Anatomy of 'Chicken Coop Politics' and Niger Delta Development


Martin Abadani

Nigeria politics is tribal. Its true. Africans are very tribal oriented. In some cases, politicians tow the religious or tribal line first, then local or regional interest. No politician is detribalized in Nigeria as the media makes you to believe. Let's pause a minute and look at our politicians, federal and state legislators, governors and the Presidency. Its obvious that our current PDP/Military unitary system has always been reactive to disasters, delivery of justice - sharia vs English law, EFCC and corruption cases, unnecessary delays in election tribunals ( Edo State and Senator Mark) appeal cases, inconsistent national economic policies and criminality in Niger Delta region but blind to crime in non oil producing regions, such as Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Enugu. This is hypocrisy and double standard in the fight against criminals. We now have barking dogs in Rivers State with public loud speakers and vigor to fight oil bunkering criminals but the real 'oga' oil thief live outside Niger Delta region. They acquire oil tankers to transport and sell large quantities of crude oil in Iceland. What's Nigeria Navy doing hiding in the creeks, go to the high seas and confront the smugglers. Show me what you got, baby! It presumptuous to assume that Ijaw people or Niger delta minorities own ships for transporting stolen raw crude oil to Iceland market. in fact, oil bunkering activities has been going on since the Nigeria/Biafra war in 1970s. The Muslim Sokoto Hausa-Fulani and Muslim Yorubas have been doing oil bunkering with their agents in NNPC and other oil companies in Niger Delta region before and after end of Nigerian civil war. Why should an Hausa-Fulani politician come to Niger Delta region and talk down on us? We don't care if you are Mallam or Alhaji or Emir in Niger Delta. Are we minorities criminals? So Alhaji Usman Lukman, Chief Adekunle and Chief Okonkwo smuggling petroleum products to Benin and Niger republics are saints and the IGP has become blind.

Do Ijaw people own oil tankers or shipping companies? Most Ijaw people may be poor but we are not stupid. Our politicians have disappointed us. Muslims were known smugglers before Nigeria was created. The economic activities that goes on daily between Benin Republic/Niger Republic and Muslim western Nigeria States from Badagry/Idi Oroko to Sokoto/Kano borders with no Joint Task Force deployments speaks for itself. Most of the fake drug NAFDAC attempts to prevent from entry in Nigeria came through these border towns. What's the PDP/Muslim Yoruba, Hausa-Fulani security and politicians doing to prevent the influx of goods in those areas? Such areas are exclusive Muslim zones for commercial goods bunkering. They also have their Syrians/Lebanese brothers in Cotonou too sabotaging the Nigerian generator economy. At times I wonder whether Prof Soludo of CBN monetary policy includes smugglers border town from Cotonou or Lagos to Sokoto. This is a generator economy with single (oil & gas) product econometrics forecast paradigm. Chief Soludo of CBN may be sitting on top of the world last voodoo economy. The Northerners are micro managing the CBN governor hence they refused his Niara re domination strategy without explanation. We are held hostage! May God save us!


Why should the Federal Government locate multi-billion naira gas and oil technology university in Kaduna? This is a barren Muslim dusty region with goats, cattle and camels pastures but closer to Abuja than any Niger Delta urban city. Do they have oil or gas resources?  Niger Delta Governors should urgently mobilize all political resources to force Yar'dua and VP Jonathan to move the proposed oil and gas University to Niger Delta area, such as Oloibiri, Ogoni land, Eket or Oporoma in Sagbama LG of Bayelsa State immediately. Its would be an insult to the average Niger Delta minority if our political leaders allow the Sultan Muslims Caliphate to use our oil and gas revenues to establish a Federally funded oil and gas university in Kaduna, a non oil producing area. The children and youth of Niger delta region would never forgive PDP and VP Jonathan, governors and federal legislators peace. Indeed, RSG should develop more urban centers such as Mbiama, Ahoada, Degema in the riverine area immediately, please move government to the creeks to the Atlantic ocean landmark. Bayelsa governor elect should also develop Opuama, Oporoma, Akassa and Kaiama town to become urban centers with some impressive prefabricated State and local government offices. Niger Delta States don't need elephant projects (secretariats) to impress the electorate but intelligently designed low cost prefab structures that would provide huge covered spaces like what SHELL has in its PH HQ. Niger delta governors could use simple economic indicators to measure their performance quarterly and it requires the state PDP executive to go to the local market to assess how many local Niger delta natives (Ijaws, Efiks, Ikwerres, Ibibios, urhobos etc) own shops and participate in buying and selling of (wholesale/retail) goods and services. it would be considered as economic empowerment of the local people, the poor masses. Niger Delta is where you would find indigenous people of oil producing communities wearing the same shorts or pants or wrapper for a week, not because of the hot humid weather but its all they got. Its common to see bare chest youths walking around, they don't have any backup. And they are sitting on top oil and gas resources in Niger delta.

Nigerians are protective of their tribal lands in Igbo land, Yoruba Land, Sokoto Sultan Hausa-Fulani Caliphate land, Tiv land, Idoma land except Niger Delta region. PDP and Federal executives promote tribalism and they may publicly deny it. Please just look at federal executives daily public appearance from head to toe and you would not need a rocket scientist to show you what I am saying. Although we love traditional attires but politicians tend to wear tribal caps and they don't switch caps along tribal lines except photo opportunities to fool local illiterates. If you look at the various head wears (hat,cap) each of them wear then you may agree with me. Why we pursue national reactive policies and we lack policy consistency. For example, who came up with idea to import $80b of rice to prevent hunger in Nigeria? do they have jobs? how did the decision makers, mostly northern scholars, raw PhD graduates allow international news flashes influence such critical national matters.


This is how the Muslim/Sultan Hausa-Fulani management works in Nigeria. Instead of sending relief materials to the needy people in Niger Delta region regularly, Chief Rocha of the Nigeria red cross opted for photo opportunity with Mrs Jonathan (VP wife) and President Yar'Adua to cover up incompetency and discrimination against niger delta minorities. Another incompetent Agriculture Minister, Federal government wants to spend $80billion of our oil and gas money on important of rice. Nonsense! how much of the Fed Ministry of Agriculture annual budget goes to Niger Delta region farmers? Yes, there is hunger in Nigeria except for the families of politicians. Fed Minister for Agric should setup a simple field test in our public universities and the results would amaze the authorities. After all Fg subsidizes petroleum products with billions of naira annually and probably more than half of the allocation would be wasted through corruption. We should be bold enough to subsidize quality meals 3x per day at all Federal and State universities, especially the South-South region,  where students would be required to pay N10 per good balanced meal. Also, Federal executives and Sate executives should be encouraged to sample or eat on surprise visits to the institutions. Each region may have food preferences due to culture or traditional values but the FG would be able to gauge hunger in most urban centers and distribute aid to regional farming communities. Agric Minister could also setup a 'Smorgasborg' or 'All U can eat' joints for a minimal fee in Lagos/PH to determine the level of hunger in metro centers. It could be worth trying it. It would show the Agric Minister that most Nigerians go to bed hungry. Most people can't afford to eat rice and the price of garri, gas, kerosene is out of grandma's reach in the village.

What is PDP 'chicken coop' politics strategy of developing Niger Delta region? President Yar'Adua and VP Jonathan don't have anything to offer but just buying time to dislocate the perceived Ijaw militants in the creeks by force. FG/Yar'adua is using VP Jonathan for intelligence information gathering about Ijaw political leaders and militants in the creeks. They would use VP Jonathan & his advisers and dump them.Nigeria politicians gravitate to PDP because PDP controls Nigeria central government and whoever controls the government controls the crude oil and gas revenues. PDP was not formed on specific set of ideologies to develop Nigeria but to loot and share the oil and gas resources from Niger Delta region. Its was probably hijacked by invisible crooks. The concept of the Chicken Coop politics negates true federalism. Explanation - assuming Niger Delta region is a fenced "Chicken Coop" farm or 'Chicken Coop' means a 'poultry farm' the size of Niger Delta region. At present, this poultry farm owner (PDP federal executives/presidency) controls the chicken grains/feed containers which is equivalent to oil/gas revenues and each time the poultry farmer (Presidency - Yoruba/Sultan Muslim Caliphate) releases few scoops of grains/feed (monthly allocations - less than .005% of total revenues) to the Niger delta states governors/LGs chicken coop for consumption. Niger Delta governors, legislators & politicians would be on the ground feeding on the crumbs from Abuja and fighting noisily without looking over their shoulders to question the distribution process.


Hence, we tend to be driven by poverty, selfishness, egotism, stupidity, greed, ignorance and our politicians tend to collude with the elders, elites, traditional rulers seeking to please their Abuja PDP masters than the local electorates. Ironically, no South-South traditional ruler benefits equivalently in status and the opportunities with Emirs, Sultan, Obas or Obi of non oil and gas producing areas from the federal and state governments. You know what I am trying to say. figure it out yourself. Therefore, the farmer (PDP/FG) who controls bulk of grains/feed walks aways with billions of naira (oil and gas revenues - billions $$$USdollars) that should logically go to Niger Delta region for development. you feel me? Got it? At times the actual money goes to Bayelsa and Rivers States and it makes quick U turn to Abuja PDP coffers. For example, VP Jonathan released a whopping N557m to Ehindero Nigeria Police while Bayelsa Volunteers (security outfit) had nothing. We should apply critical thinking in every process in our demands for equity and justice in niger delta region. We are still waiting for President Yar'Adua's detail marshall plan for the development of niger delta region. How can you trust PDP executive and presidency that has refused to release funds for NDDC projects? Well, NDDC has done what the local governments couldn't do and its far short of our expectations. Thanks NDDC and Chief Alaibe and we are still waiting for major integrated pipe borne water for Niger delta region. Yes, some niger delta politicians will preaching about developing the region (9 states) with N46b capital budget and Yar'Adua is withholding bulk of money due to the agency. Why? laughable indeed. May be FOI bill when passed will allow investigative journalists to bypass NTA and other government control media houses to get the story behind it.

May almighty God and Allah combined direct our Niger Delta Governors and legislators for a retreat in Saudi Arabian Gulf States of Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to see what Bechtel, Parsons Construction, Balfour & Balfour, Fluor Daniel Corp are doing to transform the region. There will be no peace in Niger Delta region if the Federal government which is dominated by non oil producing politicians sticks to its deceptive approach to developing the region. We can do it ourselves, just give us the 50% derivation money. Well, NDDC is not enough and i hope Chief Alaibe has realized that the few billions of naira his boos gave him to work doesn't buy much development assets. Monthly oil and gas allocation to develop Niger Delta region is not enough and naira has not much value. Naira has weak buying power and don't let billions of naira allocation fool you. We need 50% oil and gas derivation to buy whatever we would require in the world market to develop Niger delta region. These parasitic States  should develop their resources and contribute to the central national treasury - fiscal federalism. FG could engage reputable international companies from gulf of Arabia to execute major public projects or infrastructure development in the riverine areas. NNPC should finance building major industrial parks.

We pray our legislators to the Arabian Gulf states of Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Oman to see what these countries did with their oil and money. RSG legislators retreat to Australia was waste of time and resources and Tinapa Resort retreat would have accomplished the same. Our Niger Delta governors should wake up and work with all oil and gas companies to establish a major American Technology University in the region with campuses in other Niger Delta states. The problem with Niger Delta University is very sad and we wish Ijaw politicians would realize the urgency in human capital development. Our Governors should present a compelling argument  to the National Assembly for FG grant. FG/Yar'Adua executive should provide grants to NDU and the Governor should sack NDU Board of Directors immediately; Bayelsa State should look beyond Ijaw land to seek assistance from the world education market, specifically established renowned Universities in USA (University of Minnesota, University of Illinois, Universities of the New England States, University of Calif) and Sweden or Norway to develop NDU in the next five years. Beyalsa State should be a hurry to invest more money in NDU to make it a world class science and technology institution. Right now, its being mismanaged and its has become a liberal arts university because the board of directors got blind vision. They don't understand multi-national oil and gas operations and the corporate culture. Please sack the present tribal board of directors who don't have the experience to build institutions from ground up. Bayelsa State ought establish a separate 'Bayelsa College' in Oporoama or Kaiama' for liberal arts studies. Gov Syva, please sack NDU board of directors now, they are incompetent and unqualified to develop a full fledged university in Ijaw land. We are in a hurry! Do it now! Niger Delta Governors, especially Bayelsa State should take free education seriously and work together with the multi-national oil and gas companies to establish an American Technology University in core Niger Delta region.


Kaduna is a wrong location for gas and oil technology university and we don't want to be slaves to the Muslim Yoruba/Sultan Hausa-Fulani Caliphate managers in the Oil and Gas Industry. Niger Delta oil and gas resources and revenues was used to build private universities in backward areas in Yoruba land (OSUN, OGUN), Adamanwa State, Niger State, just to mention a few. What do we have in Niger Delta region for the teeming Youth that need science and technical  university education? In fact, the Muslims, non oil and gas producing states should be encourage to come to South-South universities to study not the other way around. Human capital development in the region with abundant natural resources would create middle and top managers for the oil and gas industry. Believe me, I would like to inform my people the Ijaws, Ikwerres, Efiks and others that labourers don't make hiring decisions in the oil and gas industry. Most oil and gas companies in Niger Delta region refused to hire indigenous or local people because the middle and top managers are still Hausas, Yorubas, Edo and Igbos. Nigeria is tribal whether you like it or not. Its a fact and Niger delta governors need to wake up and stop barking like pit bulls (RSG Magnus Abe signature) and work together to obtain more money (50% derivation) and grants from the federal government (oil & gas revenues) for human capital development.

Further, the concept for anatomy of the chicken coop politics basically explains that our governors and legislators get excited about the crumbs or the word billions of worthless Naira allocation to develop Niger Delta region. What can the Naira buy with the price of cement and petroleum products so high. Monthly allocations to Niger Delta region surely sound huge but worthless in the capital development market, way less as general construction materials cost remain high permanently. Naira is a weak currency in the international market and we have to import almost every consumer and construction goods to develop the region; Then we are not getting adequate funding (money) from the PDP central government because the money is being diverted to the North/non oil producing states (parasitic states) and Abuja institutions. There must be fiscal federalism to enable Niger Delta develop at its own pace but not Sokoto, Kaduna or Ogun State rate of development. Its got to be federalism or nothing. Stop the chicken coop politics and lift up your head up. FG and PDP controls the energy businesses and petro$$ and the PDP/Yoruba Muslims and sultan Hausa-Fulani caliphate dictates our development pace. No, it should be the other way round. this is the time for critical thinking! Think! Think! Do some critical thinking and work together to get what you naturally deserve. They will not give it to you and you don't have to beg for your own resources and money to develop Niger Delta region. Its a task that must be done! Take care. love u.


Martin Abadani