The Niger Delta Struggles: Its Implications for Resource Control.

17990 Words Oct 14th, 2010 72 Pages
TOPIC: THE NIGER DELTA STRUGGLES: ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR RESOURCE CONTROL. A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY

The Niger Delta region, Nigeria 's oil belt has been the site of a generalized ethnic and regional struggle for self-determination since 1998, the location of often-violent confrontations between local ethnic communities and agents of the Nigerian state and oil companies involved in the extraction and exploitation of oil in the area. What began as community agitation has undoubtedly undergone several transformations. The first involved the flowering of civil society, which mobilized a popular civil struggle. The second saw the extension of the agitation from that against multinational oil companies (MNCs) to
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Notable among the social movements and ethnic minority organisations that embarked upon a national and international campaign against the state-oil partnership in the 1990s was the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), led by the charismatic writer and Ogoni rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa. He was hanged on 10 November 1995 along with eight other Ogoni activists on the orders of a military-constituted tribunal that found them guilty of inciting a mob to kill four of the “pro-government” Ogoni elite, after a trial that was described internationally as unfair (CLO 1996)[i]. Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 both opened up the political space for the campaign for resource control by the ethnic minorities of the Niger Delta, and unfortunately contributed to increased militarization of the Niger Delta. This has also led to the emergence of many armed groups and militias that tapped into existing grievances and politics that has provoked an escalation in the violence in the region from 2003 onward. Given the high stakes built into the state-oil linkage in Nigeria, where oil exports account for 95 per cent of exports earnings and over 85 per cent of national revenues, politics continues to be influenced by oil. For those in power, access to oil is the ultimate prize in
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