Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma is not a person the Biafran people will forget in a hurry. He supervised the brutal killing of General Aguiyi Ironsi, the first military head of state of Nigeria. He was among the troops that invaded the Biafra territory during the civil war and was fabled to be heartless in the discharge of his duties towards Nigeria.
Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma became a general in the Nigerian Army and it was said that he convinced Obasanjo to become Nigeria’s head of State after the assassination of fellow Biafran killer man, General Murtala Mohammed in 1976.
During the Obasanjo recycling presidential jamboree, Danjuma posited that if Obasanjo fails to win the 1999 presidential election, he will run away from Nigeria. Obasanjo won the election and rewarded him with the post of Minister of Defence and charged him with dismantling the military structure capable of truncating his democracy.
The sharing of national cake of oil block to PDP party men in the most non transparent manner is one of the fallouts of the Nigerian brand of dictatorial democracy. Oil blocks worth about $2billion dollars auction value could be sold to a party faithful for as low as $500million dollars. The facilitators share the difference between the auction value and the real value among themselves in the ratio of 50:50. Or 60:40 in favour of the awarder, the facilitator or the government middleman who could be fronting for the strongman in the state house..
Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma got his on a platter of gold. Late Head of State Sani Abacha awarded the Oil Prospecting License (OPL) 246 to SAPETRO in February 1988. The block covers a total area of 2,590 square kilometres. SAPETRO partnered with Total Upstream Nigeria (TUPNI) and Brasoil Oil Services Company Limited (Petrobas) to start prospecting on OPL246. Akpo, a condensate field was discovered in April 2000 with drilling commencing in 2001. In 2006 Danjuma divested his investment in Akpo oil field to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) for $1Billion dollars. However, Danjuma still had some conscience left in him. He paid tax of $500million dollars to the Nigerian state and had about $500 million dollars remaining. He then released $100 million dollars to the Nigerian people in the form of foundation for social responsibility projects. This sum as paltry as it seems is better than nothing. General Danjuma should do well to bring out more for the impoverished Nigerians.
This is where this former Biafran killer man towered above his fellow oil block commandeers. There are so many Nigerians from all the six geopolitical zones who have oil blocks. They include former presidents, former governors, former ministers, party chieftains, friends of government, serving and retired military officers especially service chiefs etc .To date there is no record of what they did with the proceeds of their oil blocks. They are building more estates, more refineries, factories etc outside the shores of Nigeria, especially Europe, America and the Middle East and recently South Africa. The rest of their proceeds they use to purchase INEC officials, impose candidates on the electorates, rig elections and throw fabulous victory dance and thanksgiving services. Others engage in frivolous constant reburials of long dead ones, constant acquisition of new wives, concubines , jets, private mansions all to the mockery of impoverished and ‘ancestrally cursed’ fellow countrymen.
If all the people who cornered the nation’s resources in the name of oil blocks decide to bring twenty percent of their loots, the nation could raise about $40 billion dollars in a week. This amount translates to N6trillion naira, which is more than the entire Nigerian budget of $31 billion dollars for 2012.
How can a few set of Nigerians be so heartless, wicked and insensitive to the hungry faces around them that they cannot device a veritable means of giving back to the impoverished suffering ‘son of a bitch ‘countrymen what they obtained through processes that are far from transparent, it is short of being called fraudulent.
Danjuma received knocks when he announced what he did with his own commandeered resource. Nigerians called him a thief, but if Danjuma is a thief, what of the others who sat on their own oil proceeds never considered returning it back to the people. A friend of government who owns oil block took a young girl friend to Dubai in 2010 and gave her a gift of $1million dollars just to prove his everlasting love for the nagging babe. That is the kind of expenditure they do with their oil loot.
A lot of Nigerians have died in hospitals because they cannot pay medical bills, others have taken to robbery because they cannot see any gainful thing to do while another group takes to prostitution to raise money to pay school fees. Others are seeking for academic sponsors for educational improvement but cannot find. The list is endless and there is frustration palpable everywhere in Nigeria, yet a few Nigerians are so insensitive that they cannot surrender part of their loot back to the Nigerian masses from which they fraudulently commandeered their resources.
Danjuma had the conscience to surrender a part of what belongs to Nigeria which Obasanjo gave him when they were sharing the never ending national cake. Others should follow suit. They should repatriate these loots back home and use them to establish affordable universities, hospital services and other ventures capable of reducing frustrations on the streets. Others should equally build roads in their villages, provide transformers, pipe borne water for communities across Nigeria. There is equally need for scholarships for indigent students, sponsoring medical trips for acid victims and other traumatic and life threatening victims. Some could fund sports and build sporting facilities for recreational and sports development purposes. Others could sponsor activities that bring up talents in the people. The list is endless. Farmers need to be given free or highly subsidized fertilizers; seedlings and storage facilities need to be built.
These oil block commandeers should as a matter of urgency borrow a leaf from Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, repent from insensitivity and take urgent steps to give back to the impoverished, frustrated Nigerians what they collected through the back door. Failure to do so and urgently too, a time will come when even God will engineer the people against them and there will be no end to their calamities.