Urhobo Historical Society


Subject:         [Ijaw_National_Congress] The Niger Delta's Answer to Atiku's Threat:  A Psalm
   Date:         Sun, 15 Oct 2000 08:39:49 -0500
   From:         "N. H. Ibanga" <gaussa@earthlink.net>
     To:         Ijaw_National_Congress@egroups.com

Nigeria harvests the bulk of its finance-laden resources from its Niger Delta where abundant petroleum oil resources lie beneath its watery terrain. After forty years of reckless drilling, the lands and water resources of this "rich" but impoverished region of Nigeria have been ruined, poisoned by oil leakages and uncontrolled flare of gas into its atmosphere. To make matters worse, pipes carrying crude oil to the privileged Northern city of Kaduna for refinement have ruptured in several places, causing tremendous loss of lives through huge fires from them.

Complaints from Niger Deltans about the dangers they experience from the Federal Government's exploitation of their lands and resources have often been met with scorn. In effect, the Federal Government of Nigeria blames Niger Deltans for the difficulties that they experience. The Almighty Federal Government of Nigeria has enjoined Niger Deltans to keep law and order over Its properties in their region, failing which they would be punished. The military invasion and devastation of the town of Odi in Baylesa State of the Niger Delta in late 1999 was a clear warning and signal to the people of the Niger Delta that the Federal Government of Nigeria would punish Deltans if they did not uphold Its interest in the region. That invasion, considered unjustified by independent observers, was at the instance of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Less than a year later, his Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, has issued another military threat against Niger Deltans, warning them of another military action if they failed to protect the oil pipes and other oil-carrying equipment in the region.

The following Psalm is a reply to Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the Federal Government from a "Nigerian Publius." May his prayer be heeded.

The Niger Delta’s Answer to Atiku’s Threat – A Psalm

Deliver us from our enemies O our God
Defend us from those who rise up against us
Deliver us from the workers of iniquity
And save us from bloodthirsty men.

For look, they lie in wait for our lives
The mighty gather against us
Not for our transgression nor for our sins, O Lord
But because we want control of the resources You gave us.

Forty years they have stolen from us
Yet they are not satisfied
Forty years they robbed the widows that they created
They have killed the young men so that none should rise up
They have polluted the land and the water
We can neither farm nor fish.

Now they have made an alliance with the powerful
To obtain weapons and training
Not to enthrone righteousness, nor to glorify Your name
Not to establish justice, but to intimidate and suppress
They run and prepare themselves through no fault of ours
They have said to themselves
Who can stop us?

Awake to help us and behold: You therefore
O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel
Awake to punish all the nations
Do not be merciful to any wicked transgressors.

At evening they return
They growl like a dog
And go all around the nation
Indeed they belch with their mouth
Swords are in their lips
For they say, “Who hears?”

They poured concrete on the desert sand
And planted a seed, and said it will not grow.

But You, O Lord, shall laugh at them
You shall have all the oppressors in derision.

We will wait for You, O You our strength
For God is our defense
Our God of mercy shall come to meet us
God shall let us see our desire on our enemies.

Do not slay them, lest our people forget
Scatter them by Your power
And bring them down
O Lord our shield.
For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips
Let them be taken in their pride.
And for the cursing and lying which they speak
Consume them in wrath, consume them
That they may not be.

But we will sing of Your power
Yes, we will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning
For You have been our defense
And refuge in the day of our trouble
To You O our strength, we sing praises
For God is our defense
Our God of mercy
Forgive us our sins in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ.

------ Nigerian Publius