17 October 2011
BY PATRICK NAAGBANTON
I FORGOT completely that the returning and repulsive month called November, is around the corner again. The agony of a nation descending into a deeper crisis, and the death of Kingsley Baridilo Kpea, the Ogoni-born petroleum engineer and Comrade who died recently in an Indian hospital, are troubling me, to forget the nauseating month November.
I am glad that I was not born in November, I was born in August. Sometimes August tramp like November. November goes and comes in several seasons either like our JP Clark’s or Wole Soyinka’s Abiku. Four scenes in the November drama make me to hate her.
Anytime I move closer to her, I feel sad and angry. November heightens my blood pressure. November is a nasty nefarious note. It was on November 1, 1990, that a special police gang allegedly acting on the orders of an oil giant, seized Umuechem, that serene agrarian village in the Etche community north of
. Port Harcourt
The police squadron smoked the distressed locals, leaving in its trail blood, raped women, looted and plundered properties belonging to them, many maimed for life, while some were arrested, tortured and disappeared in custody.
November 10, 1995 was the culmination of the extra-judicial killings, rape, looting, maiming, arrests and detentions of poor Ogoni natives, and eventually, the savage hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa, distinguished satirist, writer and activist, and his compatriots.
On April 21, 1993, Lt. Col Dauda Musa Komo, then military administrator of Rivers State allegedly acting for the said oil giant and the Nigerian State under the authoritarian Sani Abacha’s junta had issued the infamous secret memo which was leaked.
The document code-named, “Restoration of Law and Order in Ogoniland; Operation order 4/94”, which charted the plan of a wasting military operation to be led by Major Paul Okuntimo, the Ogbom, Kogi State-born commander of the Gestapo Rivers State Internal Security Task Force, RSISTF, applied the orders to its letters. Ogoni was worse than Umuechem.