Caging The Ijaw Egbesu By Ekanpou Enewaridideke

WE are all subject to death because mortality remains the indestructible heritage of man. Alert to the seasonality of their dance of illumination, even the stars, sun and moon attempt no abracadabra aimed at rebellious disfigurement of their marked disappearance on the stage, much less man laden with a knowledge of mortality as their indestructible heritage. This is where one becomes dumbfounded as to how long the Egbesu of Ijaw should be left to ladle out dishes of violence in Nigeria, yet it daily enjoys fame as a god of justice, purity and just war of manumission. A mystical force behind the fearlessness of the agitating voices of the Niger Delta people. If the Federal Government of Nigeria could cage Egbesu, which is the silent supplication of many, all the noisy distractions of Ijaw people cast as legitimate cries for developmental attention could disappear into the horizon – beyond sporadic destruction of the peace of Nigeria.

The Tompolo of Niger Delta, whose name strikes Julius Caesar-like onomatopoeic note, releasing vibrations of like, dislike, fear, disgust, hatred and love, and the Tompolos of Nigeria would claim clothes of alligator as soon as strategies are created to kidnap, cage and silence Egbesu. Rather than labour to hunt down the votaries of Egbesu who claim righteous rebelliousness cast euphemistically as struggle for manumission from forces of oppression, suppression, subjugation and exploitation, Egbesu should be the target of annihilation.

Accumulated records point to the fact that the Egbesu of Ijaw people deserves annihilation. Time has actually come for all the temples of Egbesu in different communities to be raided, desecrated and pulverized since mere military expropriation and seizure of the golden sword of Egbesu from its shrine in Oporoza has done nothing to diminish the powers of this enigmatic god of just war. A properly diagnosed ailment suffers defeat in the hands of a doctor. The Isaac Boros, Tompolos, Asaris and the Atekes of this world would not have been heard, their names sounding hyperbolized dangerous notes of stridency, if an indestructible structure of desecration and pulverization had been erected to cage Egbesu. This is an open invitation to the Federal Government of Nigeria to engage creative and innovative thinkers whose knowledge of mysticism and African spirituality is vast.

In 1966, under the mystical powers and influence of Egbesu, late Isaac Boro declared Niger Delta Republic and took up arms against the Nigerian Federal Government. The reason behind Boro’s independence was the insensitivity of the Federal Government to the developmental plight of the Ijaws. With the cessation of Boro’s war of independence the Nigerian Federal Government was advantageously placed to appropriate two available lessons: Genuine rapid development of the Niger Delta and pulverization of Egbesu. The government abandoned the Niger Deltans again and failed to innovate ways to pulverize the so-called Egbesu. Upon Nigeria the Karma of these deliberately ignored lessons provided by the Boro example came, steadily destructive like maggots resident in decaying fish.

Because the Federal Government of Nigeria displayed incompetence in its incapability to engage creative and innovative thinkers armed with the genius to erect potent pulverization mechanism against Egbesu, Tompolo formed MEND (Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta) in 2005 and cried loudly for developmental attention. Tompolo’s struggle for development of the Niger Delta continued till 2009 when late President Umaru Musa Yar Adua showered amnesty on all Niger Delta freedom activists; beyond the 2009 Amnesty, there were promises to transform the Niger Delta developmentally, based on systematically executed development projects. The proposed EPZ project, establishment of Dockyard and Maritime University were spin-offs of Tompolo’s liberation struggle. Characteristically, as it has often been the wont and whimsicality of the government, the Nigerian Federal Government is yet to realistically address the issues that gave birth to the impassioned tears of Isaac Boro and Tompolo, whose prescriptions for development the government is mischievously on a flight away from, which would not have featured on the emancipation space if Egbesu had been pulverized. Tompolo is not the problem of Nigeria; the problem of Nigeria is Nigeria who fails to tackle the issues of the Niger Delta; the problems of Nigeria is Egbesu – that destructive and constructive god Nigeria has failed to pulverize through periodic desecration of the temples dedicated to it.

Egbesu, famed for destruction and construction depending on the choices claimed by the oppressors, has been pigeonholed as a demonic force by pure Christians and religious pundits, pastors, bishops and some intellectuals. That Egbesu has been cast as a satanic excrescence by Christians is enough licence for its pulverization. Since Egbesu strikes Christians as a negative force, since the government has become annoyingly lackadaisical, lethargic, in its attitude towards its desecration and pulvlerization, possibly either out of fear of its mystical powers or despicable dearth of creative and innovative thinkers in the corridors of power, demands and feelings of moral obligation necessitate that the weed-grown path open to Nigeria to desecrate and pulverize Egbesu be systematically cleared to incentivize government towards quick intervention – so Egbesu would be annihilated, bulldozed, and its votaries forced to flee. By this methodology the profanities, blasphemies, impurities and its claim of holiness threatening the religious space, the elevating of Africa-based spirituality and method of transcendental communication with God Almighty would be eliminated – to the joy and pride of devotees of God.

To be continued…

*Mr. Enewaridideke, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Akparemogbene, Delta State.