What Nigeria’s President-Elect Ousaf Raza Gillani Vows to Do About Abayasi’s Execution?
Nigerian opposition leader Ousaf Raza Gillani has promised that if his government comes to power there will be no further compromises made on the oil pipelines that are running through the country. Opposition parties have called on the president to use his executive authority to suspend all acts of graft and corruption by government officials in the National oil company, known as Niger Delta. The president has denied the opposition’s call for action. He has said that he will look into the matter once all the details are available.
Earlier this month, leaked emails and official documents purporting to show that oil companies had paid millions in bribes to government officials and executives were released to the media. The leaks also showed that oil exploration projects were not properly monitored and controlled. At least four major oil exploration and production firms have closed down in the past two years because of alleged irregularities in their bids for oil contracts with oil producing nations. Niger Delta is one of the many regions in Nigeria where pipelines have been laid to tap into the country’s oil resources.
Nigerians have been frustrated with the delays in getting the pipelines built. They blame the delays on delays in getting permits from the government and the inability of the company to find more oil reserves in the area. The United Nation’s Environmental Protection Agency has already expressed its concern over the situation. “We are deeply concerned by reports that the Nigerian authorities have failed to meet their legal obligations in terms of the taking of action against those responsible for the environmental damage to the environment resulting from past and present oil spills,” it said in a statement. “The Nigerian authorities must take immediate steps to protect the rights of the people living in the affected communities, and they should hold accountable those who have disregarded the law.”
This is not the first time that Nigeria’s oil wealth has been used for political interests. In the early 1990s, a campaign was started to unseat President Buhari who was supported by oil-producing nations. When Buhari was re-elected in 2021, his opponents boycotted the election claiming that the vote was fixed. It is believed that these nations had then played a role in why Buhari was chosen as president in the first place.
The fact that Ansaru is an indigenous force may also be used to incite further tension between the Nigerians and the international community. Ansaru has vowed to respect the territorial integrity of Nigeria irrespective of whether or not they have acceded to international law. This would indicate that they would put up resistance to any attempt by anyone to change the Nigeria’s constitution to enhance their rule over the country.
However, the fact that Ansaru is an indigenous force may also work in their favour. The government and the opposition need to come to a consensus on this issue before embarking on any serious talks. Any chance of holding serious talks with the opposition will have to involve them in dialogue with the representatives of the Ousaf Resistance Movement in Nigeria. This step will show that Ansaru can be trusted to stick to their guns and fulfil their obligations towards the Nigerian people.