‘Why Is It Tough to Clean Up The Niger Delta?’
(Sound of walking)
CLEANING PERSON: The earth is getting dirtier and dirtier. And along with that, it’s getting warmer and warmer everyday! The climate is changing everywhere! What can I do? H-m-m-m-m-m. Ok, I know what I should do! I am going to start by cleaning up the dirtiest mess. They say the Niger Delta is dirtiest. Let me start cleaning up there… (Pause) Wow, it is really dirty. The river looks like blackish oil and the air is filled with dark smoke…
POLICE OFFICER: Hey, you! Stop! Stop right there! I’m talking to you!
CLEANING PERSON: You mean, me?
POLICE OFFICER: Yes! You. What do you think you’re doing here? Don’t you know that this area is reserved for the Local Government?
CLEANING PERSON: But I’m not causing harm. I’m cleaning up the dirtiest mess on earth…
POLICE OFFICER: You need permission from us. Come to the police station!
CLEANING PERSON: Why do I need permission? We can all get sick from pollution. You can get sick from the pollution.
POLICE OFFICER: It doesn’t matter. You need to get permission from the state government. Don’t you know that you’re required to pay fees?
(Sound of walking on gravel)
HONORABLE ABACHANJO: What’s happening here?
POLICE OFFICER: Huh? Honorable Abachanjo! This man is trying to clean up the area without permission. I don’t know where he comes from…
HONORABLE ABACHANJO: Where are you from? China? U.S.?
CLEANING PERSON: I’m a resident on earth just like you. I am worried about the filthy mess here, and you should be worried, too. This is the dirtiest place in Africa and its causing climate change and green house effects, and breaking up the ozone layers.
HONORABLE ABACHANJO: How much are you going to pay me? If you give me 50,000 naira I will let you clean it up right away.
CLEANING PERSON: Honorable Abachanjo, I do not have any money. Why do I need to pay?
HONORABLE ABACHANJO: Without money you cannot do anything in this country—even cleaning up.
(Sound of running)
LOCAL LADY: Honorable! Honorable! My son jumped into the dirty water, and he is very sick! Please help us!
HONORABLE ABACHANJO: Police! Come and help her!
POLICE OFFICER: Yes, Your Honorable Abachanjo!
LOCAL LADY: Please help my son quickly! The dirty water has poisoned him!
POLICE OFFICER: How much are you giving me? We need gas money.
LOCAL LADY: I have no money.
HONORABLE ABACHANJO: Here, Madam, take this money. You see, we must charge for every operation, even cleaning up.
CLEANING PERSON: I am cleaning up the area to help your people. Why are you taking money from me? You should pay me because I am giving service. This cleaning tool is very expensive. I got it from Japan.
HONORABLE ABACHANJO: From Japan? Then you must have a lot of money.
CLEANING PERSON: No, someone with a good heart gave it to me.
HONORABLE ABACHANJO: You can stay there all day but you cannot clean the area without paying the money!
(Someone is running and shouting)
LOCAL MAN: Help! Help! There was explosion at the oil well. Please come and help! Some children were playing there and have been seriously injured.
HONORABLE ABACHANJO: What!?
LOCAL MAN: One of your children looks like your son, Honorable Abachanjo.
HONORABLE ABACHANHO: No! Not my own son!
(Sound of ambulance)
CLEANING PERSON: So you see, anyone and everyone can be affected. We must all work together to clean up the Niger Delta for future generations, for our children.