By Peregrino Brimah
Precious oil was discovered in Borno in the Lake Chad basin in 2012. After oil was discovered in the basins in neighboring Chad and Niger, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC commenced serious prospecting in the Chad, Anambra and other basins with high expectancy of discovering oil. True to the projection, in 2012 oil was found in the Borno Lake Chad basin.
But as is the curse of all regions in the third world where oil is found, perhaps not by pure coincidence, a new Boko Haram II terror group reappeared in Borno and was powerfully sponsored to take over from where the defunct Yusufiyyah initial Boko Haram I group that was destroyed by late UmaruYar’Adua, used to function. This new Boko Haram II was more brutal and determined to kill or expel all indigenes from the oil endowed northern state.
Is Boko Haram interested in the oil wealth buried under the Bornu soil? Is Boko Haram a purposeful tool to inhibit and frustrate the plans to begin exploration of commercial oil from Borno? The plan to explore was set for this 2014, but obviously with Boko Haram in control of the land under which this northern oil find was made, there will be no exploration and harvesting of oil any time soon.
Nigeria’s government forms panels to analyze every minor situation, panels to review the analysis and then panels to discus implementation of the results and then other panels to implement the results… it is rather puzzling that there are no special panels to seriously and holistically review the real pathogenesis of Boko Haram II, the context of the formation of this terror group at the beginning of the Goodluck administration, precisely on October 1st, 2010 (MEND Abuja bombing date), to study its support and to thoroughly analyze the reasons for the complete failure of all approaches the Goodluck administration has currently utilized toward controlling it.
The Association of Petroleum Inland Basins States of Northern Nigeria (APIBONN) has been fighting to fast-track the exploration of oil and gas in basins in the north of the nation; however the terror situation conveniently prevents any serious efforts at exploration. Several Basins mostly north of the Niger river, some with oil finds but most yet to be fully explored according to APIBONN are the Northern Anambra and Southern Bida Basins in Kwara and Kogi States, Niger (Central Bida and Southern Sokoto Basins), Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau and Taraba (Middle Benue Trough), Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Yobe (Upper Benue Trough and part of Chad Basin), Borno (Chad Basin) while Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara (Sokoto Basin – oil found).
It is time to ask many, many questions. Is someone stopping exploration? Does someone wish to annex Borno? Does someone wish to care out oil-rich Borno as his new nation? There is no question that the find of oil reserves in 2012 potentially puts the entire conflict in the north in a different light. Blood oil?
Dr. Peregrino Brimah via firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter: @EveryNigerian