7 July 2011
Another look at the Niger Delta amnestyThe sky was very cloudy that Thursday morning. I decided to go to Lagos after postponing the journey for one week. It has become my habit to take an amateurish look at the weather before heading towards the airport. I have a phobia for flying and so making a journey in the country is usually a big task for me. I had arrived the airport with a disposition to spend five hours waiting- no thanks to delays which are now part of the routine of air travels in Nigeria. As I sat absentmindedly by the newspapers vendor, I dozed off. Some kind of stampede woke me up an hour later when a certain man arrived in the company of seven policemen . The rifle carrying officers displayed as though he was one of the governors or at least a big politician. However his look does not in any way convey the slightest civility. He had this dark complexion that made me curious. I made a move to inquire about who he was as he worked carelessly into the VIP lounge in Abuja. Alas, ‘he is one of the ex militants’, someone whispered. I cannot recall his name but it sounded like one of the South-West states. While I stood wrapped in the wonder of the display, a co-passenger explained to me that it was normal for them to move with an entourage. “This one is very small, if you go to some states in the Niger Delta, you will hardly differentiate the governors’ convoy from that of the militants because they have the same number of exotic cars and they all live in government houses”, he murmured in a very low tone.