all women from the community.

A similar protest last month was abandoned following a promise from the Delta State government to look into the community’s grievances.

“That meeting with the government failed and so the protest resumed on Monday,” Ereyitomi said. Continue reading

Nigeria: The Oil Spill No One’s Talking About

author Omoyele Sowore

The Huffington Post July 23, 2010

Omoyele Sowore ( Founder,

July 16, 2010

This week 700 million pairs of eyes from all around the world were focused on Africa to see Spain finally win Football’s World Cup. It’s now time those eyes focused on another kind of ball — balls of oil fouling the environment off the coast of Nigeria.

The story line sounds familiar. A big oil company (in this case ExxonMobil) leaks vast amounts of oil, pollutes the waters (in this case the Atlantic Ocean) killing the fish, local industries and any hopes of a rapid clean up.

It’s time the world paid attention. I’ve been reporting this story since ExxonMobil decided to import a 30-year-old leaking oil platform to Nigeria from Angola, a platform even Angola’s government regulators rejected! I’m no businessman, but that doesn’t exactly sound like a good investment. Continue reading

Oil spill catastrophes in the Niger Delta and the Gulf of Mexico

A woman helps her child bathe from some waterfront steps in the polluted water of the Niger River delta, Ojobo, Nigeria, while carrying a second child on her back

A World to Win News Service.

The oil spill off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico is the kind of disaster people living in the Niger River Delta have suffered continuously for half a century.

Predatory pumping and almost unbridled burning of fossil fuels is killing the planet. But nowhere has oil brought more devastation than Nigeria. Making matters even worse, there is little effort to clean up this poison.

To give an idea of the scale of the catastrophe, BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico has spewed between 2-4 million barrels of oil in the two months since the blowout. Almost six million barrels have oozed and washed through Nigeria’s main river delta over the last 50 years. Most of it has been concentrated in a thousand-square-kilometer [about 247,000 acres] area called Ogoniland.

The once-fertile land is dotted with puddles of crude oil. In many areas wild plants and cultivated crops like cassava are dead. Palm trees no longer yield much wine. The inland waterways and mangrove swamps, once rich in shrimp, crab and other fish, are lifeless. The birds are gone. The sea, for many people a source of life, has become a source of sickness and death. People emerging from the brackish waters of the delta find themselves coated with oil. The flares of gas deliberately set afire are so bright and unrelenting that in some villages it has been two generations since people have seen complete darkness.

“Nigerian light” is the world’s best quality oil, prized because it is relatively easy to refine into fuel products. But it has been a curse for the people who live here, bringing asthma, skin diseases, organ disorders, and cancer. Average life expectancy has fallen for several generations. It now stands at little more than 40 years. Continue reading

Nigeria: The Oil Spill the World Forgot

Shell OilAs the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues to dominate headlines around the world, public outrage is being focused more intensely upon BP and its gaffe-prone CEO Tony Hayward. But amidst this crisis, the public should not forget the atrocities committed by other massive oil companies.

For example, Royal Dutch Shell‘s drilling operations have been spilling oil into the Niger Delta in Nigeria since 1958. Because Nigeria is an impoverished nation and oil revenues fund a majority of government operations, Shell and other companies have been able to drill and pollute without serious oversight for all these years. It is estimated that 13 million barrels of oil have spilled into the delta, making life even more difficult for the region’s destitute residents.

Shell blames the constant spills on attacks from “rebels,” who are in fact minority ethnic groups who feel they have been exploited and displaced by foreign oil companies. But Shell would never consider pulling out of the region or finding ways to avoid ethnic strife. Instead, Shell has proceeded with business as usual, and spilled a record 14,000 tons of crude oil into the delta last year. Continue reading