Blood And Oil: This House Shall Not Fall (Part 1)
“A Nation Exists When All The People Share The Profit of The Land” & “You Give Respect, You Don’t Take It” – Keme Tobodo from the BBC Series Blood and Oil.
When I started watching this two-part series yesterday evening, I was at first put off by the stereotypes that instantly hit me. The silly accents which did not work as the character kept missing the mark. And of course, when a woman was seen pushing men off an Okada (motorbike) I thought, why in the hell are they okay and so keen to keep showing Nigerians as violent, barbaric and bush. Do they thrive on the hunger to show us as poverty stricken people all the time. I thought to myself, here we go again, another portrayal to make us look incapable of human feeling. After all if you think about it, that is the way our leaders have treated us for decades, doing what they like with our money and resources, keeping up with their colonial masters.
The character I cannot get out of my head is the man in the hotel hallway as Naomi Harris’s character, Alice, walks back to her hotel room each time. He was so odd looking and of course the way he says hello – sounded like he was stalking her. Being a BBC series the first judgment would be, its a BBC program and what is the best tool to keep a former colony subservient to the master right?
As the film progressed, I was no longer concerned about the accents or stereotypes. I was engrossed by the subject matter. The series was gritty and not naive in its approach to the subject it was dealing with. Fast paced, there was never a dull moment because it was exposing a few people in the most sensitive way. I am tempted to say the BBC got this right. It is a story worth telling and they told it well, holding all sides accountable for their actions.
I applaud the person who wrote the series because he was so spot on with the real issues. Truth is, we have been raped over and over and we are still being raped and violated on all sides by our government, the foreign companies that come to drill and everyone who has the frigging ability to use his pen and paper
However, I have a word for all of you including the clown known as Gaddaffi, who recently suggested that Nigeria divides along ethnic lines. The first time, it was to divide along religious line. This House Shall Not Fall. My friend, Tolu Ogunlesi wrote a piece for CNN a few days before the Nigerian youths marched in Abuja to demand some answers in regards to the state of the nation. With an adept brilliance, he wrote about fighting for the soul of Nigeria and while he was not naive that one march to the heart of Nigerian government was enough to make things right, he expressed what many other people feel but cannot say. That is the junction we find ourselves today. We are fighting for the soul of Nigeria and I am fully aware that lives will be lost, people will get killed for wanting to tell the truth because that is the way it has always been. The frigging foreign allies will come in the name of human rights and say what they need to say, so they can get their own share when the frigging mayhem is over. Be warned!
Bearing in mind that Nigeria is a woman with a soul and right now, her soul pangs for her children. She is crying out and asking her sons and daughters to take a stand and be heard. Be aware that she has lips and can talk and so if you push her like you have done over the years, more blood will spill in addition to the thousands of litres that has already spilled.
So, I go back to the BBC series, what we learn and what we have always known is the very fact that there are people who love the chaos in Nigeria because they profit from it. What a shame that innocent lives get lost in the cross fire between the government and those fighting for equality and compensation for the people of the Niger Delta. What a shame that our own people take our oil and sell it to outside sources, pocket the money and leave thousands destitute.
I would really like to day dream and say they will not get away with it anymore but that will be naive because it has been going on for decades. But this is it, my generation is waking up and you sure have to get smarter now because you cannot keep selling us lies and auctioning us off to the highest bidder like we are commodities. I have sometimes wondered why the different governments over the years have sold us at such cheap prices when they could at least ask for more. But they are only concerned about themselves.
Like the soul of Nigeria weeps for her children, my spirit rages for my people. It hurts to realise that for 50 years, we have nothing, absolutely nothing to show for our existence. I cry for Nigeria for she is a woman wounded and bleeding. The violence she has experienced since she was born, has left her hopeless. Yet, she is hopeful about her healing. She hopes someone will be able to help her and fix her incontinent malfunction so she can stop leaking and people, real people with her best interest can come close.
And so, watching the character of Teme Kobodo deliver his lines about how the people have been let down more by their own government, you have to wonder, what happens to the money made from the oil because it never gets to the hands of the people, whose land have been damaged and rendered infertile in order to drill the blood oil. The same people have had their farms infested with pipelines and that has made daily living doubly hard. It seems the very countries who come up with human and environmental rights, and mandates that the world is to follow do not understand the complexities of it nor do the companies that originate from the same countries know how to implements the law. Talk about frigging arseholes
So, when we talk about the Niger Delta, let us get honest and call it what it is, oil bunkering. A form of trade that allows the rich, those in government and those well connected all over to benefit while the locals pick up the pieces though those pieces do not amount to anything at the end of the day.