Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Second to Midnight

A BBC Radio 4 contemporary thriller in two parts, set in England in Nigeria, with the extractive curse at the heart of the plot.


Anonymous,  10:28 am  

Listened to this last night. It was Good. Tune in to part 2 - next friday

Anonymous,  7:06 pm  

'Listened to this last night. It was Good. Tune in to part 2 - next friday'

Nonsense. This is one of those plays that will appeal to its audience (radio 4's self righteous middle england), but it lacked authenticity and sounded completely stupid to me (a Nigerian). It refers to the 'British Embassy' in Abuja, not once, not twice! Makes you wonder, If a script writer can't even make 'British' bit of the story more true to life, how much more misleading will he/she make the Nigerian side of it?

The story is filled with the classic 'White Middle class' guilt - How sad it is that the intelligent Brits (Oil majors) have exploited the helplessly unsuspecting locals. Nonsense.

But I have to say it works as a radio play, if I wasnt Nigerian to notice the inaccuracies, i'd probably enjoy it more. Not looking forward to part II.

oguru,  1:52 pm  

... anonymous ... do step back from your typically defensive nigerian reaction ... There are deep issues in the Niger Delta ... listen, think, enquire and act ... if this play can't force you as a Nigerian to delve slightly deeper into one of the more serious issues currently affecting Nigeria I wonder what will.
The Niger Delta is one of the worlds largest wetlands, this vast and delicate resource has been devasted to extract hydrocarbons that ordinary Nigerians aren't even sure they'll get regularly. Let's not talk about the endemic corruption, the decay in society, the HUGE gap between rich and poor ... Open your eyes, listen, think, enquire and do start to act.

Aaron Rowe 9:03 pm  

Was I the only one suffering some Déjà vu?

The story has so many parallels with John le Carré's The Constant Gardener, I would call it plagiarism.

Interesting twist on the story though...

Michael 10:32 pm  

Oguru, who's fault is it exactly that the delta has been "devastated"? The oil coys? The West? The FG?

During Alami's (former Bayelsa governor) trial, some of these groups which claim to fight for the rights of the improvished Niger Delta people demanded his release despite the overwhelming evidence against him. Instead of his supposed brothers/kinsmen to condemn his act and condemn his arrest & trial they were calling it a witch-hunt. It may genuinely have been that the powers-that-be had an axe to grind but he did steal. And then yet another civilian group, the Ijaw Monitoring Group applauded his release!

Also, the Rivers state government own(ed?) a considerable stake in MTN. We all know how much these mobile network operators make a killing as do most big businesses in Nigeria. Yet what has the Rivers SG done with its proceeds from the venture. In October, MTN SA increased its stake in MTN Nigeria by buying shares from a certain shareholder. Though the name of the shareholder was never revealed I don't think that it is a coincidence that the sale occured around the time that governors were gearing up for 2007 elections.

A similar situation arises with Delta SG which own(ed?) a piece in Vmobile. Did Delta govt sell part of the its stake during the take over by Celtel? And what did Ibori do with the dividends?

The fact is that virtually every part of Nigeria has a problem or has been wronged and we are own worst enemies. Of course, that doesn't make the sad state of the Niger Delta right. The point is the whole body is sick and it is not the head, legs or any other body part coming together to gang up on the belly!

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