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Facilities of Death; by OLLORWI OSARO

"Facilities of Death
Rain is dripping; women are in the Echieta market buying and selling cassava.
The cassavas are malnourished, tiny and premature.
The women appear sickly and underfeed.
A woman came carrying a basin of Cassava, dark black particles all over her body.
Above my head hang thick black smokes, emanating from two nostrils of PH Refinery.
A turn brought me face to face with poisonous gas emitting from INDORAMA.
The impacts of pollution from fertilizer plants on men and population is only discussed in the bedroom, with most men faking sickness or tiredness.
Our women visit hospitals and different health facilities in search of solution to fertility challenges.
There is death everywhere, but the death rate in Eleme is alarming.
Illnesses that were hitherto unknown in Eleme are now widespread.
Day and night the facilities run endlessly, producing wealth for Nigeria, but creating diseases and death for Eleme.
Perpetually, the land and people weep, counting their losses and mourning their poverty, hunger and suffering.
The sight is ugly, the feeling is devastating, and the experience is annoying.
Visible on the winds of INDORAMA as it sowers towards the sky are smokes of death.
Evident in the exhausts of PH Refinery as it sails through the lands and seas of Nigeria are poisonous gasses.
Manifest in the air from fertilizer plants at Onne and Aleto are pollutants, causing widespread impotence, infertility and other infectious diseases.
Deep in Shell oil pipelines that cress-cross Elemeland are petro-dollars that feed Nigeria but waste Elemeland and kill the people.
The incessant blasting of ow√£aroo (ships) and hustling and bustling in Onne Ports,
And over 200 tenants of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone that exclude Eleme indigenes in their activities are causing insanity in the land.
They have devastated our waters and aquatic lives.
They have destroyed our lands and forests that hitherto support and sustain us.
They have shattered our culture and upset our language, our identity, power and glory.
Under our watch, Ekporo was sacked; say nothing, else you die?
Under our watch, Eleme is being disguisedly bought; still, say nothing, else you die?
The wave of violence is blowing harder; heinous crimes are common place.
Oh, Eleme, is this the generation of blind, deaf and dumb citizenry?
When did Eleme become land of mere noisemakers, robbers and cruel killers?
Is this what politics did to us?
Is this where hunger has driven us to?
Is poverty to be blamed or greed?
Loyalty that robs you of your identity, steals your rights and enslaves you and generations unborn is worse than death sentence.
Who murdered our tradition? Who killed our culture? Who made us mindless? Who slayed love in Eleme?
The Eleme people once contented and proud fellows are now caricatures of their former self?
Eleme refused to be treated like slave, Eleme is freeborn; Eleme prestige is certain,
This goose that lays the golden eggs deserves special care and protection.
Are industrial facilities not supposed to bring life and development to Eleme?
How and why do they turn out to be facilities of death to Eleme people? Why? Why? Why?
Why are others rejoicing, celebrating our God given wealth while we suffer in penury and sickness?
Eleme is crying, the people are lamenting. Can someone offer explanations?
Tears are not enough, protests are not alternative, and violence is no solution.
Marginalization and deprivation are system induced; hatred and disunity are self-inflicted.
Can the prescribed true federalism and resource-control offer total cure?
Are the beneficiaries of the cruel-oppressive-system ready to administer the solution?
Dialogue is good, yes. Peace is better, true. But equal rights and justice are golden and best.
God of Miracle, restructure our minds and nation, liberate the oppressed, and fix the broken pieces."


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