Running with footmen…

Note: This update has links. Click them to reference some of the terms I have used that you may not understand or be familiar with.

If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? – Jeremiah 12:5

It is a common occurrence for a group of people living together at a certain time, or within a certain period to be completely oblivious of the significance of the times upon which they live. As events and incidents gradually unfold before their eyes, they are caught up in the mundane interpretations of the moment, unaware of the bigger picture – that a series of seemingly uncoordinated occurrences are adding up to forever change their destiny.

And as titanic interests line up against each other, those that will be most affected by the epic struggle continue to trudge on in blissful ignorance – blissful until they inadvertently end up as collateral damage.

Sometimes, what you think are your biggest problems are actually no problem at all. And in the time of need, you might actually realize that it is that which you despised that would have saved your skin.

I’m pretty sure that in the 1800s, the people who lived in what would eventually become the Federal Republic of Nigeria had many problems. From the small community issues to even larger inter-tribal skirmishes. There were little empires trying to expand, some kingdoms getting greedy. Your greatest fear was that the kingdom next door will suddenly attack you at night, kill your young men and steal your wives and goats.

They were oblivious of the fact that in far away Europe, there were bigger problems brewing. Powers that they had never encountered and did not anticipate had begun to decide their fate. Their land was being divided, the price for their young was being set and our destiny was being changed forever.

The horses are coming…

There have always been larger and titanic interests in the world – Principalities, endowed with the resources and the will to overrun any number of territories and plunder them. The ways and manner in which this has been done have varied, but from generation to generation these principalities have perpetuated and have locked horns with each other – and the grass has suffered.

In literature, news and history, these struggles have been chronicled in different forms: East vs West, Free men versus Slaves, Communism vs Capitalism, the Nazis vs everyone else. In each chronicle, one interest seeks the liberty and freedom of men whilst the other seeks to overrun their established order and impose on them constraints to the benefit of only a few.

Over the course of history, these epic struggles have had several turning points. Each turning point coming when a small group of seeming “insignificants” take a stand, realizing the true value of the assets committed to their stewardship. The cultured resistance of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae in 480 BC was one of such moments – a combination of resolve, intellect and providence – capable of grinding the juggernaut that was the Persian Empire to a halt. The 300 Spartans did not win the battle – they were all killed – but their spirited resistance had demystified the Persian god king, creating a wave of motivation for other, hitherto despondent, opposition to take pot-shots.

In recent history, these enormous interests have played their roles again. It was over commodities like palm oil, gold, tin,cocoa and slaves that the scramble for Africa happened. It is no secret that the African conflicts that raged in the 80’s and 90’s in places like Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, Congo Brazzaville and later in Cote D’Ivoire were fueled by the desires of a few powerful interests to establish and maintain a global monopoly on the sale of diamonds. Although, in each of the specific instances, domestic differences and conflicts were escalated and exploited to create the semblance of local disputes. Yet the belligerents in the above mentioned conflicts continued to show up on the battle field with weapons too sophisticated for them to manufacture or otherwise afford.

In 1928, Sir John Cadman of British Petroleum, Sir Henry Deterding of Royal Dutch/Shell, Walter Teagle of Exxon and William Mellon of Gulf met at Cadman’s castle near Achnacarry, Scotland. Here an agreement was reached that would divide up the world’s oil reserves and markets.

The Achnacarry Agreement became known to oil industry insiders as the “As Is Agreement” because its aim was to maintain a status quo under which the Seven Sisters controlled the world’s oil through market share agreements, sharing of refining and storage facilities, and by agreeing to limit production to keep prices high.

One of the best ways to limit the production of natural resources is conflict. If there is conflict in the area where the resource is being produced, production will drop and prices will soar. The graph below shows the relationship between some recent conflicts and the price of oil:

Note how 9/11 triggered a record spike in oil prices...

In April, 2011, Dean Henderson in an article for the Center for Research on Globalization ( describes how the Seven Sisters transformed into Four Horsemen behind the oil wars.

Nigeria is responsible for 12-15% of US oil imports – the 5th largest exporter of oil to the US behind Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. The strategic importance of Nigeria’s oil exports is often underplayed, yet even in the worst days of the Abacha dictatorship, it was impossible for the US to impose tough sanctions on Nigeria because such an action would have hurt the US more than it would hurt the late dictator.

Hence, if there are “Four Horsemen” seeking to dominate oil production in the world, then Nigeria will be very important. The strategic interests would have to be protected from the sudden whims of whoever it is that emerges as leader or local tin god in Nigeria… and some times, radical action will be required to ensure all ducks are in a row.

Nigeria has experienced problems in the oil-producing Niger Delta since the 1990s. However, following the emergence of Democracy in Nigeria, the conflicts escalated significantly with henchmen in the region suddenly gaining access to sophisticated battle technologies that they could neither manufacture or otherwise afford. It is worthy of note that the oil prices soared during this period, at one point reaching the dizzying heights of $100 per barrel. Oil majors were declaring record profits.

As the Boko Haram threat reaches dizzying heights, and while Nigerians are pre-occupied with mundane issues like blaming security agencies and government establishments – who we have all watched go completely rotten over three decades – the case is being gradually orchestrated for the need to introduce a stabilizing force of foreign source to secure the integrity and borders of the Nigerian enterprise.

To illustrate Nigeria’s predicament, I tell my friends a story about a small village located somewhere in a jungle, terrorized by man-eating lions. From time to time, the lions would strike and take either a goat, cattle or even children. And with each attack, the villagers would turn on each other to blame either the man who was supposed to be on guard (but fell asleep) or the youth who left the door open through which the lions crept in to inflict damage. Yet, night after night, the village was at the mercy of these marauders.

Then one day, in clear noon, the villagers saw the lions running towards the village. At first, they were scared and scrambled, but soon they noticed something strange… the lions were not running towards the village to attack it, they were seeking shelter!

And as the villagers looked in the direction of the jungle where the lions were running from… they beheld a horde Tyrannosaurs!

The CIA factbook lists the countries in the world with oil reserves ranked in the order of the volume of those reserves. Nigeria occupies an “enviable” 10th position in this ranking with about 37.5 billion barrels of proven reserves.

Just on top of Nigeria in that ranking, in 9th position is Libya.

Disclaimer: The rants on this blog update are covered by the Bubusian Blog Law I proposed in the beginning.


22 thoughts on “Running with footmen…

  1. Thank you for this post. I try to explain this to people but nooo we would rather fight ourselves thn the real enemies. The first blast on Independence day, I said this had foreign fingerprints all over it and i got a few side-eyes. A stable & at peace Nigeria will be very bad businesses for alot of countries.

    Y’all should read “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” by John Perkins to understand how countries get tied in with huge debt, a few citizens incited to riot, media blows it out of proportion and the all mighty USA then step in.

    • Jayla I’ve read that book!!!! It scared me to no end, because it exposed what scheming lunatics these Western powers are, and how deeply entrenched their tentacles are in just about every government of the world!

      For the record, Amara ending your post like that did the trick. My fear has just tripled.

  2. Wow! That’s all I can say! We should look at the bigger picture…..only then can we have PEACE! But then again, I pity ALL those used as pawns by the horsemen!

  3. This shit is scary and I wish its all a lie but deep down inside I know there is some truth behind this. All I can say is may we not be caught sleeping.
    Nice post Bubusn, I love the way u write.

      • Joachim and his useless points! This is sooo out of the f**king point! Jeez!!! Ur comments are always cringe worthy.Mtcheeeeeeeeew

    • BTW, I try to be careful when I use the word “America”. I might have cited the opinion of others who have used the association freely, but my opinion is that these principalities only hide behind America or whatever convenient institution they can use (UN, NATO and local rebels if need be) to ultimately pursue their interest.
      America is not the Principality. In the event that had the most impact on oil prices so far, America and Americans were the victims.

  4. Insightful, inspirational and perceptive write up. As far as I am concerned, there is NO person within this ‘geographical construct’ called Nigeria that I cannot co-exist with peacefully if they aren’t succumbing to malevolent influences from elsewhere. The resources of this country are more than sufficient for us all BUT some allow themselves be seduced by a ‘mess of potage’ in the form of perishable houses and cars and thereby sacrifice the futures of millions in exchange for shiny hilltop mansions etc. Jayla’s recommendation of ‘Economic Hitman’ should be required reading for EVERY university graduate.

  5. A lack of objectivity can be tolerated. A lack of honesty is unforgivable. This post is hilarious in ways that I doubt the author intended.

    Take 9/11. After America got hit, it became apparent that the FBI was entirely unfit for purpose. It was set up to solve crimes after they had happened but the country now needed it to prevent crimes before they happened at all….a complete reorientation. So they did 3 things
    1. It was given the task of protecting Americans on US soil from terrorist attacks…a complete move away from the localized shoot-from-the hip culture of the past.
    2. It used to be highly decentralized so it was completely changed into a highly centralized unit to ensure intelligence is shared and acted upon quickly.
    3. It was discovered that it’s staff were entirely hopeless in preventing terrorism. So they doubled the number of linguists and intelligence analysts (plus pay increases for the analysts). Even more amazingly, they found that in 2004, a very large number of FBI agents had almost zero computer skills….most of them didnt even know how to use email or work a computer at all.
    These guys were trained and then a new computer system known as Sentinel was built modeled on what Philip K Dick wrote about in Minority Report for a cheap $425m.

    The result or at least part of it is that there has been no terror attack on US soil since 9/11.

    Now if the world’s greatest country can determine that it’s FBI is useless at the job it was needed to do, how is that much different from Nigeria? Boko Haram is a fairly new threat but the question is WHAT had been done that looks like a coherent policy to begin to counter the threat?

    It is amazing that you can dismiss the fecklessness of our government with a simple line calling it a ‘distraction’ because we are looking at our agencies that have been left to spoil over the last 30 years.
    Really? The same agency that was deadly efficient in hounding perceived enemies of the state under Abacha?
    And even if they have spoilt, what has been done to even begin to set them right? The President chose to cause disruption to the lives of ordinary Lagosians over the weekend to attend the wedding of the NSA who has folded in the face of the Boko Haram threat.

    And you wave that away by calling it a distraction? Really?

    It is always convenient to put arguments up in the sky and out of reach by attributing our problems to some malevolent principalities who want our oil. So Nigeria is next on the list after Libya? In what order is this list moving? Why was Kazakhstan skipped? Nurusultan Nazarbayev has been President there since 1991 and won reelection recently with 95% of the vote including one of his opponents confessing that he voted for him. You know why? Because the guy is smart enough to know how to take care of his people with economic development.

    To talk about militants and other restive elements using ‘foreign weapons’ is bizarre. Has the Nigerian govt not been crushing it’s own people with the same ‘foreign weapons’? Last I checked, the bombs and weapons used to flatten Odi and sack Zaki-Ibiam were not made in Nigeria. The people find a way to fight back and now you declare that they are sponsored. The international weapons market is a market like most others…if you have your money, they will sell weapons to you.

    As if the people fighting the govt do not have grievances against the state whether real or imagined.

    When Hernando Cortes, The Spanish Conquistador, conquered The Aztecs in 1521, he had with him only 900 Spanish soldiers but thousands of Indians who joined with him to fight other Indians.
    You know why? Because for years before the Spaniards even came near Mexico, The Aztecs had been brutalizing other Indians, killing them and despoiling their lands. By the time the people saw Cortes, they were happy to join him to exact revenge and share in the spoils of Tenotitichlan.

    If you think that there are not enough people in Nigeria today without a genuine and deep seated grievance against this and previous governments, then you’ve got another thing coming. If the Americans ever show up, there will be millions of people who will welcome them as liberators from the madness inflicted on them by their own crazy leaders.

    Finally the story of the lions makes no sense to me. As you tell it, the people are unable to defend themselves against the lions and are running scared of them of them. So what are they going to do about the T-Rex? Stare it down?
    A people who cannot deal with lions and you are asking them to ignore that and think about the T-Rex (which may or may not exist)?


    • I am at sea as to what you are responding to, but I doubt it is my blog update. I actually believe you are attacking arguments I have neither proposed or mooted. But that’s fine. I just owe you a favor, since this is my blog, to inform you that you are most likely off topic.

      This blog update is about how the failure to deal with some problems might imply that the potential victim doesn’t have a prayer against relatively larger and less forgiving problems.

      This is why the blog begins with the verse from Jeremiah that says just about that.

      The focus is deliberately on outcomes, not reason or cause – one failure has happened, so the outcome of another possible event (imaginary or not) is most likely failure too.

      Hence, your interventions about cause and appropriate reactions may be well intended but unfortunately out of scope.

      • Really?
        When you speak of ‘principalities’ and larger powers at play deciding their fate, what are you referring to?

        And the reference to foreign weapons and the conclusion with Nigeria next on the list to Libya?

        I am not sure how your response above correlates with the post or the message you say you are trying to pass across.
        You wrote a post outlining what, even to a child, looks like a conspiracy…..maybe you should tell us who the principalities you are referring to are then.

  6. *smiles*
    Why have you presumed I want to pass a message across? And to who?
    What if I wrote this just because I can and I wanted to?
    And why do I have to answer your questions?
    In other words, dear sir, click on the disclaimer (you might need a child to help you locate it at the bottom of the post), and take a seat somewhere. 🙂

      • Mr Feyi, I just have one simple question for you… Y so serious? Take a chill pill joor. Life is too short to be angry at blog posts :> . Amara, wonderful write up as usual. Pls reserve your talent for heaven oo, after singing and praising God all morn, i might need an energy booster like ur write up to get me going for d rest of the day. 😀

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