Oil workers ruining our little girls, unclaimed children hooligans
Ekpetiama Kingdom in Bayelsa State is one of the major oil and gas hubs of the Gbaran/Ubie Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) multi-billion dollar plant with pipelines that run from Bayelsa to Soku/ Bonny in Rivers State.
Like most areas in the Niger Delta region, this place faces a lot of environmental challenges, including oil spillages, pollution and gas flaring, which result in acid rain and so many other ecological problems. But despite all these, the problem the kingdom finds most worrisome is the activities of some oil workers, who are paedophiles.
His Royal Majesty, King Bubaraye Dakolo, Agada IV, Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, recently told The Palace Watch more.
-King Bubaraye Dakolo, Agada IV, Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, Bayelsa State Cries Out
Your Highness, could you please expatiate on the allegation that some oil workers are paedophiles?
Yes, most oil workers in my kingdom and other areas around here have this sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual objects. But as disgusting as this may sound, they do not seem to have any remorse about what they are doing. When they get into a community, they lure very young girls between the ages of 12 and 14 years to bed. They make them some kind of sex slaves, luring them with money. Too many men and too few girls. They do this to girls in primary schools and Junior Secondary (JS1). They thereby destroy the social environment they find themselves. This is so bad and grave a crime that one can’t properly quantify in terms of Naira and Kobo.
For instance, when they spill crude oil, they pay damages, just like when they acquire land. But when they destroy these very little girls, thereby destroying the entire community, the entire Kingdom and Niger Delta, they pay nothing, because it is difficult to quantify acts like this in terms of money. This act is so destructive, disgusting and bad. So presently, I am looking for people and organisations that will collaborate with me to enable me sue them, especially Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) that is operating in my area. In fact, what these people are doing to our little girls is as bad as genocide.
Have you done anything to stop this?
I was only coronated last June. My first anniversary on the throne is going to be on June 25, 2017. I am, therefore, just putting my plans together first. I will be very much ready to collaborate and work with such bodies as the United Children’s Funds (UNICEF) and NAPTIP in this regard. I hope to find a way of paying UNICEF and NAPTIP courtesy visits and discuss with their top people to see how we can knock these plans together, so that I will understand how best to approach this problem.
These girls are not of consent. In some cases, some of the children are from single parents, who are passive, careless and not really as active as expected from good parents. So, because of urgent needs for money, some of these girls also go to these oil company’s workers by themselves. This is the ugly situation we are daily faced with here.
Of course, they would have been introduced in the past to the place. So, they go to the oil company’s environment that has all the modern amenities or facilities they lack in their areas of birth. But the truth is that these little girls are trading themselves for little or no price whatsoever. They are just like Zombies walking about, without really knowing the consequences of their actions.
My thinking, therefore, is that, if I have an understanding with the world bodies I mentioned earlier, we will raid the hot spots, where these activities take place daily, so that the oil workers engaged in this act will be arrested alongside the minors they sleep with.
This will force the little girls to speak out. It will be interesting to hear things like: “This 45-year-old big, fat man has been having sex with me (aged 12) regularly at little or no price all these years” in the glare of the camera and press men, for the world to see. I think if this is done once or twice, some of the oil workers, who engage in this act will be forced to moderate their animalistic urge or desire for little children. And for almost 40 years or longer, this has been our shame. This started since the time oil was first discovered in the mid-50s, though it was not noticed, because then, things were done in moderation, but that is no longer the case today.
Sometime between 1990 and 1991 in my kingdom, I was a witness to this type of rape. And presently, the Liquefied Natural Gas Gbaran/Ubie project in Sometime between 1990 and 1991 in my kingdom, I was a witness to this type of rape. And presently, the Liquefied Natural Gas Gbaran/Ubie project in my kingdom is the hottest spot for this malady. Today, if you go to most schools around these areas, you will hardly find girls. But in the wee hours of the evening or night, you will find these children with oil workers in their areas. Another point worth mentioning is that no matter what you do, these girls will not go to school, as they prefer trading and doing brisk businesses that will fetch them money. As the traditional ruler of this kingdom, I know for sure that it will take a lot of courage and efforts for a parent to be able to keep his/her girl-child at home for her to develop normallymy kingdom is the hottest spot for this malady. Today, if you go to most schools around these areas, you will hardly find girls. But in the wee hours of the evening or night, you will find these children with oil workers in their areas. Another point worth mentioning is that no matter what you do, these girls will not go to school, as they prefer trading and doing brisk businesses that will fetch them money. As the traditional ruler of this kingdom, I know for sure that it will take a lot of courage and efforts for a parent to be able to keep his/her girl-child at home for her to develop normally.
So the number of children resulting from this illicit sex must be many in your domain. What happens to the children, since you said the oil workers refuse to claim them afterwards?
Yes, these types of children are very many here. Their families have continued to suffer in all ramifications. For example, in 1991/92, which is 26 years ago, when a 10-kilometre road was to be built into my kingdom from Yenagoa through a virgin forest, a company known as Willsborough was commissioned to come and do the sand dredging in these areas. They came with a dredger called “Kitibin”, which had the capacity to do over 22,000 metric tons of sand per day. And they were pumping like this non-stop for 365 days and one quarter days. They had up to four booster stations at a time. After the main dredger must have dredged for about one kilometre, they would put a booster station there. In the process, they brought about five boathouses, which had four decks. They had several of them around the places. They had close to 3,000 workers, all randy males ready to go, in a small community of less than 1, 500 population at the time. Other communities around here were of similar population or even less.
So, these randy men were adequately funded by their oil companies. They had good food, drinks and light. They had surplus table water on daily basis. With this level of comfort, they had all their randiness on display here. In the process, they impregnated a lot of our children. There is one particular case I would not want to mention for now. Another victim of this act of paedophile, who was about 12 years or so, was impregnated by a white man. The man was said to have been above 40, but had no child. He never claimed this pregnancy or child, and ended up not taking care of this little girl and her child. There are so many other cases of bigger ladies, who got pregnant for these men, but once the dredging exercise was over, these men also disappeared, leaving the women to take care of their children.
And because of other distractions around here, most of these children tend to become hooligans, when they grow up. Kidnappers and the so-called violent militants of today are those children who were abandoned. They are kidnapping their fathers, who are oil workers who returned to these areas after disappearing and abandoning them.
These oil workers always point at us as their problems, but they fail to realise that the seeds they sowed many years back, when they first came here, 26/27 years ago are returning to haunt them. They are the ones now kidnapping them and increasing the ransoms placed on them. This is an aspect people generally do not know or talk about. But I have looked at the trend and I have studied it very carefully. The few miscreants still living in my kingdom, no matter what you do to correct them, have the tendency to continuously remain violent and unwholesome in their behaviours. They are not ready to listen to or obey constituted authorities. They are by-products of oil workers of yester years.
So, if you were to advise government, what would you suggest they should do to correct this?
My background as an expert in terrorism and global security has helped me to manage the situation to a great extent. I also served in the Nigerian military. I am a member of the 38 Regular courses in the Nigerian Army. The point I am trying to make is that, I am well experienced in terms of combat, security and I’m now given the responsibility of community governance.
Before my ascension to the throne, I have been a reasonably loud voice in this part of the country in the area of environmentalism over the years. It would be nice, if the Federal Government would get some of us involved in the preparation of a blue print on how to get the Niger Delta rehabilitated, compensated and revamped. If this is done, there will never be restiveness again in these areas.
Let me explain. In my kingdom, there is a project called the Gbaran/Ubie oil facility. About 12 years ago, I was the chairman of the oil and gas committee that negotiated with SPDC and its joint venture partners to get this project off ground in what they called “global MOU that needed to be put in place.” And while the negotiation was going on, I suggested that since their facilities were going to generate their own power, the communities around these facilities needed to have power too.
But surprisingly, SPDC and its joint partners kicked against it, in every way they could. I was, therefore, forced to give them reason(s) why these communities must also have power. I told them: even though this would be a very small measure, but the people would see it as reasonable enough. And they would definitely appreciate the measure. And in the process, we would claim ownership of these facilities. Because when you have light, we would also have light, but if you don’t, we also would not have. So, if you refuse to give us this light, we in the communities would pay you a visit in your facilities, may be tomorrow, maybe next month, may be next year or in five years’ time but definitely, we will come visiting at some point. We do this because we can’t be in darkness, while just 300 metres away; you are enjoying light around us. We see brightness every night, but we are in perpetual darkness, that will not be acceptable.
And when we come visiting, you would be taken unawares. The cost may be high, we may even lose our lives, but we would not count that cost. We would perhaps vandalise and destroy your facilities at that point and you may have difficulties getting the resources to get the place back in shape. But if you give us the light, naturally, we would not allow any one to come near those facilities. Because if they do, we would also be in darkness, but for the sake of our lives, even though we don’t know how much you are making, we will be compelled to protect these facilities?”