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A CASE STUDY OF THE RISE OF MILITANCY IN THE REGION FROM THE YEAR 2007-2009. BY NWAKUDU IFEANYI SAMUEL REG. NO: 05293145 DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF ABUJA
A RESEARCH PROJECT SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE AWARD OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (B.sc Hons) IN POLITICAL SCIENCE.
This project report was written by Nwakudu Ifeanyi Samuel, and has been examined and approved as having satisfied the requirement of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Abuja, for the Award of Bachelor of Science (B.sc Hons) degree in Political Science
Dr. Usman Mohammed
Project Supervisor Dr. Y.A Zoaka Head of Department External Examiner Date
I, Nwakudu Ifeanyi Samuel, hereby do declare that this project was written by me under the supervision of Dr. Usman Mohammed of the Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Abuja. I also declare that similar work, as far I am aware, has not been written before as at the time of putting together this piece of research work. All information contained in this project that is not original to this research, has been duly acknowledged by way of references. I therefore, do take sole responsibility for any error contained therein.
This research work is dedicated first and foremost, to God Almighty who made me to see the “four walls” of the University and who also gave me the inspiration to write this particular research work. Also, I dedicate this work to my lovely family, my father, Mr. Anthony A. Nwakudu, who made sure I made it into the University and who provided for my everyday needs; my mother, Mrs. Patricia I. Nwakudu, who gave me the required spiritual training and teachings to enable me move forward in life; and my six sisters, Amarachukwu Nwakudu, Udochukwu Nwakudu,
Onyinyechukwu Nwakudu, Oluchukwu Nwakudu, Nkechukwu Nwakudu and Uchechukwu for their love and support.
The completion of this research work which is my scholarly contribution to the search for knowledge and academic excellence would not have been possible without the assistance and contribution of some concerned personalities. I am most grateful to God for sparing my life and for the grace he bestowed upon me to see the end of my degree programme successfully and victoriously. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor, Dr. Usman Mohammed, who saw it fit to assist me in writing this project despite his extremely tight schedule. I am also thankful to the entire staff, both academic and non-academic of the Department of Political Science in University of Abuja. My heartfelt gratitude and thanks goes to my parent Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Nwakudu, who made sure I got all the needed materials to enable me write this project. My father who made sure he bought no less than three newspapers everyday for me to source for materials for my project, and my mother who made sure I had access to the internet in order for me to write this research work. I would also like to thank my friends who made my stay in school fun filled; this group of people also assisted me in writing this research project by asking
important questions and arguing with me when they felt my point did not make any sense, they are: Godfrey Nwaokolo, Bukata Demand Ishaku (small but mighty), Innocent Ataba Enesi, Gabriel Folorunsho, Olamilekun Olalekan, Israel O. Pender, Nenfwot Peter Dimka, Ugorji Junior, Audu Ezekiel, Lawal Kehinde, Longinus Ikechukwu Okafor, Abdulrahma Mohammed Okhatahi Suleiman, Andrew Haruna, Kabiru Yakubu, Salihu (smally), and a host of my other friends who are too numerous to mention, for their support and encouragement. I am sincerely overwhelmed by the efforts of the NIFES Publicity, Prayer Units and the Final Year Brethrens (FYB), for their spiritual support and encouragement. Inspite of the contribution of the aforementioned individuals, I wish to state that I am solely responsible for any acts of omission or commission contained in this project. I say may the Almighty God reward all mentioned and unmentioned who one way or the other contributed to the success of my research work and my degree course in the Name of Jesus (Amen).
The Niger Delta crisis has continued to remain a “thorn” in the “flesh” of the Nigerian state. Although, the area is rich in mineral and natural resources, it has not in anyway experienced development with respect to the amount of money generated from the exploration and exploitation of crude oil in the area. Due to the neglect the people of the Niger Delta experiences, the people are disillusioned and disoriented, this has actually led to the rising wave of militancy in the region; with the people crying for resource control and increase in revenue allocation in the Niger Delta. The rise of militancy in the region changed the norm in the struggle for resource control in the region, with the youths carrying arms and engaging in
acts of violence which are kind of nefarious in the Nigerian state; the militants and youths in the region don’t see their acts of aggression as violence, but as liberation struggle. This study does not only analyze the act of militancy in the Niger Delta but the ways the Nigerian government is doing in order to solve the problem; and the ways forward in solving the crisis in the Niger Delta Region which has remained a lingering sore in the Nigerian State.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE TITLE PAGE CERTIFICATION DECLARATION DEDICATION ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ABSTRACT TABLE OF CONTENT i ii iii iv v vii viii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY……………………………………..1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM…………………………………….4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY………………………………………...6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY……………………………………...7 RESEARCH PROPOSITIONS………………………………………......8 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY……………………………………..….9 SCOPE AND LIMITATION……………………………………….……9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY……………………………..……10 CONCEPTUALIZATION OF TERMS……………………………...…11 REFERENCES…………………………………………….................16 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAME WORK 2.1LITERATURE REVIEW……………………………………………17 2.2 NIGER-DELTA AND THE NIGERIAN STATE………………….18 2.3 OIL AND NIGERIA’S DEVELOPMENT……………… ………...22 2.4 OIL AND NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT………………..........25 2.5 OIL RESOURCE EXPLOITATION IN THE NIGER-DELTA........28 2.5.1 OIL RESOURCE EXPLOITATION AND PRODUCTION…......28 2.5.2 PRODUCTION FOR EXPORT…………………………………..30
2.5.3 PEASANT AGRICULTURE IN THE NIGER-DELTA…………31 2.6 ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPLICATION OF INTENSIVE RESOURCE
EXPLOITATION IN THE NIGER DELTA………………………...........................................................34
2.6.1 ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM………………………………...35 2.6.2 SOCIAL IMPACT………………………………………………...38 2.7 HOST COMMUNITIES AND OIL REVENUE…………………...40 2.8 IMPACT OF OIL INDUSTRY ON HUMAN RIGHT……………..41 2.9 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK…………………………………..42 REFERENCES………………………………………………….44
CHAPTER THREE: NIGER DELTA AND MILITANCY 3.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE RISE OF MILITANCY IN THE NIGER DELTA……………………………………………….45 3.2 UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF THE CONFLICT………56 3.3 POLITICAL ECONOMY OF RESOURCE CONTROL…………..59 3.4 POLITICAL DIMENSION OF THE NIGER DELTA CRISIS……63 3.5 CORRUPTION, RESOURCE LIBERATION AND ETHICAL DIMENSION OF THE NIGER DELTA…………………………...65 3.6 RESOURCE EXPLOITATION AND CORROLARY DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT……………………………………………..68 3.7 FORMS OF VIOLENCE IN THE NIGER DELTA………………..69 3.7.1 HOSTAGE AND KIDNAPPING…………………………...........70 3.7.2 OIL BUNKERING……………………………………………......72 3.7.3 PIPELINE VANDALIZATION………………………………......76 3.7.4 PIRACY…………………………………………………………..78 3.8 GENDER DIMENSIONS OF SOCIAL DEPRIVATION………….79 3.9 POVERTY AS VIOLENCE AGAINST THE NIGER DELTA POPULACE………………………………………………………...80 3.10 MILITANTS ACTIVITIES IN THE NIGER DELTA REGION FROM 2007-2009………………………………………………….82 REFERENCES…………………………………………………99 CHAPTER FOUR: NIGER DELTA AND THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT 4.1 GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSE TO THE CLAMOUR FOR RESOURCE CONTROL………………………………………..102 4.1.1 THE INCLUSION OF THE NIGER-DELTA IN YAR’ADUA’S 7POINT AGENDA……………………………………………..103 4.1.2 THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE OF THE NIGER DELTA...105 4.1.3 JOINT MILITARY TASK FORCE ON N/D…………………..110 4.14 THE CREATION OF THE MINISTRY OF NIGER DELTA AFFAIRS…………………………………………………………112
4.1.5 THE NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION……...115 4.2 NIGER DELTA AND ITS FOREIGN POLICY IMPLICATION…………………………………………….….118 4.3 NIGER DELTA AND FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT…….128 4.4 NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION AND NIGER DELTA DEVELOPMENT……………………………………......135 4.4.1 ELECTRIFICATION PROJECTS……………………………....135 4.4.2 FREE HEALTH PROJECTS……………………………………137 4.4.3 HOSPITAL PROJECTS………………………………………..139 4.4.4 ROAD PROJECTS……………………………………………...140 4.4.5 SCHOOL PROJECTS…………………………………………..141 4.4.6 WATER PROJECTS……………………………………………142 4.4.7 REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT MASTERPLAN………………145 REFERENCES………………………………………………….148
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 5.1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS……………………………………150 5.2 CONCLUSION………………………………………………….152 5.3 RECOMMENDATION………………………………………….156 REFERENCES…………………………………………………..159 BIBLIOGRAPHY………………………………………………..160
1.1 BACKGROUND The Niger-Delta question is an old political and economic situation, to which the various government since 1960 have not found a permanent solution. The problem with Niger-Delta region takes its root from the search of Oil in 1908 when the German firm known as Nigerian Bitumen Company started drilling and exploring for Oil within the Okitipupa Area, about 200 kilometres east from Lagos. The search was unsuccessful as Oil was not found in commercial quantities. However, David Oluwagbami, Erudite scholar and author of the “Genesis of the Nigerian Oil Industry”, states that in 1937, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (then known as Shell D’Arcy and later Shell B.P), which was then based in Warri, pioneered a fresh search for Oil. The Royal Dutch Shell group of companies and the British Petroleum group jointly financed the company. It took almost 20years before Oil was found in commercial quantities, Oil in commercial quantity was first discovered at Oloibiri in the then Rivers state, present Bayelsa state, by Shell , in January 1956, Towards the end of the same year, a second discovery was made at Afam, also in Rivers state. Until 1956, Shell was the principal company undertaking the search, although there had been sporadic exploration by others before that year. Pipeline connections between Oloibiri and Port-Harcourt
made it possible for the first cargo of Crude Oil to leave Nigeria in February 1958 when production stood at 6,000 barrels per day (bpd). Due to the reason that the region which is a home to millions of Nigerians is a naturally difficult terrain to access; for that reason the Henry Willinks Commission of 1958 identified the region as being poor, backward and neglected. The recommendation of the commission was that, special attention should be devoted to developing the Niger-Delta. That concern was raised years before commercial oil exploration and the attendant environment hazards went full blown in the region. That was at a time when the region had relative autonomy over their revenue. Political solution has been tried to solve the Niger-Delta crisis, There was the Henry Willinks commission report of 1957; The Niger-Delta Development Board of 1960; River Basin Development Authority of 1993; Oil mineral Producing Areas Commission of 1998; Oladayo Popoola committee of 2002( a product of the political reform conference); General Alexandra special committee on Oil Producing Communities; Recommendation of the James Ibori Presidential Standing Committee on the Niger-Delta and the NNPC-Niger Delta Youths Standing Committee. There was also the Major-General Muhammad Presidential Committee on Peace and Reconciliation in the Niger-Delta; the Niger-Delta Peace and Security Strategy (PASS); The Petroleum Standing Committee headed by Dr. Edmund Daokoru, as well as the Economic Development Council for the coastal states of the Niger-Delta. Just before he left office in 2007, Obasanjo produced what was known the NigerDelta master-plan and in 2008 the Niger-Delta Technical Committee (NDTC) headed
by Ledum Mitee was inaugurated by the Yar’Adua administration. The early stages of the agitation in the Niger-Delta were cries for attention and development. The legitimate demand for the development in the area arose from the fact that poverty is manifested in different form; Lack of necessities for modern living such as electricity, Plentiful portable water, Roads, Adequate educational facilities and enough jobs for the multitudes of youths in the area. Despite the efforts put in place by the Nigerian Government and various stakeholders. The Niger-Delta crisis has refused to abate instead it has become more violent than previously. Since 2006, the agitation for Socio-Economic development of the Oil-Bearing Niger-Delta region took a disturbing twist with the incessant cases of violence as typified of kidnapping and hostage-taking of expatriates, children and even the very elderly. Added to the known cases of illegal bunkering, arms deals, cult clashes, maiming and killings, the already scarred face of the Niger-Delta agitation has become uglier. There is a breakdown of law and order in many parts of the Niger-Delta, threatening lives and development efforts of the region and the Nation at large to the epilepsy of power supply. And for so long, an effective solution of the problem seems to have eluded the government. No doubt, the strategic importance of the region must have made President Umaru Yar’Adua, to name the Niger-Delta as an item in his 7-Point agenda. But since he came to office in the year 2007, the government, it seemed, had been nibbling at the problem. Plans to hold the region’s summit had suffered several
postponement and modification. But with the eventual composition of the NigerDelta Technical Committee (NDTC) , the establishment of the Ministry of NigerDelta Affairs and the granting of the Amnesty package to repentant militants, the Federal Government, it appears, has found the kick on the matter 1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The violence in the Niger-Delta, no doubt, has far-reaching implications for oil and gas development in Nigeria. But more importantly is the economy as a whole, since Nigeria gets its foreign exchange earning which is over ninety percent (90%) from the sales of crude oil and natural gas. Indeed, Oil for more than four decades now, has been the pivot upon which the Nigerian economy is driven. The area is turbulent due to the activities of cultists, criminals and agitators for more shares of the Oil and Gas revenue. The restiveness in the region has negatively affected the oil and gas industry. The Niger-Delta region accounts for the majority of Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange earnings, yet its people have known nothing but underdevelopment, poverty and deprivation. Its youths have become restive, and militant, and had for years been attacking oil installations, taking oil workers-and recently indigenes-hostage and disrupting oil production in the process. On June 19th 2008, The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) attacked the Bonga Oil Field belonging to the Shell Producing Development Company, SPDC. The result of the numerous attacks on oil workers and installations has been reduction in the amount of oil
produced by the Nigerian State, a development that has led to a dip in the economic fortunes of the Nigerian state. The region has suffered from a lot of underdevelopment. The region is still severally in a condition of pandemic poverty and abysmal state of arrested development, notwithstanding the $600billion that has accrued to the Nigerian State through revenue from oil and gas since February 17, 1958. The high level of poverty and underdevelopment in the region has led to the proliferation of militant organizations who claim they are fighting for the development of the area. The militant organizations have become more violent and they have begun to engage in Hostage Takings, Pipeline Vandalization, Oil Bunkering, Oil Theft e.t.c. This has continued to affect the Nigerian State and has continued to serve as a problem to the government. 1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY This study seeks to understand the reason why the Niger-Delta has remained a lingering sore in the Nigerian state despite the efforts put by the Nigerian government and international organizations in order to find a lasting solution the incessant uprising of armed groups and militant organizations in the region. Previous attempts to solve the problems of the petroleum industry, the region and Nigeria were not probably doomed to fail, but frustrated by limited knowledge, issues at stake in the crisis, lack of political will and limited funds. The rise of militancy in the Niger-Delta has affected the Nigerian state in a lot of ways. This study seeks to find a panacea to the Niger-Delta crisis in order to foster peace through development.
Militancy has continued to be on the rise despite all summit, conferences and seminars that has been put in place; The conflicts in the region seems to be on the rise; the study seeks to understand why militant acts in the region has been on the rise. The rising wave of Kidnapping, Hostage taking, Oil theft and Oil bunkering, and pipeline Vandalization is affecting the Nigerian state, and the aim of the study is to find a lasting solution through understanding the factors that led to the rise of militancy in the region, because, if the foundation of the problem is addressed all other things would follow. 1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY The level of militant activities in the Niger-Delta has taken a new twist and it is pertinent to know that the Nigerian state is really affected especially during this period of global economic crisis and falling crude oil prices. This research work promises to serve as a beacon light that would light the path of everyone, particularly stakeholders, still searching for potent solutions. By every standard, this is a reliable research work. It is not a research work on Niger-Delta alone, but for the Niger-Delta, Petroleum industry and Nigeria for all Nigerians, Africans and the International community. Due to the dimensions in which the Niger-Delta crisis has taken, it is pertinent for citizens of Nigeria to have the required information that would enable them know the facet of the crisis and the way through wish it can be solved. This research project brings to the fore the pathologies of Nigeria’s federalism which involves a whole lot of complex of motivations, orientations and actions which work against the interest
and aspiration of the Niger-Delta people. This research project is being written in a crucial period of the democratic dispensation, the timing is apt as the present government is determined to tackle deep-rooted problems. The examination of many important issues such as Location and History, Oil Politics and Environment Conflicts, Employment and Multinational Corporations, Meltdown and Crisis, Governmental response to the clamour of resource control and the way forward provides a refreshing insight, which could assist in conflict resolution. The lucidity of this research work and its careful elucidation of the underlying problems and the crisis of the Niger-Delta region of the country would play an important role in solving the crisis in the Niger-Delta. The research project would be essential for people who seek to discover the manifold problems of the Niger-Delta region which finds itself ensconced in the mystery of the Nigerian Nation.
1.5 RESEARCH PROPOSITIONS For the purpose of this research work, relevant research propositions have been outlined to serve as a directional guide and articulation of the research findings or work.
However, these propositions focus more on the major problems to be investigated and could possibly lead to other minor research questions in subsequent research works. The following propositions are relevant and essential/instructive to this research work:i. The rising wave of militancy in the Niger-Delta region has not affected the
revenue generation capacity of the Nigerian state. ii. The rising wave of militancy in the Niger-Delta region has affected the revenue
generation capacity of the Nigerian state. 1.6 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY This research project would make use of secondary method of data collection. Content analysis would be made use of in order to be able to analyse the problem from different view-point. The data would be gotten from Books, Journals, Newspapers, Magazines, The internet, Government publications and from other sources.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS This research project would cover areas in which the act of militancy has affected the Niger-Delta region of the Nigerian state. This work would study the act Sabotage, Hostage taking, Oil bunkering, Pipeline vandalization, Piracy, Kidnapping, and other areas of militancy in the region. This research work also covers the victims of militant activities and the response of the Nigerian government to the crisis. The
effect of militant activities on the revenue generation capacity of the Nigerian state and the factors that led to the quest for resource control would also be understudied. This research work is subject to some limitations and it would be a blatant lie to say that the writing of this project has been and would be a bed of roses. Money and time are the two major constraint to which this research work has been subjected to. The time frame of this research work is also a major problem, because the period in which this research is based is from the year 2007/09 and the year is still ongoing, so, there is likely going to be some changes in the quest for peace in the region. 1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY This research work is divided into five (5) chapters, and each chapter deals with a different aspect of the Niger-Delta crises. Chapter One is the introduction to the subject of research; The chapter one contains the background to the study, The statement of the problems, Objectives and significance of the study, Research hypothesis and research methodology, Scope and limitation, Organization of the study and Conceptualization of the terms. Chapter Two is the Literature review and it deals with writings of different authors that are similar to that of the research topic. This chapter contains issues bordering on Nigeria’s unity like Niger-Delta and the Nigerian state, Niger-Delta as a national question, Oil and the Nigerian state, and how the discovery of Oil has impacted on the Nigerian state.
Chapter Three contains the Historical background of the rise of militancy in the Niger-Delta region and it involves the study of the quest of resource control and ownership by the Indigenes of the Niger-Delta region. It states the nature of conflict and the reason why the quest for resource control and ownership has taken a new twist, and it involves violence against the people and the Nigerian state. Chapter Four studies the relationship between the Niger-Delta region and the Nigerian Government. It involves the manner through which the government of Nigeria has responded so far to the quest for resource control. This chapter also deals with the way the Niger-Delta crisis has affected Nigeria’s external relations and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Chapter Five is the concluding part of this research project and it contains the summary of findings of this study, the recommendation of the research to find a lasting solution to the Niger-Delta which has become a lingering sore on the Nigerian state and the conclusion. 1.9 CONCEPTUALIZATION OF TERMS
(A) NIGER- DELTA- This is said to be the world’s largest wetland. This 36,000 square
kilometres or about 14,000 square miles of marchland, creeks, tributaries and lagoons, drain the mass of the River Niger in to the Atlantic Ocean at the Bight of Biafra. About 12,000 square kilometres of this area is fragile mangrove forest, probably the largest mangrove forest in the world. In terms of Biodiversity, the area contains exotic and unique flowers, diverse plant and animal species. Implied in its ecology is the fact that it is a highly fragile environment which can be easily disequilibrated. Because of the nature of the ecosystem, transportation is difficult,
and for local communities, it is usually through the numerous Rivers and Creeks which snake through the Delta. There is however, a serious scarcity of arable land and fresh water. The discovery of Oil (black gold) has brought both fame and curse for the area. It was in 1956, that the Anglo-Dutch group, Shell D’Arcy discovered Oil in commercial quantities at Oloibiri, a small town in the Niger-Delta. Since then, other multinationals has joined Shell, namely, Mobil, Elf Aquitane, Chevron and Agip. Nigeria’s prime export, the Bonny light, is low in sulphur content, and therefore environmental friendly. Crude Oil is currently produced in nine (9) states of Nigeria, namely, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo, Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River and Ondo states. These states constitute what is today known as Niger-Delta.
(B). NATIONAL QUESTION- These are old political and economic situations, to which
the various governments since 1960 have not found a permanent solution. There are a lot of problems that has plagued the Nigeria state from independence till date. National questions are does things that the government of Nigeria finds it difficult to find a solution to it. National questions that have plagued the Nigerian state for sometime are Revenue allocation formulae, Resource control, State creation, Tribalism\Ethnicity, Religious conflicts, Corruption, Indigeneship and settler dichotomy, Niger-Delta and a host of other problems. In fact, The Niger-Delta conflicts seems to have taken the fore in the Nigerian state, although, there has been pockets of uprising in different part of the Nigerian state but the Niger-Delta crisis seems to be a priority to the Yar’Adua\Goodluck administration. (C).MILITANCY -According to the Oxford advanced learners dictionary, a militant is somebody who uses, or is willing to use, force or strong pressure to achieve their
aims, especially to achieve political or social change. Militancy is the act of using violence in order to achieve a political or social change. Militancy in the Niger-Delta came about due to the activities of Oil companies and Oil exploration activities in the region. The Niger-Delta militants are of the opinion that the Oil that was taken from their region are used to develop other parts of the Nigerian state while the NigerDelta region is left to rot and under develop in the midst of plenty. The militant in the region resorted to the use of violent acts like Hostage-taking, Oil theft, Pipeline vandalization, e.t.c to drive home their point.
(D).RESOURCE CONTROL-This means ownership and control of the natural
resources that is produced in an area by the people of that particular area. In a nutshell, the Niger Deltans wants to control their resources. (E).FISCAL FEDERALISM-This has to do with the allocation of resources to the various components of a federal state. Since the Federal government is in charge of all the natural resources that is accrued to the Nigerian state; the government is in charge of the disbursement of resources from the federal government to the state and local government.
(F).DERIVATION PRINCIPLE-It is a trite principle of Federalism that a people must
enjoy derivation from resources coming from their land. This is recognized by the constitution of Nigeria and the Mineral Act. Derivation is the percentage sum given to the areas that produces a particular natural resource. The Niger-Delta is given 13% derivation for the Oil exploited in the region; this is not enough according to the
people who seeks to increase it from 13% to 25%, and subsequently to 50%
(G).DEVELOPMENT-The word “DEVELOPMENT” involves so many parts in human
endeavour, as a transformation process from one state to another. Development is people centred, people inspired and citizens anchored. Whichever way, development project, or policy, or planning intends to improve their lives, by a process of growth better than the previous stage, in other words, the emphasis on development should be on its effects on the quality of life and well-being of human kind.
(H).OIL FIELD- This is an area where Oil is found in the ground or under the sea.
(I).OIL RIG- This is a large structure with equipment for getting oil from the ground or under the sea. (J).OIL BUNKERING- This is the act of stealing or siphoning oil from oil pipeline or storage tank. (K).REFINERY-This is a factory where a substance such as Oil is made pure by having other substance out of it.
(L).HOSTAGE TAKING- This is the act by which a person is captured and held
prisoner by a person or group, and who may be injured or killed if the people do not do what the person or group is asking. This is one of the methods used by NigerDelta militants.
(M).EXPLORATION- This is the act of travelling through a place in order to find out
about or looking for something in it. Oil exploration has to do with search for oil in
the ground or under the sea.
(N).PIPELINE VANDALIZATION- This is the act of rupturing pipelines used to
transport petroleum or gas from one place to another for political or economic reasons.
Ahamefula Ogbu (Sunday, April 5, 2009). Why N’Delta’s underdeveloped. Thisday, Page 9.. Worgu Stanley Owabukeruyele (January, 2009). Hydro Carbon exploitation, environmental degradation and poverty in the Niger Delta. Being a paper presented at Lund University LUMES program, Lund, Sweden. Alexander I. Moro (2008). The Niger Delta Crisis: Beyond employment and physical development. The critical issues involved. Mind quest resources, Port Harcourt. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999). Oxford advanced learners dictionary (8th edition) Okechukwu Ibeanu (2007). “Petroleum, Politics and Development in Niger Delta”, In Okello Oculi and Yakubu Nasidi (Eds) Brain Gain for African Renaissance Issues in Governance. ABU Press, Zaria.
LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 LITERATURE REVIEW
The purpose of this literature review is to introduce the readers to the existing secondary data materials relevant to the research topic. It seeks to indicate who has done the work on the subject matter, when, where latest research studies were completed and for what purpose. It identifies specific books, monographs, bulletins, journals, research reports and articles as well as unpublished materials such as dissertations, thesis, papers presented at recent professional meetings and host of other literature available.
The Niger-Delta crisis has become a source of National discourse in the Nigerian Socio-Political environment. Every other day, there is breaking news of the crisis in the Niger-Delta region. This literature review would be based on the writings of
several authors based on the relationship between the Niger-Delta and the Nigerian state, Oil and Nigeria’s development, Oil and Niger-Delta, Environmental and social implication of intensive resource exploitation in the Niger-Delta, the impact of Oil revenue on the Host communities as well as the impact of the Oil industry on human right. 2.2 NIGER-DELTA AND THE NIGERIAN STATE Prior to its official amalgamation into a singular Nation by the military forces of the British Empire in 1914, the territory of Nigeria was a loose collection of autonomous states, villages, and ethnic communities. Many of these established themselves as pillars of art, trade, and politics in West Africa as late as the 1800s: four of these cultural entities, Hausa-Fulani, The Igbo (sometimes called the Ibos), The Yoruba and the Efik grew extremely prominent in the region before the arrival of foreigners, dictated by British colonial policies, and dominate national politics in the Nigerian state to this day. The Niger-Delta region, which is roughly synonymous with the Niger-Delta province in location and contemporary heart of petroleum industry, is and was a zone of dense cultural diversity and is currently inhabited by roughly forty (40) ethnic groups speaking an estimated two hundred and fifty (250) dialect. Some of the more relevant ethnic groups in the Western part of the region include the Ijaw, Itsekiri, and Ogoni. The Ijaw (sometimes spelled Ijo), the fourth most populous tribe in Nigeria and by far the largest in the Delta region, lived during late medieval times in some fishing
villages within the inlets of the Delta; however by the sixteenth century, as the slave trade grew in importance, Ijaw port cities like Bonny and Brass developed into major trading states which served as major exporters of fish and other goods regionally. Other states such as those of Itsekiri domain Warri sprang up at this time as well. The Eastern Niger-Delta region has the Efik people (Annang/ Efik/Ibibio who are all related with a common language and ancestors were all referred to as Efik or Calabar people in early Nigerian history). Their capital city at Calabar located at the coastal south-east of Nigeria (Eastern Niger-Delta) served as the major trading and shipping centre during the pre-colonial and colonial period. Calabar also served as first capital of Nigeria and point of entry of western religion and western education into South-Eastern Nigeria. The combined population of the Ibibio, Annang and Efik people is the Fourth language group in Nigeria.
Even before the consolidation of British control over all present day Nigeria’s borders in 1914 from the protectorate of Southern and Northern Nigeria, British forces had begun imposing drastic political and economic policies on the area. Originally, this was done primarily through the government-owned Royal Niger Company. The company was crucial in securing most of Nigeria’s major ports and monopolized coastal trade; this resulted in the severing of ties which linked the area to the flourishing West-Africa regional trade network, in favour of the exportation of cheap natural resources and cash crops to industrializing nations. Most of the
population eventually abandoned food production for such market-dependent crops (peanuts and cotton in the North, Palm oil in the East, and cocoa in the West). From the beginning, divide and rule tactics were employed by both traders and administrators by highlighting Ethno-Religious differences and playing groups against one another. After the 1914, the North was permitted a system of indirect rule under authoritarian leaders, while in the South the British exercise control directly.
Interest in Nigeria’s Oil originated in 1914 when an ordinance making any oil and mineral under Nigerian soil legal property of the Crown. By 1938, the colonial government had granted the state-sponsored company, Shell (Then known as Shell D’Arcy) monopoly over exploration of all minerals and petroleum throughout the entire colony. Commercially viable oil was discovered by Shell roughly 90km west of the soon-to-be Oil capital of Port-Harcourt at Oloibiri (now in Bayelsa) in 1956; initially a 50-50 profit sharing system was implemented between the company and the government. Until the 1950s concessions on production and exploration continued to be the exclusive domain of the company, then known as Shell-British Petroleum. However, other firms became interested and by the early 1960s Mobil, Texaco and Gulf had purchased concessions.
The state of Nigeria that is supposed to be for all the citizens of Nigeria, to promote the attainment of social goods for the entire country, had been hijacked. The Nigerian
state, with all coercive powers that go along with statehood, have been used by the beneficiaries of state powers to oppress and subjugate the Niger-Deltans, in contradiction of the purpose for the existence of a modern state. The Niger-Deltans are worse than when they had stayed alone without the Nigerian Union. In essence, the Nigerian state has failed the Niger-Deltans. Its operatives even as at now, when things have assumed a frightening dimension in the Creeks of Oil production, are still very unresponsive, and always resort to the unacceptable method that have been employed, to tackle the Niger-Delta imbroglio, and which have been answered with monumental failures.
The Nigerian state has manifestly failed the Niger-Delta, in the performance of its inescapable obligations of protecting, respecting and preserving the human and property rights of the Niger-Deltas. The annihilation of Odi by a wonderful supposedly civilian democracy in Nigeria is an eloquent testimony of the mutilation of the rights of the Niger-Delta; a tyrannical violation of the obligations the state owned its citizens. 2.3 OIL AND NIGERIA’S DEVELOPMENT As of 2000, Oil and gas export accounted for more than 98% of export earnings and about 83% of Federal government revenue, as well as generating more than 4% of its G.D.P. It also provides 95% of foreign exchange earnings, and about 65% of government budgetary revenues.
Nigeria’s proven Oil reserves are estimated by the U.S United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) at between 16 and 22 billion barrels (3.5x109m3) but other sources claim there could as much as 35.3 billion barrels (5.61x109m3). Its resources make Nigeria the Tenth most Petroleum-Rich Nation, and by far the most affluent in Africa. In mid-2001, its Crude Oil production was averaging around 2.2 million barrels (350,000m3) per day (bpd).
Much of Nigeria’s petroleum is classified as “light “or “sweet” meaning the Oil is largely free of sulphur. Nigeria is the largest producer of sweet oil in OPEC. The sweet oil is similar in constitution to petroleum extracted from North Sea. This crude oil is known as “Bonny Light”. Names of other Nigerian crudes, all of which are named according to export terminal are: Qua Iboe, Escravos, Blend, Brass River, Forcados, and Pennington Afam.
In terms of exportation, the U.S remains Nigeria’s largest customer of crude oil, accounting for 40% of the country’s total oil exports, Nigeria provides about 10% of overall U.S oil imports and ranks as fifth largest source for U.S imported oil. There are six petroleum exportation terminals in the country; Shell owns two (2), while Mobil, Chevron, Texaco, and Agip own one each. Shell also owns the Forcados Terminal, which is capable of storing 13 million barrels (2,100,000m3) of crude oil in
conjunction with the nearby Bonny terminal. Mobil operates primarily out of the Qua Iboe Terminal in Akwa-Ibom state, while Chevron owns the Escravos Terminal located in Delta state and has a storage capacity of 3.6 million barrels (570,000m3). Agip operates the Brass terminal in Brass, a town 113km south-west of Port-Harcourt and has a storage capacity of 3,558,000 barrels (565,700m3). Texaco operates the Pennington Terminal.
Since the commercial discovery of Oil in 1956, the Nigerian state has been depending on the oil revenue for development while neglecting the agricultural and solid mineral sector. Oil money has been used to develop various parts of the Nigerian state and it is the oil revenue that enabled the Nigerian state to join various International Organizations and to embark on various Peace Keeping missions. During the Oil boom of the 1970s, Yakubu Gowon said that “….the problem of Nigeria is not lack of money but how to spend it….” This actually led to spending money recklessly on various projects.
Oil has played a very important role in the Nigerian and it has enabled the Nigerian state to assume it present economic status as the “Giant of Africa”. Various parts of the country were developed with the Oil money , the present capital of the Nigerian state was developed from a mere virgin land to a potential mega city in less than 35 years while Oil that was discovered in the Niger-Delta region was more than 50years
has experienced little or no form of development.
Nigeria played host to various International Organizations such as: Hosting the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77), the establishment of the Economic Community of West-African States (ECOWAS), the establishment of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) and various other development projects while neglecting the Niger-Delta region.
The Abacha administration established the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) for the development of the Nigerian state with the crude oil money, yet the Niger-Delta region is not developed, instead, the money was used to develop other parts of the Nigerian state where there are good road network even in the remote parts of the areas, but a single tarred road in the Creeks would be hard to come by.
2.4 OIL AND NIGER-DELTA DEVELOPMENT The Niger-Delta region is perhaps the most underdeveloped portion of the country despite fifty-three years of exploiting its non-renewable oil wealth. It is a region that is at once rich and poor; rich in mineral resources and impoverished by the oil companies and the Federal Government which expropriates its entire resources. With this state of affairs, lack of jobs, non-siting of industries and a near lack of
infrastructure; the Niger-Delta has become synonymous with squalor and mass poverty. In a scientific survey published in 1997, The Niger-Delta Environmental Survey (NEDES) reported that;
“Poverty is prevalent in the Niger-Delta and has been linked to degradation agricultural lands and fishing waters. Affected people became impoverished. they tend either to migrate to become part of the urban poor or villages to grapple with the low yielding lands and poor sources of water.” of In many cases, to remain in their
Perhaps no other part of the Niger-Delta presents what the future holds for the area more than Oloibiri, the first place where Oil was stuck in commercial quantities in 1956; it remains at the state of nature. With 75% of the Niger-Delta people living in rural areas without Pipe borne water, electricity and roads, and their lands devastated by oil exploration, their water polluted by almost daily oil spillage and the air poisoned by external gas flares, the temper of the people was bound to short. It is estimated that over 600billion U.S dollars has been accrued the Nigerian state from sales of crude oil from over 50 years of oil exploration. With exception of three and half years of civil war time, Nigeria and Her several Federal Governments have enjoyed relative peace times with unrestricted access to resource exploration in the area. However, due to development of retrogressive laws (1. The Petroleum Act of 1969 and 1991, II. The Nation Waterways Decree of 1997, III. The Land Use Act of 1978 and 1993) and corruption by unjustifiable unitary republics and Military governments, the people of the Niger-Delta have suffered gross social economic infrastructure neglect, poverty, frustrations, ecological catastrophes and other deprivation despite their contributions to the Nigerian prosperity. There are no
standing legislative histories behind these laws mostly decreed by military governments (some have been amended by elected legislature).
People in the Niger-Delta generally feel marginalized, cheated, and left out in the lurch from concomitant largesse of contemporary “Petro-Naira”. These people perceive a profound sense of alienation and see themselves as being far removed from the concrete realities of a prosperous nation whose financial strength is continuously rejuvenated from the enormous petroleum resources from the bowels of the Niger-Delta. For a reference, they constantly visualize the enormous resources committed to the beautified fly-over bridges in metropolitan Lagos, the emergent high-rise architectural master-pieces in the Nation’s capital, Abuja, and the characteristic profligacy of the typical Nigerian political who squanders “PetroNaira” at the slightest opportunity and they bemoan the stark discrepancy in life chances and opportunities between THEM and US. THEM represents multinationals and agents of the Federal government who together constitute Joint Venture partners for oil exploration; US represents indigenous peoples in oil bearing communities; those who pays social and health costs to several years of plunderous oil exploration oil exploration.
Niger-Delta indigenes are not bemused at the turn of events that development for them has remained of rhetoric. Discrepancy in the level of development in other areas
of Nigeria and the immediate milieu of the Niger-Delta has become a constant source of turmoil and conflict, and these have translated into a trenchant and systematic advocacy of resource control. 2.5 OIL RESOURCE EXPLOITATION IN THE NIGER-DELTA
2.5.1 OIL RESOURCE EXPLOITATION IN THE NIGER-DELTA
The effect of oil resource extraction on the environment of the Niger-Delta has been very glaring in terms of its negative effect on the region. Eteng 1997, P.4 stated that “Oil exploration and exploitation has over the last five decades impacted disastrously on the
socio-physical environment of the Niger-Delta oil-bearing communities, massively threatening the subsistent peasant economy and the environment and hence the entire livelihood and basic survival of the people”.
Suffice it to note that, while oil extraction has caused negative socio-economic and environmental problems in the Niger-Delta, the Nigerian state has benefitted immensely from petroleum since it was discovered in commercial quantities in 1956. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) 1981 annual report stated as follows,
“….oil which was first discovered in 1956 and first exported In 1958 accounted for more than 90% of Nigerian export by Value and about 80% of government revenue as at December 31, 1978…….The overall contribution of the oil sector to the National economy also grew from an in significant 0.1% in 1959 to 87% in 1976.”
There is no doubt that the Nigerian oil industry has affected the country in a variety of ways at the same time. On one hand, it has fashioned a remarkable economic landscape for the country, however on the negative side, petroleum exploration and
production also have adverse effects on fishing and farming which are the traditional means of livelihood of the people of the oil producing communities in the NigerDelta.
If the oil industry is considered in view of its enormous contribution to foreign exchange earning, it has achieved a remarkable success. On the other scale, when considered in respect of its inhabitants, it has left a balance-sheet of ecological and socio-political disaster. This rightly provides a framework to evaluate the work of neo-classical economists who argue that the development of primary resource material for export in the periphery is the basis for development in the periphery countries. 2.5.2 PRODUCING FOR EXPORT Nigeria like most other less developed countries in the early part of the 70’s, were engaged in intensive natural resource exploitation as a way of stimulating economic growth. It was projected by several multilateral funding organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank that export drive of primary resource materials will eventually lead to economic growth and subsequently a significant reduction in the level of poverty. The projection was that the long term gain of such a process would set the stage for a sustained economic development.
As at 1976, about 10 years from the start of the oil export drive. Figures available from the Federal Office of Statistics stated that oil has come to account for about 14% of the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria, 95% of the total export and over 80% of government annual revenue. Total export peaked at two million barrels of oil per day (bpd) with price range of 18-20 dollars per barrels. This created more opportunities for the development of new oil fields, increase granting of mining licenses and the intensive exploitation of oil mineral resources in the Niger-Delta. The multinational oil companies made huge investments in the oil sector, which was quite technological and capital intensive. New laws were made which includes the Petroleum Act of 1969 and the Land Use Decree\Act of 1978. This legislation regulated community access to communal or open access to such land, while at the same time making it possible for the multinational investors to have unrestricted access to explore for oil unchallenged even on sacred land. These changes have led to a series of social conflict between the community people and the state\oil companies as would be discussed hereafter. 2.5.3 PEASANT AGRICULTURE IN THE NIGER-DELTA. Agriculture forms the most dominant economic activity in the Niger-Delta. Federal Office of Statistics (F.O.S) in 1985 stated that crop farming and fishing activities account for about 90% of all forms of activities in the area. They also estimated that about 50%-68% of the active labour force is engaged in one form of agricultural activity or the other including fishing and farming. Agricultural technology has
remained relatively unchanged over the years and over 90% of farmers are subsistent farmers operating on traditional methods using basic tools. Azibolomari 1998, P.67 stated that“…….farming technique in the Niger-Delta has still remained the use of land rotation of bush fallow system characterized by land and labour being the principal unit of production.”
The organic farming techniques widely used in the Niger-Delta is highly susceptible to environmental changes affecting the soil, water and or deforestation because it is not technologically inspired, but rather land and labour intensive. Oil extraction and production has led to adverse environmental impact on the soil, forest and water of the Niger-Delta communities. This has ultimately affected peasant agriculture in a variety of ways, which ultimately have caused problems of environmental refugees. Some of the landless farmers migrate to other more fertile lands in other rural communities, putting pressure on scarce fertile lands. While some of the displaced farmers out-migrate to the urban areas in search of livelihood.
Various harmful and toxic organic compounds when introduced into the natural environment during oil extraction such as during seismic work, oil spill, gas flares and several other forms pollution, changes the geo-chemical composition of the soil, rivers and other components of the environment. This in turn affects agriculture and lead to a drastic decline in output in both fishing and farming activities. Stanley 1990,
P.67-79 noted that“……7.7% of the 797 people interviewed on the socio-economic impact of oil in Nigeria identified farmland pollution as a major problem.”
The peasants are very reactive to these changes because of the unavailability of modern farming and fishing techniques to meet the challenges of a declining soil and marine resources. The drastic fall in output of the agricultural product, led to intensive exploitation of other fertile land. This long run effect of this is land degradation and immigration to other rural areas, where pressures is exerted on the often inadequate and dilapidated infrastructure, leading to increase poverty.
In addition, Ikporukpo 1981, P.23-26 stated that “most farmers are concerned with
problems of displacement without resettlement during oil spills”. Gbadegesin 1997, P.9 further
“Apart from loss of farms, oil spills have led to extensive deforestation With no adequate replanting practices…….this in effect has shortened Fallow periods, compounded land use degradation and led to a loss of Soil fertility and consequently erosion of top soil.”
Elliot 1998, P.82 stated that“The slash and burn agriculture traditionally practiced by shifting cultivators-up to 10% of world’s population is based on ecologically
sound principles. It minimizes threats to the forest by leaving land fallow over a period of time long enough for regeneration…….landless peasants whom have been forced from their own land, increases the number of people pursuing such a subsistence lifestyle, this contributes to deforestation through further encroachment on forest lands and reduction in fallow times.”
The out-migration of the rural displaced farmers in the Niger-Delta as a result of environmental degradation caused by oil extraction in the region has led to a significant percentage of the local inhabitants to remain in cyclical poverty and penury. This has meant a greater environmental degradation as a result of the intensive exploitation of the few remaining fertile lands in the region by the residents. It has also led to increasing urban blight in the urban areas in the Niger-Delta as more displaced rural inhabitant flood the urban areas in search of non-existent jobs. 2.6 ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPLICATION OF INTENSIVE RESOURCE EXPLOITATION IN THE NIGER-DELTA In this section, this paper will look more specifically at various environmental and socio-economic problems that have been identified as a result of the intensive extraction of natural oil resources in the Niger-Delta.
2.6.1 ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS
The Niger-Delta is comprised of 70,000 km2 of wetlands formed primarily by sediment deposition. Home to Twenty million people and forty (40) different ethnic groups, this flood plain makes up 75% of Nigeria’s total wetland mass. It is the largest wetland and maintains the third largest drainage area in Africa. The Delta’s
environment can be broken down into four ecological zones; Coastal barrier islands, Mangrove swamp forests, Fresh water swamps, and Lowland rain forests. This incredibly well-endowed ecosystem, which contains one of the highest concentrations of bio-diversity on the planet, in addition to supporting the abundant flora and fauna, arable terrain that can sustain a wide variety of crops, economic trees, and more species of fresh water fish than any ecosystem in West-Africa. The region could experience a loss of 40% of its inhabitable terrain in the next thirty years because of extensive dam construction in the region. The carelessness of the oil industry has also precipitated this situation, which can perhaps be encapsulated by a 1983 report issued by the NNPC in 1983; long perform popular unrest surfaced;
“We witnessed the slow poisoning of the waters of this country and the destruction of vegetation and agricultural lands by oil spills which occur during petroleum operations. But since the inception of the oil industry in Nigeria, more than fifty years ago, there has been no concerned and effective effort on the part of the government let alone the oil operators, To control environmental problems associated with the industry.”
Nwankwo and Ifeadi 1988, P.58-64 identified the factors as some of the pollution problems associated with oil exploration and production in the Niger-Delta. 1. Contamination of streams and rivers- In the course of oil exploration and production in the Niger-Delta, various materials are released into the environment. For example during exploration, drill cuttings, drill mud and fluids are used for stimulation production
2. The problem of oil spills- Oil spills in Nigeria occur due to a number of causes which; corrosion of pipelines and tankers (accounts for 50% of all spills), sabotage (28%), and oil production operations (21%), with 1% of spills being accounted for by inadequate or non-functional production equipment. The largest contributor to the oil spill total, corrosion of pipes and tanks, is the rupturing or leaking of production infrastructures that are described as, “very old and lacks regular inspection and maintenance.,”
Oil spillage has a major impact on the ecosystem into which it is released. Immense tracts of mangrove forests, which are especially susceptible to oil (this is mainly because it is stored in the soil and re-released annually with inundation), have been destroyed, an estimated 5-10% of Nigerian mangrove ecosystems have been wiped out either by settlement or oil. The rainforest which previously occupied some 7,400km2 of land has disappeared as well.
3. Transportation and marketing, Damage to oil pipelines and Accidents involving road trucks and tankers generate oil spills and hydrocarbon emissions which according to Ikporukpo 1988, P.79 have a far more reaching effect, because the toxicity of the soil adversely affect the soil, plant, animal and water resources. 4. Forest destruction and bio-diversity loss- The major constituent of drill cuttings
such as barites and bentonite clays when dropped or dumped on the ground prevent plant’s growth until natural processes develop new top soil. In water according to Nwankwo and Ifeadi (1988), these materials disperse and sink, killing marine animals. The environmental effect of gas flaring- Nigeria flares more natural gas associated with oil extracted than any other country on the planet, with estimates suggesting that of the 3.5 billion cubit feet (99,000,000m3) of Associated Gas(A.G) produced annually, 2.5 billion cubit feet (71,000,000), or about 70% is wasted via flaring. This equals about 25% of U.K’s total natural gas consumption and it is the equivalent of 40% of the entire African continent’s gas consumption in 2001.
Gas flares can have potentially harmful effects on the health and livelihood of the communities in their vicinity, as they release a variety of poisonous chemicals. There are many human problems, which have been reported amongst many children in the Delta but have apparently gone uninvestigated.
5. Effluent discharge and disposal- Refinery waste also contains very toxic chemicals, which constitute potential land, water and air pollutants. Atmospheric contaminants from refinery operations include oxides of nitrogen, carbon and sulphur. Liquid refinery effluent usually contains oil and grease. These compounds contain organic chemicals such as phenol cyanide; sulphidesuspended solids, chromium and biological demanding organic matter on
getting in contact with land water pollute them.
2.6.2 SOCIAL IMPACT
The Niger-Delta communities have remained grossly socio-economically underdeveloped and pauperized amidst the immense oil wealth owing to systematic disequilibrium in the production exchange relationship between the State, the TransNational companies and the people. Enormous money had been derived from oil export but the area has been subjected to severe land degradation, socio-economic disorganization, increasing poverty, misery, militancy occupation and bloody violence.
Oil exploration has impacted most disastrously on the socio-physical environment of the Niger-Delta oil bearing communities massively threatening the fragile subsistent peasant economy and bio-diversity and hence their entire social livelihood and very survival. The oil producing communities have basically remained dependent and underdeveloped, persistently dis-empowered, socio-culturally marginalized and psychologically alienated. The wealth derived from oil resource exploitation and exports benefit directly only the operators of the oil industry and the bureaucrats in governments. Conflicts between oil companies and host communities are also recurring phenomena
in the Niger-Delta region. Of the two most appropriating external systems, that is the Government and the Trans-National oil companies, the TNC’s are in more direct and physical contact with the communities and their expropriated inhabitants. The deprived peasants currently make demand for social services from the oil companies, than they can make from the often-inaccessible Nigerian state. This has often led to conflict as the oil companies are engaged in the process of collaborating with the Nigerian regime to use violence as a means of pacifying the protesting communities.
Oil exploration and exploitation over the last four decades has also instigated and intensified bitter and bloody conflicts between emerging interest groups within and between communities. These conflicts now range between elite groups and between youths or organizations on one hand, between urban resident elite and village community resident on the other scale. This conflict that has emerged in the NigerDelta as a result of the creation of oil has its roots in the violence of the rights of the local community people as a people as a result of the promulgation of obnoxious legislations, this has inevitably led to greater poverty and landless groups of the people whose basis sustenance as peasants farmers have been negatively affected as a result of oil extraction for export.
2.7 HOST COMMUNITIES AND OIL REVENUE The Federal Government of Nigeria is accused of depriving the host communities of
the revenues accruing to them from Niger-Delta oil production. It must be categorically pointed out that the crude oil is not produced out of the entire landscape of the Niger-Delta; rather some specific host communities are responsible for the production of the crude oil that bestows the honour on the Niger-Delta, because they are integral parts of the Niger-Delta.
The Federal Government has conceded at least 13% of the revenues derived from crude-oil, even though, unjustly to the oil producing states, and crisis of the NigerDelta now, is a result of the deprivation arising from the expropriation of the oil revenues by the centre, without a beneficial advantage to the swamps of the NigerDelta producing crude oil.
The oil bearing host communities of the oil companies are very poor, and they can hardly fend for themselves. The host communities do not have economic activities that generate enough money for them to be contended. The oil revenue accrued to the Nigerian state has not in anyway impacted positively to the host communities.
2.8 IMPACT OF OIL INDUSTRY ON HUMAN RIGHT One of the greatest threats facing the people of the Niger River Delta has actually been their own government. The Nigerian government has total control over property
rights and they have the authority to seize any property for use by oil companies. A majority of every dollar that comes out of the ground in the Delta goes to the government of Nigeria. Despite the wealth flowing into the Nation from oil revenues, many of Nigeria’s socio-economic factors are worse than they were 30 years ago. According to the World Bank, most of Nigeria’s oil wealth gets siphoned off by 1% of the population. Corruption in the government is rampant, in fact since 1960, it is estimated that 300 -400 billion dollars has been stolen by corrupt government officials. The corruption is found at the highest levels as well. For example, a former Inspector General of the National Police was accused of stealing 52 million dollars. He was sentenced to six years in prison for a lesser charge.
The situation is very bad and the people have engaged in protest. The problem is, many of these protest have been met with unmitigated violence. One example of this occurred in February 2005; there was a protest at Chevron Escravos Oil terminal in which soldiers opened fire on the protesters. One man was killed and 30 others were injured. The soldiers claimed that the protesters were armed, a claim the protesters deny. Another, more extreme example happened in 1994, The Nigerian Military moved into a region called Ogoniland in force. They razed 30 villages, arrested hundreds of protesters and killed an estimated 2,000 people. In 1999, a band of soldiers invaded a whole village down, killing the people and making them homeless.
The human neglect of the people of the Niger-Delta has been neglected because of the Oil in the region. The people are treated like slaves and the government has made sure that they don’t rise above that position. 2.9 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK This research project would make use the System Theory in analyzing the crisis in the Niger-Delta with the rise of militancy in the region.
David Easton is usually credited with pioneering the application of system approach to the analysis of the political process. He defines the political system as “the system of interactions in any society through which binding or authoritative decisions are made or implemented.”He considers the political system as existing within an environment of other systems. Physical, Biological, Social, Psychological, etc., which affect and are in turn affected by the political system-through continuous transactions and exchanges. According to Easton, the political system functions by getting inputs from its environment. The inputs are events in the environment which evokes response from it. The inputs could be supports, that is, expressions of approval for particular decisions. The inputs from the environment undergoes a conversion process with the political system and come out as outputs, which usually are authoritative decisions such as Government policies, Judicial decisions, Acts of Parliament etc., Promulgated by the authorities. These authoritative outputs usually affect the environment as
outcomes and in turn excite some form of feedback, that changes in the intensity and value of demands and support from the environment. The system theory would be used to analyze the Niger-Delta crisis with the cry for resource control and increase in derivative principles, the rise of militancy, and the response of the government and other facet of the crisis.
REFERENCES OF LITERATURE REVIEW
Alexandra I. Moro (2008). “The Niger-Delta crisis: Beyond Employment and Physical Development, The critical issues involved”. Mind quest publishers, PortHarcourt.
Alabi Williams (Sunday, June 29, 2008).”The Niger-Delta: Begging an old question”. The Guardian, Page 18. Worgu Stanley Owabukeruyele (January, 2000). “Hydro carbon exploration, environmental degradation and poverty in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria”. Being a paper presented at Lund University LUMES program, Lund, Sweden, Clement Ikpatt; L. Glenn Scott, Esq. “The Niger-Delta problems and solutions: The Equilateral Resource Control (ERC) model as an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) concept. http://www.crisisgroup.org/library/documents/africa/west_africa/135_nigeria_ending _unrest_in_the_niger_delta_pdf. Sam Olowoyeye (Saturday, June 28, 2008).”In search of peace in the Niger-Delta”. The Guardian, Page 15. Godwin Ijediogor (Saturday, September 20, 2008).”Niger-Delta conflict as lingering sore”. The Guardian, Page 8.
NIGER DELTA AND MILITANCY
3.1 HISTORICAL BACKROUND TO THE RISE OF MILITANCY
IN THE NIGER-DELTA REGION
The search oil in Nigeria dates back to 1908 when the German firm known as Nigerian Bitumen Company started drilling and exploring for Oil within the Okitipupa area, about 200km East of Lagos. The search was unsuccessful as oil was not found in commercial quantities.
The Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria Limited (then known as Shell D’Arcy and later Shell B.P), which was based in Warri pioneered a fresh search of Oil in 1937. The Royal Shell Group jointly financed the company.
At first, the operations covered the whole of Nigeria, but later the concession area under Oil Prospecting License (OPL’s) was reduced to 40,000 square miles in and around the Niger-Delta Basin. The Second World War forced the company to suspend its activities in 1941, but they resumed in 1946. The first deep exploration Well was drilled in 1951 at Ihuo, 10 miles North-East of Owerri, to depth of 11,228 feet, but no Oil was found. Akata-1, drilled in 1953 and suspended in 1954, was the first well in which Oil was encountered, but seven appraisal wells, which were drilled in the area, were dry holes. Oil in commercial quantity was first discovered at Oloibiri in the then Rivers state, now in Bayelsa state, by Shell. Towards the end of the same year, a second discovery was made at Afam, in Rivers state. Until 1956,
Shell was the principal company undertaking the search, although there had been sporadic exploration by others before that. Pipeline connections between Oloibiri and Port-Harcourt made it possible for the first cargo of oil to leave Nigeria in February 1958 when production stood at 6,000 barrels per day (bpd). The oil industry had spent some 50billion Naira before the first shipment of Nigerian Oil to Europe on February 17, 1958.
Undoubtedly, the rapid development of the Oil industry in the 1969s is probably the single most important factor in Nigeria’s economic development. The issue of the proper applications of the proceeds of the 13% derivation became a major issue following a public challenge to Governors from the Zone by Babagana Kingibe, a one time Secretary to the Federal Government, on the poverty in the Niger-Delta.
Kingibe called “on all true sons of the Niger-Delta to ask their leaders questions on how the derivation sums have been, or being spent.” Presently, the region is still severely in a condition of pandemic poverty and abysmal state of arrested development, notwithstanding the over $600billion that has been accrued to the Nigerian state through revenue from oil and gas since February 17, 1958.
Irked by this reality, leaders and youths of the region have formed coalitions and political interest groups in the quest for justice and equity they believe they deserve. The main challenge now, however, lies in how the government intends to tackle the situation.
The people believe that very little attention has been paid to the far more daunting challenges of the region hence the attacks by the various militant groups parading the region including the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND). These attacks have cut production capacity by an estimated 500,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), or approximately 25% of the country’s output. There has been unrest in the Niger-Delta for decades, fuelled by underdevelopment, environmental degradation, and violence, including the execution in 1955 of activist, businessman and writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and Eight other fellow advocates of the Ogoni people.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND), which emerged in 2005 and since became the most vocal, best organized, most visible and militant of the armed groups, in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Jomo Gbomo said that “their goal was to achieve resource control or cause trouble, just like it had been doing.”
MEND had since December 2005 engaged in a spate of attacks and kidnapping of oil
workers, especially foreigners, thereby forcing oil production shut-ins most of the time up to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd). In August 2006, following incessant abductions of its workers and demand for ransom at times to secure their release, some multinational oil companies operating in the indicated intentions to stop operations and possibly withdraw from the Niger-Delta over security concerns.
The situation is made worse by greed and corruption on the part of their leaders, as in other parts of the country, as after over nine years of civilian rule, government officials at the local, state and federal level are perceived to have failed to deliver democracy dividend to the poverty-stricken inhabitants.
Militant groups and their activities tended to be buoyed by some popular support for their cause, maybe not modus operandi, and their moral unshaken by the arrest and incarceration of one of their leaders, Alhaji Mujaheed Dokubo-Asari who was later released. But the secret trial and release of one of their leaders, Henry Okah, is one that has raised the stakes.
In Ogoniland in Rivers state, where oil was discovered in commercial quantities by Anglo-Dutch Shell in 1957, just one year after the discovery of Nigeria’s first commercial deposit at Oloibiri, Bayelsa state, there is little or nothing to show for oil
exploration apart from degradation from oil spills and gas flaring.
The minority Ogoni and other ethnic groups were forced to give up their lands to oil companies almost free and this was made worse by the 1979 Land Use Decree which gave the federal government full ownership and rights to all Nigerian territory and determination of all compensation for land based on the value of crops on it at the time of its acquisition.
Increasing agitation in the 1970’s and 80s necessitated government’s veiled promises to develop the Niger-Delta, as the Ogoni dissent grew. The founding of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) in 1992 gave the people the needed voice and platform to up their agitation against exploitation. Spearheaded by playwright and author, the late Ken Saro-Wiwa, MOSOP soon became a rallying point the struggle for ethnic and environmental rights in the region, with Shell, and invariably the government at the receiving end. The Ogoni agitation took a new dimension in December 1992, with MOSOP issuing an ultimatum to oil companies operating in the area, including Shell, Chevron and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). It demanded $10billion in accumulated royalties, damages and compensation and “immediate stoppage of environmental
degradation”, and called for fresh negotiations for mutual agreement on all future
drilling. The Ogoni people threatened to embark on a mass action to disrupt the oil companies’ operation if they failed to comply.
With this, the focus shifted from an unresponsive federal government to oil companies. The federal military government at the time responded by banning public gatherings and declaring that any disruption of production by the people amounted to acts of treason. At that time, oil production from Ogoniland had reduced to about 10,000 bpd or 0.5% of the national output. That gave the government a window to apply military clampdown in May 1994, with soldiers and mobile policemen detailed to most Ogoni villages. On May 24, four conservative Ogoni chiefs were brutally murdered, after Saro-Wiwa, who headed the opposing faction was allegedly denied entry to Ogoniland by security operatives on the day. Curiously, He was detained in connection with the killings by Major Paul Okutimo led Rivers state internal security, which claimed to be looking for those directly involved in the murder.
The security outfit was accused of reigning terror on the people of Ogoni by even Amnesty International. By June, over 30 villages had been completely destroyed, about 600 people detained and at least 40 killed by the outfit. This finally resulted to over 100,000 internally displaced persons and around 2,000 civilian deaths.
In May 1994, Nine MOSOP activities, also known as “The Ogoni Nine”, including Saro-Wiwa, were arrested and accused of instigating to murder of their Four Ogoni kinsmen, a charge they vehemently denied. They were incarcerated for over one year before they were tried, found guilty and sentenced to death by a special military tribunal set up by then Head of State, late Gen. Sani Abacha on 10 November 1995 without due process being followed. They were subsequently executed by hanging by the military Junta, despite Local and International condemnation.
The Commonwealth of Nations which had pleaded for clemency, suspended Nigeria from the organization, while the United States (USA), the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) imposed varying sanctions on the country. This though did not have a commensurate impact on oil production because of the contending interests.
The late 1990s witnessed an upsurge of clashes between Ijaw militants and their neighbouring and smaller Itsekiri counterparts in Delta state, especially Warri.
Despite their rivalry, the Ijaw/Itsekiri conflict was held down in late 1998, when the sudden death of Gen. Sani Abacha led to the resurgence of local politics over Ward allocations.
The control of Warri, the largest commercial city in Delta state and source of political patronage was contentious and pitched the Ijaw, Itsekiri and Urhobo against one another.
The December 1998 All Ijaw Youth Conference added pep to the Ijaw struggle for resource control, with the formation of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and the issuing of the “Kaiama Declaration”, in which they called on oil companies to suspend operations and withdraw from Ijaw territories. The IYC pledged “to struggle peacefully for freedom, self determination and ecological justice.”
Subsequently, two Nigerian Navy Warships and over 10,000 Nigerian troops were deployed to Bayelsa and Delta state, just as the IYC mobilized for “Operation Climate Change”. The soldiers, on entering Yenogoa, the Bayelsa state capital, announced that they had come to attack the youths trying to stop oil companies, and on December30, about 2,000 youths went round Yenogoa, dressed in black, singing and dancing. The soldiers opened fire on them, killing at least three protesters and
arresting over 25 others. A march round town to demand the release of their kinsmen was stopped by the soldiers and there, more protesters killed, with dusk-to-dawn curfew and meetings banned across the state, particularly the state capital and military road blocks.
Inspite of the repeated attacks and killings by the soldiers, IYC continued its Operation Climate Change, which disrupted oil supplies by capping oil valves throughout Ijawland.
Perhaps the worst atrocity yet against the people was the Odi massacre that led to the death of many Ijaw people, following a crisis and subsequent abduction of some policemen by youths operating in the area, and since then, the already deteriorating relationship among the government, the Ijaw people and oil companies came to a head, as the people mobilised against the oil industry and their hitherto non-violent approach turned to an armed struggle.
All these culminated in the current militarisation of the Niger-Delta, as local, state and federal officials with varying and sometime conflicting interest, funding and arming different groups to do their political bidding, with Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa as hot beds.
Until 2003, Warri was the axis of the crisis, but following the violent struggle for supremacy between Dokubo-Asari’s Niger-Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) militia and the Ateke Tom-led Niger-Delta Vigilante (NDV), the battle shifted to Port-Harcourt and environs, in what has been called cult clashes.
In 2003, Dokubo-Asari, a former president of IYC and his boys “retreated into the bush” to form the flank for the agitation for resource control starting with control of illegal oil bunkering, a veritable source of acquiring sophisticated arms, which militants justify as compensation for their exploitation and environment degradation.
The conflicts have led to disruption of civilian lives, closure of schools and a slide in economic activities. By 2004, several cult clashes in and around the Port-Harcourt waterfront had led to the destruction of some residential slums. It soon assumed peaked and started to attract the attention of the international community.
Following an attempt to exterminate NDPVF by the Federal Government, DokuboAsari declared an all-out war against the Nigerian state and oil corporations, threatening to disrupt oil production by attacking wells and pipelines. This immediately caused a major crisis, with Shell’s evacuation of 285 of its non-essential
staff from two oil fields and cutting production by 30,000 barrels per day (bpd).
In the course of the Ijaw agitation MEND more or less hijacked the struggle and called on Obasanjo to release Dokubo-Asari, who was detained and charged with treason and former Bayelsa state governor, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, held on corruption charges. In January 2006, MEND warned the oil industry;
“It must be clear that the Nigerian Government cannot protect your workers or assets, leave our land while you can or die in it......Our aim is to totally destroy capacity of the Nigerian government to export oil.” the
Since then, then they have bombed pipelines, kidnapped foreign and sometimes local oil workers and caused Shell and Chevron to shut-in production or shut-down some oil installations in the Niger-Delta creeks. 3.2 UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF THE CONFLICT Conflict within and across boundaries occur between the ruling classes of contending nations and Nation-states. These conflicts are often extensions of violent intercommunal and inter-state conflicts. Whether local, national or international, Asobie (2004) reported that “there are tree critical factors that shape the dynamics of
conflicts”. First, there is the nature of the price of the conflict. This has to do with the relative utility and size of the productive forces or social product that will accrue as a return of the struggle. In addition, there is the relationship between the social classes, which constitute the real actors in the conflict. These actors may include interest groups of both sides who may cause the spiral of conflict almost unending. The third factor is the state of domestic politics in the Nation-States and Local communities which form the basis for the controlling parties, for instance, the nature of the regime that controls the political machinery or leadership.
Basically, oil production has given rise to contradictions at different levels of the Nigerian society, between the states and oil producing minority, amongst the oil producing communities, between the state and oil majors, and amongst oil majors. However, of these, it is the low intensity conflict between the state and the oil producing communities; amongst the oil major and the oil producing communities that is more common. Quite often; groups demand reparation and compensation for increasing environmental damage by the state and the oil majors, and demand the stoppage of further exploration and production activities likely to further cause damage to the environment in the Niger-Delta.
Fundamentally, the exclusion of the majority of the people from the fruit of oil economy and the degradation of their source of livelihood-the environment-has been
a factor in the deepening crisis in the Niger-Delta.
Different meanings have been attached to the notion of conflicts and security in the Niger-Delta. For oil bearing communities, security means the maintenance of the carrying capacity of the fragile Niger-Delta environment. The devastation of their farmlands and fishing waters which threatens resource flow and livelihoods and creates insecurity is simply unacceptable. Therefore, the issues of deprivation and marginalization are key concerns of the communities of this area. Since the state and its allies, the multinational oil companies, appropriate almost all the oil wealth, they are resentful of the state and petro-business and feel that a reasonable part of the proceeds from oil should be reinvested in the communities. Hence, security for local communities means recognition that mindless exploitation of crude oil and resultant ecological damage threatens their survival. For state officials and petro-business, it means the unencumbered production of crude oil at competitive (real cheap) cost. Also, apart from being a site where technical approaches to environmental management have failed to halt the march of environmental degradation and conflict, the Delta has played host to wars fought between local forces of resistance on the one hand, and competing communities on the other.
Sometimes, scarcity of resources or of sources of livelihood lead to low-intensity wars over fishing grounds and the right to compensation have been sources of
conflict in the past and appear to be on the increase with the country having embraced factional struggles within the ruling elite, as witnessed by numerous coups-d’état and violent politics for control of state power. This struggle for the control of state power has influenced the formation of oil policy and the laws guiding the relations between the oil producing communities and the multinational oil companies in a way that favoured the oil companies and their cronies who constitute the dominant and ruling classes. Whereas harsh living conditions of the peoples of the Niger-Delta, it has rather been perceived as being a collaborator with the oil companies in destroying the rich bio-diversity of the Niger-Delta.
In terms of the management of the region, institutional and policy measures, the federal government through various laws and bodies established over the years, has tried to manage the conflictual relations surrounding the exploration of oil in the country. A strong catalyst that jolted the federal government into being more serious with environmental matters was the illegal dumping of toxic wastes of Italian origin on Nigeria soil at Koko in Delta state. The uproar created by this action elicited very quick response from federal government with the creation of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) by decree 88of 1988. 3.3 POLITICAL ECONOMY OF RESOURCE CONTROL The notion of resource control was originally projected as the spearhead of a much wider agenda to ameliorate the prevailing disjointed and iniquitous development
conditions in the Niger-Delta of Nigeria. The pattern of development that was skewed in disfavour of the people of the Niger-Delta area produced a large and trenchant advocacy for resource control was, therefore, a home grown initiative to restore equity where it was non-existing.
The political economy of the Niger-Delta is, therefore, one that is historically premised on a dialectical nomenclature. This dialectical proclivity stems from widespread social deprivations and inevitable collective reaction to the perception of a range of development disjointedness and iniquities including the allocation of government revenue, ancillary infrastructure or appointment to choice public position.
The major crisis in the Niger-Delta centres on the notion of resource control. There are various questions that have been recurring in the Nigerian scenes which are; who are the owners of the natural resources that are found in the North and South? Have they been put into consideration in the question of ownership, distribution, control and management of these resources? Has their consent been sought in any legislation that takes part in these laws that deprived them of their resources? What is the impact of the taking away of these resources from them? Have they fared better or worse than when their resources had not been taken away from them? What is their standard of living vis-a-vis when their resources had not been taken away from them? What
special considerations are made for them to include them in the exploitation of the resources coming out of their land? What allowance has been provided those in the political distribution and dispensation of the revenue that are coming out of their lands e.t.c, the questions to be asked, are in legion?
The Niger-Deltans had been consummately deprived of the crude oil that is coming out of their lands with disdain and despicable bravado. The deprivation of their resources, if for a beneficial growth and development, could not have engendered any bitterness and consternation, if it was going to benefit the Niger-Deltans and other Nigerians. Rather the Niger-Delta resources are carted away with little or no concern for the Niger-Delta by the use of laws that were made with the barrel of the gun in a military autocratic government to the utter detriment and internal colonization of the Niger-Delta. The money carted away by the oil companies, and the federal government, is not returned to the Niger-Delta in the form of development, but this same money is used to develop other parts of Nigeria, for example, Abuja and Lagos. The Niger-Delta is thus, internally colonised and imperialised for the benefits of the internal colonial capitals of Nigeria.
The crisis in the Niger-Delta is, therefore, a crisis that calls for natural resources, especially the crude oil to its natural, true and real owners, by amending or abrogating outright those laws that have unjustly taken away the petroleum from the
Niger-Delta. These laws are unjust, unfair, anachronistic, obnoxious, feudalistic, neocolonialist, imperialist, expropriating and exploitative; and as such they are intolerable to the Niger-Deltans, in a country where they are bona fide citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Niger-Deltans are not bemused at the turn of events that development for them has remained has remained a matter of rhetoric. Discrepancy in the level of development in other areas of Nigeria and the immediate milieu of the Niger-Delta has become a constant source of turmoil and conflict and these have translated into a trenchant and systematic advocacy for resource control. People want to control their resources so that they can commit them to a development initiative that will benefit every spectrum of the community. The Ogonis and Ijaws in Rivers state as well as the Urhobo in Delta state have each gone much further to outline a Bill of Rights to reflect specific demands that must be met to reflect specific demands that must be met to restore a semblance of social justice.
It is pertinent to state for the purpose of this analysis that the territorial space which fall within the geographical confine of the Niger-Delta includes; Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers states of contemporary Nigeria. These states together constitute “the theatre of war” where the struggle resource control, overt or convert, or efforts to redress perceived inequality are
played out daily in the interminable fratricidal conflict. These may assume several forms e.g. (1) Ethnic groups against oil companies e.g. the partly resolved internecine conflict between Ogoni and Shell Petroleum Development Company in Rivers state over issues of environmental degradation, (2) Gender category against Oil Company e.g. the Warri women protest of August 8, 2002 when they besieged Shell and Chevron headquarters and demanded an end to environmental degradation and ancillary difficulty facing present farmsteads and the larger and more pervasive problem of poverty in the Niger-Delta. 3.4 POLITICAL DIMENSION OF THE NIGER-DELTA CRISIS The glory of the struggle for the Niger-Delta cause seems to be fading, the content and purpose for the agitation for a better condition for the people of the region is almost melting away, as criminal elements have hijacked the struggle and making nonsense of the genuine agitation of the people.
The approach adopted by the acclaimed fighters has become counter-productive, and is affecting the fortunes of their mother state in terms of revenue and disinvestment in the region. The whole struggle has become big business to those who can wail the guns, as they take hostages, kidnap and hijack people for ransom, which is not shared among Niger-Delta people. Yet, at every attempt to check the excesses of the false fighter’s, elders from the
region raise alarm about youths over whom they have lost control, and who themselves are not spared in the atrocities, as they or some members of their families have also had a dose of kidnapping saga.
There have been about 14 reports on the problem of the area and how to address its developmental challenges. It is widely believed that the current crisis in the oil rich region would have been addressed had the recommendations of the various panels and committees or commissions been implemented,
Attempts at tackling the problems of the Niger-Delta had been in haphazard manner, most times through palliative fire brigade approach that had rarely paid off. The latest is the Lidum Mittee- led Technical Committee, which reports submitted on December 1, 2008, though accepted by the federal government, yet remain in the cooler.
It is widely argued that the current tension in the area could have been checked if government had capitalized on the lull in the activities of the militants to make bold developmental statements. The Niger-Delta crisis goes beyond the quest of resource control and development. The people involved in the struggle are there for political interest. Self interest on the path of the agitators and politicians here can be stated because if the Niger-Delta
become developed a set of people who would lose and if it goes the other way round would affect another group of people, so, anywhere it goes somebody would be affected either positively or negatively.
3.5 CORRUPTION, RESOURCE LIBERATION AND ETHICAL DILEMA OF THE NIGER-DELTA Corruption has been defined as:
“a form of anti-social behavior by an individual or social group which confers unjust or fraudulent benefits on its perpetrators (and) is inconsistent with the established legal norms and prescribed moral ethos of the land and is likely to subvert or diminish the capacity of the legitimate authorities to produce fully for material and spiritual wellbeing of all members of society in a just and equitable manner.”
Economic corruption manifests in the application of extra-legal acts by bureaucracy which could constitute obstacle or delay returns on private interest or prompting official attention to applications, vouchers, and bills of private interest. The concept of corruption is being examined here because scholars perceive corruption as the major bane of Africa’s development. The Nigerian government had in the past and in the present, made elaborate arrangements to contain social virus which has exacerbated poverty in the country’s polity.
The bureau of public conduct was set up at the height of military profligacy and financial excesses to bring public officers in line with normative expectation. The
dispensation under the leadership of President Olusegun Obasanjo went a step further to institutionalize mechanisms to effectively combat corruption at all levels of the society. In this regard, one can mention the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) set up to combat crimes in civil society and the Independent Corrupt Practices and related offences Commission (ICPC) which was setup to combat corruption in government. It is pertinent to note that remarkable progress has been made in the fight against corruption, especially in the realm of consciousness rising rather than in the actual number of culprits who have been brought to book. Corruption, graft, and other deviant characteristics are concepts which are apparently loaded in the Nigerian context.
Corruption passes through several interpretative prisms and is generally context specific. Oil bunkering might be a corrupt practice and pipeline vandalization may be an unethical conduct, abduction of foreign personnel might be a criminal act but indigenous youths of the Niger-Delta perceive the aforementioned “deviant” actions as liberation tendencies to restore equity where it does not exist. Generally, equity theory rests on the assumption that social relationships much as they would evaluate economic transactions in the market place. Social relations are viewed as an exchange process in which individuals make contributions of time and effort. Niger-Delta people perceive lack of equity in their relationship with oil companies and in their relationship with government. They see government as being premised on a false and exploitative foundation and make every move to subvert the functioning and operations of government especially, in the Joint Venture partnership for exploration of petroleum products. As is often recognised, “He who comes to equity must come with a clean
hand”. Government has not come with clean hands, the oil companies have come with even dirtier hands and the indigenous people feel that the government has no moral ground to condemn somewhat “inimical” practices that are meant to rectify prevailing anomalies and restore equity where none existed. This is perhaps, the continuing crisis of ethical dilemma in the Niger-Delta. 3.6 RESOURCE EXPLOITATION AND COROLLARY DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT The discovery of petroleum has come with adverse environmental consequences for the Niger-Delta. Otherwise fertile farmlands have regressively lost fertility uprooting whole populations from the farms into an uncertain labour market. Fishermen in the mangrove creeks and the riverine areas have not fared any better. The effluent from industrial production and intermittent oil spillage has introduced toxicity into the prevailing food chain and endangered aquatic life. The scenario is replicated across the Niger-Delta in space and time.
Writing in the Guardian Newspaper of August 11, 2003, an N.G.O, Earth and Justice highlighted a specific instance of this endemic problem thus;
“A major pipeline rupture occurred in July 9, 2003 at Shell’s Rumuekpe-Adibawa pipeline located at Imogu, Emohua local government of Rivers state. The spill Spewed substantial quantity of crude oil into, nearby
Streams, farms and surrounding environment.”
This is more or less the sordid environmental realism of the Niger-Delta. With an ageing network of pipelines and an apparent lack of a discernible plan to introduce a worthwhile change, one can only expect the present trend of incessant oil spillages to continue.
A region in which several wells are located which experience intermittent oil spillages would soon brace up to a hard choice between survival and decimation. The slow gradual process of decimation could be activated if the faulty mechanism that is responsible for oil spillage in one community is not detected and repaired to avert a future recurrence. Decimation could also occur if there were no determined effort to restore the people’s life support system, the land. This will, however, involve concrete measures to restore aquatic life and also to restore the salubrity of farmlands where oil spillages have occurred. These are supposedly reactive measures to address environmental problems by which have yet to be introduced by government or multinational oil companies in the Niger-Delta. This has become a critical interface for consciousness-raising of a political kind. 3.7 FORMS OF VIOLENCE IN THE NIGER-DELTA The rising wave of militancy in the Niger-Delta has since 2006 taken a new and dynamic twist. Violence in the region has affected the host communities and the Nigerian state in no small measure. This section seeks to analyze the various methods
and ways that have been adopted by the Niger-Delta militants in order to achieve their aim. The methods used by the militants are: Hostage taking and kidnapping, Oil bunkering, Pipeline vandalization and Piracy. These would be expatiated and explained.
3.7.1 HOSTAGE TAKING AND KIDNAPPING This is an act that has been adopted by the Niger-Delta militants in order to achieve their aim of resource control. This has been the most visible and active part of militancy in the Niger-Delta which has affected the Nigerian state in a negative way.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND), which emerged in 2005 and has since become the most vocal, best organized, most visible and militant of the armed groups, MEND has since December 2005 engaged in a spate of attacks and kidnapping of oil workers, especially foreigners, thereby forcing oil production shut-ins most of the time up to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd). In August 2006, following incessant abduction of its workers and demand for ransom at time to secure their release, some multinational oil companies operating in the region indicated intentions to stop operating and possibly withdraw from the Niger-Delta over security
Hostage taking was initially carried out in the “core” Niger-Delta states which Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states respectively, this has actually spread to other NigerDelta states. In Edo state, there has been a rising menace of kidnapping. Hostage taking for ransom has become stock-in-trade for youths in Edo state and constituting a new worry to the residents. The early signs that the nefarious trade has become a major menace in Edo state started manifesting on January 13, 2009 when the General Manager of a popular transport firm based in Benin, Big Joe motors, Mr. Monday Osayanda, was kidnapped.
In Akwa-Ibom, the case is not different as the state has become a den of kidnappers with the Governor, His Excellency Godswill Akpabio declaring war on the Kidnappers. Among those kidnapped in recent times who were later released for some undisclosed ransom, included Dr. Fabian Eshiet, a retired permanent secretary and proprietor of Monef Nursery and Primary school, Uyo, the wife of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Achibong; Former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Chief Nelson Effiong and one senior officer in the House of Assembly.
It is pertinent to note that hostage taking has taken a new twist in the Niger-Delta
region with criminals hijacking the scheme and asking for ransom. This has actually affected the struggle of the militants in the Niger-Delta and they are referred to as criminals.
Due to the rise of kidnappings in the Niger-Delta region, various state governments has adopted stringent measures in order to stop the menace of kidnappings in the region; Rivers state House of Assembly recommended life jail for kidnappers, this was one of the recommendations of the Kidnapping Prohibition Bill 2008, which was passed into law on Tuesday, February 17,2009. The case is not different in AkwaIbom, with the state considering Death penalty for kidnappers; the State Attorney General and commissioner for Justice, Victor Iyanam has disclosed the state has recommended capital punishment for those guilty of kidnapping. The Governor of Edo State in the person of Adams Oshiomhole has said that the government would not negotiate with the kidnappers 3.7.2 OIL BUNKERING Oil bunkering is sometime referred to as Oil theft. This is a lucrative business enterprise in the Niger-Delta and it is carried out by militants, politicians and foreigners alike. It has become a form of conglomerate of a privilege few and a constant source of worry to the Niger-Delta state.
Due to the Importance the Nigerian Government attaches to the menace oil bunkering in the Niger-Delta; the new helmsman of the reconstituted Joint Task Force (JTF), Major-General Yaki Bello has promised to go after retired Generals and Military officers involved in the illegal bunkering otherwise called crude oil theft.
“JTF does not hold anybody as sacred cows but has the Federal mandate to put an end to the illegal bunkering, Vandalism and other forms of criminality in the oil-rich Region”, said
Bello who assured that “the Federal
Government is determined to stop this illegal trade.”
The tough-talk confirms wide speculations that some retired generals are involved in this illegal money spinning business and have thus made it difficult to be tackled. Also, Bello spoke at time reports indicate an increase in crude oil theft in the NigerDelta.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company has said that Nigeria loses about 1.5 billion dollars yearly to crude oil theft and urged the government to urgently address the situation. The company said thieves masquerading as militants agitating for improved living conditions for communities in the oil rich region, drill holes in oil manifolds and pipelines that criss-cross the region to siphon crude which is then loaded into the barge and transferred into Ocean tanker on the high Seas.
An official of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), a subsidiary of the NNPC is reported to have admitted that the incidence of crude oil theft has increased since January 2008, adding that it was a security issue which the authorities were trying to tackle. He said out of the production shut-in of about 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) some 60% is as a result of militancy, while 40% balance is as a result of technical challenges.
This means that the 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) which the 2009 budget was predicted on could at best be a pipe dream. For a budget which premised on a higher benchmark crude oil price than the current average, this is an additional woe.
Considering the enormity of the losses to the Nation from this criminal activity, government’s inability to stem it is confounding.
There are more harmful effects on the thriving crime. One, a $1.5 billion dollars loss in expected earning is a major leakage, which opportunity cost is painful to imagine. Worst still is the fact that the loss constitutes financial gains for crude oil thieves.
Two, it is obvious that the bulk of oil is gotten by wealthy, highly connected and heavily armed gangs, big enough in the Business to have easy sale outlets in the international oil market. Foreigners are also involved, this came to fore when 13 Filipinos were convicted to five years in jail or given the option of a one million naira fine on Saturday, February 20, 2009 after pleading guilty for handling oil product suspected to have been stolen in the Niger-Delta.
The accused persons who were arrested on November 14, 2008, and charged on December 17, 2008, initially pleaded not guilty on arraignment, but later changed their plea.
The charges against them include conspiracy to commit felony; to deal in petroleum products without authorization; dealing in 12,000 metric tones of petroleum products, suspected to be crude oil; and bunkering in a vessel marked MT-AKUADA. The involvement of foreigners and indigenes are therefore major contributory factors in the arms building up in the region and the likely presence of mercenaries.
Three, their operations puts the lives of residents and particularly those of oil workers at risk. Little wonder that the barges of these thieves sail in open creeks without much
Four, hasty hot-tapping into oil facilities to siphon the crude oil or has cessation of the exercise to avoid arrest have often led to fire outbreaks in which lives and properties are lost and environment scourged.
Attempts have been made by some people to rationalize crude oil theft. They argue that it is driven by local militants who, angry that the underdevelopment in the region have resorted to oil theft or force-fully taking that which belongs to them. But there are no excuses for criminality.
The criminality of the Niger-Delta crisis in which crude oil theft is subsumed is understandable, but Government’s weak handling of the theft only goes to confirm the involvement of powerful Nigerians as Bello said.
That also offers explanation of the fact that in the past, people arrested for crude oil theft were eventually freed after the initial parade before television camera. Also some barges and vessels impounded are known to have disappeared. 3.7.3 PIPELINE VANDALIZATION
Pipeline vandalization took a new twist during the period under review which is from 2007-2009, and it has affected Nigeria’s oil production capacity. In June 2008, Bonga Field that produces 200,000 barrels of crude oil was attacked, halting production by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). MEND claimed responsibility, saying that the release of Henry Okah was germane to peace in the area. Less than 24 hours after Bonga incidence, another group attacked oil facilities belonging to Chevron, leading to 120,000 bpd short fall.
Between 2005 and 2006 shut-in production as a result of violence in the Niger-Delta was in the region of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd). This was essentially due to crude pipeline vandalization and hostage taking by militant groups in the Niger-Delta.
However, since early 2007 to date (2009), the shut-in production has peaked at 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd). The volume was 1.3 million bpd early 2008, according to the Minister for Energy (petroleum), Mr. Odein Ajumogobia.
According to statistics from the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), an arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) responsible for the management and supervision of government equity in oil and gas production ventures in the country; Nigeria’s daily production capacity is 3.3 million
barrels per day (bpd) but the country is constraint by production quota of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to produce the entire capacity. Rather, Nigeria’s output, in line with OPEC quota, is 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd). It is important to note that Shell’s E.A field, which has capacity for about 115,000 barrels per day (bpd), has been shut since 2007.
The following is a breakdown of production shut-in in barrels per day confirmed by oil companies and industry sources.
Field operator out-put outage date shut-ins, Bonga Shell 220,000 bpd, June 2008, Brass River Eni 45,000 bpd, June 2008, Bonny Light Shell 160,000 bpd, February 2006, E.A Shell 115,000 bpd, February 2006, Escravos Chevron 120,000 bpd, June 2008, Escravos Chevron 70,000 bpd since 2003, Pennington’s Chevron is estimated at 50,000 bpd bringing the total: 944,000 bpd and some 400,000 bpd from 30-party small producers, who rely on major oil companies’ facilities for the evacuation of their crude through to export terminals. 3.7.4 PIRACY This is a major problem in the Niger-Delta and the Gulf of Guinea. Sea pirates have become a sort of menace in the Sea and they have been hijacking vessels in the high seas. A case to note is that which happened in January 2009, when sea pirates
hijacked relief materials worth millions of Naira donated by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to the victims of 2008 invasion of Agge community in Bayelsa state by the Joint Task Force (JTF) on the Niger-Delta, while being conveyed to the community. There was a shoot out between the sea bandits and a militia group contacted by the official of one of the Local Governments to retrieve the stolen items at Azagbene near Egbema-Angalabiri from the area said that one of the sea robbers was captured and taken to the camp of MEND commander. It was also allegedly attacked by pirates who attempted to hijack it before a Naval patrol come to their rescue and freed them. Also, on the same day, five suspected militants in military fatigues allegedly attacked a 25-passenger boat at Isaka River near Bonny and dispossessed them of their personal belongings, while a young girl in the boat was raped. According to the coordinator of the Joint Media Campaign Centre (JMCC) of JTF in Bayelsa state, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, his men were on patrol when the militants opened fire on them at about 3.30 p.m on April 27, 2009. He said they returned fire drowning six of the militants suspected to be members of the Niger-Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) in the process while they suffered no casualty. 3.8 GENDER DIMENSIONS OF SOCIAL DEPRIVATION The social deprivation in the Niger-Delta is more fundamentally weighted against women. They suffer from multiple adversities of the traditional African patriarchy. Women of the Niger-Delta are faced with untold hardship when they begin to bear
the responsibilities of child upbringing as their husbands become victims of environmental displacement and other deleterious consequences of oil production. These, perhaps are some of the reasons why the women of the Niger-Delta took the historic decision on August 8, 2002 to storm the Headquarters of Chevron and Shell in Warri metropolis. While commenting on the protest, the Vanguard Newspaper editorial of August 26, 2002 noted that “the protest was unique because of its being an all women affair”. These women had protested against environmental degradation, joblessness and the emergent bronchial and carcinogenic diseases which had become a serious health problem in the Niger-Delta. 3.9 POVERTY AS VIOLENCE AGAINST THE NIGER-DELTA POPULACE Poverty has been described as a “social scourge”. According to Okechukwu Emeh Jr.,
“the inhumanity of poverty could be seen from its indices of deprivation and denial of choices and opportunities most basic to human development, as well as lack of ability to make choices and use available opportunities purposefully.”
As he further stresses
“.........the destructive seed sown by poverty are written large In any human society it affects. These include political instability, Social unrest, corruption, criminal violence, prostitution, drug abuse, and moral bankruptcy. Poverty is also the harbinger of hunger, malnutrition, low life expectancy, homelessness (including vagrancy), life of misery and squalor, subservience, dependence, exploitation, alienation, human and political rights abuse, disease, illiteracy, ignorance and superstition. This scourge of humankind is, equally, the source of despair, hopelessness, pessimism, disillusionment, despondency, uncertainty and all the feelings that negates the
resilience of the human spirit and blithe expectation of a better tomorrow.”
It has rightly been suggested that woeful living conditions are also at the roots of the catastrophic armed rebellions that have ravaged the Niger-Delta region, and this has made the people of the region to take up arms and fight the Nigerian state. There are widening disparities between the rich and the poor and warped distribution of petroleum resources in favour of the rich elite class in the region.
Poverty according to Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi (also known as Mahatma Ghandi) is “the worst form of violence against a people”. The people of the NigerDelta region are one of the poorest set in the Nigerian Federation and they live in squalor and abject poverty and are not able to fend for themselves. The youths in the region are jobless because the multinational corporations in the region consider them as unemployable, and they prefer to employ expatriates from foreign countries. The women and men have no reliable source of livelihood because their farmlands and waterways have been polluted by oil spillages which have ravaged their homelands and made their living condition deplorable. The children of the Niger-Delta are left to play in oil spill site because their parents have no money to pay for their school fees: All these conditions which can be summed up as poverty, has made the Niger-Delta a hot bed which has been plagued with incessant cult clashes, kidnappings, oil bunkering/oil theft, pipeline vandalization and piracy which can also be summed up as militancy in the region. 3.10 TIMELINE OF MILITANT ACTIVITIES IN THE NIGER-DELTA FROM 2007-2009 Since the beginning of 2007, the wave of militancy in the Niger-Delta region had risen in an astronomical rate and it has affected the Nigerian state negatively.
In this section, some cases of militancy in the region would be analyzed. Militant activities would be divided based on the year of occurrence in order to ensure easy identification.
It is pertinent to note that there has been over 300 cases of kidnapping and 400 cases of hostage taking since the beginning of year 2008, 200 foreigners were taken hostage after paying high ransom; from 2008 to June 2009, 33 military officers were killed in the Niger-Delta but not on active duty, this was said by Ojo Maduekwe, the Minister in charge of foreign affairs when he was speaking to the Head of Foreign Mission in Abuja on Friday May 22, 2009.
2007 On May 1, 2007, MEND seized six (6) expatriate workers from an offshore oil facility owned by Chevron. The group of six consisted of four Italians, an American, and a Croat. On the same day, MEND published photos of the captives seated on white plastic chairs in a wooden shelter around the remains of a campfire.
On May 3, 2007, MEND seized eight foreign hostages from another offshore vessel. The hostages were released less than 24 hours later, stating they had intended to destroy the vessel and did not want more hostages.
On June 1, 2007, some heavily armed militants stormed the living quarters of some Indians and after heavy shootings, made away with the expatriates who were seven in number.
On September 23, 2007, A MEND spokesperson named Jomo Gbomo announced, through a communiqué to the Philadelphia Independent Media Centre, that media reports of his arrest and detention were false; and then further informed, through the letter, that MEND had officially declared war, effective 12 mid-night, September 23, 2007, and that they would be commencing “attacks on installations and abduction of expatriates.”
On November 13, 2007, MEND militants attacked Cameroonian soldiers on the disputed Bakassi Peninsular, killing more than 20 soldiers, three days after this incident, a southern Cameroonian rebel group claimed responsibility to this attack on the soldiers.
On the first week of December 2007, Chief Simon Ebebi, the Alei of Alebiri and father of Bayelsa state deputy governor was kidnapped by unknown gunmen who demanded for 10 million Naira ransom.
TABULAR REPRESENTATION OF THE RISE OF MILITANCY IN THE REGION FOR ‘07
INCIDENCE Militants attacked an oil vessel near Bonny Island
WHERE Bonny Island, Rivers state. Rivers
LOSS 187,000 bpd
March 2007. May 2007. May 2007 May 2007.
Major oil spill at a pipeline feeding the Bonny export terminal due to sabotage. Six expatriate workers from an offshore facility owned by Chevron were seized MEND seized
150,000 bpd -
Six oil workers kidnapped.
workers from an offshore vessel. 4, Saipen site was attacked causing shut-in production. Okono/Okpoho, Rivers.
kidnapped. Several workers wounded
Protests caused Chevron shut down the Abiteye flow station that feeds the Escravos export terminal.
May 2007. May 2007.
Three major oil pipelines (one in Brass and two in the Akasa area) run by Agip were attacked. Protesters occupied the shut-in production
Brass/Akasa Bayelsa. Bomu, Rivers.
pipeline system causing Shell to feeding Bonny light export terminal Gunmen attacked the country home of the Vice president. Protesters resumed at the Bomu pipeline system. It made Shell to shut-in crude oil production through its Nembe creek trunk pipeline after discovering a leak. Gunmen stormed the Ogainbiri flow operated by Eni. It led to 18, shuts-in production. Militants overran the Chevron-Eni Abiteye flow station causing shut-in crude oil production Militants attacked Port-Harcourt destroying some public properties such as the NNPC Mega station and Radio. Gunmen claiming to be MEND kidnapped 11 members of the 10, 26, 30, ruling P.D.P. Attack by MEND led to the death of a Columbian oil workers. Six oil workers kidnapped. Naval warship, NNS Obula,
May 2007. May 2007.
77,000 bpd 40,000 bpd
state. Bomu, Rivers.
June 2007. June 2007. August, 2007.
24 workers were taken hostage.
Port-Harcourt, Rivers state.
citizens died in the attack.
Sep. 2007 Oct. 2007. Oct 2007. Oct. 2007
Southern Ondo state.
kidnapped. 1 death recorded
kidnapped. 1 death and five others seriously
deployed to secure the EA field
February 2008, prominent militant, Henry Okah, was arrested in Angola and extradited to Nigeria.
On May 3, 2008, MEND militants attacked Shell’s operated pipelines in Nigeria, forcing the company to halt 170,000 barrels a day of export of Bonny light crude.
On June 19, 2008 MEND Fighters sailed 220 kilometres of open sea without men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) on the Niger-Delta allegedly hearing sounds of their speed boats and observing any strange movement. In fact, the location of the FSPO with a current nameplate production of 225,000 bpd and a target of raising the country’s crude oil production to some four million bpd by 2010 was calculated to make it outof-the-way of impregnable militants.
MEND Naval forces attacked the Shell-operated Bonga oil platform shutting down of 10% of Nigeria’s oil production in one fell swoop. This attack demonstrated a level of prowess and sophistication never before seen by the rebels.
On June 20, 2008, a militant group attacked oil facilities belonging to Chevron
leading to a 120,000 barrel per day short fall.
On Sunday, September 14, 2008, The Movement for the Emancipation of the NigerDelta (MEND), the “fear provoking” militia in the Niger-Delta declared the “Oil War” christened “Hurricane Barbarossa” in response to the JTF operation in the region. The next day, its fighters attacked oil flow stations and burst pipelines at Soku Gas Plant; Chevron platform at Kula and a major crude trunk pipeline at Nembe creek were blown up at several points. The militants took 25 oil workers it rescued from the pirates that kidnapped them from the MT BLUE OCEAN, including five expatriates from Britain and Ukraine, while the remaining 22 are Nigerians. The South African among them were released on the 18th of September evening, following the intervention of the wife of its leader, Henry Okah. Around 2 a.m on Wednesday 19th of September, the militants strucked again and set ablaze at the expansive Alakri flow station complex, a gas plant owned by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
Gbomo said; “heavily armed fighters from the MEND stormed the facility and have razed it to
the ground, as promised. The foolhardy workers and soldiers, who did not heed our warning perished inside the station.”
The attack was confirmed by Shell, which stated; “regrettably, a community station guard
was killed during the incident.”
Though the militants alleged that over 10 soldiers were killed, Shell confirmed that four persons sustained injuries during the attack, while JTF dismissed the allegation.
Later around 10 p.m on the same day, MEND and the Niger-Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF) in a new alliance attacked and destroyed the SPDC-operated Orubiri flow station. On Wednesday, September 17, the militants destroyed a major pipeline at Rumuekpe community in Rivers state with explosives to destroy another major oil pipeline belonging to SPDC at the Eleme-Kalabiri Cawthorne channel axis.
On Saturday, September 20, a militant group staged an attack in the early hours of the day between 3.00 and 4.00 a.m, at Soku facility and Robertkiri where they met active resistance from the troops guarding the facilities. A soldier was wounded and there was no death.
No fewer than sixty persons may have lost their lives in the seven days war; that is between Friday 12th of September to Thursday 19th of September, in the creeks of Rivers state to the “oil war” declared by Niger-Delta militants. The guns booms, dynamites detonated and grenade freely hauled by the warring group. It all started on
Friday 12th when men of the Joint Task Force, JTF, in the state were on routine marine patrol on the water ways in Elem Tombia. And suddenly according to the spokesman of the security body and the army in the state, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, suspected militants opened fire on their boats. And, in self defence, they retaliated. At the end of the encounter, about fifteen persons reportedly lost their lives. On September 27, a week after declaring an oil war and sustaining heavy losses at the hands of the Nigerian Armed Forces, the group declared a ceasefire until “further notice”.
On December 20th, 2008, two Russians (Mr. Sergey Zamotaylov and Konstantin Aksenov) of the Aluminium Smelter Company (ALSCON), Eket, Akwa-Ibom were kidnapped by a militant group. The Russians were rescued on Thursday February 19, 2009 by the Nigerian Navy who was on a routine patrol of the Bonny Rivers at about the time the Russians were swimming away from their captors.
TABULAR REPRESENTATION OF MILITANCY IN THE REGION FOR THE YEAR 2008
Petroleum tanker was attacked at the Nigerian Ports Authority by elements within MEND, known as the Freedom freelance fighter
2person were reportedly killed.
MEND fighters attacked a military house boa stationed at the Shell Petroleum TARA manifold Gunmen attacked a supply vessel belonging to Total oil Nig. Ltd. MV Patience at Buoy 3.5
Shell petroleum Tara manifold, Bayelsa state Kalaibama channel, Bonny island Rivers.
February 11, 2008. Feb. 2008. Mar. 2008. Mar.21, 2008. April 2008. April 2008. April 2008. April 2008. 2, 13, 11,
2 soldiers killed.
Gunmen attacked a Naval gunboat belonging to the Pathfinding Naval escorting NLNG boats from Port-Harcourt. Exchange of fire between militants and oil industry security ships. MEND attacked explosion. Naval ship causing
4 people killed.
Rivers Rivers Rivers Forcados,. Delta
11 soldiers reportedly killed. 10 Naval officers died with some militants. -
Two oil flow stations belonging to Agip oil company located offshore were blown off. Agip vessels bombed
120,000 bpd -
Serial attacks were launched on Warri-Benin pipelines and products marketing company of NNPC. MEND fighters’ crippled Adamakri crude oil flow station belonging to Shell.
6 people died, with 2 civilians
April 2008. April 2008. May 2008. May 2008. May 2008.
MEND in “operation cyclone” attacked two major pipelines in Soku-Buguma and Buguma-Alakri belonging to Shell. MEND sabotaged a major crude oil pipeline located at Kula operated by Shell. Bayelsa state Shell facility attacked, key facility destroyed. Chevron oil vessel hijacked. Assault on Rivers state pipeline, forcing closure. Clashes between militants. security forces and
10 killed in clashes. 10 foreign workers kidnapped. 6 foreign workers kidnapped. 5 persons kidnapped. 8 hostages taken 6 militants and 29 soldiers reportedly died. Over 100 deaths. Recorded -
24, 2, 13, 26,
Rivers Soku/Alakri Rivers. Kula, Rivers. Bayelsa Delta
15,000 bpd -
June 9-20, 2008. June 2008. June 2008 June 2008. July 2008. July 2008. July 2008. July 2008. August 2008. 19, 20, 28,
MEND struck Shell’s Bonga facility on the offshore oil fields in Rivers. Chevron facility attacked in Delta state. It led to shut-ins production. Clashes at Rivers state Shell’s facility and nearby Army base reported between militants and soldiers. Clashes between militants and security forces. Foreign oil workers kidnapped. Foreign oil workers kidnapped. Two major attacks on Shell’s pipelines. Militants kidnapped workers in Ondo state producing development commission, (OSOPADEC) and 4 others. Militants destroyed oil gas pipeline in Rivers state. Oil pipeline destroyed in Delta. Oil vessel on Bonny River hijacked. Militants and security forces clashed. The oil war christened “Hurricane Barbarossa” was carried out by MEND in response to J.T.F operation in the region. Two Russians were kidnapped in Eket, Akwa-Ibom.
Rivers Rivers Delta
225,000 bpd 120,000 bpd -
16, 24, 26, 26, 8,
Rivers/Bayelsa Rivers Rivers Rivers Ilaje, state. Rivers Delta state. Rivers state. Rivers state Rivers state Ondo
August 12, 2008. August 19, 2008. August 24, 2008. August 30, 2008. Sep. 12-19.
No fewer than 60 persons lost their lives. 2 foreigners kidnapped.
MEND called off its ceasefire on January 30, 2009.
On February 17, 2009, Gunmen attacked two oil facilities operated by Royal Dutch oil giant, Shell in Rivers state. The region’s main militant group, MEND, denied any involvement. On the same day in Nembe, Bayelsa state, suspected loyalist of Kiti Kata, a militant leader linked with the recent killings of soldiers in the Niger-Delta region, invaded the SPDC’s Nembe creek flow station in Bayelsa state. This and numerous other attacks forced Shell to shut-in 180,000 barrel per day of crude oil.
On February 17, 2009, Nigerian security forces repelled an attack by gunmen on an Exxon Mobil housing compound in the Niger-Delta state of Akwa-Ibom. The attack on the U.S Energy giant’s compound in Eket, where security measures were reinforced in December following a rise in violence in Akwa-Ibom, took place at around 10.00 p.m.
On Tuesday, February 17, 2009, The Equatorial Guinean Government fingered the Niger-Delta militants as the masterminds of the armed attack on its president’s
On Friday, March 27, 2009, the mother of the Group Managing Director of a bank was kidnapped at Ibusa in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta state, just as members were working on a bill that would stipulate death sentence for kidnappers caught in the state. On Tuesday, April 14, Three Naval ratings on guard duties at Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) facility in Nembe, Bayelsa state, were killed by suspected militants’ retaliation of the killings of 14 militants by soldiers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) on Sunday 12, April 2009.
On Tuesday, April 28, the Military Joint Task Force killed six militants who attacked their men without provocation at Samaa, near Buguma, in Rivers state.
On Tuesday, May 20, 2009, Illegal refineries said to be used by Niger-Delta militants as kidnapping rings were destroyed just as two passport speed boats belonging to a notorious militant, Kingsley Opuye, were seized in a gun duel with the gangster.
On the same day, another militant group claimed it launched an attack on men of the
JTF at Okerenkoko, the last bastion of Ijaw resistance in Western Niger-Delta.
Prior to that time, on Friday May 15, 2009, a Lieutenant Colonel, a Major and five other ranking officers of the Nigerian Army were killed in an ambush. They were on their way to free a seized vessel and its crew. The attack provoked the violent reaction from the military which vowed to go after the militants. Also, on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, the military Task Force (JTF) sealed off major entry and exit points on the Warri Waterways.
A number of gunboats and helicopters were deployed to the areas to comb the creeks and rivers for boats entering or leaving the area.
On Thursday, May 21, A Delta state House of Assembly member representing Sapele constituency, Chief Monday Igbuya was kidnapped by gunmen suspected to be militants.
It is pertinent to note that the Niger-Delta crisis has been going on for years and it seems it would continue for a long time with the ongoing onslaught in the NigerDelta which was given the backing by the House of Representatives asking the JTF to
extend the military clampdown in Warri, Delta state to other parts of the region.
The methods of MEND are different. It has employed violence as a tool, shocking the world with globally publicised kidnappings of expatriate oil workers, their wives, children and relations. Local Government officials were not insulated. MEND spokesmen, Jomo Gbomo, have defended the violence in the region saying that “We are asking justice. We want our land and the Nigerian government to transfer all its involvements in the oil industry to host communities”
It is not certain if all the scattered armed militants operate under MEND. They exist in their thousands, and they have been able to force a 27% cut in Nigeria’s oil exports. This has sent shock waves through the global oil market still battling with the Middle East and Gulf crisis.
It is not possible to understand the dynamics of the struggles of the popular movements of the indigenous ethnic minorities of the Niger-Delta outside the struggle for democratization of the Nigerian state.
A quest for democracy underlies the desire for local autonomy and control of oil in the Niger-Delta. It also reflects in the social character of the struggle in which movements organised around ethnic identities and solidarities, using a history of struggle and traditional indigenous metaphors and symbols protest against and resist traditional values. The key issues are the demands for local autonomy and the control of oil for the benefit of the people of the Niger-Delta.
Michael Oberabor (Sunday, June 29, 2008). “Niger Delta: A fading hope”. The Guardian, Page, 25. Emma Amaize (Saturday, June 28, 2008). “Bonga Field attack: MEND Commander opens up”. Vanguard, Pages 9-11. Adewale Adeoye (Saturday, June 28, 2008). “Rumble in the jungle.” Nigerian Compass, Pages 2-4. Sam Olowoyeye (Saturday, June 28, 2008). “In search of peace in the Niger-Delta”. The Guardian, Page 15. Godwin Ijediogor (Saturday, September 20, 2008). “Niger Delta Conflict as Lingering sore”. The Guardian, Page 8.
Kelvin Ebiri (Saturday, September 21, 2008). “The Oil War”. The Guardian, Page 1. Emma Amaize (Sunday, September 21, 2008). “Oil War: Govs. Move to contain militants.” Vanguard, Page 14. Jimitota Onoyume (Sunday, September 21, 2008). “Guns booms, grenades explode in a 7-day Oil War.” Vanguard, Page 15. Ahamefula Ogbu (Saturday, June 2, 2007). “Militants kidnap seven expatriates in P/Harcourt”. Thisday, Page 1. Femi Folaranmi (Tuesday, December 18, 2007). “Deputy Govs. Dad: Negotiation with kidnappers breaks down”. Daily Sun, Page 1. Juliana Taiwo (Saturday, February 21, 2009). “F.G hands over Russian hostages to Ambassador.” Thisday, Page 9. Segun Adeleye (Wednesday, April 29, 2009). “N’Delta militant abducted 128 persons in one year, says police.” Nigerian Compass, Page 48. Joseph Ushigiale (Saturday, February 21, 2009). “13 Filipinos jailed 65 years for Oil theft.” Thisday, Page 1. Kingsley Omonobi (Saturday, February 21, 2009). “Navy, JTF rescues kidnapped Russians in Niger-Delta”. Vanguard, Page 1. Clarice Azuatalam (Wednesday, February 18, 2009). “Rivers Assembly recommends life jail for Kidnappers.” The Nation, Page 1. Shola O’Neil (Wednesday, February 18, 2009). “JTF deploys gunboats in Delta”. The Nation, Page 38. Chika A. Nwachuku, Segun James and Gboyega Akinsanmi (Wednesday, February 18, 2009). “N/Delta crisis: Shell shuts in 180,000 bpd”. Thisday, Page 7. Ayoyinka Olagoke (Saturday, February 28, 2009). “Akwa-Ibom considers death
penalty for kidnappers”. Guardian, Page 4. Kelvin Ebiri, Rose Ann Chikereuba and Willie Etim (Wednesday, February 18, 2009). “Kidnappers risks life imprisonment in River”. The Guardian, Page 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/conflict_in_the_niger_delta http://maxsiollum.wordpress.com/..../niger_delta_militants_terrorists_or_freedom_fi ghters/Alexander I. Moro (2008). “The Niger Delta Crisis: Beyond Employment and Physical Development. The Critical issues involved.” Mind Quests Resources, Port Harcourt. Okechukwu Ibeanu (2007). “Petroleum Politics and Development in Niger Delta”, in Okello Oculi and Yakubu Nasidi (eds.) Brain Gain for the African Renaissance: Issues in Governance. ABU Press, Zaria VM. Sylvester and Ruth C. Wali (eds.) (2006). “Readings in peace and conflict resolution.” Abuja, Prince Taiwa Royal Ventures.
NIGER-DELTA AND THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT
4.1 GOVERNMENTAL RESPONSE TO THE CLAMOUR FOR RESOURCE CONTROL The Niger-Delta crisis which has remained a recurring National Question has been occurring for a long time. This crisis has gone through various regimes in the Nigerian state, from independence up until date. It is pertinent to note that there has been various commissions and reports which had been carried out by the Nigerian state in order to solve the crisis, the Henry Willinks commission report of 1957; the Niger-Delta Development Board of 1960; River Basin Development Authority of 1993; Oil Mineral Producing Areas Commission of 1998; Oladayo Popoola Committee of 2002 (a product of the Political Reform Conference); General Alexander Special Security Committee on Oil Producing Communities.
The above mentioned responses to the crisis in the Niger-Delta area of Nigeria occurred prior to the period under review which is from the year 2007-2009; the responses of the Federal Government to the crisis during the period under review includes; The inclusion of the Niger-Delta in President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua 7Point Agenda; The Technical Committee on the Niger-Delta; The Niger-Delta Military Task Force; The Creation of the Ministry of Niger-Delta’s Affairs and The Niger-Delta Development Commission (though created prior to the period under review but plays a very important role in the present day Niger-Delta peace and
4.1.1 THE INCLUSION OF THE NIGER DELTA IN PRESIDENT YAR’ADUA 7-POINT AGENDA Ranking Nigeria’s economy among the Nations of the World, World Bank placed the country as the 41st largest economy with Gross National Income of $203.7 billion. Also in a UNDP 2006 report on Nigeria, it was noted that, although the Nation’s GDP per capita in 2004 was $560 (a little over the poverty line of 1$ per day), the situation has not changed in the last 30 years. The report also noted further that while half of the population had sustainable access to improved sanitation, the population of those having access to clean drinking water dropped from 48% to 46% in 14 years. Also, the life expectancy in Nigeria was 43.4 years, compared to an average of 58.7 years for other low developing countries.
The crisis in the Niger-Delta, the insecurity of lives and properties, infrastructural decay especially the epileptic power supply and inefficient road and transportation system. All these are injurious to the Nation’s attempt to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). It is against these backdrops that the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua regime came up with the 7-point agenda, backing it up with an economical development deadline tagged
Vision 2020 (i.e. making Nigeria the 20th largest economy in the World by 2020).
Education, experience and passion for good Governance must have contributed to the President’s early decision to articulate an economic development agenda for Nigeria. In His first address to a World Press Conference on January 11, 2007 shortly before he started His Presidential Campaign, President Yar’Adua gave an insight into His programmes for Nigeria.
The content of the 7-point Agenda are: Energy emergency, Security of lives and properties, Land reforms, and Education and Human capital development. Others are reform of transportation sector, Food security and Agriculture, and lastly Wealth creation.
The basis of this analysis is not to analyze the 7-Point Agenda but the inclusion of the Niger-Delta in the 7-Point Agenda.
An unfriendly security climate precludes both external and internal investment into the Nation. Thus, security will be seen as not only a constitutional requirement but also a necessary infrastructure for the development of a modern Nigerian economy.
With its particular needs, the Niger-Delta security will be the primary focus marshalled not with physical policing or military security, but through honest and accurate dialogue between the people and the Federal Government.
4.1.2 THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON THE NIGER-DELTA The Technical Committee on the Niger-Delta was inaugurated in September 2008, and tasked by the Vice-President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to collate and review all past reports, starting from the Willinks’ report, appraise their recommendations and make other proposals that will help the Federal Government to achieve sustainable development, peace, human and environmental security in the Niger-Delta region. The Committee made up of 44 men and women, each with a sound knowledge of the terrain and each with a history of advocacy for the Niger-Delta stretching many years worked tirelessly to arrive at this report. The Report captured the past, reviewed its impact on the region and made recommendations, many of which were also found in existing reports, and some others as responses to the current reality of the region which is expressed in many of the memoranda received. A summary of past reports indicates that there has been no shortage of proposed solutions to what now seems to be the never ending Niger-Delta crisis. From the Willinks’ Commission Report in 1958 to the submissions that form part of this report,
the terrain is littered with the output of several committees set up by the previous Heads of Government all of which have been barely implemented. Frustrations with this cyclical situations led stakeholders from the region earlier in the year 2008 to reject the idea of another summit in the region. In heeding the call by stakeholders, the Federal Government demonstrated a commitment to listen by asking for stocktaking from the past which will be merged and used to produce a plan for the future. This way, actions by Government do not ignore the failings of the past in charting a new direction for the region.
Working through an independent secretariat, the committee reached out to members of the public and various Local, National and International stakeholders. This achieved the dual benefit of not only gathering other perspectives but also gaining their commitment to the realization of the region’s development. Relying on these inputs and the substantive issues generated from the past reports, the committee moved from plenary into eight subcommittees namely-(1) Critical infrastructure, (2) Health and Education, (3) Economic development and Regional planning, (4) Environment, sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, (5) Governance and rule of law, (6) Community, youths and women empowerment, (7) Resource ownership, management and distribution, and (8) Conflict, militancy and decommissioning. TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE COMMITTEE
The first part of this report addresses TOR1 which is a review and analysis of all previous reports on the region. TOR2 and 3 follow with an appraisal of recommendations from past reports and the further delineation of recommendations into short, medium and long term. In addition, the committee went beyond mere recommendation to specify who does what, when and how?
In making recommendations to assist the Federal Government to achieve sustainable development in the Region, a novel approach, the Compact with stakeholders in the Niger-Delta was designed to build broad-based implementation and commitment. This compact is targeted at quick impact and gains that are achievable within the residue of the first term of the present Government. The absence of trust and the need to see marked improvement in the quantity and quality of implementation make the compact with stakeholders in the Niger-Delta an innovation which will be used to accurately measure political will on all sides in the Niger-Delta equation and potentially to redefine the relationship between stakeholders towards the Region’s future.
KEY RECOMMENDATIONS AND THEMES The committee has accorded the issue of monitoring implementation a high priority in its recommended actions, and is requesting that a multi104
stakeholders committee is established to follow up with quarterly feedbacks or progress reports as a quick litmus test of political commitment and an indicator of what the region expects of itself and others. Some of the main recommendations include: Increased revenue allocation of 25% in the interim but with a graduation towards 50%, Leveraging extra funds from other sources, establishment of a Disarmament, Decommissioning and Reintegration (DDR) Commission which will explore negotiated approaches to address the challenge of arms and militancy, open trial and unconditional bail for Henry Okah, negotiate amnesty for all Niger-Delta militants, end gas flaring by December 2008, achievement of 5,000 MW of power for the region by 2010, completion of the dualisation of the East-West Road including spurs to each of the coastal states and ensure significant improvement in education, health and youth employment in the region.
Under TOR3, recommendations are also divided into three distinct subsets, namely: (1) Governance and Rule of Law, (2) Regional Development and (3) Human Development. Each of these is also sub-divided into smaller themes and responsibilities assigned to stakeholders including the Federal Government, states in the Niger-Delta, Local Government communities, Militants, Civil society organizations, Oil companies, Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC), International development agencies and others.
In addition, the Report, in an attempt to breakaway from the past, has recommended institutions and mechanisms that will support the implementation of this report, and also raise and manage resources to be applied in the development of the region.
Particularly highlighted in TOR3 is the issue of the militancy and the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process where activities are proposed, including roles and responsibilities assigned to all parties to support a process that promotes peace and prosperity in the region. In the area of governance and rule of law, the impact of corruption on the Region and the need for credible institutions are highlighted, with recommendations on policy adjustments and legal amendments that will redress existing imbalances. The section on Regional development makes recommendations on transportation, power, water, reclamation of land and environmental sustainability, economic development and resource management/Redistribution and also restates some past recommendations were left unimplemented. The final sections of the report on Human development looks at the tripod on Health and education, women and youth empowerment, and community development. It makes recommendation that seeks to reverse some of the worrying socio-economic challenges in the Region and improve the disturbing Human Development Indices (HDIs). CONCLUSION
The report presents a novel blueprint to solving an age old problem. It is the committee’s view, as evidenced by conflicts in some other parts of the world, that there is need for actions that are quick, sincere and sustained which will stem the escalation of conflict and enable other programmes to become rooted. This implies that it is not too late to reverse the trend in the Region. A careful examination of recommendations shows an attempt to provide practical but effective answers to a very complex and long drawn problem. It capitalizes on the fact that the question of the Niger-Delta is part of Mr. President’s 7-Point Agenda, a critical index in measuring the administration and Country’s march towards Vision 20-2020. The reason for hope lies in the fact that the recommendations of this report bring together many affected interest, who can exploit the opportunities ahead and work progressively to stabilize the Region in the interest of the Country as a whole.
4.1.3 JOINT MILITARY TASK FORCE ON THE NIGER-DELTA
The J.T.F is a military formation set up by the Nigerian Government in order to ensure the existence of peace in the Niger-Delta. The J.T.F is made up of sections of the Nigerian Army, Navy, and Air Force, with the purpose of combating armed ‘rebel’ groups in the Niger-Delta. It is not a separate defense formation but it is under the Defense Ministry.
The J.T.F is under Brigadier Gen. Wuyep Rimtip who is the commander of the J.T.F and he assumed position in the year 2008.
The parent tree of the J.T.F is the Nigerian Army, Operational Department-Ministry of Defense.
The past commanders are Brig-Gen Elias Zamani 2003-2006 and Brig-Gen Lawrence Ngubane 2006-2008.
It is pertinent to note that the J.T.F has been one of the most reliable ways through which the Nigerian State has been able to control the crisis in the Niger-Delta. If not of the J.T.F in the Niger-Delta, the Region would have been worse than it is today. It is also worthy of note that there has been recurring battles between the militants and the Nigerian Military in the Niger-Delta, a case of note is the “Operation restore hope” embarked upon by the J.T.F in the Niger-Delta, which the J.T.F on Tuesday, May 26, said it destroyed a camp, which served as a medical centre for militants in Warri South-West Local Government area of Delta State.
The J.T.F’s Joint Media Campaign Centre (JMCC) coordinator, Col. Rabe Abubarkar said its troops “discovered” and destroyed Tompolo’s Militant’s Observation Camp 2 with a House boat hidden inside a dredged creek in Okerenkoko and Jones Creek village in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
A firm assurance was given by the Federal Government to the World that Nigeria was not at war in the Oil rich Niger-Delta where insurgents are fighting for a measure of local autonomy and greater control of the area’s Petroleum resources by the people.
The pledge was made at separate occasions by President Umaru Yar’Adua and the Niger-Delta Affairs Minister Ufot Ekaette just as the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ambassador Emmanuel Imohe, said the issues of development and good governance remain fundamental to the resolution of the crisis in the Niger-Delta.
4.1.4 THE CREATION OF THE MINISTRY OF NIGER-DELTA AFFAIRS
The Niger-Delta Ministry was created as part of the restructuring of the Federal Ministries announced on Tuesday 13th January, 2009 by His Excellency, President Umaru Yar’Adua.
This exclusive ministry for the Niger-Delta created to fast track the development of the Region, is located at the 10th floor of the Federal Secretariat complex, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja.
The mandate of the Ministry is to formulate and coordinate policies for the development and security of the Niger-Delta Region.
The main vision of the Ministry is to serve as the primary vehicle for the execution of government’s plans and programmes for rapid socio-economic development of the Region.
The mission is to formulate and execute plans, programmes and other initiatives as well as coordinate the activities of Agencies, Communities, Donors and other Stakeholders involved in the development of the Region.
FUNCTIONS OF THE MINISTRY
1. Oversee the implementation of Government policies on the development and security of the Niger-Delta Region. 2. Coordinate the formulation of the development pan for the Region;
3. Formulate policies and programmes for youth mobilization and empowerment; 4. Advise Government on security issues concerning the Region; 5. Liaise with relevant Government, Non Governmental and Private Sector Organizations; 6. Formulate and coordinate policies for environmental management; 7. Liaise with Host Communities for the enhancement of the welfare of the people and the development of the Region; 8. Facilitate private sector involvement in the Region; 9. Plan and supervise programmes on public education/enlightenment; 10. Liaise with Oil Companies operating in the Region to ensure environmental protection and pollution control; 11. Organize Human capacity development as well as skills acquisition programmes for the youths;
Take adequate measures to ensure peace, stability and security with a view to
enhancing the economic potentials of the area; 13. Submit reports periodically to Mr. President on all matters concerning the Region.
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE MINISTRY
The Ministry is structured into the following departments, 1. Strategic services department. 2. Community relations and youth development department. 3. Infrastructure development department. 4. Environment management department. 5. Agriculture, commerce and industrial development department. 6. Regional office administration and Inter-Governmental affairs department.
Policy, Research and development department.
8. Human resources management department/ 9. Finance and accounts department. 10. Procurement department. STATE OFFICES (9) Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers States each have the Niger-Delta Ministry in their area of jurisdiction.
4.1.5 THE NIGER-DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (NDDC) The Niger-Delta Development Commission is a Federal Government Agency
establishment by Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo in the year 2000 with the sole mandate of developing the Oil rich Niger-Delta Region of Southern Nigeria.
BACKGROUND The genesis of the NDDC is largely a response to the demands of the population of the Niger-Delta, a populous area inhabited by a diversity of minority ethnic groups. During the 1990s, these ethnic groups, most notably the Ijaw and the Ogoni established organizations to confront the Nigerian Government and Multinational Oil Companies like SHELL. The minorities of the Niger-Delta have continued to agitate and articulate demands for greater autonomy and control of these areas Petroleum resources. Their grievances are justified by the extensive environmental degradation and pollution from oil activities that have operated in the Region since the late 1950s. However, the minority communities of Oil producing areas have received little or no currency from the multi-billion dollar a year industry which lines of the pockets of foreign multinationals and corrupt government officials; environmental remediation measures are limited and negligible. The Region is highly underdeveloped and is one poor even by Nigeria’s low standard s for quality of life.
The circumstances eventually precipitated active and sometimes violent confrontation with the State Oil Companies, as well as with other committees. As a result, Oil
production and operation in attempts to affect change. These disruptions have been extremely costly to the Nigerian Oil Industry, and both the multinationals and the Federal Government have vested interest in permitting uninterrupted extraction operations; the NDDC is a result of these concerns and is an attempt to satisfy the demands of the Niger-Delta’s restive population. MANDATE AND OPERATIONS The NDDC operates under the mandate of improving social and environmental conditions in the Niger-Delta Region, which it acknowledges as horrific in its own reports. However, the Organization has come under scrutiny and according to some is generally regarded as vehicle of corruption and prebendalism.
To achieve its mandate, the NDDC board identified the following areas of focus: Development of social and physical infrastructure, Technology, economic revival and prosperity, Ecological/Environmental remediation, stability and Human development. EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN The position of executive chairman of NDDC has been a subject of much debate. A compromise was reached where the position would be rotated within the nine Oil Producing states in alphabetical order: Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers state.
4.2 NIGER-DELTA CRISIS AND ITS FOREIGN POLICY IMPLICATION Nigeria is believed to have experienced relatively high quotient of violence, which is anchored on the crisis emanating from the Niger-Delta Region, which to a large extent have heralded the ignominious dislocation and disarticulation of Nigerian economy, hence, bastardizing Nigeria’s bilateral, as well as multilateral relations in the comity of Nations. It is pertinent to note, that on Nation-State, Foreign policy vibrate, when there are elements of peace and stability as well as prosperity domestically. Other factors that can determine the vibrancy of a Nation-State foreign policy at any given time includes; Economic strength, Strategic position, Management of domestic affairs, Military capability, Conduct of her citizens abroad, Content and effectiveness of her external propaganda, Conduct of her diplomatic relations and circumstances of the other Countries.
Consequently, Nigeria remained underdeveloped, unable to impact positively on the teeming population, despite the fact that petroleum alone provides about 90% of Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and account for over 80%bof revenue of the Federation and substantial amount of the country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) coupled with the fact that Nigeria has been acknowledged as the World’s 6th largest producer and 8th largest exporter of Crude Oil. Worthy of note, is that the bulk of this Nigeria proven Oil reserve, is located in the Niger-Delta Area. As such, this abundant Oil and Gas deposit, which should have been a blessing, have had a very negative
impact on the environment of the Region, due to unsustainable explorative activities being practiced by Oil Multinationals without taking the environment into cognizance.
These negative impacts do not end on the biophysical environment alone, but also affect the well being of the people including their security. Hence, Petroleum is a paradox of poverty in the midst of plenty as it has brought about untold hardship and poverty in the Region of the Delta. Besides its great mineral wealth, the Niger-Delta also have fertile agricultural lands, forests, river, creeks and coastal waters but with the advent of Oil and Gas exploration, their farmland became contaminated with Oil, the biological and ecosystem are disturbed by noise from drilling and Oil spillage. In the same vein, laying of pipelines for Oil takes a lot of forest clearing. Be that as it may, the Area is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped parts of the Country; this view was also reiterated by New Year Times in one of their recent editorials;
“That travelling through the Delta region, it is difficult to comprehend that this is actually an area wealthy in natural resources, that despite generating hundreds of billions of dollars in Oil, since Oil was discovered, the area is one of the poorest and least developed part of the Country.”
Stressing further, that the Region lacks the basic facilities of life and it is one of the poorest and less developed parts of the country. The inhabitant 70% of whom still; live in subsistence characterize by a total absence of such facilities as pipe-borne water, hospital, proper housing, motorable roads, electricity and weighed down by debilitating poverty, malnutrition and diseases.
Infact, it is pathetic to hear that Oloibiri, about 90 kilometres west of PortHarcourt in now present day Bayelsa where first commercial quantity of oil was first discovered in Nigeria in 1956 that led to the first export of oil in 1958 just had access to electricity in the year 2008. Hence, the Niger-Delta, angry at their people’s political alienation and economic exploitation has resorted to violence as a way of expressing their perceived marginalization, deprivation and neglect by the Federal Government and Oil Multinationals. As such, the youth with no means of livelihood “have started attracting politicians, abducting oil workers, kidnapping expatriates and demanding ransom, organizing mega bank robberies and literally making the streets unsafe.”Thus, the end-product is breeding economic crisis as a virile economy is a sine qua non for a vibrant foreign policy, as no country can optimally develop in optimally developed atmosphere bedeviled with crisis like the one rocking Nigeria, in this era of global financial meltdown, as the crisis is still responsible for the inability of Nigeria’s economy to be insulated from the global economy meltdown, because
Nigeria no longer meets her quota of oil production to the international oil market.
It is informative to note, the crisis ravaging Niger-Delta which has now become internationalized is not a recent phenomena, it dates back to 1957 when testimonies were made before Willinks Commission of Inquiry over minority fears. Subsequently, the protests and agitations of the people for equitable remedy have been forcibly smothered by both Military might and Civilian Governments via the use of overwhelming military might and other documents act of state sanction. Infact, this became tensed during, Abacha’s regime, especially in 1993 when Ken Saro-Wiwa internationalized it in his address before the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous People in Geneva, that subsequently led to his execution and eight others. THE IMPLICATION FOR NIGERIA’S FOREIGN POLICY It would be difficult to predict the future of any country would be, when the state it is in, is a state of quagmire gradually moving towards Hobesian state. It is pertinent to note that the Niger-Delta crisis which culminated in landing Nigeria in a state of comatose is no longer a National Question, it has multiplier effect within and outside Nigeria and the perspective is often overlooked or neglected in the available literature on the delta.
The global dimension manifested in President Yar’Adua visit to the British Prime Minister (Gordon Brown) by November 2008, to assist in quashing the insurgency from the region. The military option was adopted by Brown which America kicked against and opted for dialogue as the only way out of the political cum socio-economic macabre dance. This was geared towards protecting the U.S security interest in the Gulf of Guinea notably Niger-Delta, especially with the launching of security mechanism AFRICOM. The international community has not rested as a result of this crisis, and if not properly resolved can relegate Nigeria to the status of a failed state, as hitherto produced by U.S Intelligence report in 2004. It should not be forgotten in a hurry, that it was the same Niger-Delta crisis that culminated in Nigeria ostracism from the Commonwealth of Nations in 1995, as well as European Union’s limited sanctions as a result of the killing of renowned environmentalist from Ogoni-Ken Saro Wiwa and eight others-over their agitations and international awareness created over oil. Since then, the world has long seen Nigeria as non-stable economy and a sink hole that could swallow their investment, perhaps that is the rational behind some foreign firms contemplating removing their businesses from Nigeria’s shore, suffice to say at this moment, that any disturbance in the form of oil in Nigeria (as Middle East oil crisis) will impact negatively on the world economy, because the world’s oil supply originates in the field of these Regions,
as Nigeria’s Delta’s crisis has already led to the shut-in of a substantial percentage of Nigeria oil, leading to the reduction in the quota of Nigerian oil supplies to the international oil market. Let us be reminded that, due to the ArabIsraeli crisis and the 9/11 attacks, the U.S began sourcing for alternative source of oil supplies in the Gulf of Guinea, of which Nigeria a part. As a result of this oil exploitation, insurgency groups such as; MEND, NDPVF, MOSOP, IYC and other insurgency militias have taken up arms against the state and their perceived collaborators, justifying their actions in the current underdevelopment of the region.
The implications of this crisis for Nigeria’s foreign policy has been exemplified in the diminishing image of Nigeria in the comity of Nations, especially as occasioned by the despotic Abacha Military Junta which led to the ostracism of Nigeria from the Commonwealth of Nations. Truly, this has negatively affected the country’s image Worldwide and the direction of its foreign policy vis-à-vis the major actors in the international system. It was this negative international image that was inherited by the Fourth Republic President, Olusegun Obasanjo, and in the first four years of his two terms tenure, he travelled to all continents of the world in his bid to redeem Nigeria’s badly damaged reputation to no avail. Infact, Nigeria’s bilateral and multilateral relations has been “contaminated” via this process.
For the sake of clarity, these are some of the possible implications of the NigerDelta crisis for Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Firstly, it has affected the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment into the Nigerian economy as Daewoo oil servicing among others has pulled out their operations from the Region, as a result of the insecure and unstable security situation. In the same vein, the crisis has led to campaign of calumny against Nigeria in which many Western Nations have advised their nationals to desist from travelling to Nigeria especially Niger-Delta region where kidnapping for ransom and hostagetaking have become rife.
Secondly, Nigeria status in International Organization continue to be threatened as the International Maritime Organization (I.M.O) has seriously warned Nigeria that if, safety of territorial waters continues to be threatened unabated, no foreign vessel will be allowed to berth of lift Crude Oil and Gas from the region.
Thirdly, the problem has given leverage to some African States who ordinarily cannot “flex muscles” with Nigeria. A plausible example was the contention for A.D.B’s presidency between 2005 and 2006 where Morocco and Rwanda
defeated Nigeria respectively.
The quest for a seat in the United Nations (U.N) Security Council is also threatened if the Niger-Delta crisis is allowed to deteriorate, as other contending states are assumed to be more stable in nature, politically, economically, socially, militarily etc.
Fourthly, the capability of the Nigerian military is questionable, due to claims been made by the militias of strategic combat recorded against the Nigerian military as represented by J.T.F, the Nigerian military has severally been termed “sitting ducksy” by these militias which Cable Network News (C.N.N) on February 2007 corroborated that the militant are having a field day conquering the Nigerian Military.
The Federal Government denied the report as bias and untrue, hence, this necessitated the Federal government to cancel her image laundering Heart of Africa Project with C.N.N, compelling state Governments to same.
In the same vein, Nigeria has been predicted to be next Afghanistan by a
renowned analyst from the West, Layman Princeton, if the crisis is not resolved. Fifthly, environmental degradation in the Niger-Delta contributes to the global environment crisis, which has given rise to issues as, climate change, ozone layer depletion etc. This can be seen in the degree of gas flaring and the effect of oil spillage in the ecosystem as such, Nigeria has suffered international condemnation and could attract international hostility, due to its reluctance to encourage, effect and enforce environmental friendly policies.
Sixthly, the crisis in the Region has continued to attract negative attention on globally, especially by international rights groups and humanitarian bodies, as such, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Friends of the Earth, Green Peace etc., who have all written at various levels, damaging reports on the Nigerian Government, especially as it concerns the Niger-Delta crisis.
The barrage of criticisms that have the potentials of reducing Nigeria to a Pariah State among the comity of Nations has been carried out by various N.G.O’s.
Seventhly, the recent South-South economic summit convened by Governors of the South-South Geo-Political Zone, held early in the year 2009, in Tinapa, Cross-River State, identified a rich pool of non-oil potential foreign revenue,
generating sectors, which due to over-dependence on oil has remained largely untapped.
If these resources had been rightly managed, it might have led to the diversification of the Nigerian economy and acted as a catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian economy, which was one of the indices used for inviting Countries to the Summit of 20 most Industrializes Countries held in 2009 in London, where Nigeria, the acclaimed “Giant of Africa” was conspicuously absent.
What a painful experience for the direction of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy among the comity of Nations that led to the tears of Mr. President.
Against this background, it is unequivocal that the Niger-Delta crisis has already crippled the conduct of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy, and instead of finding a lasting solution to the protracted crisis, the Federal Government is busy channeling its resources on a non-beneficial Peace-Keeping in Africa, as the West will not channel their resource on a non-beneficial project. Imagine if all the revenue wasted in the name of Africa Peace-Keeping was channeled to the Niger-Delta case, the crisis may perhaps never occur but the
Federal Government may have paid “deaf ears” to the agitations of the people.
It is pertinent to also note that other Third World Oil Producing States like, Saudi-Arabia, Libya, Venezuela, Indonesia, Azerbaijan and Kuwait, have used their oil wealth to transform their countries into modern states..
4.3 NIGER-DELTA CRISIS AND FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT The Niger-Delta crisis which is the basis and bedrock of this research work has continued to remain a National Question that has been difficult to solve.
The main cause of the crisis includes greed and selfishness, deprivation and poverty, and “social injustice”. The simple meaning of social justice, according to experts, is that the same contribution equals the same benefit.
The recent rise in hostage taking and all form of militancy has sent a “shock wave” in the global oil market, and the price of Oil has skyrocketed and crashed. Political instability is injurious to an economy, as it is induces capital flight.
Capital flight has multiplier effect on an economy; it impedes business
investments, economic growth and productivity, spurs inflation and unemployment and negatively affects the standards of the people. A Nation’s living standards are tied to its productivity. Political instability also affects a Nation’s National Income when investors and individual in the society begins to perceive the crisis as a serious threat to their investment and savings.
Dr. Edmund Daukoru, Nigeria’s Special Adviser on Petroleum and Energy on the 21st of January, disclosed that the country lost billions of dollars in Oil and Gas revenue since 1999 “as a result of the persistent crisis in the Niger-Delta Region”.
Also, the Shell Petroleum Development Company said that Nigeria loses about $1.5 billion yearly to crude oil theft, and it urged the Government to urgently address the situation. The skirmishes between the Nigerian military and Niger-Delta militants brought the Nation’s oil production to an all time low, Minister of State for Petroleum Mr. Odein Ajumogobia (SAN) said in Abuja. Although, Ajumogobia who made the announcement at the Federal Executive Council meeting did not state the exact oil production figure, Oil experts say Nigeria is currently producing 1.2 million barrels daily as a result of the Delta crisis. The oil production figure released by
the Federation Allocation Account Committee (FAAC) for the month of January, 2009 was 1.6 million barrels daily.
At the current oil price of about $69 per barrel in the International Oil Market, the implication of the Nation’s low oil production level is that Nigeria is losing $120million or17.4 billion Naira, going by the official exchange rate of $1 to 145 Naira, and the 1.2 million barrels oil production figure as at June 31st, 2009.
The Nation’s dwindling oil revenue has necessitated the depletion of the Excess Crude Oil Account in recent times. The Federal Government has been taking money from the Account to augment the Federation Account before revenue is shared monthly by the Three Tiers of Government. For instance, 90 billion Naira was taken from the Excess Crude Account for that purpose in April while 85billion Naira was removed from it in March 2009 for the same purpose. Ajumogobia said the implication of the Niger-delta crisis on oil production
“is something we are all sad about, Nigeria has production capacity of 3.2 million barrels per day. Today we are down to about less than half of that in terms of production. We are over one million down in shut-ins. I think it is something that should concern all of us”
He said the Niger-Delta crisis has mainly affected onshore oil production
“To take one example, Shell has lost most of its onshore production. It is completely shut down and the irony of it, is that onshore oil is the cheapest to produce and therefore the return on that investment is greater but that is where we have most shut-in”, He said.
It is pertinent to note that the military action that took place in the Delta region cost the Nigerian State in revenue. The National economy lost $25.2million, approximately 3.75billion Naira was lost per day for the two weeks the military campaign that took place in May occasioned by the hostilities in Delta state between the J.T.F and Militants. This amount works out at an average Crude Oil price of $66 per barrel for May. Before the commencement of the hostilities, the country’s crude oil output averaged 1.763million barrels per day in April. The 3.74billion Naira loss excludes the cost of military hardware, oil pipelines, houses, palaces, farms and canoes/boat that got destroyed with the war.
With the aforementioned estimates, it shows that the Nigerian state has lost a lot in terms of Human and Natural Resources during this period of global financial
The above estimates clearly focused on the year 2009, below is a tabular representation of the quantity of oil lost during the year 2007 and 2008 and the amount in U.S dollars for the said period of time.
TABLE I QUANTITY OF OIL LOSS IN BARRELS PER DAY/AMOUNT IN U.S DOLLARS FOR THE YEAR 2007 Month Est. qty of barrels of oil loss per day Total barrels of oil loss for the month OPEC basket price for Bonny light crude for the month in U.S dollars. Jan. Feb. Mar. April May June 700,000 700,000 700,000 700,000 700,000 700,000 21,700,000 19,600,000 21,700,000 21,000,000 21,700,000 21,000,000 56.18 59.58 64.59 70.01 70.03 74.45 1,219,106,000 1,167,768,000 1,401,603,000 1,470,210,00 1,519,652,000 1,563,450,000 Total amount loss for the month in U.S dollars.
QUANTITY OF OIL LOSS IN BARRELS PER DAY/AMOUNT IN U.S DOLLARS FOR THE YEAR 2008 MONTHS EST QTY OF BARRELS OF OIL LOSS PER DAY TOTAL BARRELS OF OIL LOSS FOR THE MONTH OPEC NASKET PRICE FOR BONNY LIGHT CRUDE FOR THE MONTH IN U.S DOLLARS TOTAL AMOUNT LOSS FOR THE MONTH IN U.S DOLLARS
JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER GRAND TOTAL
700,000 700,000 700,000 700,000 700,000 700,000 700,000 700,000 700,000
21,700,000 20,300,000 21,700,000 21,700,000 21,700,000 21,700,000 21,700,000 21,700,000 21,700,000
88.35 90.64 99.03 105.16 119.39 129.33 131.22 112.41 96.87
1,917,195,000 1,839,972,000 2,148,951,000 2,208,360,000 2,590,763,000 2,694,930,000 2,847,474,000 1,633,793,000 2,439,297,000 20,720,842,000
SOURCE: The Report of the Technical Committee on the Niger-Delta submitted on Dec.2008
N.B With the above representation of the cost of the crisis on the Nigerian
State, It is pertinent to note that the above is just an approximation of the crisis. The tabular representation ended on September, 2008, because that was the period prior the inauguration of the Technical Committee on the Niger-Delta, and the cost would have risen as at the period of writing this project, but due to lack of available data, it could not be included in the table.
4.4 NIGER-DELTA DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION AND NIGERDELTA DEVELOPMENT T he NDDC is an interventionist agency set up y the Federal Government to ameliorate the sufferings of the Niger-Delta populace.
The NDDC has embarked on various projects in the Niger-Delta, although, this has not ended the crisis in the Region but it played an important role in reducing the wave of criminality in the Region.
The NDDC has carried out the following project in Niger-Delta Region such as Electrification projects, School Projects, Water Projects, School, Water Project and the Formulation of the Niger-Delta Development Commission Master Plan.
4.4.1 ELECTRIFICATION PROJECT In 1928, Port-Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State and perhaps the headquarters of the Niger-Delta Region experienced electricity for the first time. That was 32years after electricity came to Nigeria. But the bulk of the communities in the Region were literarily left in darkness until recently. Ibeno, the Crude Oil belt of Akwa-Ibom State, was one of the unfortunate lots. At least, three Interventionist Agencies and several Governments had come and gone. They all saw no reason for the people of this area, of no fewer than 38 communities, to have power supply. And so they remained in darkness.
The experience of the people of Tombia, Abonema, Ayibabiri and several other communities in Bayelsa State was also dreadful. Electricity was a facility they only saw when they ventured out of their bases with many of them landlocked; power for several communities across Niger-Delta States was a luxury. Day and Night were almost the same. But now, the NDDC has come to their aid. So far, no fewer than 339 Electrification Projects has been undertaken by the Commission.
The Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has embarked on various electricity projects in the Niger-Delta Region, as a result of this development, life is picking up in the Niger-Delta. And with this, it will get better as NDDC
is embarking on new electricity projects from the dense forest of Cross-River to the mountainous grooves of Ondo state and the creeks in Bayelsa state.
4.4.2 FREE HEALTH CARE PROJECT The NDDC has embarked on free health care services in the Niger-Delta Region in order to ensure the safety of lives in the region.
The NDDC, an interventionist agency was set up in 2001 by Nigeria’s immediate past President Olusegun Obasanjo, which provided corrective surgeries for children. Comfort Ekpeyong, a teenager who was born with club, 25-year-old Tamunobelema, born with a cleft lip and palate, and Emmanuel Prastiack, a nine-month old baby born Plateau state with the same congenital malformation, are also on the lost list of beneficiaries who were given opportunities to live fulfilled lives under the NDDC’s free health care programmes.
Since the Commission’s first pilot project in Odi, in Bayelsa state in November 2001, the free Medicare train had made a stopover in various communities in the Niger-Delta region, leaving behind a people overwhelmed with gratitude for sights restored, diseases healed and hopes renewed.
Working in partnership with Pro Health International, an amalgamation of local and international Non Governmental Organization; ARH projects and BEARS foundation; the NDDC has, at March this year, provided for free medical services to 400,000 patients in about 150 sites visited so far, covering over 3,500 communities across the region.
The free medical services provided include ophthalmic surgeries and care, dental, gynecological reconstructive and general surgeries, medical outpatients services and distribution of glasses. Between November 2001 and June 2006, a whooping 55,832 patients were treated for various ophthalmic ailments, 30,028 glasses were dispensed with an alarming 1,673 surgeries carried out. Twelve-year-old Tabowei was one of the numerous children saved from blindness.
Similarly, in collaboration with SMILE AFRICA, the NDDC’s free health care programme has also restored smiles to the faces of thousands of people in the region who had dental problems. Over 25,000 patients has so far benefitted from this programme, out of which dental surgeries were performed on about 10,000, while a harvest of patients who needed reconstructive surgeries were taken from the various project sites across the Niger-Delta to special centres at
the regional University Teaching Hospitals for plastic surgeries. Critical cases were referred to NDDC’s health consultant, AM Projects, who assessed and referred them to Tertiary Health Institutions for further investigations, definitive management, Long-Term follow-up and rehabilitation. Unfortunately however, some of the cases reportedly came too late for the patients to be saved.
The NDDC has also responded to the challenges posed by HIV/AIDS pandemic with the incorporation of HIV/AIDS education and counseling into the agenda of its medical team. The campaign is taken beyond the project sites in local communities to primary, secondary and tertiary institutions within the area while educational pamphlets obtain from National Action Committee on Aids, NACA and the Institute of Virology, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A are freely distributed to thousands of teenagers and young adults.
It is believed that with all these in place, the Niger-Delta region will be rid of terrible and preventable diseases while the people will experience a new lease of life and the NDDC’s mission to heal will not be in vain.
4.4.3 HOSPITAL PROJECTS
Health care delivery has also been brought to the door steps of the people both on land and in the riverine communities with the provision of health centres and hospitals across the Niger-Delta region, including residential quarters for medical doctors, nurses and other support staffs.
The Kiagbodo Cottage Hospital, Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta state, for instance, was commissioned in the year 2008, and it is the first and only one in the area.
The comprehensive health centre at Ilowo, in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo state showcases the NDDC’s commitment to take health care to the doorsteps of the people of the Niger-Delta region no matter the distance and difficulty of the terrain. Ilowo is a riverine community which not only boasts of a hospital with full complement of staff and living quarters, there are four more such facilities in Ilaje and Ese-Ode Local Government of the state.
4.4.4 ROAD PROJECTS
The NDDC undertakes about 3,000 kilometres of road project, thus opening up the rural area for development. Isuochi is a border community located in Umunneochi Local Government area of Abia state. This sleepy community shares boundaries with other South Eastern states of Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo states. More significantly, the Isuochi people travel long distances
across the neighbouring Imo state communities, notably Ihube and Okigwe, to get to Umuahia, their state capital. Added to the travails associated with the long journey was a dilapidated road network, famous for its potholes. Thus, for several years, it was a nightmare to the people travelling out of their community to access both their Isuikwuato Council Headquarters and Umuahia. The situation persisted despite their endless cries to the Authorities for intervention.
But the people heaved a deep sigh of relief in 2005, when NDDC eventually took over the construction of the road. Apart from currently facilitating the transportation needs of the people, the road has restored their confidence in NDDC as a sensitive interventionist agency of the Federal Government.
The Commission played a historic role in the restoration of Odi. It rehabilitated the East-West-Odi road, the major land access to the town, constructed internal concrete road to the Odi community secondary school, which was in accessible.
The NDDC has ameliorated the suffering of the Niger-Delta people through the construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of road networks in the Niger-Delta region which has in no small measure ensured the economic
development of the people of the region.
4.4.5 SCHOOL PROJECTS
Like other sectors, NDDC is leaving no stone unturned in investing in the education of the entire citizenry of the Niger-Delta region. To ensure that none of the needy communities in the area is left out of its educational programmes, the Commission is, at the moment, siting a school near Igbokoda community in Ondo state beside the Atlantic Ocean. According to Sam Ayadi, the state’s NDDC coordinator, “this is because it is there that we have a bit of land, that is, the boundary between the river and the Atlantic Ocean.”
Infact, the NDDC’s gestures are not only extended to the riverine people alone. The Commission has also been actively involved in providing physical infrastructure, furniture, science equipment and other facilities for educational institutions across the Niger-Delta states. To this end, the Commission has, since inception, constructed more than 686 blocks of classrooms, halls and staff quarters, in addition to renovating and rehabilitating more, the Commission has provided 63,700 standard desks and benches to the schools in the region.
The Commission is currently embarking on the construction of 500-room
standard hostels in 14 universities across the region. And universities and polytechnics have, in addition, received computers, high technical equipment and other audio visual aids, with a view to enhancing effective teaching and learning in the institutions.
4.4.6 WATER PROJECTS
The Commission is gradually restoring portable water to the communities which have water every, but none to drink. The Niger-Delta region, particularly the riverine communities, is a contradiction and a compounding paradox or how do you explain a situation whereby one is surrounded by water and yet has none to drink? Such is the pathetic story of the riverine dwellers whose plight reminds one of the lamentation of an ancient mariner “……water water everywhere but none to drink” as captured by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Since 2001, the NDDC has undertaken 283 water supply projects in the nine states that constitute the Niger-Delta region. Of this, over 90 have been completed; most of them complemented with stand by generators, purpose built-generator houses and water treatment facilities as well as service quarters.
Bayelsa state was a beneficiary of the most novel scheme ever embarked upon
in the Niger-Delta which is a turn key pilot project in Biseni. With a production capacity of 27,000 gallons per hour, it also has facilities for treatment of surface water from brackish source. In addition, there is the Betem I, II and III water schemes in Ogoniland in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers state, the water station at Ikono, Akwa-Ibom, and the Ohegbo water project in Edo state. Though, worst hit by the problem of acute water shortage, the story of the waterside communities in the Niger-Delta is beginning to change.
The Ilaje local government area of Ondo state, there are 29 water projects by the NDDC, out of which about 10 has been completed. Though, the Ilowo water project was yet to be completed and commissioned, the people are in a hurry to reap the benefit.
In Edo state, 21 water projects were initiated out of which more than half have been completed and are now functioning. These include Geledele, Ohegbo, Ohegbonugu, Evbokabua, Igheleba and Obozogbo Nuro, among others.
In Cross River State, water projects were sited in Ine Onosi and Archibong, both in Bakassi Local Government area, LGA, Aleparabong in Ikom LGA, Ikot Offlpng Atnbai in Akpabuyo LGA, Ekori in Yakurr LGA and Umanoleom
in Yala LGA, Among others.
In Abia State, 19 water projects were initiated by the NDDC, and these include Afugiri water schme, Arochukwu water scheme at Ugwu, Ugwuanagbo water scheme, Obodo water scheme, Igbere mini water scheme and Owaza water scheme, among others. And for the former Managing Director, the Commission will continue to seek the best possible way of providing water to the riverine communities. Alaibe said the Commission had commenced the first phase of “massive provision of water by constructing solar-powered boreholes in 155 communities in the region, which will ensure round the clock provision of water.”
And with the implementation of the NDDC Master Plan already, off ground, it is only a question of time before the people’s cries for clean and hygienic water are drowned in the sounds of gushing taps and over flowing overhead water storage tanks.
4.4.7 REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT MASTERPLAN
There have been many attempts and many plans made in the past to improve the lives of the people of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. Sadly, each ended with very little to show for the time and resources spent. Therefore it is
understandable that the people of the Niger Delta are quite disillusioned with ‘plans’ at this time. The disenchantment of the people not withstanding, it must be stated that the Niger Delta Master Plan is different in its goals, focus and approach, and will not suffer the fate of the others before it. The Master Plan is basically conceived as a tool that the millions of people of the Niger Delta Region can use to actualize their common vision and build their future to the standard they desire. The Master Plan is designed to offer stakeholders at all levels (individual, group and community) the opportunity to participate fully in the planning and decision making process. Specifically, the coordinating consultants require the ideas and opinions of stakeholders as basis for defining focus areas for development and for producing a vivid picture of what the people want the Niger Delta region to look like within 15 years of the master plan implementation.. This implies that the input of stakeholders today is what will determine the state of affairs (both for individuals and communities) in the region tomorrow.
The Master Plan, for which satellite mapping had been completed and the resource consultants appointed, is expected to cover the following areas: 1. Demography, 2. Environment and hydrology 3. Agriculture and aquaculture (with focus on economic activities); 4. Biodiversity; 5. Transport (infrastructure); 6. Rural, urban, regional planning and housing, 7. Community Development 8. Governance and capacity development, 9. Health, 10. Small and medium enterprises 11. Water supply
12. Energy (electricity) 13. Telecommunication 14. Vocational training (with focus on employment generation) 15. Waste management and sanitation 16. Large-scale industry, 17. Solid minerals; 18. Tourism 19. Social welfare 20. Arts, Sports and Culture, 21. Women and Youth employment 22. Conflict prevention 23. Financial instruments and access 24. Investment promotion
Ahamefula Ogbu (Tuesday, February 17, 2008). “NIGER-DELTA: Fostering peace through development”. Thisday, Page 44. Yakubu Lawal (Sunday, June 29, 2008). Niger Delta crisis: Implications for
government revenue and oil companies”. The Guardian, Page 20. P.O Ani (Sunday, June 29, 2008). “Niger Delta Question: Beyond Yar’Adua proposed jamboree”. A statement by the 4th force. The Guardian, Page 73. Emma Amaize (Saturday, April 18, 2009). “F.G yet to approve amnesty list”. Vanguard, Page 18. George Oji (Wednesday, September 30, 2009). “Amnesty: F.G reads riot act to militants”. Thisday, Pages 1 and 6. Front Page Comment (Sunday, October 4, 2009). “Niger Delta: The time is now”. Thisday, Pages 1 and 4. http//:wiki.answers.com/ …./The_Effect_Of_Niger_Delta_Militancy_In_Nigeria_Economy. http//:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_Delta_Development_Commission. The Report of the Niger Delta Technical Committee (2008) Alexander I. Moro (2008). “The Niger Delta Crisis: Beyond Employment and Physical Developments. The critical issues involved”. Mind Quest Resources, Port Harcourt. Okechukwu Ibeanu (2007). “Petroleum, Politics and Development in Niger Delta”, In Okello Oculi and Yakubu Nasidi (Eds) Brain Gain for African Renaissance Issues in Governance. ABU Press, Zaria.
SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSIONS 5.1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The Niger-Delta crisis with focus on the rise of militancy is the bedrock of this research project. To say that the Niger-Delta militant’s activities since 2006 have had serious negative effects on the Country’s economy is stating the obvious. Nigeria relies for over 80% of all its income, on the exportation of Crude Oil and Natural Gas from the Niger-Delta. As such, the Region’s Oil wealth is absolutely crucial to the sustenance of the country.
In the context of the recent global economic crisis, the revenue earned by Nigeria from Oil and Gas export has already experienced a sharp decline very worryingly, the activities of the militants are said to have caused about 20% fall in Oil output.
Nigeria is believed to have the capacity to produce 3.2 million barrels of oil per day (mbpd); and indeed the country was producing about 2.9mbpd at certain stages in 2008. However, owing to an increase in militant acts of Sabotage, Oil bunkering, Hostage Taking etc, Oil production actually fell to between 1.2 and 1.3 million bpd.
The number of persons reportedly kidnapped or held hostage has increased from 353 in 2008 to 512 in the first quarter of 2009. In addition, the continued disruption being caused by the militant activities has also been cited as a major threat to the operations of the electricity projects and the local refineries.
It is, perhaps, the combination of these economic factors that has forced the Government to come up with a Amnesty package, in the hope that it will pacify the militants and enable the Multinational Oil Companies to resume full economic activities in the Country, especially in the South-South. It may also
be a change of heart by the Government over historical neglect, by successive Governments of the proverbial “chicken that lays the golden egg”.
The history of this crisis may also be traced to how the Country was supposedly put together; the unequal relationship between the over 400 ethnic groups; how political power and resources are being shared; as well as perceived domination of one ethnic nationality by another. Indeed, politics in Nigeria is defined as “who gets what, when and how”, or simply as the allocation of values as defined by the elite, which cut across ethno-religious divides. Thus, a National Sovereign Conference has been championed by many groups as a way of resolving inherent contradiction in the Federation.
In conclusion, due to the course of this research work, it has been discovered that the Alternative Hypothesis (H1) which states that the rising wave of militancy in the Niger-Delta has affected the revenue generation capacity of the Nigerian State, has taken place, due to the fact that the Nigerian state is deeply affected by the militants activities in the Delta.
The Niger-Delta crisis has come a long way from the time of Isaac Boro uptil this present moment, it is high time for the reasons that led to the crisis be laid to rest, it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that violence cannot solve the crisis in the Delta Region and it is only through genuine dialogue that the crisis can be solved, that is why the Amnesty Package of the Federal Government is a step in the right direction.
The crisis in the Delta has defied every solutions that the Federal and State Governments has recommended; there has been various commissions that the Government put into place in order to nip the crisis in the bud; the Henry Willinks Commission Report of 1957; the Niger Delta Development Board of 1960; River Basin Development Authority of 1993; Oil Mineral Producing Commission of 1998; Oladayo Popoola Committee of 2002 (a product of the Political Reform Conference); General Alexander Special Security Committee on the Niger-Delta; The Joint Military Task Force on the Niger-Delta; The Niger-Delta Technical Committee; The Niger-Delta Development commission; Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs; the inclusion of the Niger-Delta in President Yar’adua’s 7-Point Agenda, and the introduction of the Amnesty Package to the Niger-Delta Militants.
The Federal Government on June 27, 2009 officially opened a two-month
Amnesty Window (from August 6 to October 4, 2009) to all militants in the Niger-Delta in exchange for their demobilization and disarmament upon surrendering their weapons, militants would receive financial compensation from the Government over a period of time.
Amnesty is a general pardon, especially for those who have committed political crimes. It could also be a period during which crimes can be admitted or illegal weapons handed in without prosecution. But the questions many Nigerians are asking, in the case of the Government reprieve for the NigerDelta militants are- What is the nature of the arms being submitted? How many are being withheld? What is the source(s) of the arms? Shortly after President Yar’adua announced the Amnesty package, one of the militant leaders, Henry Okah, was released from a 23-month prison detention . The charges of treason and sabotage were also withdrawn. In consequence of this development, the Movement for the Emancipation if the Niger-Delta (MEND) of the most active Niger-Delta militia groups, announced a 60-day ceasefire. But the group also wanted more than the amnesty package, it demanded the withdrawal of the Army and Joint Task Force from the Gbaramatu area of Delta state. In addition, it has demanded that processes be put in place that can facilitate discussions and dialogue on the main issues-self determination and resource control-that gave
rise to armed activities in the first instance. But responding to these demands, Nigeria’s Defense Minister, Godwin Abbe, insisted that “they cannot give conditions to Government. The Government will make the decisions on the effective deployment of troops when the conditions become ripe enough and when law and order is comfortably established.” With the surrender and acceptance of the Amnesty programme of President Umaru Yar’Adua by major militant leaders in the Niger-Delta including Government Ekpemupolo (a.k.a Tompolo), Ateke Tom, Henry Okah, Ebikalowei Victor Ben (a.k.a Boyloaf) and others, the President has won a major battle without firing a single shot after he tried Military. But the war against poverty, underdevelopment and marginalization in the Niger-Delta remains a huge challenge.
Indeed, the achievement of the President in this process is a vindication of the option of dialogue and political solution in a peaceful environment. The president called on the militants to end violence in the creeks so that all stakeholders would have a peaceful ambience to address the roots of the problems in the Region.
However, this accomplishment represents only an important first step in the
ultimate resolution of the Niger-Delta Question. By this uncommon act of the militants, it is now clear to anyone in doubt that the people of the Niger-Delta love and accept the sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This now puts the “ball squarely in the courts of the Government”.
The next urgent question is this, what happens after the Amnesty? Because the Amnesty is a means to an end, not the end itself, while the courage and sincerity of the militants is respected for acting wisely by handing over their weapons unconditionally and giving peace a chance; the Federal Government should respond immediately and decisively to the yearnings of the people of the Niger-Delta by meeting them at the point of their needs and aspirations.
The Niger-Delta has a long way to go, to have and maintain lasting peace and security which ultimately makes the Amnesty package the first step at making the Niger-Delta a safe haven for both indigenes and foreigners alike. This is because the settlement is founded on justice and equity that will make the quest for the hard-won peace to endure.
The aim of this research work is to proffer solutions to the Niger-Delta crisis
which has remained a recurring National Question up from the period prior independence to date. The recommended solutions to the Niger-Delta crisis are as follows1. Enforcing the local content policy in Oil and Gas sectors; 2. A Regional Gas Grid alongside an effective inter-modal transport system to enable industrialization and development; 3. The Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs should be equipped to enable it take part in massive developmental projects in the Region; 4. Government should without delay unfold its programme of massive infrastructural development of the Region along with Human-Capital development; 5. For a definitive resolution of the crisis, the people of the Region should be given a genuine sense of ownership of the wealth accruing from their land;
The on-going reforms in the Petroleum sector should result in the full and complete participation of the people from the Region at all levels of the extractive activities from prospecting to drilling, transport and sales, the people of the Region should be key players in the upstream and downstream activities;
Completion of the dualization of the East-West road including spurs to each of the coastal states and ensure significant improvement in education,
health and youth employment in the Region;
There should be increase in derivation to the Niger-Delta Region in order to ensure the development of the Region;
Oil and Gas Companies operating in the Region should be encouraged and if necessary, compelled to comply with international best practices to ensure the protection of natural inhabitants through uncompromising implementation of the demands of the doctrine of Corporate Social Responsibility. The policy on Gas flaring should be firmly implemented;
Adequate compensations should be paid wherever there are oil spills and pollution cleared within stipulated time;
11. All-season roads should be constructed to link the remote communities with their neighbours to reduce the long and tedious detours of travelling by boat just to get to neighbouring communities;
Establishment of specialized Oil and Gas Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in the three main oil producing states to stimulate industrial development and growth;
13. Compensation should be immediately paid for settlement of people displaced as a result of communal clashes caused by disputes relating to oil exploration;
And the Federal Government should ensure the immediate and full
implementation of the Report of the Niger-Delta Technical Committee (NDTC) headed by Ledum Mittee.
Ahamefula Ogbu (Tuesday, February 19, 2008).Niger Delta: Fostering peace through development. Thisday, Page 44. Alabi Williams (Sunday, June 29, 2008).The Niger Delta: Begging an old question. The Guardian, Page 18. Yakubu Lawal (Sunday, June 29, 2008.Niger Delta Crisis: Implications for Government revenue and oil companies. The Guardian, Page 20. Michael Oberabor (Sunday, June 29, 2008).Niger Delta: A fading hope. The Guardian, Page25. P.O Ani (Sunday, June 29, 2008).Niger Delta Question: Beyond Yar’Adua proposed jamboree. Being a Statement by the 4th Force. The Guardian, Page 73. Emma Amaize (Saturday, June 28, 2008).Bonga Field attack: MEND commander opens up. Vanguard, Pages 9-11. Adewale Adeoye (Saturday, June 28, 2008). Rumble in the jungle. Nigerian
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Ahamefula Ogbu (Sunday, June 2, 2007).Militants kidnaps seven expatriates in P/Harcourt. Thisday, Page 7. Femi Folaranmi (Tuesday, December 18, 2007).Deputy Govs dad: Negotiation with kidnappers’ breaks down. Daily Sun, Page 1. Emma Amaize (Sunday, June 15, 2008). Tempers in N/Delta over summit. The Vanguard, Page 14. Juliana Taiwo (Saturday, February 21, 2009). F.G hands over Russians hostages to Ambassador. Thisday, Page 9. Segun Adeleye (Wednesday, April 29, 2009).N’Delta militants abducted 128 persons in one year, says Police. Nigerian Compass, Page 48. Joseph Ushigiale (Saturday, February 21, 2009).13 Filipinos jailed for 65 years for oil theft. Thisday, Page 1. Kingsley Omonobi (Saturday, February 21, 2009).Navy, JTF rescues kidnapped Russians in Niger-Delta. The Vanguard, Page 7. Clarice Azuatalam (Wednesday, February 18, 2009).Rivers Assembly recommends life jail for kidnappers. The Nation, Page1. Shola O’Neil (Wednesday, February 18, 2009). JTF deploys gunboats in Delta. The Nation, Page 38. Chika A. Nwachukwu, Segun James and Gboyega Akinsanmi (Wednesday,
February 18, 2009). N’Delta crisis: Shell shuts in 180,000 bpd. Thisday, Page 1. Sunday Comment (Sunday, April 5, 2009). Rising cases of oil theft. Thisday, Page 7. Ayoyinka Olagoke ( Saturday, February 28, 2009). Akwa-Ibom considers death penalty for kidnappers. The Guardian, Page 4. Kelvin Ebiri, Rose Ann Chikereuba and Willie Etim (Wednesday, February 18, 2009). Kidnappers risk life imprisonment in Rivers. The Guardian, Page 3. Inibong Ekponta (Thursday, January 22, 2009).JTF frees abducted Exxon Mobil’s official’s wife. The Nation, Page 7. Emma Amaize and Sam Oyadongha (Sunday, January 15, 2009).Sea pirates hijack relief materials for N’Delta Community. The Vanguard, Page 9. Segun James (Wednesday, April 15, 2009).Reprisal Attack: Militants kill three Naval Ratings. Thisday, Page 7. Solomon Ugwu (Wednesday, March 25, 2009). Kidnapping and Capital Punishment. The Nation, Page 18. Emma Amaize and Jimitota Onoyume. Militants feared killed in clash with J.T.F. The Vanguard, Page 7. Yemi Adebowale (Saturday, May 9, 2009). Kidnappers to face life
imprisonment in Rivers. Thisday, Page 1. Ahamefula Ogbu (Wednesday, April 29, 2009). J.T.F kills six militants, frees hijacked vessels. Thisday, Austin Ogwuda (Sunday, March 29, 2009). Mother of bank M.D kidnapped in Delta, abductors demand N100m ransom. The Vanguard, Page 5. Emma Amaize (Saturday, February 28, 2009). J.T.F smashes militant camp in Bayelsa, raid gang in Warri. The Vanguard, Page 7. Sulaimon Salau (Wednesday, February 18, 2009). Nigeria’s oil production dips further, as militants continue onslaught. The Guardian, Page 63. Adibe Emenyonu (Sunday, March 29, 2009). Rising menace of kidnappers in Edo. Thisday, Page 105. Yusuf Ali and Shola O’Neil (Saturday, May 16, 2009). 10 Soldiers, 22 militants feared dead in clash. The Vanguard, Page 1. Inibong Ekponta (Wednesday, February 25, 2009). Robbers change jobs. The Nation, Pages 25-27. Madu Onuorah and Willie Etim (Saturday, February 28, 2009). J.T.F kills Bayelsa helicopter attackers. The Guardian, Page 1. Shola O’Neil (Wednesday, February 25, 2009). J.T.F hails conviction of 13 Filipinos. The Nation, Page 1.
Ebekeme (Saturday, March 25, 2009). Technocrats to N’Delta’s rescue. Thisday, Page 10. Adekunle Jimoh (Wednesday, March 25, 2009). Fiscal Federalism is solution to Niger-Delta crisis, says Amaechi. The Nation, Page 9. Kelvin Ebiri and Rose Ann Chikereub (Sunday, March 8, 2009). Niger-Delta militants rattle authorities. The Guardian, Page 13. Iniobong Ekponta (Wednesday, April 15, 2009). Ekaette to militants: Come out of the creeks. The Nation, Page 8. Sulaimon Salau (Wednesday, February 4, 2009). Oil firms back over Niger Delta’s development. The Guardian, Page 56. Adibe Emenyonu (Sunday, April 5, 2009). We won’t negotiate with kidnappers says Oshiomhole. Thisday, Page 11. Ahamefula Ogbu (Sunday, April 5, 2009). Why N’Delta’s underdeveloped. Thisday, Page 9. Joseph Ushigiale (Saturday, February 21, 2009). N/Delta: Amaechi seeks 50% derivation. Thisday, Page 9. Emmanuel Masha (Wednesday, April 8, 2009). Rivers cautions militants. Thisday, Page 9. Isaac Ombe (Thursday, March 5, 2009). Minister laments militancy in Niger
Delta. The Nation, Page 10. Ise-Oluwa Ige (Saturday, February 21, 2009). Militancy in N/Delta: Yar’Adua, others sue for peace. The Vanguard, Page 7. Chris Ejim (Wednesday, April 8, 2009). MEND: We plan no attack on U.S Embassy. Nigerian Compass, Page 49. Gboyega Akinsanmi (Wednesday, February 18, 2009). N’Delta militants accused of subverting E’Guinea Govt. Thisday, Page 10. Akanimo Sampson and Kamarudeen Ogundele (Saturday, February 21, 2009). Yar’Adua to Militants: Stop violence in Niger Delta. The Nation, Page 2. Emma Amaize (Saturday, February 28, 2008). Asari is no longer relevant to our struggle in Niger-Delta-MEND. The Vanguard, Page 32. Ike Nwachukwu (Wednesday, February 18, 2009). Rethinking the N’Delta Militancy. Thisday, Page 18. Emmanuel Oladesu (Wednesday, February 4, 2009). Governors are problems of Niger-Delta. The Nation, Page 29. Akanimo Sampson (Wednesday, March 11, 2009). Niger Delta youths accuse rulers, elders of escalating crisis. The Nation. Madu Onuorah (etal) (Wednesday, May 20, 2009). Govt. defends military actions in Delta creeks. The Guardian, Page 1.
Kamarudeen Ogundele and Shola O’Neil (Wednesday, May 20, 2009). Federal Govt.: Militants killed Lt-Col., Major, five others. The Nation, Page 1. Funsho Muraino (Wednesday, May 20, 2009). Niger Delta: Illegal refineries destroyed. Thisday, Page 1. Emma Amaize (Saturday, April 18, 2009). J.T.F VS Militants: it’s all lies. The Vanguard, Page 1. Sylvester Odion-Akhaine (Wednesday, June 3, 2009). Niger Delta, State and People. The Guardian, Page 49. Emma Amaize, Emma Arubi and Festus Ahon (Saturday, May 23, 2009). MEND claims killing 11 soldiers. The Vanguard, Page 8. Emma Amaize (Saturday, May 30, 2009). Search for 18 missing soldiers’ continues-Major-Gen. Bello. The Vanguard, Page 8. Emma Amaize (Saturday, April 18, 2009). F.G. yet to approve amnesty list. The Vanguard, Page 10. Emma Amaize (Saturday, May 30, 2009). Most wanted Tompolo: My hands are clean. The Vanguard, Pages 9-13. Vincent Ikuomola (Wednesday, September 30, 2009). Abbe wants militants not to test Govt. might. The Nation, Pages 1 and 2. George Oji (Wednesday, September 30, 2009). Amnesty: F.G reads riot act to
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