The Niger Delta Crisis

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The Niger Delta – the geographical heart of oil production in Nigeria has been a breeding ground for militants and ‚impoverished ethnic groups‛ for some years now. This is because the discovery of oil and its exploitation has ushered in a miserable, undisciplined, decrepit, and corrupt form of ‘petro-capitalism’ which produces conflict accelerating factors. Devastated by the ecological costs of oil spillage and the highest gas flaring rates in the world, the Niger Delta has become a centre of violence. In an attempt to solve the Niger Delta crisis, the Federal Government recently introduced the policy of amnesty to militants as the solution to the Niger Delta Crisis. The amnesty programme has been acclaimed by some persons to be a success.…show more content…
5, No. 1 217 short-changing of the people of the Niger Delta, in terms of infrastructural development, was among the reasons that led to the people of the region picking up arms in the area. The paper recommends, among other things, the need to ensure environmental protection and the diversification of the economy. Introduction The Niger Delta, an area of dense mangrove rainforest in the southern tip of Nigeria, has been a centre of violent conflicts for some years now. The Nigerian government like a doctor has over 50 years tried to solve the problem in the region. During the colonial era the Willinks Commission was set up following the agitation by the minorities over what they saw as imbalance in the political and economic structure of Nigeria. In 1962, the Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB) was set up to serve in advisory capacity and provide government with information that would lead to the alleviation of the plight of the area in conjunction with the Development Act of 1961. The NDDB’s reports were never made public; they died with the First Republic when the military took over power in 1966. Between 1960’s and late 1980’s, nothing significant was done to solve the environmental and developmental problems of the Niger Delta. In 1989, the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida, in an attempt to assuage the people of the Niger Delta, set up the Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) but…show more content…
The expression structural violence is often used to describe forms of institutionalized social injustice. According to Galtung (1969) structural violence refers to ‘a form of violence which corresponds with the systematic ways in which a given social structure or social institution kills people slowly by preventing them from meeting their basic needs’. Hunger and poverty are two prime examples of what is described as "structural violence," that is, physical and psychological harm that results from exploitive and unjust social, political and economic systems. Failure to sincerely and successfully implement policies that can address the problem of structural violence in the Niger Delta could rubbish the relative peace now prevailing in the region. In addition, failure to avoid anything that is capable of eroding the trust and confidence the ex-militants have in the federal government pertaining to the amnesty deal could lead to further insurgency (Umukoro, 2010). Since positive peace and its sustenance in the Niger Delta is hinged on understanding and addressing the root causes of underdevelopment and violence in the region, a careful diagnosis of the causes of underdevelopment and violence in the area is

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