Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Love Becky Anderson!

I have managed to restrain myself from commenting on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This is not because I did not have a position on the matter, but rather, because it was an American issue, they were doing a great job of covering it from all angles.

One criticism I have of CNN is that it sees the world from an American perspective, and reports about the world with bias for all things American.

But yesterday, I was stunned by what Becky Anderson, the anchor said. She juxtaposed the American ecological disaster of calamitous proportions with the environmental disaster ongoing in Nigeria. I was not sure I had heard her properly, and I was wondering what disaster she was talking about.

Do we have an environmental disaster at the moment? I thought the only disaster we had was the the  normal abysmal, and woeful failure of leadership we are grappling with.

It is common knowledge that humans have a huge capacity for adapting to situations they feel they cannot change, no matter how adverse. That is why the man who lives by the rail line can sleep even when a train is passing beside his window at night, or the case of the homeless drifters who sleep in the open during the coldest harmattan,or downpour, or some people's desensitization
to filth.

Becky Anderson said the magnitude of the current oil spill, it's level of destruction ,and disruption, is just equivalent to what happens in Nigeria every year! And this has been the trend every year, for the past fifty years!

For the Americans, this is momentous, monumental, and out of this world;they are even calling it their worst ecological disaster: for us it is normal! America's worst ecological disaster is equivalent to a "slight incident" in Nigeria.

She had an expert she was interviewing, and he dropped the other bombshell! He said the business model in Nigeria was such that the oil companies were in business for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, this is known by all; but what we did not know was that the corporation used it's government muscle to ensure that spills were unreported, and people were uncompensated. 

They rode roughshod over the people.

NNPC spoke one thing in public, and meant another in private. So the oil companies knew NNPC did not really mean, or intend for them to actually clean up spills, and compensate people.This is criminal! This is economic genocide!

This clarified for me the level of the virulent agitation by people like Ken Saro Wiwa. They saw the collusion by NNPC with the oil majors to destroy our people's lives, and they could take it no more. And they were willing to die for their belief!

Compare NNPC's treachery with President Barack Obama's consistent declaration, that British Petroleum would be responsible for the clean up; so far, BP has spent 960,000,000 dollars trying to salvage, remediate, and ameliorate the effect of the spill.

If the equivalent of this same amount had been spent in Nigeria combating oil spills over the years, we would not have had a runaway restiveness on our hands, as we do now.

We need to hold the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, to a higher code of responsibility!
Until, and after, they do,


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