Monday, March 06, 2006

Niger Delta: How do you tell a story under 5 minutes?

I have seen many headlines on Nigeria in the local newspapers here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota; I usually don’t think much of them.

Today’s piece for one reason or the other had a different reaction on me: "Oil rich—and Dirt Poor" was the headline that screamed at me from the international section of the Star Tribune.

Despite the fact that I have blogged on this topic and have read a lot about it- seeing the headline and the now ubiquitous picture of some oil pipes in the middle of the Niger Delta jungle did a number on me. And it was one of anger and frustration. What is happening in that part of Nigeria is an abomination. It is also a lose-lose situation for all the parties concerned.

I braced up for the questions and comments that were bound to follow at work; and sure enough there were much chitchat on the issue with colleagues.

How do you explain the madness in the Niger Delta to an American from the Midwest? Where and how do you start? How do you tell the Niger-Delta story under 3 to 5 minutes and make sense?

It’s not possible.