Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Governor General of Niger Delta is Dead

The famous Governor General of the Niger Delta is dead. Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha is no more. The former Governor of Bayelsa State died on Saturday 10th October, 2015. His trial for corruption, conviction and presidential pardon elicits different reactions by Nigerians, but one thing is sure. Alamco as he was fondly called was an Ijaw hero that was passionate about the plight of the Ijaw people. He fought for Resource Control and True Federalism. His death is a big loss to the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta. Rest in peace the Olotu of Olotus.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

GLOBAL TERRORISM AND THE WAR ON TERROR: AN APPRAISAL

INTRODUCTION Terrorism has come to stay as far as mankind is concerned. The pioneer assertion on terrorism, and to say with all the firmness that one can command is that, it is a violent attack, an attack on lives and property, and peace. Terrorism in the globe today is a multifaceted phenomenon consisting of an array of actors (Viottis and Kauppi, 2009). To be candid, addressing the scourge of terrorism has been a recurring challenge to International legal order. The out play of interest and goals especially in extreme cases has resulted to events and activities that can be situated in the enclaves of terrorism. The actors in this highly alarming and destructive enterprise include nation-states, non-governmental organizations/non state actors, and individual alike. As an observable dynamics, terrorist activities and the destructive outcome attached to them are increasing in geometrical progression in the past two decades. From the bombing of United States of America Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, to the September 11, World Trade Centre bombings in United States in 2001, the Mumbai attacks in India, and the killing of American Ambassador to Libya in Benghazi in 2012, the story remains the same; it brings sorrow and hardship to mankind and civilization. However, it is pertinent to note that, the 9/11 attack in America (the day the World changed) epitomized contemporary threats of International terrorism. Consequently, the responses arising from the attacks and how to prevent them in the future, has come to be collectively termed “War on Terror”, originated by the United States of America. The United States in her fight against terrorism, coined the “war on terror” has prosecuted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More so, it has numerous terrorist suspect detainees in her detention facilities, arrested and transferred from different part of the globe. The unreduceable reality is that, the cost of the war on terrorism is awesome. In Iraq, for instance, over 750,000 civilians were killed and the United States equally loss more than 4,000 marines. Records also show that United States spends 89 million dollars every month in Iraq. Again, while there have been no major terrorist incident in the United States since 2001; the United States counter- terrorism Budget for 2008 was 142 billion dollars. Conventionally, there are two important forms of fighting International and domestic terrorist, which include militaristic and diplomatic strategies. It is the militaristic solution that was applied in the case of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya etc. The above issue has given birth to several questions begging for answers; principally among them is “whether there is any legal justification of the War on terror” which is core of this paper. This paper therefore seek to investigate and explore the rudiment of international law and its specifications defining the conduct of states and non- states as regards combating terrorism. TERRORISM: AN OVERVEIW In the globe today, there are several international conventions that define war crimes and acts of violence, but there is no internationally accepted definition of terrorism. In fact, how to coin the most acceptable definition of terrorism has continued to preoccupy politicians, lawyers, administrators and scholars alike. It is imperative to state that, any article on terrorism must enter the labyrinthine debate on what “terrorism” means and how it is to be defined. Indeed the definitional quest has haunted the field of terrorist studies, some authors calling it the search for the “Holy Grail” (Wardlaw, 1989), and others conceive it as a “useless endeavor to be abandoned” (Lacquer, 1999). Most of all, the political use of the term by states to designate varied acts of opposition has further complicated the quest for a definition (Toros, 2008). As Kofi Annan (2004) former Secretary-General of the United Nations pointed out, “there is no internationally agreed upon definition of what constitute a terrorist attack. While there is no shortage of treaties prohibiting acts that are associated with terrorism, the lack of agreement on a clear and well-known definition undermine the normative and moral stance against terrorism and has stained the United Nations image. Achieving a comprehensive convention on terrorism including a clear definition is a political imperative”. However, this political imperative is likely to go anywhere because almost every Arab State oppose the definition of terrorism that prohibits the deliberate targeting of civilians, if such activities take place in an occupied territory (e.g. one that will define Palestinian attack on Israeli civilians as terrorism). And, these objections are reflected in these States (Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan e.t.c) refusal to sign most of the 12 anti- terrorism treaties. Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to opposition and an inexcusable abomination. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented. But despite its popularity, terrorism can be a nebulous concept. This is because, even within the United States government, agencies responsible for different functions in the ongoing fight against terrorism use different definitions. For instance, the United States Department of Defense defines terrorism as “the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimate government or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious or ideological”. There are identifiable elements from the definition, violence, fear and intimidation, and each element produces terror on its victims. To the Federal Bureau of investigation “Terrorism is the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social abilities”. While the United States Department of State, conceives terrorism as a “premeditated politically–motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant target by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience”. From the American definitions, rebels, insurgents, paramilitaries, separatists, militants, guerrillas, insurrectionists, fundamentalists etc are categorized as terrorists, because, they all in one form or other implore the calculated use of unlawful violence to inculcate fear in the pursuit of their goals. The Anti-Terrorist Act of Uganda (2002) defines terrorism as: the use of violence, economic and cultural or social ends in an unlawful manner, and includes the use of violence or threats of violence to put the public to fear. However, the United Nations in 1992 described terrorism as “an anxiety- inspiring method of repeated violence action, employed by semi-clandestine individual groups or state actors, for idiosyncratic criminal or political reasons, whereby – in contrast to assassination: the direct target of violence are not the main targets”. Terrorism also refers to a deliberate commission of an act of violence to create an emotional response from the victim in the furtherance of political and social goals. Put differently, the Convention of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on combating international terrorism in 1999, defined terrorism as: any act of violence or threat thereof, notwithstanding its motives or intentions, perpetrated to carry out an individual or collective criminal plan with the aim of terrorizing the lives, honor, freedoms, security or rights or exposing the environment or any facility or private or public property to hazards or occupying or seizing them endangering a natural resource or international facilities or threatening their stability, territorial integrity, political unity, and sovereignty of independent states. It went further to describe terrorist crime as any crime executed, started or participated in the realization of a terrorist objective in any of the contracting states or its nationals. This is a very thorough definition; however, in Article 2, of this regional convention by the Conference of Islamic States, it posit that, peoples struggle including armed struggle against foreign occupation, aggression, colonialism, hegemony, aimed at liberation in accordance with the principles of international law, shall not be considered a terrorist crime (Baker, 2002). From the above scenario, the conception of the Islamic world on terrorism portrays the attack on the World Trade Centre by Al Qaeda, which they conceived as an attack on hegemony, and the attacks on Israel by the Palestinian or Lebanese, which to them is a fight against occupation or aggression, never as terrorist attacks. The exasperating inability to define terrorism is betrayed in the United Nations 2006 Global Counter-Terrorism strategy, where it asserts that, we the state members of the United Nations strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purpose. It has been observed that the difficulty in constructing a definition which eliminates any just cause for terrorism is that, history provides too many examples of organizations and their leaders branded as terrorist, but who eventually evolved into respective governments. This is the case of liberation movement fighting colonialism or oppressive regimes, engaging in violence within their own countries at last resort. A good example is Jomo Kenyatta (Mau Mau) and Nelson Mandela’s Africa National Congress. Interestingly, Mandela (Africa’s Foremost Nationalist Leader) wrote in his autobiography that “the hard facts were that, 50 years of non-violence had brought my people nothing, but more repressive legislation and fewer rights”. The United States Terror watch list of suspects as discovered in 2008 from FBI compilations included Mandela’s name as a terrorist suspect. This means the United States government defines its enemies and put them on the list of terrorists as it wishes. Be that as it may, what we decipher from the above definitions and interpretations of terrorism is that none has gained unanimous support, but at least, three key elements appear in most definitions. They are: (1) a violence means, (2) aimed at triggering political change, (3) by affecting a larger audience than its immediate target. International terrorism, which is terrorism that transcends national borders, is therefore both an action and reaction to repressing, desperate, hopeless and excluding situations. The actions and reactions take on political, economic, social, ideological, psychological, emotional and religious fervor (Mukwaya, 2004). Terrorism is therefore a politically, economically and religiously motivated violence directed against non-combatants and designed to instill fear in a target audience. It is an act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim. Terrorism is not a new phenomenon; it is deeply embedded in history. A peep into history records that, terrorism has been one of the starkest expressions of rejection of authority. Terrorism eats away the socio-political fabric of many states, undermines democracy, provide a rationale for a government to delay democratic reforms and can increase tension among states. The result is often the impression that the world is in a state of chaos, and international order and authority is collapsing (Viotti and Kauppi, 2009). We have noted that the strategy of terrorists embraces the entire gamut of activities committed violently, that draws the attention of the local populace, the government and the world to their cause. And they plan their attack to obtain the greatest publicity, choosing targets that symbolize what they oppose. Again, the effectiveness of the terrorist act lies not in the act itself, but in the public’s or government’s reaction to the act. A terrorist does not see himself or herself as evil. They believe that, they are only fighting for what they believe in, by whatever means’s possible. Hence, the phrase, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. A good number of factors have been advanced as the cause of terrorism, which includes; psychological, social, economic, ideological, cultural, religious and environmental factors. And of course, the new emergent typologies of terrorism are agro-terrorism, bioterrorism, cyber-terrorism eco-terrorism, and narco-terrorism. The terror networks act like non-governmental organizations, de-territorial and decentralized; thus on the one hand local, on the other, transnational (Ulrich, 2003). A notable example is the dreaded Al Qaeda network, led by Osama Bin Laden that symbolizes the new phenomenon of privatization of terrorism. INTERNATIONAL LAW AND TERRORISM International law is the body of rules, which apply between states and such entities that have been granted international personality. It is seen as a body of rules that have been accepted by civilized nation as being biding in their relationship with one another (Akinboye and Ottoh, 2007:238). International law is a body of rules which binds states and other agents in world politics in their relations with one another. International law basically evolved in tandem with the nation-state system, from the Peace of Westphalia (Spiegel and Wehling, 1999). International Humanitarian law is the branch of international law limiting the use of violence in armed conflicts by: (a) sparing those who do not or no longer directly participate in hostilities. (b) Limiting the violence to the amount necessary to achieve the aim of the conflict, which can be independently of the causes fought for-only to weaken the potential of the enemy. This definition leads to the basic principle of International Humanitarian Law: I. The distinctive between civilians and combatants; II. The prohibition to inflict unnecessary suffering; III. The principle of necessity, IV. The prohibition to attack those hors de combat and lastly, V. The principle of proportionality (Sassoli and Bouvier, 1999: 67). In essence the fundamentals of international law are structured cum designed to maintain global peace and security. It is indeed truism that terrorism, endangers innocent lives, causes losses of social wealth, and jeopardizes state security, constitutes a serious challenge to human civilization and dignity, as well as sorrow and threat to international peace and security (China Daily, 2001). It is a however, a more fundamental truth that, just because there is no global consensus on what constitute terrorism and who are terrorists, there is yet to be in existence, an international law that solely and in all ramifications out laws terrorism. But this does not mean that there is lack of international conventions that condemns terrorist acts. More often than not, the category or aspect of international law that is applied in the fight against terrorism is treaty law, situated in the United Nations charter. The provisions of Articles 2(4) and 51 are adopted as the legal framework or background in prosecuting the “war on terror”. Article 2(4) of the United Nations charter states inter alia that: all members (states) shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any manner inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations. While Article 51, of the United Nations charter state that: nothing in the present charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self- defense if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nation, until the Security Council and has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by members in the exercise of this right of self- defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security. The question now is that, what action can be categorized as a threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of a state? And under what condition can the principle of self- defense be a legally accepted option. The above issues are subject to debate and critical analysis. CRITICAL ISSUES IN THE LEGAL JUSTIFICATION OF THE WAR ON TERROR It is quite glaring that, critical issues envelope the prosecution of the “war on terror. One of such contending issues has to do with the phrase “war on terror”. The notion “war against terrorism” has proven highly contentious, with critics charging that it has been exploited by participating governments to pursue long- standing policy objectives, reduce civil liberties, and infringe upon human rights. More so, some argue that the term “war” is not appropriate in this context as in war on drugs. Since there is no tangible enemy, and that it is very unlikely that international terrorism could be brought to an end by means of war. The idea is that, “terrorism” is not an enemy, but a tactic, calling it “war on terror” obscures differences between conflicts. A good example is the anti-occupation insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the international jihadist in Sudan and Somalia. Former president of United States, George Bush, articulated the goals of the “war on terrorism” in a September 20, 2001 speech, in which he said it “will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated”. Be that as it may, the phase “war or terror” has been referred as to a false metaphor. According to George Lake of the Rock Ridge Institute, there cannot literally be a war on terror, since terror is an abstract noun. And that terror cannot be destroyed by weapons or signing peace treaty. The reason been that, a war on terror has no end. To Jason Burke, there are multiple ways of defining terrorism and all are subjective, most define terrorism as, the use of threat of serious violence to advance some kind of “cause” … some state clearly the kinds of group (sub-national, non-state) or cause (political, ideological, religious) to which they refer. Others merely rely on the instinct of most people when confronted with an act that involves innocent civilians being killed or maimed by men armed with explosives, firearms or other weapons. None is satisfactory, and grave problems with the use of the term persist. Terrorism is after all, a tactic. The term “war on terrorism” is thus unacceptable. It is further disputed that, the “war on terrorism” qualities as a war, as there is no party whose defeat can bring victory. The Director of Public Prosecution and Head of the Crown Prosecution Service in the United Kingdom, Ken McDonald, Britain’s most senior criminal prosecutor, states that, those responsible for acts of terrorism such as the 7, july,2005 London bombings are not “soldiers” in a war, but “inadequate” who should be dealt with by the criminal justice system. Thus in the eyes of the United Kingdom criminal justice system, the response to terrorism had to be proportionate, and grounded in due process and the rule of war. London is not a battle field. Those innocents who were murdered are not victims of war. And the people who killed them were not soldiers. They are deluded, narcissistic inadequate. They are criminals. They are fantasists. We need to be very clear about this. On the stress at London there is no such thing as a war of terror. The fight against terrorism on the streets of Britain is not a war. It is the preventive of crime, the enforcement of our laws, and the winning of justice for those damaged by it. One can rightly deduce from the above postulations is that, the” war on terrorism is a step in the wrong direction. The fundamental reality is that, terrorism is a natural unpredictable orientation whose output breeds violence at unprecedented degrees. PROSECUTING THE WAR ON TERROR We wish to reiterate the fact that, the major proponent of the war on terror is the United States of America with its British collaborator, and that the “war on terror” has been prosecuted in Iraq and Libya and is currently going on Afghanistan. The nation of Iraq for instance, was under the leadership of President Saddam Hussein when it invaded by American forces. The reason advanced for the invasion of Iraq was that, the Iraqi government has weapons of mass destruction, which is a threat to world peace and security. Most so, it was alleged that, Iraq has links with Osama Bin Ladin’s AI Qaeda terrorist group which master-minded the bombing of the twin towers of the World Trade centre in September 11, 2001. Therefore, the justification given for the invasion of Iraq was to prevent terrorism or future attack by the Iraqi government sponsored terrorists against United States of America or other nations of the world. The United States of America also claims that, the invasion of Iraq was carried out in line with Article 51, of the United Nations Charter, which deals with the principle of self- defense. Therefore, the United States Congress in a joint resolution noted that, “the 9/11 attack renders it both necessary and appropriate that the United States exercise its rights to self defense and to protect United States citizens, both at home and abroad to prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States”. As one of the crucial factors militating against the enforcement of international law, the issue is that powerful states like the United States of America, more often than not, interprets international law as they wish to suit their actions. This is because, even if the allegations of the United States against Iraq were true, the invasion of Iraq as of when it was carried out was not justified. The reason is that, there was no substantive evidence about the allegations. War opponents are of the opinion that, the invasion of Iraq does not fulfill the requirements of a just war and that in waging a war pre-emptively, the United States of America undermines the provisions of international law and the authority of the United Nations, particularly the United Nations Security Council. The argument is that, Article 33 of the United Nation’s charter states that, “the parties to any dispute, the continuance of which is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, shall first of all seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice”. The United States failed to explore all avenues for peaceful settlement of disputes before the invasion Iraq. More so, Resolution 1441 of the United Nations never authorized war, but called on Iraq to “allow unfettered access by weapon inspectors’ which President Saddam Hussein duly complied with. The United States of America was not considerate and rational to wait for the outcome of the weapon inspectors report, but went ahead to invade Iraq, disposed Saddam Hussein, killed him and his two sons, and eventually destabilize Iraq. The report of the weapon inspectors (which was released after the American atrocities in Iraq) shocked the world when the United Nation chief weapons inspector Hans Blix and Mohamed El Baradei, in charge of Nuclear Arms inspectors, concluded that ‘Iraq does not have weapons of mass destructions”. The independent 1,000 strong team (Iraq survey group) sent by Washington to look for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq also concluded that, they found nothing in Iraq, and Saddam Hussein Iraq has no link with Al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks. The war therefore was fought under falsehood. With the above reality, the action of the United State has set a dangerous international precedence, and under that premise, any nation could justify the invasion of another. It is indeed, high time the international community addresses the very important issue of the use of force and the satisfaction of the requirement of proportionality. The invasion of Iraq was a violation of her sovereignty, which constitutes a serious violation of international law, especially Articles 2(3) and 2(4) of the United Nations Charter. The war was therefore an illegally; and cannot be legally justified. TACTICS ADOPTED IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM A critical analysis of the methods and tactics adopted in the war against terrorism also throws light on the illegality of the war. That is, even if the argument of the United States is accepted that it is fighting a war, there are international rules that regulate wartime conduct, which the United States is continuously violating. Classical international law deals with two generic situations: war and peace. There is a big rule-book dealing with the laws of warfare, the law of how to open war, and how to end war, what weapons to be used, and how to treat captives. Different rules apply to countries when there is peace and when there is war. In peace time, people are divided into two categories. They are either law-abiding citizens or criminals to be dealt with by the police and courts. In a war time, people are divided into two different categories. They are civilians or combatants (Reisner, 2002:7). The question therefore is, how does the United States classify combatants, and whether the United States of America do abide by the rules of war? Experience has shown and there is no denying the fact that, “the Bush Administration literalized its war on terrorism, dissolving the legal boundaries between what a government can do in peacetime and what’s allowed in war. This move may have made it easier for Washington to detain or kill suspects, but it has also threatened basic due process rights, thereby endangering us all (Ruth, 2004). The singular act of branding terrorist suspects as enemy combatants constitutes an illegality. It negates the legal principle of been innocent until proven otherwise. Consider for example, the case of Dose Padilla and Ali Saleh Kahlah al- Mari. Federal officials arrested Padilla in May 2002, when he arrived from Pakistan at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, allegedly to scout out target for a radiological (dirty) bomb. As for al-Mari, a student from Qatar, he was arrested in December 2001 at his home in Illinois for allegedly being a “sleeper” agent: an inactive terrorist who, once activated, would help others launch attacks. President Bush, invoking war rules, declared both men to be “enemy combatants” allowing the United States government to hold them without charge or trial as long as possible ( Roth, 2004). Again, whereas the Geneva Convention and the Nuremberg principles clearly states how prisoners of war and civilians are to be treated during the period of war and what constitute a war crime, the United States have seriously violated the Geneva conventions and also committed grievous war crime with impurity in fighting the so called war on terror. The extra- Judicial detention and unwarranted abuse and torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and the Abu Ghraid prison in Iraq, coupled with the activities of CIA secret detention facilities located in different parts of the global clearly violate the laws of war. At the Abu Ghraid prison in Iraq for instance, prisoners were subjected to different kinds of torture and were even highly dehumanized by been paraded naked and mocked by American Soldiers. The fourth Geneva Convention lay emphasis on the protection of civilian persons in term of war. But the manifestation of the war on terror saw the intentional targeting of civilian populations and the destruction of lives and property. Logically, the staggering proportion of civilian casualties witnessed so far in the war of terror, clearly out weights the so called threat posed by the terrorists. The bombing of electricity and water plants and even hospitals are crimes against humanity. Indeed laws are silent among (those who use) weapons as Cicero (of old) opined. From the perspective of the use of force and the satisfaction of the requirement of proportionality too, the action of the United States is very wrong and illegal. The truth remains that the war on terror has only succeeded in breeding more terrorist. Terrorism is an ideology, and people will continue to subscribe to it. The disaster of Iraq war has presented unimaginable gifts to the terrorist cause. The decision to invade Iraq reinforced Al- Qaeda accusation of western interference in Moslem territories whilst the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison undermined the United States claims to moral superiority. Without mincing words, the conduct of the United States of American in fighting the so called war on terror does not comparatively make him a better state, than those branded as rogues states or axis of evil. The war on terror prosecuted by the United States America with its hegemonic intent is squarely and evidently, the issue of fighting to eradicate illegality by committing same illegality and even in a more alarming degree. It is squarely, the issue of fighting terrorism with more dangerous acts of terrorism. This is because, is on record that American Soldiers used the internationally outlawed white phosphorus bombs on civilians in Baghdad and chemical weapons against residents of Fallujah in Iraq. The American actions in Iraq, Israel action in Gaza and the British authorities killing of a Brazilian terrorist subject in London are all an egregious manifestation of the abuse inherent in the application of the principle of self-help or self preservation in international law. The action also illustrate the difficulty in the application of the principle of “reasonableness” in reprisal measures, a principle which demands that their attack should be aimed at the destruction of camps or bases of the guerrillas or terrorists without injury to the territorial State (Agwu, 2005). With the politicization of the veto system in the United Nations, international law is like a bleeding mother, watching the killing of her children as far as the war on terrorism is concerned. Due to the unresolved unholy trinity issue of categorizing what terrorism is? Who is a terrorist? What is a terrorist action?, the diverse interpretations to suit various ends have continued to militate against global peace and security. Other critics are of the opinion that the war on terror has a double standard connotation. The American government has granted political asylum to several terrorists and terrorist organizations that attack Cuba attempting to overthrow Fidel Castro, while the American government claims to be anti- terrorist. It is even sad to note that, the alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks was part of the Mujadin who were sponsored, aimed trained and aided by the CIA to commit terrorist acts in Afghanistan to fight Russia after it invaded Afghanistan. More so, majority of the terrorists that executed the 9/11 attack in the United States were of Saudi Arabian origin. But Saudi Arabia was not attacked because it is an American ally. The United States has terrorized or sponsored terror in Nicaraguan, Brazil, Uruguay, Guatemala, Indonesia/East Timor, Zaire, Angola, South Africa, etc. that are clear manifestations of state terrorism. CONCLUSION Though, the war on terror was initiated to eradicate terrorism and protect the United States from any further terrorist attack, the United States in the process of fighting the war has committed war crimes, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and an alarming degree of terrorist crimes. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands, but the united States have stained its hands with terrorist act and as such lack the moral and legal stance to call others terrorist. It is squarely the issue of the kettle calling the pot black. The war on terrorism in all ramifications has no moral and legal justification, and falls short of internationally recognized standards. One cannot defeat terrorism with terrorism. That is simply contradictory. As Nicholas (2008) rightly observed, the only way for preventive action to gain international legitimacy is for it to be blessed by the United Nations, but that was not the case. Preventive war has never has a good name, and the Iraq war has done little to help its reputation. Invading sovereign States on the ground that they might do something bad in the future is not conducive to a stable world order. Strong evidence that the enemy is up to no good might justify pre-emption (war in response to an imminent danger), but still the case for restraint remains compelling. Once powerful states start taking the war into their own hands, even for the best of motives, there is no telling where they will stop. Terrorists should be treated as criminals and not as combatants, and all terrorist detention facilities must be closed down. Those who have committed crimes against humanities with the pretend of fighting the so- called war on terrorism must be brought to book under the international criminal court to serve as deterrence to others. REFERENCES Awgu, Fred. (2005) United Nations System, State Practice and the Jurisprudence of the Use of Force Lagos, Malthouse Press Limited Alan, Baker and Daniel, Reisner (2002) The Evolution of International Law and the war on terrorism, Jerusalem Issue, Brief Vol.2 No 14, December 24 Alexander, Downes (2008) Targeting Civilians in War, Cornell University Press Bruce, Riedel (2008) The Search for Al Qaeda, its Leadership, Ideology and Future, Booking Institute Press. London Charles, Dunlap (2002) International Law and Terrorism: Some Questions and Answer for operators, Rigworth Press, Oslo Enodien Timtiniko (2003) Impending Demise of the United Nation, The Guardian, Sunday 27, April. Eric, Hobsbawn (2008) On Empire: America, War and Global Supremacy, Pantheon Books, Chicago Toros, Harmonie (2008) Legitimacy and Complexity on Terrorist Conflicts, Security Dialogue, volume 39, No 4 August Ikechukwu, Eze (2003) Kofi Annan slams United States over Iraq, Vanguard, Wednesday, September 24. Liqueur, Walter (1999) The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction, Oxford University Press New York Malcolm, Shaw (1998). International Law, 4th Edition, Cambridge University Press. Cambridge Michael, Doyle (2008) Striking First: Preemption and Prevention in International Conflict, Princeton University Press Mukwaya, Aaron (2004) The Politics of International Terrorism, African Journal of International Affairs, Volume 7, No 1 and 2, P. 34. Noah, Feldman (2004). What We OWE Iraq: War and the Ethnics of Nation Building, Princeton University Press. Patrick, Tylor (2009) A World of Troubles: The White House and the Middle-East from the Cold War to the War on Terror, Straus and Giroux. Roth, Kenneth (2004) The Law of War in the War on Terror, Foreign Affairs. January/February. Security Dialogue (2003) Is the United States of America fighting Terrorism with the Wrong Weapon? Vol 34, No, 1 March, Sage Publications. P. 121-122. The Charter of the United Nations www.un.org The Geneva Convention 1948 ThisDay News (2003). Iraq has no weapons of Mass Destruction-UN Inspectors. 15 February. Thomas, Nichols (2008). Eve of Destruction: The coming age of Preventive war. University of Pennsylvania press Ulrich, Beck (2003). The Silence of Words: on Terror and War, Security Dialogue Vol. 34. No 3. September United States of America (2001) PATRIOT ACT Wardlaw, Grant (1989) Political Terrorism: Theory, Factors and Counter-measures, Cambridge University Press Wedgwood, Ruth and Roth, Kenneth (2009) Combatants or Criminals? How Washington should Handle Terrorists, Foreign Affairs, January/February. Wottti, Paul and Kauppi Mark (2009) International Relations and World Politics. Security, Economy, and Entity,4th Edition, Pearson Educational inc. New Jersey.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oil Economy and the Revenue Allocation Debacle in Nigeria

AFRREV IJAH
An International Journal of Arts and Humanities
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Vol. 1 (1), February, 2012:1-13
ISSN: 2225-8590
AFRREV IJAH, Vol.1 (1) February, 2012
2 Copyright ©IAARR 2012: www.afrrevjo.net/afrrevijah
Indexed African Researches Reviews Online: www.arronet.info

Ebienfa, Kimiebi Imomotimi Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
kimiebi1981@gmail.com +2348063822449 & Kumokou, Isaac Department of Political Science, Niger Delta University, P.M.B. 071, Wilberforce Island, 560001, Amassoma, Bayelsa State
Abstract
This paper delves into one of the most controversial issues in the political economy of Nigeria. Equitable revenue allocation in Nigeria is one perennial problem which has not only defied all past attempts at permanent solution, but has equally evoked high emotions on the part of all stakeholders. The paper argue that the displacement of agricultural products by oil as the focal point of national revenue, and the attendant relegation of the principle of derivation in revenue allocation, is the root cause of the revenue allocation debacle in Nigerian federalism. The focus on revenue sharing rather than revenue generation is the root cause of political, economic and social decay in the country and has equally led to the proliferation of unviable state and local governments. The paper conclude that, the drive for financial autonomy and sustainable development cannot be realized if the derivation percentage is not reversed and increased to eradicate the over dependent posture of the federating units on the over bearing centre.
Keywords: Revenue Allocation, Derivation Principle, Oil, Federalism.

Introduction
Nigeria is Africa’s leading producer of oil and the seventh largest producer of crude oil in the world, and equally endowed with other numerous natural resources. But rather than utilizing its resources for maximum development, the country is unfortunately bedeviled with how to efficiently and effectively distribute oil revenues in an equitable manner. The revenue allocation phenomenon in Nigeria is basically the issue of distribution of national (resources) revenue, mobilized by the central federal government. And as far as the revenue allocation debacle is concerned, the haggling is between those who bake the national cake (major contributors to national revenue) and those at the helm of affairs to allocate it. There exist two fundamental dimensions of revenue allocation or sharing in Nigeria. The first dimension is based on the institutions and tiers of government which the federal government is at the helm of affairs. While the second dimension is the issue of individuals and groups appropriating national revenue for themselves by corrupt and unjust means. It is important to note that, revenue allocation in Nigeria is defined by an inordinately strong political content, as evidenced in the tendency for major constitutional developments and political transactions to be accompanied by political pressures for revenue sharing reforms and fiscal adjustments (Oyediran and Olagunju, 1979). Therefore the questions that beg for answers are: What is the character of revenue allocation in Nigerian federalism. What is the rationale behind vehement agitations for increased revenue allocations in some parts of the country, e.t.c. This paper seeks to unravel the politics of revenue allocation in Nigeria, identify the major players, losers and gainers, and how national revenue is personalized in Nigeria body polity.

Federalism and revenue allocation
Federalism simply refers to a system of government where there is constitutional division of powers between two or more levels of government.
Revenue allocation in federal systems of government involves two basic schemes. The first implies the vertical sharing between the federal or inclusive government and other tiers of government. The subject of this sharing scheme is the federally generated revenue, such as royalties, export duties, import duties, mining rents etc.
The second principle of revenue sharing which is horizontal revenue sharing arises out of variations from the revenue generation capacities of component units. The logic is that, in areas where the revenue generation capacity is high, a relative higher tax is imposed vice versa to ensure stability. This transfer is called “equalization transfer”. The implication is that high taxation in relatively low revenue generated areas will drive away business investments and also cause further depression of the economy of such areas. To avoid this, the federal government has to inject more funds to such areas to create stability (Ojo, 2010). Nigeria is a federal state. Whereas federalism guaranteed the existence of two or more levels of government, the health of the federal state is seen in the character of the relationship between the various layers of government. One critical aspect of such relationship is the crucial issue of finance which defines the politics of revenue sharing in a multi ethnic society like Nigeria. Finance, no doubt is very critical in Federalism, especially in federal state formed via the devolution method. The idea is that, it determines the extent of autonomy allowed to sub-national governmental units and the citizens in a federation in particular. Key aspects of fiscal federalism include: the nature of mobilization and collection of revenues, the manner of allocation and distribution, and the level of autonomy enjoyed by each level in dispensing with its resources. There are arguably no universal nostrums or axioms of federal financial relations. Rather, a great variety of national systems of fiscal federalism exist, with each system evolving incrementally in an autonomous manner in response to the unique historical circumstances of each federation (Suberu, 2004:30).
However, there is a high level of financial imbalance in the Nigerian federalism. With the present 36 States and 774 local government structures, where as the federal central government has huge revenue at its disposal to execute its functions much less is available at the level of the other tiers of government. The simple logic of this misfortune is that, the federating or
Oil Economy and the Revenue Allocation Debacle in Nigeria component units are not allowed to control the resources produced in their territories, as was practiced before the advent of the oil regime. The laws that govern the Nigerian Oil industry equally gives the federal Government dominion over oil proceeds. For instance, under the Petroleum Act of 1969, the entire ownership and control of all petroleum in, under or upon any land in Nigeria is vested in the state (Omorogbe, 2001:20). This and other obnoxious laws like the Land Use Act of 1976 etc, denies the ethnic minorities populated Niger Delta from benefiting from the resources whose burden of production they bear. That is, the Nigerian State has become the manager of Nigerians national income and has maintained a tight grip on the purse strings (Lubeck, 1977). Federalism is a project. It can be linked to a tool for performing specific tasks in a contributed society. The tool being human invention, always needs to be improved upon in order to make it more effective and efficient to carry out the specific tasks. In the process of work, problems are encountered. These problems provide ideas for improving on the design of the tool in order to improve performance in achieving set goals (Aiyede, 2004:25). Though it has been identified that the tool of revenue sharing (revenue allocation) in Nigeria is bad, faulty and bias, as shown in the obnoxious laws that govern the oil industry, the powers that be have simply refused to improve the design of the tools to make it effective, acceptable cum results oriented. It is interesting to note that, due to the controversial nature of revenue allocation in most third world federalisms, since the late 1940’s, nine fiscal commissions have been set up, to examine the important issue of multi level finance in Nigeria. This is indicative of the dynamic nature of Nigeria’s fiscal federation (Egwaikhide, 2005).

Pre-oil economy and competitive development in federal Nigeria

Nigeria became a federation with the introduction of the Lyttleton Constitution of 1954. And the Nigerian federation was then constituted by three regions: Northern, Eastern and Western regions and agriculture was the major source of revenue. A peep into the annals of history shows that, the politics of revenue sharing was very limited when agriculture was the mainstay of the Nigerian economy. This was because; the regions were accorded the constitutional right to control the resources they produce. The regions were rich in agricultural resources with Cocoa in the West, Groundnut and cotton in the North and Palm Oil in the East, and it promoted
developmental competition among the regions. That is, there was a strong competition between the regions to become the most developed part of Nigeria.
While Obafemi Awolowo of the Action Group, with its philosophy of “democratic socialism”, spear-headed development drive in the Western region, Nnamdi Azikiwe of the National Council of Nigeria Citizens, led the Eastern region with the philosophy of “pragmatic socialism”. More so, using the Northern People Congress, and the bulwark of conservatism and primitive capitalism as a vehicle, Ahmadu Bello, the Sarduna of Sokoto, drove development in the North. The then revolutionary free education programme in the western region was funded entirely from cocoa and rubber proceeds. So also were the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Liberty Stadium Ibadan, Cocoa House, Western Nigeria Broadcasting and Television services (the first television station in Africa). Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and the University of Nigeria, Nssuka, were not built with foreign grants or loans, but from proceeds from cotton, groundnuts and palm oil (Tell, 2008). The pre-independent revenue allocation principles/formula as shown in the Philipson (1946), Hick-Philipson (1951), Chick (1953), and Raisman (1958), revenue allocation reports clearly indicates that the regions enjoy 100% derivation principle, which they utilized to promote development. However, with the attainment of independent in 1960, the derivation principle was reduced to 50%, as provided in section 134(1) and section 140(1) of the 1960 and 1963 constitutions of Nigeria. And this remains until 1970, when it was gradually reduced to 1.5%. It is significant to observe that the derivation principle which allows the federating units to benefit maximally from resources produced in their domain was the dominant criteria of revenue sharing in Nigeria during the dominance of agriculture as the focal point of national revenue.

Oil economy and the revenue allocation debacle in Nigeria

As an observable dynamics, the politics of revenue sharing was brought to limelight when oil became the main source of national revenue and oils the wheels of the Nigerian economy. The revenue allocation commissions that were constituted when oil gradually displaced agriculture as the bane of the nation’s economy trickled down the derivation percentage, and eventually displaced cum ignored it, as shown in Table 1 below. The commissions were
the Binns (1964), Dina (1968), Aboyade (1977), and the Okigbo (1980) Revenue Allocation Commissions. The interest of minorities does not count if they do not have a significant representation in the ruling class. Therefore, instead of derivation that hitherto benefits the regions, the commissions lay emphasis on Need, Population, Landmass, Balance Development, Equality of states, National minimal standard etc, to the detriment of the goose that lays the golden egg. Without mincing words, the implication is the deliberate and criminal transfer of the oil wealth out of the3 Niger Delta to develop other regions. It is evidently clear from the tables 1 and 2 that, with the ascendance of oil (found mainly in the homelands of the ethnic minorities) as the pivot of the nation’s economy, the interest of derivation on the part of those who wields state power faded, given that it will now promote the interest of the minorities who do not control state power (Ibaba, 2005). The abundant crude oil in the minority territories of the Niger Delta region became a subject of envy, and the majority groups adopted every means to ensure that the owners receives very little benefit from it (Etekpe, 2007). Due to the difficult terrain of the Niger Delta, and the effect of oil exploration and production, the region obviously needs more funds to promote development, hence agitations to reverse to at least 50% derivation fund for the region. Some may argue that, the Niger Delta, which is agitating for increment in the derivation percentage equally benefits from the era the principle held sway in the pre-oil economy era. However, the undeniable truth is that, the region was Balkanized into the Eastern and Western regions, where they constitute minorities. For example, the western Ijaws in present Delta State were minorities in the Yoruba’s dominated western region, and as such were even excluded from the famous free education legacy that the Yoruba’s enjoy. More so, the glaring need of development and absence of basic social infrastructures, excruciating property and generation backwardness in the region corroborates the fact, the Niger Delta was neglected parts of the Regions. Yenagoa which was a provincial head quarters since the pre independence era was connected to the national grid in terms of electricity only in 2007.
New conditions produce new negotiations, consensus, balancing and new problem-solving responses. As a resolve to make federalism more relevant to development and governance increases, so do consultations dialogue, negotiation and consensus over emerging issues grow (Ola, 1995:5). But
since 1995, efforts to revise the revenue allocation formula have been bogged down by intrigues.
State and local government creation is a tactics of revenue sharing in Nigeria. Since, the states are not viable economically, but totally dependent on the monthly allocation from the federal government, ethnic groups and region balkanized into more states, receives more from the federation account (Mbanefoh and Egwaikhide 2004), and that does not benefit the Niger Delta. According to Aiyede (2005) once a state is spilt in to two, each of the parts become equal with those that remain intact with respect to the size of allocation to be received automatically from the federal government. The equality principle, for instance, has been the major incentive for the proliferation of non viable sub-federal administrations in Nigeria since it ensures that each constituent unit (no matter how demographically small and administratively and financially weak) is guaranteed an equal share with other units of nearly half of federal revenue in the horizontal distributable pool. In this way, the existence in Nigeria of too many sub-national governments which simply exist to receive and consume their own equal shares of central financial handouts, has undermined the very essence of governance (Olashore, 2003:19). More so, the issue of using local government as criteria for revenue allocation short changes the Niger Delta region. Bayelsa state (which accounts for about 40% of oil production in Nigeria), for instance has only 8 local government areas, as against Kano state with 44 local government areas. Pitiably, it is the oil wealth that is used to fund the economically non-viable political enclaves created to enrich elites and their cliental cohorts.
What is good for the goose is good for the gender. But as a ploy to deliberately puncture the argument of derivation, scholars and politicians alike from zones outside the Niger Delta are even ignorantly laying claim to oil in the region. For instance, Usman (2002) advances an “organic theory of the state” in which groups with recognized identity cannot now use such to lay claim to national resources that are found in their homeland. Consequently, he argued that: if everybody should take exclusive membership and control of the natural resources in their area, as those attacking the corporate existence of Nigeria are demanding, then those states of Nigeria upstream from the Niger delta, in the Niger-Benue basin, should take exclusive ownership and control of the river water and its sediments drained away from them to form the delta and its hinterland, and demand their share from the returns from the export of crude oil and gas in proportion to what their vegetation, dead bodies, animals and fertile soil, generally contributed to the making of these minerals for hundreds of thousands, and even million, of years. Be that as it may, the claim to oil resources, advanced by Usman (a northerner), for the states of the north on the basis of their geographical location, has extended application. First, those countries from which and through which the Nile river flows would lay claim to Egypt and its wealth. That is, Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia would lay historic claims to the resources of the Nile Delta in Egypt. Secondly, if the argument is correct, then the farmlands in Benue-Niger valleys that benefits from the flow of the Niger and Benue through Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Cameroun and Niger, should be claimed by those other countries from which their fertility is derived (Ekeh, 2001:9). More so, apostles of non-derivation often argue that the continued use of derivation will accelerate uneven progress and development in the country, which is unacceptable. By the very nature of fiscal decentralization, disproportionate growth and development is inevitable. Again, reference can hardly be made to a developing country with a decentralized fiscal system that has achieved balanced development (Myrdal, 1967). We must reiterate the fact that, the argument of the apostles of increased derivation (the people of the Niger Delta) is that, they are victims of environmental degradation, destruction of the ecosystem and their source of livelihood. The cost of infrastructural development is very high due to the marshy terrain of the region with the myriad of rivers and creeks that characterize the region. The Niger Delta question is the creation of the unsatisfactory fiscal relations between the regions and the federal government, and it equally explains the haggling and agitations to increase the derivation principle to at least 50% as was applicable in the sixties. It is pertinent to buttress the fact that, corruption which has eaten deep into the Nigerian body polity is not an exception in the Niger Delta, Therefore, with the present 13% derivation principle as enshrined in the 1991 Nigerian Constitution, there are claims that the Niger Delta states should first account for the 13% fund accrued to them for the past decade before demanding for more.
Objective as it seems, calling on the oil producing states to account for past allocations from the federation account has a hegemonic intent. It is actually intended to have a sobering and weakening effect on the argument for derivation principle because, it is selective. Otherwise, this call torches on accountability, an issue that affects all the states of the federation, oil and non-oil bearing states, as well as the federal government, because, more can be shown to have made prudent use of its share of the federation account significantly for the benefit of its constituency (Gboyega,2003). Put differently, corruption is not the exclusive preserve of the Niger Delta. Corruption cannot be the defining variable in the determination of two gets what, when and how; it cannot be (Okoko, 2008). Therefore corruption cannot be used as a criterion to judge whether to increase or reduce derivation percentage that accrues to oil producing states. Conclusion Revenue sharing or cake as the case may be, is very crucial in heterogeneous political entities like Nigeria, and especially when there is uneven distribution of political power and natural resources. And that those who wields political power, use it to appropriate more resource to themselves and ethnic groups, and leave those who not control state power with peanuts and mere tokens. The revenue sharing formula in Nigeria is undoubtedly skewed in favour of the major ethnic groups to the detriment of the minority ethnic groups in the Nigerian federal system. The revenue sharing mentality has also breaded laziness and eroded hard work as a virtue. The reason been that, it has introduced corrupt, unjustified, and bias criteria of appropriating and allocating national resources, which has caused dissatisfaction, disconnect and agitations for redress in the Nigeria state. Most states in the federation have nothing to show for the huge financial allocations they receive from the federal government. And until the trend is revised to make them productive, the drive for competitive development will be elusive.

References
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Ikporukpo, C. (1996) “Federalism, Political Power and the Economic Power Game: Conflict over Access to Petroleum resources in Nigeria. Environment and Planning: Government and Policy, 14. pp 159-177 Isumonah, A. (1998) “Oil and Minority Ethnic Nationalism in Nigeria: The Case of the Ogoni”, Unpublished Ph.D thesis, University of Ibadan. Lubeck, P. Michael J. et al (2007) Convergent interest: United States Energy Security and the Securing of Nigerian Democracy. International Policy Report, Center for International Policy, Washington, February. Myrdal, G. (1967) Economic Theory and Underdeveloped Regions, Duckworth, London Ojo, E. (2010) “The Politics of Revenue Allocation and Resource Control in Nigeria: Implications of Federal Stability” Federal Governance, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp 4-5. Okoko, K. (2008) “Lets Change the Union” in Tell, February 18, P.86 Ola, R. (1995) “Nigeria Federalism and the Third Republic: Local Government Service Commission as an Agency of Intergovernmental Relations” in Ekoko, Aghayere and Mowah (eds). The Political Economy of Local Government Reforms and Transition to the Third Republic, Department of Political Science, Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma. Olashore, O. (2003) “How to Create an enduring Local Government Structure”, Vanguard 26, September, P.19 Omorogbe, Y (2001) Oil Gas law in Nigeria, Malthouse, Lagos. Onwudiwe, Ebere and Suberu, Rotimi (eds) (2005) Nigerian Federalism in Crisis. Critical Perspectives and Political Options, Programme on Ethnic and Federal Studies, Department of Political science, University of Ibadan. Osoba, S.O. (1996) “Corruption in Nigeria: Historical Perspective” Review of African Political Economy. No 69: pp. 371-386.
Oyediran, Oyeleye & Olatunji, Olagunju (1979) “The Military and the politics of revenue Allocation in Nigeria”. In Oyeleye Oyediran (eds) Nigerian Government and politics under Military Rule, 1966-67, Macmillan, London pp. 192-211 Reno, W. (1993) “Old Brigades, Money Bags, New Breeds, and the Ironies of Reform in Nigerian. Canadian Journal of African studies, Vol. 27 no 1, pp. 95-87 Suberu, R. (2004) “Pseudo-Federalism and the political Crisis of Revenue Allocation” in Aghaje, A. et al (eds) Nigeria’s Struggle for Democracy and Good Governance: A festschrift for Oyeleye Oyediran, University Press, Ibadan. Tell (2008) Fifty years, of Oil in Nigeria. February 18. The Constitution of Federal Republic Nigeria (1960). The Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (1963)
Usman, B. (2000) “The Misrepresentation of Nigeria: The Facts and Figures” www.eddeart.com
AFRREV IJAH, Vol.1 (1) February, 2012
13 Copyright ©IAARR 2012: www.afrrevjo.net/afrrevijah
Indexed African Researches Reviews Online: www.arronet.info
Table 1: Federal-States Shares of Proceeds from Distributable Pool
Year
Producing State (Region) Percent (%)
Distributable Pool/Federation Account Percent (%)
1960-69
50
50
1969-71
45
55
1971-75
45(Minus offshore proceeds)
55(plus offshore proceeds)
1975-79
20(Minus offshore proceeds)
80(plus offshore proceeds)
1979-81
-
100
1982-92
1.5
98.5
1992-99
3
97
1999-date
13
87
Source: Text of a World Press Conference organized by Delegates from the South-South Geopolitical Zone to the National Political Reform Conference (2005:23). Table 2: Horizontal Revenue Sharing Formula for States and Local Governments
Indices Percentage Weight Assigned
1990-date
Initial RMAFC proposal (August 2001)
Revised RMAFC Proposal (January,2003)
Equality of units
40
45
45.23
Populations
30
25
25.60
Social Development factor
10
10
8.71
Internal Revenue Effort
10
8
8.31
Landmass
5
5
5.35
Terrain
5
5
5.35
Population
-
2
1,45
Total
100
100
100
Source: Danjuma (1994)
Oil Economy and the Revenue Allocation Debacle in Nigeria

Militancy in the Niger Delta and the Emergent Categories

To cite this article: Kimiebi Imomotimi Ebienfa (2011): Militancy in the Niger Delta and the
emergent categories, Review of African Political Economy, 38:130, 637-643

Introduction

The oil-rich Niger Delta has been engulfed
in militant activities in recent years.
Militancy in the Niger Delta is undeniably
an issue of local resistance to repressive
state institutions. The Niger Delta is the
theatre where these repressive state institutions,
using taxes from the multinational
oil corporations, inflict their obscene
brutalities on the helpless inhabitants of
the oil-bearing communities (Owolabi and
Okwechime 2007).
From a transnational perspective, resistance
polities have become the refuge for
those who are alienated by capitalist
social relations and the hegemonic power
of the federal government/corporate
alliance over oil, and seek to oppose their
exploitative agenda. Depending on the specificities
of each moment, the balance of
social forces and the organisational
capacity of local social movements, these
movements seek forcefully to rectify the
inequities embedded in the imperatives of
global accumulation. To be candid, the
cocktail of political marginalisation, repression,
conditions of poverty, abject deprivation
and social exclusion in the Niger
Delta represent legitimate grievances for
violent group mobilisation. The reason
has been that oil production in the Niger
Delta has not generated wealth for the
majority of the people, but simply the
outflow of wealth. For instance, the centralist
nation-building project of the military in
post-civil war Nigeria, bankrolled by petrodollars,
manifested as a virtual transfer of
oil wealth from the Niger Delta to other
regions of the country. It is owing to the
failure to win concessions through peaceful
means that the youths in the Niger Delta
have been inexorably driven to militantly
protest, marginalisation, unemployment,
development deficit and inequality.

The origins of militancy in the Niger
Delta

The origins of militancy in the Niger Delta
can be divided into remote and immediate
causes. The remote causes include inter
alia: environmental degradation, marginalisation
and underdevelopment in the region,
the existence of obnoxious laws such as the
Petroleum Act of 1969 and the Land Use
Act of 1978, and the killing of Ken Saro-
Wiwa. The immediate causes of militancy
on the other hand include the militarisation
of the Niger Delta by the Nigerian state, the
‘Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha’ programme,
the Kaiama Declaration, bunkering
by Niger Delta youths and the
mobilisation of youths as political thugs
during the 1999 election. Though youth
involvement in the Niger Delta struggle
took a decisive turn (characterised by militancy)
with the repression suffered at the
hands of the Abacha regime that turned

Niger Delta communities into garrison
enclaves patrolled by the Nigerian militants,
the eye opener that propelled the
youths to change tactics was the Youths
Earnestly Ask for Abacha programme,
while the motivational force was the
Kaiama Declaration.
In his bid to transform himself into a
civilian president, the late military dictator
General Sani Abacha invited youths from
all the local government areas of the federation
to participate in the Two Million Man
March in Abuja, an event which resulted
in a serious number of backlashes,
especially in the Niger Delta. Hundreds of
youths were mobilised to attend the Abuja
programme from the poverty-ridden and
development-elusive interior enclaves of
the Niger Delta. While in Abuja, the
youths from the Niger Delta saw, for the
first time in their lives, express roads with
four lanes, roads that were free of potholes,
bridges built over dry land (flyovers) that
contrasted with the absence of bridges
across creeks and rivers back home, and
beautiful streets and high-rise buildings.
The youths at first thought that they were
in a foreign land, but after several inquiries
they were told that they were in Abuja, the
federal capital of Nigeria, a new city built
by oil revenue sourced from the Niger
Delta. The perception of relative deprivation
among Niger Delta youths amplified
by exposure to the magnificent new Federal
Capital Territory awakened the people of
the region to the surreptitious and persistent
transfer of wealth from the Niger Delta to
other regions (Ukiwo 2009). Therefore,
after seeing Abuja in its impressive splendour,
the youths returned home to fight
for the development of their land and to
secure resource control. After the Abuja
trip, protests against the activities of the
oil industry increased in geometric progression
and culminated in the birth of the
famous Kaiama Declaration.
The Kaiama Declaration was named
after the historic town of Kaiama (the
home town of Isaac Adaka Boro and the
revolutionary headquarters of the Ijaw
nation) where the All Ijaw Youths Conference
was held on the 11 December 1998.
On that fateful day (the day the Niger Delta
changed), over 5000 Ijaw youths, drawn
from over 5000 communities of about 40
clans that make up the Ijaw nation, met in
Kaiama to deliberate on ways of finding
solutions to the problems associated with
‘the enslavement in the fraudulent contraption
called Nigeria’ (Ikelegbe 2005). The
Kaiama Declaration that was announced at
the close of deliberations recognised that oil
and gas are exhaustible resources and
declared that the complete lack of concern
for ecological rehabilitation in the light of
the Oloibiri experience was a signal of
impending doom for the Ijaw race (Ikelegbe
2005). The document was signed and
published with the intention of changing
the terms of the relationships between the
oil companies and the national government.
The first four articles of the Kaiama
Declaration stated that:
All lands and natural resources (including
mineral resources) within Ijaw territory
belong to Ijaw communities and are the
basis of our survival.
We cease to recognize all undemocratic
decrees that rob our people / communities
of the right to ownership and
control of our lives and resources,
which were enacted without our participation
and consent. These include the
land use Decree and the Petroleum
Decree etc.
We demand the immediate withdrawal
from Ijaw land of all military forces of
occupation and repression by the
Nigeria State. Any oil company that
employs the services of the Armed
Forces of the Nigeria State to ‘protect’
its operations will be viewed as an
enemy of the Ijaw people.
Ijaw youths in all the communities in Ijaw
clan in the Niger Delta will take steps to
implement these resolutions beginning
from December 30th 1998 as a step
towards reclaiming the control of our
lives. (Ijaw Youths Council 1998)

‘Operation Climate Change’ was then
launched as the preliminary step to bringing
about the vision. The Kaiama Declaration
also gave birth to the Ijaw Youth Council,
with the motto ‘Resource control by any
means possible’. Thus, the Kaiama
Declaration was the harbinger of the contemporary
form of violence by the militants
who abandoned the non-violent stance of
the Ken Saro-Wiwa era and adopted
violent measures as their modus operandi.
It also shaped and popularised the term
‘resource control’.
It is important to note that the repressive
character of the Nigerian state, coupled
with military brutalities in the Niger Delta
necessitated the acquisition or possession
of alternative sources of power to oppose
the activities of the Nigeria military. This
led to the reinvocation of the Egbesu deity
(the Ijaw god of war) as a means of protection
against military attacks. There is a
belief in Ijawland that if you are fighting a
just cause, the Egbesu will make you
impervious to bullets if certain rituals are
observed, and even make you invincible.
To Best and Kemedi (2005, p. 31),
‘Egbesu seems to be an ancient cult that
was revived in the 1990s with the aim of
recruiting young Ijaw men to be inculcated
with the Egbesu rites and beliefs so as to act
as a cohesive group in the forceful protection
of the Ijaw people.’
Inspired by the triumphant release of
Timi Kaiser Ogoriba, president of the
Movement for the Survival of the Ijaw
Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta
(MOSIEND), from detention in Government
House, Yenagoa on 29 June 1998,
following the suppression of the military
security apparatus at Creek Haven, the
demonstrations that followed the Kaiama
Declaration recorded unimaginable results.
(Ogoriba was believed by his followers to
be wielding Egbesu power.) The
Ogoriba–Government House incident was
the first public test of the Egbesu power
as the protesting youths became impervious
to gunshots fired at them by security
operatives in broad daylight in Yenagoa.
The resultant effect spread like wildfire
and was accompanied by widespread Egbesubirination
(the ritual of obtaining Egbesu
power) by youths in the region. The practical
experience of the researcher is that the
Egbesu power is a very potent force that
compels its believers and devotees to be
aggressive towards military personnel.
Thus, the military men deployed to quell
the early post-Kaiama Declaration demonstrations
across the Niger Delta were
boldly attacked by barehanded youths,
basking in the supernatural bulletproof
euphoria of the Egbesu power. A notable
example is the killing of many soldiers by
youths from Kolokuma/Opokuma Local
Government Area in Bayelsa State who
were seeking to liberate Kaiama from military
occupation following the All Ijaw
Youths conference.
Moreover, it is a fact of history that the
first set of militants that emerged in the
Niger Delta did not consist of gun-carrying
insurgents, but violent resource agitators
that depended solely on the protection of
the Egbesu power in their exploits. The
first sets of guns used for the struggle were
those captured from security operatives.
However, due to the strict regulations
which are prerequisites of success in the
use of Egbesu for protection, and the attendant
violations and deaths recorded on the part
of the Niger Delta youths, the need to acquire
arms and ammunition became inevitable.
I wish to emphatically argue that the
deviation from anchoring the struggle in
the protection of the Egbesu power which
emphasised purity, equity, justice and truth,
ushered in greed, self-centeredness and fractionalisation
among the leadership of the
struggle. With the walls of the status quo
breached, every form of ‘outsider’ came
streaming through the gates: cult leaders,
political thugs, criminals, and self-centred
individuals hiding under the cloak of
resource agitators. Therefore, instead of
focusing on how the needs and aspirations
of the region would be actualised through
violent agitations to press home the demands
of the local people, some militant agitators
became preoccupied with how to satisfy
their parochial interests, deviating from the
tenets of the struggle.
The unholy mix of insurgency and criminality
evidenced by the involvement of
armed groups in hostage-taking, illegal oil
bunkering, illegal oil refining and trading,
as well as the proliferation of criminal
groups disguised as militants, has promoted
the view in some circles that militancy in
the Niger Delta is driven by the greed of
the dramatis personae (Ukiwo 2009) which
necessitates critical analysis of the process
by which militants were created.

Typologies of militant groups in the
Niger Delta

I must emphasise the fact that the militant
creation process in the Niger Delta is differentiated:
there are different types of militants
in the region. This is attributed to
the divergent factors or reasons that motivated
or compelled such youth to become
militants. Members of militant groups
expressed a variety of reasons for joining.
This included: desire to protect their land,
communities and ethnic groups; to protest
against government and oil companies’ political
and economic marginalisation of their
communities; fear for their personal safety
following threats by members of other
armed groups or government security
agencies; being hired by politicians to
help rig elections, intimidate voters, and
attack opponents; to make money through
criminal activities, and so on. We shall
therefore proceed to identify and discuss
the typologies of militants in the Niger
Delta which will help decipher the issues
of criminality and fighting for justice.

Peaceful resource-agitator militancy

This category of militants refers to armed
youths in the Niger Delta that decided to
militarise the struggle due to the inability
of peaceful agitations to yield the desired
goals in the region. It embraces youths
that are committed to the development
and resource control struggle in the Niger
Delta. The first set of militants that
emerged in the Niger Delta after the
Kaiama Declaration, especially those who
depended on the Egbesu power to execute
Operation Climate Change, belongs to this
category. One crucial fact to note is that
the pioneer resource-agitators membership
was devoid of criminality. Criminality
only crept in later as the struggle continued.
The militants were thus sustained by goodwill
donations from wealthy individuals
and communities in their region. What transpired
was that youths with the zeal to fight
for their people were mobilised to carry out
attacks on oil companies and government
security forces that perpetuate exploitation
and marginalisation in the region. A good
example of militants that fall under this category
are Government Ekpemopolo
(General Tompolo), Ebikabowei Victor
Ben (Boyloaf), and Alex Preye.

Political-thug militancy

This second category developed from political
thugs to become militants in the
Niger Delta. Though thuggery in the
Niger Delta is as old as the Nigerian experience,
it was the 1999 general elections that
ushered in the political-thug militancy category.
The move to return Nigeria to civilian
rule raised the curtain for serious
politicking by politicians struggling to be
elected into various leadership positions.
Considering the do-or-die character of
Nigerian politics, which is premised on
winning at all costs, some youths were
engaged to perpetrate electoral crimes
such as election rigging, snatching of
ballot boxes, intimidation of voters, and
kidnapping and attacks on opposition candidates.
These youths were armed with
dangerous weapons and financially
mobilised by the politicians to carry out
their parochial undemocratic plans.
Paradoxically, after they had ensured
victory for their political masters, the
youths were abandoned and nothing tangible
was ever done to retrieve the guns and
ammunitions from them. Therefore, with
instruments of coercion in their possession,
some of the frustrated and neglected youths
decided to set up militant camps and
became involved in the destruction of oil
installations and the kidnapping and
hostage-taking of expatriate oil workers
for ransom.
Thus the political-thug militancy category
was the creation of politicians.
Experience has shown that the aftermath
of every general election in Nigeria since
1999 has led to the emergence of new militant
groups fighting for space and relevance
in the Niger Delta. Youths are always contracted
and armed prior to elections to
perform illegal roles during elections. It
was in this context that Asari Dokubo and
Ateke Tom (in Rivers State) were recruited
to the cause of delivering the 2003 elections
for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Specifically, they were to deliver certain
local government areas that were seen as
crucial to winning Rivers State. For
instance, Ateke Tom (then a community
vigilante leader) was contracted for the
purpose of securing Okrika, Ogu/Bolo
and Port Harcourt local government areas
in the 2003 elections. Asari Dokubo was
also contracted to perform similar functions
in Akuku Toru, Degema and Asari Toru
local government areas. They were both
successful and the Peoples Democratic
Party won the election in those areas (Coventry
Cathedral 2009, p. 64; Best and
Kemedi 2005, Manby 2004), Likewise, in
Bayelsa State, notable militant leaders
such as General Africa, Joshua Maverick,
Young Shall Grow, Egberi Papa, and
Daddy Ken graduated from being political
thugs to become militants. Owing to the
‘abandonment-after-usage’ syndrome, both
Asari and Ateke in Rivers State turned
their attention to the transnational illegal
oil bunkering networks, collecting tolls on
the trade, providing security to bunkering
crews, selling oil or operating illegal oil
refineries whose products were sold below
market prices. In essence, the recruitment
of young men from a widening cesspool
of unemployed youths by politicians
anchored another dimension of militant
creation.

Cult-group militancy

As the name implies, the cult-group militancy
category embraces initial cult leaders
and membership that altered their activities
to militancy. This category of militants basically
emerged from the Rivers State axis of
the Niger Delta. There are two types of
cult groups that feature most often in the
media reports of conflicts in the Niger
Delta. First is the campus cult groups
formed by the original fraternity groups
such as Supreme Vikings Confraternity,
Black Axes, Buccaneers, and Mafia Fighters.
Second are the urban social groupings
that spun off from the university fraternities
and use coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and
retain their members, frequently for violent
purposes. They include Dey Gbam, Dey
Well, Greenlanders, and Germans. The
latter groups, which are also known as
street cult groups, seek to exert control
over defined geographic areas that they
conceive as their territory.
Most of the street cults are the creation
of the university cults in the sense that the
university students who founded the original
confraternities recruited younger and
less-educated teenagers to fight their street
battles, while these youths in turn recruited
still younger populations. By this process a
hierarchy of armed young people was
formed. Life became cheaper the lower
down the pecking order one descended
(Asuni 2009). From initial clashes
between cult groups with sticks and
broken bottles, it soon progressed to the
use of machetes, locally made guns (popularly
known as Akwa-Made) and later
advanced to the use of sophisticated guns
and explosives such as dynamite, as the
battle for supremacy and territorial control
intensified. The fact remains that many of
the politicians in the Niger Delta, especially
in Bayelsa and River State, are known to be
members of confraternities, particularly the
Vikings (which dominates higher institutions
in the two states). These politicians
and other wealthy ex-members act as
patrons to the various cult groups and also
fund their activities.
The cult groups were also contracted to
perform thuggery roles during elections in
return for financial incentives and sophisticated
guns and ammunition. One cult
member described a meeting in Government
House, Port Harcourt just prior to
the 14 April 2007 polls during which he
saw government officials hand out
between N5 million and N10 million to
several different cult groups in return for
their assisting or simply accepting the
PDP plan to rig the polls (Human Rights
Watch 2007). Some of them were also contracted
to protect bunkering networks with
their ever-increasing armoury. Ateke Tom,
Soboma George, Farah Dagogo, and
Occasion Boy belong to this category.
Moreover, in order to sustain their activities,
confraternities frequently change their
loyalty and actions in response to new
sources of money. Most of the confraternities
have been implicated in the
hostage-taking of foreign oil workers in
the Niger Delta. Again, due to the exposure
of cult members to gun battles, numerous
militant groups such as the Movement for
the Emancipation of the Niger Delta
(MEND) employ confraternity members
as combatants. For example, the head of
the cult group the Outlaws, Soboma
George, doubles as an MEND commander
(Wellington, 2007). It is a common practice
in the Niger Delta for cult members contracted
by militant leaders as combatants
in their camps to be paid between
N200,000 and N300,000 every two
weeks, based on the type of activities they
carry out. Other notable cult leaders
simply break away from their parent
bodies, set up their own groups, acquire
arms and ammunition and begin to
operate as militants in the region.
Community/ethnic-warlord militancy
The Niger Delta has witnessed a series of
intra- and inter-communal conflicts. These
conflicts are attributed to the divide-andrule
politics of the Nigerian state and its
alleged collaborators, the multinational oil
companies. Most of the conflicts were
fought over land ownership claims,
payment of compensation due to spillage
and exploration activities, and so on.
Some notable conflicts of these nature
include the Warri crisis, Olugbobiri and
Peremabiri crisis, Odioma and Liama
crisis, Ogbolomabiri and Bassambiri crisis
in Nembe, Biseni-Agbere crisis, Ikwerre
and the Okrika crises.
The zeal to protect one’s community
from external aggression led to the acquisition
of community armouries manned by
able-bodied youths. As seen in the Warri,
Nembe, Olugbobiri and Okrika crises for
instance, the weapons acquired to fight
communal wars were diverted to militancy
when peace returned to the affected communities.
Therefore the ethnic-warlord
category of militants transformed from
initial communal and ethnic warlords to
become militants. Examples of militants
that fall under this category are Government
Ekpemopolo, Prince lgodo, Alex
Preye, and Commander Ajugbe.
Be that as it may, the line separating the
various categories of militants is very fluid.
The reason has been that militants like
Ateke Tom, Tompolo, Soboma George
and Farah Dagogo fall into two or more categories.
Moreover, militants that basically
carry out criminal activities like kidnapping
belong to the cult-group militancy category.

Conclusion
This paper has identified and discussed the
remote and immediate factors that that led
642 K.I. Ebienfa
Downloaded by [KIMIEBI EBIENFA] at 22:11 01 December 2011
to the advent of militancy in the Niger
Delta, such as decades of marginalisation
and state repression, oil-induced environmental
degradation, endemic poverty,
teeming unemployment and a development
deficit. The success of the original militancy,
derived from developmental and
resource-control aspirations and from the
Egbesu military ethic of purity, equity,
justice and truth, stimulated the other
forms of militancy. This process led to the
subsequent variety of motives for and
forms of militant action in the Niger
Delta. The resultant diversity can be conceptualised
using the above typology, but
that should not obscure the nature of militancy
as a dynamic set of actions. Indeed
some militant groups fit into more than
one category in terms of their actions. As
with many struggles, the original goals of
the militancy became somewhat lost in the
course of the struggle because it opened a
space for other forms of violent action.
These new kinds of militancy and violence
had objectives far removed from the
original aspirations for which the Egbesuinspired
militancy had served as a mobilising
cultural form.
The fact remains that militancy in the
Niger Delta is as a result of the abundant
oil wealth derived from the region not
leading to regional prosperity. Consequently,
people-oriented effective and efficient
policies, geared towards addressing
the development deficit and uneven
wealth distribution in the region, must be
implemented to nip militancy in the bud.

Note on contributor
Kimiebi Imomotimi Ebienfa is a postgraduate
student in the Department of Political Science,
University of Ibadan. He holds a bachelor of
science degree from Niger Delta University
and master of science degree from the University
of Ibadan, where he specialised in
comparative politics. His research interests
include oil and environmental politics, public
policy, international security and terrorism.
References
Asuni, J., 2009. Understanding the armed groups
of the Niger Delta. Council on Foreign
Relations, Working Paper, September. New
York: Council on Foreign Relations, 9–10.
Best, S. and Kemedi,D., 2005.Armed groups and
conflicts in Rivers and Plateau States,Nigeria.
In: N. Florquin and E.G. Berman, eds. Armed
and aimless: armed groups, guns and human
security in Ecowas Region. Geneva: Small
Arms Survey, 12–45.
Conflict Expert Group, 2005. Peace and security
in the Niger Delta. Working paper for
SPDC, Baseline Report, WAC Global
Services.
Coventry Cathedral, 2009. The potential for
peace and reconciliation in the Niger
Delta. Coventry, UK: International Council
on Reconciliation.
Human Rights Watch, 2007. Criminal politics:
violence, ‘godfathers’ and corruption in
Nigeria. New York: Human Rights Watch.
Ijaw Youths Council, 1998. The Kaiama declaration.
Yenagoa, Nigeria: Ijaw Youths Council.
Ikelegbe, A., 2005. Encounters of insurgent
youth associations with the state in the oil
rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Journal
of Third World Studies, 22 (1), 151–181.
Manby, B., 2004. Oil jihad in the Niger Delta?
Open Democracy, 27 October. Available
from: http://www.opendemocracy.net/content/
article [Accessed 13 February 2009].
Owolabi, O. and Okwechime, I., 2007. Oil and
security in Nigeria: the Niger Delta crisis
[online]. African Development, 32 (1), 4.
Available from www.ajol.info/index.php/ad/
article/view/57152 [Accessed 14 November
2011].
Ukiwo, U., 2009. Causes and cures of oilrelated
Niger Delta conflicts. Uppsala:
Nordic Africa Institute.
Wellington,A., 2007.Nigeria’s cults and their role
in Niger Delta insurgency [online]. Terrorism
Monitor, 5 (13). Available from: www.
jamestown.org/single/no_cache¼1&tx_
ttnews%5Btt_news%5D¼4288 [Accessed
28 July 2011].
Review of African Political Economy 643
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

MOAMMAR GADHAFI OF LIBYA AND THE TERRORISTS

The current protests of regime change in the Middle East that is spreading like wildfire from Tunisia to Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Algeria and Libya etc., is engineered by youths that have resolved to change their destiny. The wave of uprisings in the oil rich region is what I called a “State Repression and Unemployment Causal Revolution”. Though, a degree of success has been recorded in Tunisia (the gate post of the revolution) and Egypt with the sacking of President Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak respectively between January and February 2011, the events in Yemen, Bahrain and Libya are still unfolding.
The world is following developments in Libya especially with keen interest due to the repressive crackdown on protesters by the autocratic and ruthless President Gadhafi Government forces, with hundreds of persons dead and thousands wounded. Gadhafi who is known for his fleet of female bodyguards and tent accommodation lifestyle is the undisputed winner of the longest serving president in Africa title and have been the maximum ruler of Libya for the past 41years. To demonstrate the level of personalization of the state in Libya, one of his sons is currently the National Security Adviser.
Whereas the youths are protesting for regime change, people oriented governance and fundamental human rights; Moammar Gadhafi has ironically described the political upheaval in Libya as “international terrorism orchestrated by al-Qaida and unknown persons giving elusivedating drugs to the youths. And therefore beckon on parents to go out to the streets to bring their sons home”.
I will argue as I have argued elsewhere that, there is no difference between Osama Bin Laden led al-Qaida (an international terrorist organization) and Libya under Gadhafi (which is a terrorist state). It is quite amazing that Gadhafi is yet to come to term with the reality that, state terrorism is actually a crucial factor that necessitated the ongoing people’s revolution.
On the allegations about unknown people giving drugs to the youths to make them violent, I totally agree with him. However, my point of departure is that, the drugs given to the youths are the drugs of democracy to resist perpetual marginalization, intimidation, torture, repression and tyrannical executions by a self-centered administration. But, what about the Ambassadors, Military Officers, Ministers, the Pilots who refused to bomb their own people and defected to Malta, etc. that are all calling for his resignation? Who gave drugs to all these categories of people? Come to think of it, maybe we are all drug addicts for jettisoning Gadhafi ideology cum framework for the African Union.
Gadhafi is indeed a lucky man. Just imagine the current chaotic situation in Libya, the killing of protesters and declaration to execute all those involved in the protests and demonstrations according to the draconian Libyan Constitution, under the Presidency of George Bush Jr in America. Your guess is good as mine. President Bush and his collaborators at the world stage would have continued from where they stopped in Iraq and Afghanistan, by designing and executing a speedy invasion of Libya which he labeled a “Rogue State, under the auspices of the war on terror. That indeed would have been Moammar Gadhafi and the Terrorists. We are all watching how the United States of America, the Policeman of the World under the leadership of a son of African, President Barack Obama, will react to the Libyan crisis.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

OIL, MILITANCY AND POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NIGER DELTA

BY

KIMIEBI IMOMOTIMI EBIENFA
MATRIC NO: 146860

BEING A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, FACULTY OF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN, IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF MASTER OF SCIENCE (M.Sc) DEGREE IN POLITICAL SCIENCE





MAY, 2010






















CERTIFICATION

I certify that this research was carried out under my supervision by KIMIEBI IMOMOTIMI EBIENFA, in partial fulfillment of the award of Master Degree in Political Science, Faculty of the Social Sciences, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

…………………….. …………………….
Dr. Adefemi .V. Isumonah Date
Department of Political Science,
University of Ibadan, Ibadan.




































DEDICATION

This research is dedicated to my indefatigable father, Mr. Imomotimi Ebienfa, the financial pillar of my academic pursuit. And to the memories of my step-mother per excellence, Late Mrs. God’s love Diri-Ebienfa, and my aunty extra-ordinary, Late Miss Ayawari Ebienfa, that both left for the great beyond in 2008. The light you ignited is still shining.




















ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
First and foremost, I thank the Bishop of my Soul and the awesome God for granting me the grace to complete this research. My profound gratitude goes to my Supervisor, Dr. Adefemi Isumonah, a erudite scholar of international repute, who despite his tight schedule brought his wealth of experience and constructive criticism to midwife this work to reality.
I am indebted to the cream of intellectuals in the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan, led by the indefatigable Head of Department, Professor Bayo Okunade, and other lecturers such as Professor Alex Gboyega, Dr. Osisioma Nwolise, Dr. Remi Aiyede, Dr. Irene Pogoson, Dr. Bukola Adesina, Dr. David Enweremadu, Dr. Idachaba, Dr. Steve Lafenwa, and Dr. Jide Akanji, etc. whose ideas and analysis have enlarged my intellectual horizon and made me more critical in addressing issues. More so, I thank the 2009/2010 Executive of the Association of Graduate Students of Political Science (AGSPOS), University of Ibadan, which I chair, and my colleagues Onuka Blessing, Kelly Osifo, Emeka, Jerome Ipigansi, Enabiri, Nna Samuel, Tope, Chibuzo, Juliet, Taiyo Shepherd, Oge, Idris, Fred, Bukky, Ndubisi, Maduabuchi, etc., for their sacrifice and love.
To my lovely parents, Mr. Imomotimi Ebienfa and Mrs. Tonbara Ebienfa, and my siblings, Ebinipre, Seinitonkumo, Tarimobowei, Pere-ere, Diweni, Dimie, Constance, Timinaebieri, Inekurogha and Duncan, thanks a million for your financial support and prayers.
I equally appreciate Professor Lawrence Ekpebu, Dr. Ibaba. S. Ibaba, Dr. Ambily Etekpe, Fidelis Paki, Peretonghabofa Johnnie, Preye Inokoba, Commodor Itoko, Venerable and Mrs. Inokoba, Rev. Israel Olasehinde, Chief Ebikitin Diongoli, Oweri Kunuon, Amaitari Meli, Grace Nyenami Ofuruma, Edith Michael, Oluwatobi Asani, Bodeiwari Baraka, Woyenginua Michael, Oyinmiebi Prelayefa, Doutimiye Ogbofa, Victor Adaga, Teme Opughowai, Rita Alamieyeseigha, December Samson, Ebiegberi Donkemezuo, Dadi Ayawari, Zidiseghabofa Johnson, Tari Korikori, Nelson Dounana, Woyengipreye Ibetei, Ibuomo Larry, Tari Obubo, Soupa Godspower, Mienaki Eke, Osborne Buseri, Ogunbodede Gift, Kala and Opu Michael for their support and encouragement.























TABLE OF CONTENT
Title Page------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- i
Certification--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ii
Dedication----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- iii
Acknowledgement------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- iv
Table of Content---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- vi
List of Tables-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ix
Abstract-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- x
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION------------------------------------------------------------1
1.1 Background of the Study------------------------------------------------------------------------1
1.2 Statement of Problem----------------------------------------------------------------------------6
1.3 Objective of the Study---------------------------------------------------------------------------9
1.4 Research Hypothesis-----------------------------------------------------------------------------9
1.5 Theoretical Framework--------------------------------------------------------------------------9
1.6 Significance of the Study----------------------------------------------------------------------11
1.7 Research Methodology------------------------------------------------------------------------12
1.7.1 Research Design--------------------------------------------------------------------------------12
1.7.2 Data Analysis-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------12
1.8 Scope/Limitations of the Study---------------------------------------------------------------12
References--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------14
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW-----------------------------------------------18
2.1 Politics------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------18
2.2 Development-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------20
2.3 Oil------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------23
2.4 Oil and Development---------------------------------------------------------------------------26
2.5 Oil and Development Efforts in the Niger Delta------------------------------------------29
2.6 Resource Agitations in the Niger Delta----------------------------------------------------38
2.7 Militancy---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------42
References-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------45
CHAPTER THREE: MILITANCY IN THE NIGER DELTA----------------------------50
3.1 Origin of Militancy in the Niger Delta-----------------------------------------------------50
3.2 Typologies of Militants in the Niger Delta------------------------------------------------55
3.2.1 Peaceful Resource Agitations – Militancy-----------------------------------------------56
3.2.2 Political Thugs - Militancy----------------------------------------------------------------57
3.2.3 Cult Groups – Militancy---------------------------------------------------------------------58
3.2.4 Community/Ethnic Warlords – Militancy--------------------------------------------------60
3.3 Militant Groups in the Niger Delta----------------------------------------------------------61
3.4 Sources of Funding of Militancy in the Niger Delta-------------------------------------63
References--------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 68
CHAPTER FOUR: MILITANCY AND POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NIGER DELTA-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------70
4.1 Militancy and the Nigerian Economy----------------------------------------------------- 70
4.2 Militancy and Political Opportunities in the Niger Delta------------------------------ 77
4.3 The Presidential Amnesty Programme and Militancy---------------------------------- 85
References------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 94
CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSION----------------------------------------------------------- 96
5.1 Summary /Conclusion----------------------------------------------------------------------- 96
5.2 Recommendations---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 100
Bibliography---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 103

LIST OF TABLES
Table 2.1 Financial Allocations to OMPADEC, 19991-1996---------------------------- 34
Table 2.2 Federal Government releases to NDDC for the period 2001-June 2004----- 36
Table 2.3 Federal-States Share of Proceeds from Distributive Pool----------------------- 40
Table 4.1 Estimated Value of Nigeria’s Stolen and Shut-in Oil Production, January 2000-September 2008---------------------------------------------------------------------- 72
Table 4.2 Nigerian Heads of State according to Zones----------------------------------------- 78
Table 4.3 Chiefs of Army Staff in Nigeria according to Section------------------------------ 82

















ABSTRACT
Whereas oil is the livewire of the Nigerian economy, the ethnic minorities populated Niger Delta which bear the burden of oil and gas production, paradoxically remains a convergence of squalor in abundance. The area suffers from gross environmental degradation, neglect and endemic poverty despite decades of protests to change the status quo. Against this background, the study accentuates the nexus between oil, militancy and political opportunities in the Niger Delta. The specific objectives are to: investigate the nature of oil agitations and the militants’ creation process; the impact of militancy on the nation’s economy; and examine whether militancy has enhanced political opportunities in the Niger Delta.
The research adopted the survey method approach, and explores both primary and secondary sources of data collection. Primary data were collected through Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) held in Warri, Port Harcourt and Yenagoa respectively. While secondary data were sourced from relevant textbooks, journals, magazines and government publications etc.
The findings revealed that, the unabated marginalization, disempowerment, segregation, suppression and repression of hitherto peaceful agitations by Niger Deltans by the Nigerian State, made violent oil agitations inevitable, hence the militant activities that characterize the region. Compared to previous research, the study breaks new ground by revealing the fact that, the militants’ creation process in the Niger Delta is multidimensional, and there are: Resource Agitators-Militancy, Cult Groups-Militancy, Political Thugs-Militancy and Communal/Ethnic Warlords-Militancy categories. Militant activities in the region have impacted negatively on the Nigerian economy, which is evident in disruption of oil and gas production, making the region hostile for investment, coupled with obstructions in the execution of developmental programmes. More so, militancy has increased the bargaining power of the region, and equally enhanced political opportunities for the Niger Deltans, with their progressive occupation of sensitive national positions.
The study conclude that, though the ongoing presidential amnesty programme if well adequately executed is a panacea to close the curtain on militancy, until the grievances of the region are addressed to reverse the development deficit, peace will continue to be elusive.
Keywords: Militancy, Marginalization, Development, Poverty and Amnesty.
Word Count: 340


















CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, is indisputably one of the most richly endowed countries on the continent. It boasts of immense resources (human and material) which provides opportunity for national development (Oyakorotu, 2008:1). However, one issue that has continued to attract national and global attention in recent times is the spate of militancy in the Niger Delta. The frequent attacks on Oil installations and facilities by militant groups spread over 500 camps in the region have become a source of concern to peace lovers, scholars and policy makers alike.
Nigeria no doubt is a Petro-Dollar State. She is a mono-cultural economy that depends solely on oil. Be that as it may, the wealth that sustains the Nigerian economy ever since oil displaced agricultural resources as the mainstay of the nation’s economy is produced in the Niger Delta, located in the Southern part of the country.
A Delta in simple parlance describes an area cris- crossed by rivers, rivulets and creeks that empty themselves to the sea. The Niger Delta of Nigeria is among the richest Deltas in the world. Other major Deltas are either famous for crude oil and natural gas (Amazon in Brazil, Orinoco in Venezuela, Mississippi in the U.S.A., Mahakarn in Indonesia) or grow mainly rice (e.g. Indus in Pakistan, Ganges in Bangladesh, Mekong in Vietnam).
The Niger Delta which derives its name from the River Niger, is one of the world largest wetlands and African s largest delta covering some 70, 000km2 formed by the accumulation of sedimentary deposits, transported by the Niger and Benue Rivers (Azaiki, 2007:1 World Bank Report, 1993:1). The hydrology of the region is determined by the tides of the Atlantic Ocean and the flood regime of the River Niger. The ecosystem is particularly sensitive to changes in water quality, such as salinity or pollution to changes in hydrology. The Niger Delta communities have settled in the area for many millennia with the Ijaws being the oldest group, having lived there for over 7,000 years (Alagoa, 2000:3).
There are different conceptualizations of the Niger Delta. According to the Willinks Commission Report (1958), “the Niger Delta lies within the Ibo Plateau and the Cross River valley: a geographical entity which covers the present Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers State”. Conceptualizing the Niger Delta from a different perspective, a publication of the defunct Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) reads that:
… The River Niger disgorges its waters into the Atlantic Ocean through a large number of tributaries which form the Niger Delta. The area of the Delta is further enlarged by rivers other than tributaries of the Niger. Calabar River, Cross River and Imo River to the East, and Siluko River, Benin river, Escravos River and River Forcados, to the West (OMPADEC Quarterly Report, 1993:80).

From the OMPADEC perspective, the River Niger, its tributaries and other rivers which have enlarged the area of the Niger Delta, define the scope of the area. It therefore posits that the Niger Delta is made up of at least seven (7) States- Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Ondo and Edo State.
In a similar vein, the successor to OMPADEC, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) advanced a broader but widely refuted definition of the Niger Delta. The NDDC Act (2000), described the Niger Delta as consisting of Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers State. This conceptualization places the Niger Delta as synonymous with oil producing states in Nigeria, which it is not. It is imperative to note that, with State creation and Boundary Adjustments, some Niger Delta communities are now located outside the widely accepted six (Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross river and Edo State) Niger Delta States, just as oil politics has drawn non-Niger Delta communities into the boundaries of the region. Over 20 million people inhabit the area, with over 20 ethnic groups and 800 communications (Okoko and Ibaba, 1997:57). Be that as it may, the area accepted as the Niger Delta for the purpose of this study is what some scholars and Niger Deltans alike describes as the “Core Niger Delta”. That is, States geographically characterized predominantly or to an extent with deltaic features such as: Bayelsa, Rivers and part of Delta State. The ethnic groups in the region include, the Ijaw, Isoko, Itsekiri, Ogoni, Urhobo, Ikwerre, Epic/Atissa, Ogbia etc.
The Niger Delta is the hub of oil and gas production in Nigeria, accounting for about 80% of total Government Revenue, 95% of Foreign Exchange and over 80% of National Wealth (Tell, February 18, 2008:33). The Oil Industry in the Niger Delta is dominated by Multinational Corporations such as Chevron, Texaco, Exxon-Mobil, Total, AGIP, Shell Petroleum Development Company, ELF, and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Presently, there are over 600 Oil fields, 5,284 onshore and offshore Oil Wells, 10 Export Terminals, 275 Flow Stations, 4 Refineries and a Liquefied National Gas Project (Lubeck, Watts and Lipschits, 2007). More so, as at 2007, statistics show that about 23,183.9 billion barrels of Crude Oil were said to have been produced in the Niger Delta, which amounts to a staggering National revenue of 29.8 trillion naira (TELL, February 18, 2008:28).
Paradoxically, despite the abundant wealth the region parades, which happen to be the fiscal basis of the Nigerian State, majority of Niger Deltans live in a state of chronic want. The region epitomizes one of the extreme situations of poverty and under development in the midst of plenty. Infrastructural development is very low, while poverty and unemployment levels are very high. The poverty level is about 80 percent, and unemployment level ranks 70 percent. Access to basic social amenities is very limited. For example, over 80 percent of the coastal or riverine communities’ source water for drinking, cooking and other domestic uses, from polluted Rivers, Streams and Lakes that is equally used for disposing of human and other forms of waste. The upland communities largely drink from shallow wells that are contaminated. Indeed, the Niger Delta falls below the national average, in all measures or indicators of development (Ibaba, 2005:13-14). The costs of living in the Niger Delta, is very high, and even the prices of petroleum products is one of the highest in the country.
Unlike other oil producing nations of the world, oil has been a curse to the people of the Niger Delta. Its exploration and exploitation since 1958 has set in political ecological and socio-economical conditions that generate abject poverty, misery and backwardness in the region. The region has over the years been deprived of peace, progress, justice, and the abundant resources that were expected to bring about good life to the inhabitants of the people have continued to be a mirage (Inokoba and Imbua, 2008:647). Prior to the discovery and exploration of oil and gas resources in the region, the primary occupation of the people was fishing and farming. It is however sad to note that, oil exploration and exploitation has destroyed the subsistence economy of the people. Testimonies from various quarters lend credence to the claim that environmental degradation occasioned by oil spillages has made life extremely difficult for the local people. The destruction of farmlands, fishponds and rivers had radically altered the economic life of the once self reliant and productive region for the worst (Okonta and Oronto, 2001:108).
Put differently, the unbridled exploitation of crude oil and natural gas beneath the lands of the Niger Deltans over the past fifty years has cause indescribable and irredeemable ecological devastation of the Niger Delta land. Oil related environmental multidimensional problems that have made life unbearable for the people of the Niger Delta includes: water and land pollution as a result of spills and drilling activities, destruction of vegetations, deforestation, displacement of human settlements as a result of installation and location of exploration facilities such as crude oil and gas carrying pipes that cris-crossed most communities in the regions, loss of bio-diversity such as fauna and flora habitat; destruction of mangrove swamps and salt marsh, air polluting and acid rain from oil and gas processing evaporation and flaring; industrial solid waste disposal and several others (Azaiki, 2003). For instance, the consumption of food and water from this poisoned environment has led to the emergence of new diseases that are devastating to the health of the people of the region. The result of this is poor fecundity and lower life expectancy in the Niger Delta. Recent studies in Bayelsa and Delta States shows that, there is one medical doctor for every 150,000 inhabitants. Oil has wrought only poverty, State violence and a dying ecosystem (Okonta, 2005).
Inspired by the above existential realities in the region, Niger Deltans began to make demands on the Nigerian State and Multinational Oil Companies operating in the area to better their lot. But instead of redress, the people were visited with State violence, repression and brutalization. The invasion and occupation of Niger Delta communities such as Umuechem, Ogoni Land, Opia, Tombia, Kaiama, Soku, Odi, Odioma, Agee, Gbaramatu and Oporoza etc by the Nigerian Military captures reality. Therefore, it is not surprising that the consciousness of exploitation, marginalization and disempowerment has made the Niger Delta a region of deep rooted frustration, hence the escalating crisis. The truth is that, it is the long decades of the Nigerian State trivialization of the genuine and peaceful agitations of the Niger Deltans that metamorphosed to the violent militant phase of oil agitations in the region. That is, the refusal of the Nigerian State to respond positively to the pens and placards of the Harold Dappa Piriye and the Ken Saro-Wiwa’s era, has created an environment of anger and desperation. More so, the dialogue option has equally failed because the Nigerian State has refused to adequately implement numerous “Blue Prints” for development in the region. The armed insurrection against the Nigerian State was formally launched after the 1998 Kaiama Declaration. Comprising mostly of ethnic militias of which over 70% are of the Ijaw ethnic origin, the youths accuse the State, and in tandem the Oil and Gas Ventures of systematic looting of their God given resources, destruction of the ecosystem and marginalization (Onoyume, 2007). The youths have therefore militarized the struggle to develop their backward environment and to secure greater control of oil revenue derived from the region. This led to the establishment of armed groups operating under such names as Egbesu Boys, MEINBUTU, Arogbo Freedom Fighters, Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), Niger Delta People Volunteer Force (NDPVF), and the dreaded Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). The activities of this militant groups has serious implications to peace and security in the region, oil exploitation, national revenue profit and other derivatives and that will be the core of our study

1.2 Statement of Problem
Nigeria is the Jewel in the African Oil crown, but Oil and militancy in the Niger Delta has become a subject of discussion just like the British weather. Whereas the oil produced in the Niger Delta, is the life blood of the Nigerian economy, oil has failed to translate to regional prosperity and development in the Niger Delta. The region has become a hot bed of crisis because the problems of neglect and marginalization have been pushing the people to resist deprivations, intimidation and domination, hegemonic politics and injustice.
Scholars have focused on oil production, the poor state of development in the Niger delta and the resultant militancy in vogue for some time now. The literature blame this on federalism and the politics of revenue sharing in Nigeria (Okoko and Nna, 1997; Orabator etal, 2006, Ikporukpo, 1996; Ibaba, 2005); environmental injustices and human rights violation (Aaron, 2006, Okonta and Oronto, 2001), the failure of corporate social responsibility on the part of Multinational Oil Companies (Ikelegbe, 2008, Aaron, 2008, Clark, et al 1999); accountability and transparency failures in governance (Peel, 2005; Inokoba and Imbua, 2008; Enweremadu, 2008); hegemonic politics (Isumonah, 2005) and the obnoxious laws that govern the oil industry (Ibaba, 2005). It is this prevailing reality in the Niger Delta that has given birth to an environment of perpetual agitations, youth’s restiveness, insurgency and general insecurity.
From the dialectics of violent oil agitations (militancy) in the Niger Delta, two major arguments appear discernable. One, that violent oil agitation is as a result of the Nigerian government’s application of force in quelling non-violent agitations/protests of Niger Deltans against the state of gross underdevelopment of the area that arose from the neglect by both Federal Government and Multinational Oil Companies operating in the area. We must reiterate the fact that, the tremendous amount of oil revenue derived from the Niger Delta costs the people their farm lands, fishing rivers and a host of other health hazards (like acid rain) due to the enormous environmental degradation caused by oil production activities of petrol businesses. References are usually made to government violent actions such as the incarceration and attendant execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni Activists in 1995, the Aleibiri Demonstration Crisis 1997; the Kaiama Declaration crisis of 1998; the Opia/Ikiyan invasion of 1999, the Odi invasion of 1999, the deployment of Naval war ships to Warri by the Federal Government to quell the Ijaw-Itsekiri crisis over the revocation of Warri-South Local Government Council Headquarters from Ogbe-Ijoh, and Ijaw town to Ogidegben, an Itsekiri town, the arrest and detention of Asari Dokubo, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, Henry Okah, etc (Oweila, 2009; Nwabueze, 1999; Ibeanu, 2000; Akpan, 2006; Clark, 2007; Azaiki, 2009).
The second side of the argument asserts that, militancy in the Niger Delta in the form of hostage taking kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, hijacking, etc is as a result of frustration due to lack of education, poverty, unemployment and idleness of the youths in the region. It there for contends that militants are not fighting for the socio-economic and political emancipation of the region, but simply to enrich themselves (Ibeanu, 2000; Koroye, 2007; Akanfa, 2007; Igini, 2008; Bariagh Amange, 2009). The fundamental question that begs for answers is that, on which side of the argument does the truth lie? There is thus the need to critically investigate and establish the true situation, which this study seeks to achieve.
Experience has shown that scholars have not really focused on the process of militant making/formation and the typologies of militants produced in the region. Again, not much has been done to unravel the link between the clamour by the South-South to produce the President of the country during the build up to the 2007 general elections, the support of the above demand by militant groups and the attendant emergence of Goodluck Jonathan, a minority from the Niger Delta as Vice President of Nigeria. The study seeks to fill this existing knowledge gap. More so, the study will critically investigate whether militancy has influenced the distribution of political power and enhanced the political opportunities of the Niger Delta people. To achieve this, the study will attempt to answer, the following research questions.
(a) What factors explains Niger Delta underdevelopment in the midst of abundance oil and gas resources?
(b) What is the nature of oil agitations in the Niger Delta?
(c) What is the effect of militant activities on the Nigerian economy?
(d) Has militancy enhanced political opportunities in the Niger Delta?
(e) Has militancy given Niger Deltans a voice in national politics?
(f) Is militancy accommodated by the political class in the Niger Delta?
(g) Is the Presidential Amnesty package for militants justified and will it be a permanent solution to violent agitations in the Niger Delta region?
(h) What is the way forward in the Niger Delta region?



1.3 Objectives of the Study
The fundamental objective of the study is to investigate the nexus between Oil, militancy and political opportunities in the Niger delta. The study will also examine the process of militants’ creation cum formation, the attendant categories, and their activities in the Niger Delta. More so, the study will ascertain whether militancy has enhanced political opportunities in the Niger Delta, in terms of attainment and maintenance of political power. And finally suggest possible ways of resolving the militant agitations in the region.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
Hypothesis in research connotes: an intelligent guess, a tentative answer in explaining social phenomenon, or untested generalization. Therefore, for purpose of guidance, we wish to deduce the following hypothesis.
(a) The violent oil agitation in the Niger Delta is the creation of long years of neglect, marginalization and environmental degradation despite the regions contribution to the nation’s common wealth (economy).
(b) Militancy has enhanced political opportunities in the Niger Delta.
(c) The Presidential Amnesty programme will not succeed if the root causes of militancy are not addressed.

1.5 Theoretical Framework
The Marxist Political Economy approach is deemed fit to be adopted as the analytical construct in this study. The reason has been that, the approach scientifically studies the society in its totality and takes into consideration the interconnection of social relations, class conflict and the organic relationship between the sub-structure (economy) and the super structure (politics).
Political economy is concerned with the social laws of production and distribution (Lange, 1974:7). The Marxist political economy approach is a holistic, historical orientation, which is used for the analysis of social formations and their contradicting relationships. It mainly focuses on the economic laws which govern the production and distribution of material benefits among individuals and groups at different stages of development of society (Iwarimie, 1991:50). Put differently, the approach is seen as the window to understand the laws that govern the economic life of the society. It explains the relationship between what man produce and how he benefits from the surplus he produce. The approach show how the various parts of the superstructure are used as instruments of the ruling class domination, and as mechanism of oppression of the subject class.
According to Ake (1981), a major advantage of this approach is that, it emphasizes the relatedness of social phenomena. This links exist between the economic structure and social structure. More so, the approach helps to penetrate deep into the processes and policies, lay bare their essence and then explain concrete forms of their manifestation.
In essence the political economy approach will unravel the oil production and lack of development paradox in the Niger Delta, which is attributed to the obnoxious laws that governs the oil industry, the lopsided federalism and revenue allocation mechanism in the country, neglect and marginalization of the ethnic minorities that bear the burden of oil exploration and exploitation, etc. It will also explain the lack of political will on the part of the federal government to develop the region.
On the other hand, the history of all hitherto existed society is the history of class struggle (Marx, 1977). Thus, the class analysis framework of the approach best explains the endemic class struggle between the exploiters (Federal Government and Oil Multinationals) and the exploited Niger Deltans. According to Marxist thought, consciousness means man’s ability to ideally reproduce in his mind the surrounding reality existing beyond and independent of him, the production of which is engendered by contradictions (domination, exploitation and marginalization in society. It posits that the dominated, exploited and marginalized groups, which paradoxically generated or bears the burden of creating resources, seeks to change the status quo when it becomes conscious (Libman and Borisox, 1985:125; Marx and Engels, 1977; Luckac, 1968).
It is imperative to note that the consciousness of exploitation is enhanced by the movement of a class from a class-in-itself (an unconscious class category), to a class-for-itself (which is a conscious class category). The above explanation also captures the transition from Ethnic group-in-itself to Ethnic group-for-itself in the Niger Delta (Ibaba, 2005:25). Therefore, the agitations (now very violent) in the Niger Delta by the ethnic minorities are attributed to the consciousness of exploitation and the struggle to change the status quo. Ken Saro-wiwa buttresses this point when he opined that:
There is tremendous awareness in Ogoni now… there is no woman or child who does not know… that the Nigerian government is cheating them and that the ethnic majorities in Nigeria are cheating them… They also know that … something has to be done to stop it… (Cited in, Ibaba, 2002:83).

More importantly, it is the frustration of the initial peaceful agitations inability to realize set goals that necessitated the violent militant agitations in vogue. The argument is that, psychology teaches that frustration creates worry which in turn leads to anger and ultimately violence (Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis) and that captures reality in the Niger Delta.

1.6 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study is hinged on the fact that, the findings will fill an existing knowledge gap; hence a contribution to knowledge as regards the militant crisis in the Niger Delta. It will aid better understanding of the causative factors in the lingering oil agitation crisis, the effect of militants’ activities on the nation’s economy, and proffer solutions. Lastly, the study will unravel socio-political developments attributed to the crisis.

1.7 Research Methodology
This study adopts the descriptive survey method typology of research.
1.7.1 Research Design
The study explores both primary and secondary sources of data collection. Primary data were collected through Focused Group Discussions (FGDs). Secondary data were sourced through data retrieval technique from scholarly sources Textbooks, Journals, Magazines, Newspapers, and Government Publication etc, that are relevant to the subject matter.
The Focused Group Discussions were conducted in Warri, Yenagoa and Port Harcourt in Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers State respectively and featured Militants, Cult members, Opinion leaders and Activists. The Personal observation of the researcher on issues that characterize the militant crisis in the Niger Delta was also an advantage.
1.7.2 Data Analysis
The study adopted the qualitative method of data analysis, utilizing the Content analysis instrument for data analysis.

1.8 Scope/ Limitations of the Study
Ideally, the first pre-requisite of a successful research in any science is a definite understanding of what size of a unit one is going to observe. In line with the above premise and considering the fact that the Niger Delta will be too large for such vigorous study in a short time-span, the study therefore was limited to the core Niger Delta (Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers State). The study thus investigated oil and development in the area, the nature of oil agitations, and assess political opportunities in the pre-militancy and militancy era in the region.
The study suffered some limitations. The first is financial. Due to the difficult terrain of the Niger Delta, the cost of transportation was very high and it limited the ability of the researcher to conduct a more elaborate work. Again, accessibility to principal actors as well as their willingness to volunteer relevant and valid information was not always easy.



















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CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
The focus of this chapter is to review existing literature on the subject matter. We shall therefore proceed to review Politics, Development, Oil, Development efforts in the Niger Delta, Oil Agitations in the Niger Delta, and lastly Militancy.

2.1 POLITICS
As a common phenomenon in the social sciences, the concept “politics” has different connotations or interpretations. The reason has been that, politics as an issue, concept and phenomenon basically invokes a lot of variegated opinions and sentiments. This is because, virtually everybody has an “expert opinion” on issues of politics and politics as a universal phenomenon affects every one of us in different dimensions. In the globe presently, we live in an age of growing politicization where government actions and inactions, the water we drink, institutions we attend, marriage and divorce, our accommodation and mode of basic social amenities, activities of international organizations etc. all fall within the purview of “politics”.
The above scenario corroborates the declaration of the famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle and originator of the term “Politics” that “man by nature is a political animal.” He went further to opine that:
the essence of social existence is politics, and that where two or more men are interacting with one another, they are invariably involved in a political relationship, and this is a natural and inevitable predisposition among men…As men seek to define their positions in society, as they attempt to wring personal security from available resources and as they try to influence others to accept their points of view, they find themselves engaging in politics [Cited in Rodee, et al 1976:2].

Politics is therefore a ubiquitous phenomenon and an unavoidable fact of human existence.
To be concise, Politics basically refers to the conscious or unconscious struggle for domination, advantage and interest actualization by man in society. Hence “politics” is been defined as “who gets what, when and how ( Lasswell, 1930:23), some scholars prefers “and how much” to Lasswell’s conceptualization. Politics is also defined as an activity whereby differing interest within a territory are conciliated (Azikiwe cited in Johnnie, 2005:4). In this sense, politics is not only an activity to struggle for scarce resources, but also to make decision and resolve conflicts in society. Some scholar conceive politics as the process by which men debate the matter concerning the “Polis”, that is, the community and take actions in an attempt to realize public interest or the common good (Anifowose and Enemno,1999:27). Politics is organized dispute about power and its use, involving choice among disputing values, ideas, persons, interests and demands. It is the manner in which power is obtained, exercised and controlled, the purpose for which it is used, the manner in which decisions are made, the factors which influence the making of those decisions and the context in which those decision take place (Curtis,1968:1). The above implies that, politics connotes, social relationships involving the intrigue to gain authority or power. To Joharis (1987) politics evolves in “a situation of conflicting wills and it involves rallying popularity, winning support and conciliating wills”. That is, it is the integrating factor of civilized life.
Bierce (1992) posits that, “politics is strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. It is the conduct of public affairs for private advantage”. Put differently, politics refers to the activities associated with the control of public decision among a given people and in a given territory, where this control may be backed up by authoritative and coercive means (Almond, etal 2001:4). Nnoli (1986) asserts that, “politics connotes all those activities which are directly or indirectly associated with the seizure of state power and the use of state power”. While, Iyoho,(1983), describes politics, as “the sharing of State power, between the various organs of government within the State, and the relationship between those who govern and those that are governed”. Here, politics is seen as the struggle for State power, how it is shared and the relationship between rulers and the ruled. Be that as it may, Easton [1965] advanced a broader description when he opined that “politics” is the authoritative allocation of values. It is that system of interaction in any society through which binding or authoritative allocations are made and implemented. However, it is important to note that not all the products of politics or “the system of interaction” are binding.
We can deduce from the above definitions that “politics “is a dynamic and interactive activity. It is the act of influencing, controlling and manipulating others for private advantage in society. Politics is sometimes equated with government. That is the activities that take place around the legally based institutions of the State. What this means is that politics comes to play whenever there is struggle among decision makers over access to the distributive mechanism of scare resources in the State.
Again, it is imperative to note that whereas the Liberalists argue that politics has utilitarian value that is geared towards the good of the whole Community, the Marxists argues on the contrary. The Marxists contends that, politics is an integral part of class struggle between the dominant class [political elites} and the dominated or under-privileged class (the hoi polloi) and that since the political elites are in control of the State structure (government), the tendency is that, they will always capitalize on their access to the instruments of the State to make decisions that will benefit the upper class to the detriment of the dominated class (Paki and Inokoba, 2006). The Marxist analysis thus exposes the class character of politics and reveals those in charge of the authoritative allocation of values and those that benefit from such allocations.

2.2 DEVELOPMENT
The term “Development” is a multi-dimensional concept. Hence, it has been interpreted to mean different things to different people, depending on their intellectual and ideological beliefs. In collaborating this, Elliot (1971) contend that there is no agreement on what development is, the word was coined by rich powerful and developed nations. It is a euphemism by contemporary whites in distinguishing themselves from those whom their forefathers rather bluntly called backward.
A United Nations publication on Science and Technology for Development describes development as: the process of allowing and encouraging people to meet their own aspirations (Cited in Ibodje, 1998:153). Development is a process that improves on the quality of standard of living, measured with realization of higher levels of civilization (Ake 1996:125). The description above argues that development is a phenomenon that is centered on man and it revolves around man. Be that as it may, development in human society is a many sided process. At the level of the individual, it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self- discipline, responsibility and material well-being. Some of these are virtually moral categories which are difficult to evaluate depending as they do on the age in which one lives, one’s class origins and one’s personal code of what is right and what is wrong. But, what is indisputable is that the achievement of any of those aspects of personal development is very much tied in with the state of the society as a whole… A society develops when its member increase jointly their capacity for dealing with the environment (Rodney, 2009: 1-2).
Development connotes fundamental changes in social structures, attitude as well as the acceleration of economic growth, reduction of inequality and eradication of absolute poverty. Most importantly, development must represent the whole gamut of change by which an entire social system moves away from a condition of life widely perceived as unsatisfactory towards a situation or condition of life considered as materially and spiritually “better” (Todaro and Smith 2003,16-17).
A disparity exist between Liberal and Marxist scholars interpretations of what development entails. To liberalists, development is synonymous with economic growth, which is measured with the yearly increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Gross National Product (GNP), and with structures like good roads, electricity, high rate buildings, availability of social services etc. One salient fact is that, availability is not affordability as regards goods and services. Thus to Marxist, the questions to ask about a country’s development are:
What has been happening to poverty? What has been happening to unemployment? What has been happening to inequality? If all three of these have declined from high levels, then beyond doubt this has been a period of development for the country concerned. If one or two of these central problems have been growing worse especially if all three have, it would be strange to call the result “development” even if per capital income has soared (Seers, cited in Johnnie, 2005:105).

This disaffirms the earlier assertion that, mere increase in GNP or GDP without a critical consideration of the poverty and unemployment index, coupled with the degree of inequality cannot paint the real picture of development.
Development is the process of self-reliant growth achieved through the participation of the people acting in their own interest as they see them and under their control. Its first objective must be to end poverty, provide productive employment and satisfy the basic need of all people fairly shared (South Commission Report, 1993:13). What is discernable from the above is that, development implies growing self reliance and the fundamental transformation of the society in its totality, economy, polity, culture etc. In addition, development presupposes a democratic structure of government, together with its supporting individual freedom of speech, organization and publication as well as a system of justice which protects all the people from actions inconsistent with just laws known and publicly accepted.
Thus, where as the Liberal school of thought gives priority to the community output rather than the well being of the citizenry, the Marxist school contends that issues like production, distribution, freedom and social justices cannot be diverted from the mechanism governing systematic production, distribution and consumption. On that note, development is holistic in nature and seen as the ability of respective communities to control the productive forces of their environment for the purpose of solving the problems imposed on them by nature and by man (Okodudu, 1998:31). It is a widely participatory process of directed social change in society and material advancement including greater freedom, equality and other valued qualities for the majority of the people through their gaining control over their environment (Arvind and Euerret, 1989:4). That is, it is the conscious attempt by man to emancipate itself from obstacles, both natural and man-made in order to achieve a more fulfilling life.
More importantly development as a phenomenon is not a project but a process. Specifically development is only but a comparative term and ever changing and that there are generally accepted indices that are used to calibrate or ascertain the developmental nature of a place, region or country. More so, if variables such as poverty, disease, unemployment, inequality, etc are not reduced and basic social amenities cum infrastructures, justice and good leadership are not improved, then, development cannot be said to have occurred.

2.3 OIL
Oil, Petroleum or Crude Oil is a greasy liquid, with a unique and characteristic odor occurring naturally at the surface of the earth and at dept (Wallace and Good, 1950:3). Crude oil basically is the product of heating of ancient organic materials over geological time. It is a naturally occurring flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other organic compounds that is found in geologic formations beneath the earth’s surface. The hydrocarbons in crude oil are mostly alkanes, cycloalkanes and various aromatic hydrocarbons, while the other organic compounds contain nitrogen, oxygen and sulfur, and trace amounts metals such as iron, nickel, copper and vanadium.
Oil extraction involves the finding and removal of hydrocarbons by drilling deep into the earth, and it is a key part of the transformation (production) of a natural resource: oil and gas into energy fuels. This involves the search for, discovery and production of oil and gas. The Downstream operations in the Oil Industry include: the refining processing, distribution and sales of petroleum products largely, fuels lubricants, gas and petrochemicals. Thus oil production is fundamentally about the commodification of an energy resource sold at the market, for profit.
An historical excursion into the annals of oil production in the world revealed that the first commercial Oil Well was drilled in North-Western Pennsylvania (United States of America) in 1859, known as Drake Well (Middleton, 2007:6). And since then, oil has risen to become a dependable source of energy. All over the world, the lives of people are affected and the destiny of nations is probably determined by the results of Oil industry operations. Oil keeps the factories of industrialized countries working and provides the revenues, which enables oil exporters to execute ambitious national and economic development plans. Presently, the march of progress would be retarded and life itself could become unbearable if the world is deprived of oil. That is why oil has become the concern of Governments, a vital ingredient of their politics and a crucial factor in political and diplomatic strategy. Oil has been given the image of a big business ruled by naked politics and dominated by ruthless men who are sensitive to nothing except their profit (Feyide, 1986:7). By any standard, oil is the world’s leading industry in size; it is probably, the only international industry that, concern every country. And as a result of the geographical separation of regions of major oil production and regions of high consumption, it is first in importance in its contribution to the world’s tonnage of international trade and shipping. Because of these and other attributes, such as its involvement in both national and international affairs, a day hardly passes without Oil being in the news (Adeniran, 1992).
Oil is a commodity with special characteristics. These include: its unique role as both common natural heritage of a country and the motor of global industrialization; its depletability; its price volatility consequent boom-bust cycles; its especially high capital-intensity and technological sophistication; its enclave nature, and the exceptional generation of profits that accrue to the State and to private actors. The combination of these factors produces what has been called the “paradox of plenty” or the “resource curse” (Karl, 2007:5).
There are different varieties of crude oil and each variety of oil has a name. Some of such varieties are: United States West Texas intermediate; North Sea Brent Blend; Algerian Saharan Blend; Indonesian Minas; Nigerian Bonny Light; Saudi Arabian Arab Light; Mexican Isthmus; Fatch from Dubai; Venezuelan Tia Suana Light and so on (Middleton, 2007:15). The general rule of thumb is that, the “lighter” and “sweeter” the oil, the more valuable it is. Oil is described as light, if it is very easy to refine. More so, crude oil varies greatly in appearance depending on its composition. It is usually black or dark brown (although it may be yellowish or even greenish). Each petroleum variety has a unique mix of molecules, which defines its physical chemical properties like colour and viscosity. Petroleum is used mostly for producing fuel oil and gasoline (petrol) both important primary energy sources.
Oil supplies assume great importance in world politics because oil is not being discovered at the same rate it is being used. For every two barrels pumped out of the ground, the giant Oil companies discover only one new barrel. About 70 percent of the Oil consumed today was found 25 years ago or longer. Meanwhile, demand for oil keeps escalating and the era of cheap and abundant oil is ending (Deffeyes, 2005:66). It is thus factual to assert that, oil plays a crucial role in the affairs of man and the development and underdevelopment of regions cum nations.

2.4. OIL AND DEVELOPMENT
Oil can be a factor for development or it can be a major impetus for war… the issue is how to make sure that oil is a force for development rather than the excrement of the devil… (Karl.2007)

There is a multidimensional nexus between oil and development. The idea is that though oil has promoted development in some part of the world, the reverse is the case in other areas. For instance, whereas Norway, an Oil exporter, has used the benefits of North Sea petroleum to earn the highest place on the United Nations Development Program List of best social development performance, other exporters like Nigeria and Angola are clustered near the bottom.
Proponents of Oil-led development believed that, Countries lucky enough to have oil (black gold), can base their development on this resource. They point to the potential benefits from enhanced economic growth and the creation of jobs, increased government revenues to finance poverty alleviation, transfer of technology, the improvement of infrastructure and the encouragement of related industries. To the contrary, the consequences of Oil-led development tend to be negative, including slower than expected growth, barriers to economic diversification, poor social welfare performance and levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Furthermore, Countries dependent on Oil as their major resource for development are characterized by exceptionally poor governance and high corruption, a culture of rent-seeking, often devastating economic, health and environmental consequences at the local level, and high incidences of conflict and war (Karl, 2007). Rent seeking, which ranges from lobbying to coercion, is unproductive activity to obtain private benefit from public action and resources. Pervasive rent seeking occurs where the State is weak, decaying, and lacking rule of law, and that is evidence in Nigeria. Another crucial point to note is that, whereas Oil has promoted development in most developed Countries like Russia, United States of America, Canada, France, Australia, etc. the experience in most developing Countries and the third world differs with the exception of Countries like Libya, United Arab Emirate, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia etc, were Oil wealth is utilized to diversify the economy and the improvement of the welfare of the citizens. Most developing countries swim in the ocean of underdevelopment. There is consensus among scholars that, Oil has brought most developing countries more harm than good. The reason been that, Oil wealth has tended to bleed away the pockets of officials, soldiers and other elites, warping a Country’s development and far too often leaving its citizens in poverty (Scott-John, 2003). Therefore such countries score conspicuously low on the international development performance indices. However, there is need to emphasize that the Oil industry is a source of huge revenue, if not entangled with corrupt practices engineered by bad leadership. Proceeds from Oil-related rents; royalties, taxes, Oil export earnings, interest on joint ventures investment etc, ( Omeje, 2007), create the financial base for the execution of development programmes. More so, Oil promotes technological development in the sense that, as a source of energy, it encourages the technological production of goods and services which in the long run aid employment generation.
To be candid, the Oil-development linkage discourse in Africa has been largely framed around the ‘’resource curse thesis’’, which posits that Oil wealth fuels State corruption, profligacy, social crisis, poor governance human rights abuses and ultimately violent conflict (Obi, 2007, Gary and Karl, 2003). This perception is clearly a spin-off of the ‘’resource curse’’ thesis which is a mainstream explanation for (resource) conflicts and insecurity in Africa. The argument is that, huge natural resource endowments dampen, rather than brighten the prospects for development, paradoxically motivating people to struggle over resources, breeding corruption, marginalization, and armed insurgency. Oil revenue has also led to the neglect of other sectors of the economy that promotes development. In Nigeria for instance, the emergence of an Oil-dependent economy in the 1970’s led to the systematic neglect of other sectors of the economy, especially the agricultural sector which used to be the mainstay of the economy. The country suffer from acute underproduction of agricultural goods to sustain its teaming population, hence depends on massive food importation. In essence, the unbridled corruption, political instability and poor economic management have reduced the black gold to a curse in Nigeria rather than a blessing as it is in some other Oil-producing countries (Atojoko, 2008: 97). National economies that depend on oil are like tidal waves with ups and downs, boom periods and burst periods, which make petro-dollar management very crucial to achieve sustainable development. Therefore States with high drive for development gives premium to the distribution and management of oil wind falls during boom periods, and divert same to develop other sectors of the economy, but pitiably enough, that is not the case in Nigeria. The value system in the country has been debased such that, public treasures are flagrantly looted by the very officials entrusted with the responsibility of managing them. The cankerworm of corruption which has eaten deep into the Nigerian body polity has eventually made oil boom to become oil doom.
According to Maria Costa (The Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drug and Crime, UNODC):
Between 1960 when Nigeria became independent and 1999 when Democracy was restored, a staggering sum of 400 billion was stolen and slashed away by a generation of corrupt rulers. That is within a space of 39 years. And the discovery of oil, the nations cash cow, predated independence, if you are to put 400 billion dollars bills in a row, you could make a path from here to the moon and back not once but 75 times. The opportunity cost of the stolen common wealth is enormous (cited in Ajanaku, 2008:36).

In societies where oil wealth is utilized effectively, it is even diversified to promote development in other sectors of the economy. Indonesia for instance, capitalized on its oil fortune and fuelled its industrialization policy that saw manufacturing export rise to 40% compared with less than 1% in Nigeria (Usman, 2007). Again, it is factual that oil wealth is used to build cities even in the deserts, but the situation in Nigeria is so bad that the simple task of maintaining existing infrastructures as continue to pose as national embarrassment. More so, some contract figures are criminally inflated and those awarded to, conceives them as an avenue to obtain their share of the national cake. This explains the numerous abandoned or sub-standard projects spread across the country. Nigeria’s oil wealth has failed to translate to meaningful development largely due to corruption, poor, visionless, and bad leadership.

2.5 OIL AND DEVELOPMENT EFFORTS IN THE NIGER DELTA
It is true that oil is very important natural resource and that in regions where oil revenue is equitably and efficiently utilized, oil has promoted development. It is a more fundamental truth that oil which is the fulcrum of the Nigerian economy is produced in the Niger Delta, but instead of promoting development, the Niger Delta is yet to realize the benefit of development that accrue from oil exploration and production
In Nigeria, the race for oil actually began in the year 1908 when a German business interest formed the Nigerian Bitumen Company, to undertake exploration in the coastal areas between Lagos and Okitipupa in present Ondo state. The Company stopped its operations with the outbreak of the First World War. In 1937, Shell D’Arcy (the predecessor to the present day Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria) reactivated oil exploration activities in Nigeria (Ikein, 1990; 24). Shell discovered her first exploration Well at Ihud in 1956, ten miles North-East of Owerri, Imo State. This was again interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. But after several years of search and the investment of 30 million American Dollars, oil was discovered in commercial quantity at Oloibiri in Ogbia Local Government Area of present Bayelsa State in 1958 (Azaiki, 2007:59). And since the early seventies, it is the oil produced in the Niger Delta enclave that sustains the Nigerian economy.
Be that as it may, what is on offer in the name of petro-development is the terrifying and catastrophic failure of secular nationalist development. From the vantage point of the Niger Delta- but no less from the vast slums of Kano or Lagos- development and oil wealth is a cruel joke (Watts, 2008: 12) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) describes the region as, suffering from administrative neglect, crumbling social infrastructure and services, high unemployment, social deprivation, abject poverty, filth and squalor, and endemic conflict. The region is one of the world’s starkest and most disturbing examples of the “resources curse”. Several efforts have been made to develop the Niger Delta by the Federal cum State Governments in Nigeria, and the Multinational Oil Corporations operating in the region.
From the Federal Government perspective, efforts to develop the Niger Delta area dates back to the colonial era. The Willinks Commission which was set up to ascertain the fears of domination expressed by the Minorities in pre-colonial Nigeria, and to propose means of allaying such fears, recommended the establishment of a Board to cater for the development needs of the area. The Commission described the Niger Delta region as “poor, backward and neglected”, and reported that:
we cannot recommend political arrangement which would unite in one political unit the whole body of Ijaws; we do however consider that their belief that their problems are not understood could be largely met without the creation of a separate state, which we have rejected… the declaration of the Ijaw country as a special area would direct public attention to a neglected tract and give the Ijaws an opportunity of putting forward plans of their own for improvement (Willinks Commission Report,1958:94-95).

It is important to note that, the specific mention of Ijaw here can be attributed to two reasons. First, the Ijaws are the dominant ethnic group in the Niger Delta. Second, they mainly occupy the swamps that are least developed. It is therefore not intended to exclude other ethnic groups of the Niger Delta.
The Willinks Commission Report recommended the declaration of the Niger Delta as a separate area for development, thus the Federal Government established the Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB) in 1961 (Ibaba,2005; 109). The main function of the Board was to advice the Governments of the Federation, Eastern and Western Region, with respect to physical development of the Niger Delta. In order to discharge this responsibility, the Board shall;
(1) Cause the Niger Delta to be surveyed in order to ascertain what measures are required to promote its physical development.
(2) Prepare schemes designed to promote the physical development of the Niger Delta together with the scheme into effect, and
(3) Submit to the Government of the Federation and the Government of Eastern and Western, Nigeria annually reports describing the work of the board and the measures taken in pursuance of its advice (Etekpe, 2007:45-46).
The foregoing shows that, the Niger Delta Development Board was established without executive powers, but had only advisory powers. Thus, it had to recommend project to the Federal, Western and Eastern Regional Governments for execution. The implication was that, it was practically impossible for the Board to engage in project execution since the enabling instrument limited its assignment to advisory capacity in planning and designing projects. Again given that the Niger Delta people do not control these Governments, State officials had very little commitment to the ideas, of the Board. The board was also underfunded, thereby truncating its developmental objectives. The Niger Delta Development Board was later succeeded by the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority.
Nigeria witnessed the creation of 10 River Basin Development Authorities in 1976, hence the Niger Delta Development Board was equally renamed Niger Delta River Basin Authority. There is no denying the fact that, with the politicization and proliferation of development authorities in the country, the funding problem became worse. The agency failed to succeed like its predecessor and lost its relevance as a body established for the special development needs of the Niger Delta.
With the colossal failure of the Niger Delta River Basin Authority to impact positively on the development of the region, the Federal Government in 1981 set aside 1.5% of funds from the Federation Account, for the development of the region (OMPADEC Quarterly Report 1993:3). And to effectively administer the fund, the Mineral Producing Area Development Council was created. A Committee was then constituted to administer the funds and its membership was appointed by the Federal Government. The category of people appointed to the Committee were completely ignorant of the problems of the region, thus, a yawning gap emerges between the aspirations of the people and the interest of the Committee members. However, the Committee had virtually done nothing, when the Supreme Court in a Judgment (following a contention by the Government of the old Bendel State) put a stop to the utilization of the fund (Ibaba, 2005:110). Later in 1985 and 1988, two Committees were established. But just like the 1981 Committee, the 1985 Committee did nothing to liquidate the problems of the communities. However, the 1988 Presidential Committee on the development of the communities actually disbursed the funds and executed some projects. We must reiterate the fact that the oil producing communities were excluded from running the affairs of the Presidential Committee; which meant that their destiny was placed in the hands of other people. This is because, in the Nigerian setting, the exercise of power (allocation of resources) at every point largely benefits the dominant group or individuals that wield power. The argument is that, the types of projects executed, and the beneficiaries of contracts, did not promote the interests of the oil producing communities; but the operators of the State, the Committee members and their collaborators. Again, due to lack of clear goals, so many projects were embarked upon at the same time. Hence, at the end of its existence in May 1992, a total of 1.207 projects were either abandoned or on-going (OMPADEC Quarterly Review, 1993: 15-44).
The Oil Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC), which was created by Decree No.23 of 1992, succeeded the Presidential Committee, to address the development problems of the Niger Delta. The fundamental objective of the Commission was spelt out as follows:
(i) the rehabilitation and development of oil producing areas; (ii) the tackling of ecological problems that have arisen from the exploration and exploitation of oil minerals; (iii) to identify…the actual Oil Producing Areas and embark on the development of projects properly agreed on with the local communities of Oil Producing Areas; (iv) to tackle the problems of oil pollution… (Cited in, Ibaba, 2005:116).

It is significant to note that, OMPADEC was created to be funded by 3 percent of the Derivation Principle Fund. More so, it was created to direct the Derivation Fund for the specific and particular development of the oil producing communities. This was against the backdrop of neglect and marginalization suffered by oil producing communities like Oloibiri in the previous dispensations
Be that as it may, OMPADEC also failed to actualize the developmental aspirations of the oil producing Niger Delta region. The Commission was entangled by structural defects, financial imprudence, contract proliferation, and lack of goodwill from major ethnic groups in Nigeria, faulty project ideas, maladministration and lack of funding, nepotism, corruption and faults in implementation strategy. The living standard of the people would have improved if the programme implementation strategy of the Commission was appropriate. According to World Bank Report:
... OMPADEC only provides infrastructure or equipment. For example, it builds health centers but does not support staff for them. The obvious problem with such a development programme is that, the communities may not have the funds or expertise to maintain a project and watch it break down (World Bank Report 199: 53-54)

This scenario was replicated in several projects hence making their provision useless. Local communities and other stakeholders were hardly consulted before the initiation and execution of projects. OMPADEC also suffered from poor funding as shown in the table below.
Table 1.1 Financial Allocations to OMPADEC, 1999 – 1996.
N (000.00) 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 TOTAL
Expected Allocation to
OMPADEC (N Billion) 6,042 6,414 6,621 27,827 38,586 85,490
Actual Allocation to
OMPADEC (N Billion) 1,614 2,619 2,629 3,215 3,077 13,154
Allocation Short-fall to
OMPADEC 4,428 3,795 3,992 24,612 35,509 72,336
SOURCE: Central Bank of Nigeria Annual Report and Account, 1999.
It is evidently clear that, OMPADEC was never paid the full 3 percent of the derivation principle of the Federation Account as provided by the law establishing the Commission. In the period under review, only 13.154 billion naira was released to OMPADEC out of the expected 85.490 billion naira. And this led to the abandoning of many projects.
At another level of analysis, massive corruption and maladministration is seen as the bane of the establishment. The reason been that contracts were massively inflated, and full payments were made for shoddy or simply non-existent jobs. For instance, the report of the Eric Opia-Led investigation team revealed that, the Commission paid N6, 619,612,443 as mobilization fee to contractors who walked away with the money without doing any work (Okeke, 2009:40).
In summary, the shoddy performance of OMPADEC, where by only 200 projects out of 1,338 initiated by them, and 1,347 inherited from the former Presidential Task Force were purported to have been completed is definitely not what the target beneficiaries of the Commission desired. It is for this reason that Chief Dappa-Piriye described the performance of OMPDEC as “a ship wreck “(Etekpe, 2007:64). As Azaiki (2007:90) put it, OMPADEC conceived grandiose and unwieldy projects which were not in the priority interest of the masses, so that the problem of development continues to exist unresolved. Thus, by and large OMPADEC failed to actualize its mandate.
With the culture of new administration/regimes, new development policy for the Niger Delta in Nigeria, OMPADEC was succeeded by the present Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) with the enactment of the NDDC Act in 2000. The NDDC was given the mandate of facilitating “the rapid even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta in to a region that is stable, ecologically regeneration and politically peacefully (Yishan, 2008). Since the NDDC was established after prolonged military rule in the country, a cross –section of Niger Deltans believed that the new Commission will go a long way in ameliorating the plight of the oil producing region, while others dismissed it as another cosmetic and tokenistic menu advanced to down play oil agitations, and that seems to be the case with the existential realities.
According to the NDDC Act, the Commission is expected to be funded as follows:
(1) Federal Government contribution of equivalent of 15% of monthly statutory allocation due to Niger Delta state.
(2) 3% of total budgets of oil and gas producing companies.
(3) 50% of ecological fund due to Niger Delta states.
(4) Aid e.t.c.
Though, the NDDC has a lofty mandate and good funding mechanism, it has equally failed to constitutionally address the fundamental issues of exclusion, marginalization and deprivation in the region. It also places the destiny of the people, in a Commission; they have no power to control. Section 7(3) of the NDDC Act, state that, the Commission shall be subject to the direction, control or supervision, in the performance of its functions by the President and Commander-in-chief. And this explains the inadequate funding crisis that presently bedevils the Commission. The argument is that, the Federal Government of Nigeria lack the political will to develop the oil producing but highly underdeveloped Niger Delta region, therefore treating funding of NDDC with kid gloves. The Oil Companies have also failed in this regard. The NDDC Committee of the House of Representative in the Nigerian National Assembly reported in 2003 that:
Some oil companies are not complying with the NDDC Act ….even the Federal Government is not fully complying with the provision of the Act. For example, an oil company which year 2002 budget was 2.235 billion dollars, made a deduction of 627 million dollars from its budget before making its 3 percent deduction from the remainder. Another company budgeted 1,203 billion dollars for 2002, but deducted 504 million dollars before the 3 percent was worked out… Federal Government is also paying 10 percent instead of 15 percent (ANEEJ, 2004:23).
The above practice has continued unabated, and it paints a clear picture about the reluctance of the government and oil companies to develop the region.
Table 2.2: Federal Government Releases to NDDC for the period 2001-June 2004 (N000.00)
YEAR BUDGET
(ALLOCATION) ACTUAL RELEASES RELEASES % of BUDGET RELEASES % of FEDERAL GOVT. REVENUE
2001 N10,000 N7,500 75% 1.40%
2002 N12,650 N11,385 90% 1.86%
2003 N10,064 N10,064 100% 1.40%
2004 N14,000 N7,000 50% 1.33%
TOTAL N46,714 N35,949 76.96% 1.22%
SOURCE: Expenditure Department of Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja, June, 2004, (cited in Etekpe, 2007)

The above table buttresses the fact that, the Federal Government is not sincere with the funding of the NDDC. As at 2007, the NDDC was owed a whopping sum of 224 billion naira by the Federal Government. And the decision of the Yar’Adua Administration to write off the debts (unreleased budgetary funds) owed the NDDC does not augur well for the region.
In terms of road construction, though the NDDC have executed some laudable road project in the region, financial constrains has limited its activities to link roads, or narrow roads that are not very capital intensive. More so, most shore protection projects in the region are also been abandoned due to lack of funding. A good example is the shore protection projects at Sabagreia, Opokuma, Amassoma and Kaiama etc among others. Misplaced priorities also constitute one of the lapses of the NDDC. For example the Commission built a landing getting for Isua-Joinkarama Community in Ahoada-West Local Government Council of Rivers State. The facility meant to aid motorized boat transportation in riverine communities is not of much benefit to the community which is accessible by tarred road and have not been using motorized boats for mass transportation (Osuoka, 2007.7). This is against other pressing needs in the community like health centre, class room blocks, pipe borne water etc that are begging for attention. In essence, whereas the NDDC have performed better than its predecessors, it has equally failed to bail the region out of the fog of underdevelopment. This is because, instead of embarking on massive roads, canals & bridges construction to open- up the region (especially the rural areas) not much has been done in that regard. In Yenagoa, Bayelsa State for instance, the presence of NDDC is only felt in the filthy Sanitation Waste Bins provided by the Commission along major roads. Thus, the incessant setting up of Commissions upon Commissions is only a deliberate attempt to cover up the real issues of developing the region.
The Ministry of the Niger Delta was created in 2008 to augment the NDDC and to provide development in the region, but still no tangible achievement has been recorded. The Federal Government in 2009 approved about 200 billion naira for the construction of roads, bridges, hospitals and schools, targeted at accelerating the pace of development in the region, which is yet to record tangible result.
The Niger Delta States and the Oil Companies on the other hand have also not been able to provide the much needed development in the region. Whereas, the Oil Companies maintains that as business interests that are paying taxes to the Federal and State Governments, it is not their responsibility to develop the region, the States complains of inadequate statutory financial allocations from the Federation Account to fund developmental projects. Corruption and financial recklessness have also dampened the development prospect of the Niger Delta by the various State Governments. Some States that have collected over 600 billion naira since 1999 have nothing to show for the huge money (Ihonvbere, 2007).
As regards the Oil Multinational Corporations, juxtaposing the profit that accrue to them and attendant environmental degradation and backwardness with little or no sign of modernity in the host communities, they have scored conspicuously low, in terms of cooperate social responsibility. The undeniable reality is that, while the Oil Company’s Base or Stations are equipped with modern social amenities that make life comfortable, the same cannot be said of the host communities in the same locality. What most oil bearing communities’ see at light in the night is the huge flames that characterize the night sky, burning unwanted gas (gas flaring).
The Niger Delta States blames their inability to develop the region on lack of funds, which is factored on the low 13% derivation fund, and that will be explained in the next section.
2.6 RESOURCE AGITATIONS IN THE NIGER DELTA.
“Resource” according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, connotes the supply of something that a country, an organization or a person has and can use, especially to increase their wealth. Resource agitations in the Niger Delta started in the colonial era, but Oil resource agitations in the region commenced in the first decade of independence in Nigeria.
In 1966 precisely, Isaac Adaka Boro led a revolt against the Nigerian State, when he proclaimed the Niger Delta Peoples Republic, and launched a guerilla war against the Federal Government. Addressing his companions, Boro asserts that:
…today is a great day, not only in your lives, but also in the history of the Niger Delta. Perhaps, it will be the greatest day for a very long time. This is not because we are not going to bring the heavens down, but because we are going to demonstrate to the world, what and how we feel about oppression …Remember your 70- year- old grandmother who still farms before she eat, remember also your poverty-stinking people, remember too, your petroleum which is been pumped out daily from your veins and then fight for your freedom. (Isaac Boro, 1983).

With 159 volunteers, Boro established the first militia in the Niger Delta known as the Niger Delta Volunteers’ Force that engages the Armed Forces of Nigeria in a bloody battle. Although he was defeated by Federal Government troops (after 12 days) he awakened the Ijaws (ethnic minorities) for action against oppression and exploitation (Joab-Peterside, 2007:21).
Oil agitations in the Niger Delta or the clamour for greater share of oil revenue have its root in Nigeria’s competitive federalism. An historical excursion to the annals of resource production and revenue allocation in the country reveals that, between 1953 and 1960 (that is the period of self- government and independence), the Regions retained 100 percent of revenue, based on the principle of derivation. The Independence Constitution slashed the derivation percentage to 50 percent. It is factual that the struggle for resource control is rooted in the perceived distribution inequalities inherent in Nigerian federalism, coupled with the environmental degradation and development deficit in the region. At the heart of the discontent of the ethnic minorities in the Niger Delta was the abandonment of the derivation principle of financial allocation which provided that, revenues derived from natural resources should be allocated in proportion to the amount contributed to the National purse by the various units (Regions or States as the case may be) of the federation (Obi 2007). This sense of exploitation and injustice, occasioned by what is described as an “internal colonialism” arrangement was aggravated by the fact that, decisions to centralize oil recourses were taken and imposed by Federal Military regimes (and their elected successors) representing dominant social forces (Policy Notes, Nordic Africa institute, 2009).
The argument is that, the derivation principle held sway and favored the dominant ethnic groups (Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo) when agriculture was the mainstay of the Nigeria economy, and the proceeds from derivation funds were uses to promote development in those regions. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Nigeria, Nssuka, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Cocoa House (Ibadan) etc. were all built with derivation funds. But paradoxically, with the ascendance of oil (found in the minorities enclave of the Niger Delta) as the pivot of the Nation’s economy, the interest of derivation on the part of those who wields State power faded, given that it will now promote the interest of the minorities who do not control State power (Ibaba 2009)). That is, the abundant crude oil in the minorities territories of the Niger Delta region became a subject of envy, and the majority groups adopted every means to ensure that the owners receives very little benefit from it (Etekpe, 2007).
Table 2.3 FEDERAL-STATES SHARES OF PROCEEDS FROM DISTRIBUTIVE POOL.
YEAR
PRODUCING STATE (REGION) % DISTRIBUTIVE POOL/FEDERAL ACCOUNT %
1953 - 59 100 0
1960 - 69 50 50
1967 - 71 45 55
1971 - 75 45 (minus offshore proceeds) 55 (Plus offshore proceeds)
1975 - 79 20 (minus offshore proceeds) 80 (Plus offshore proceeds)
1979 - 81 ¬¬_ 100
1982 - 92 1.5 98.5
1992 - 99 3 97
1999 - Date 13 87
SOURCE: Text of a world Press Conference by Delegates from the South-South Geo-political Zone to the National Political Reform Conference, 2005, p. 23.
Thus, the politicization of the revenue allocation formula as shown in the table above, and the obnoxious laws that governs the oil industry such as the Petroleum Act of 1969, the Land Use Decree of 1978 etc. eroded the constitutional powers of the oil producing region to control its resources, and forms the hallmark of oil (resource) agitations in the region. The various Federal expropriation laws have barricaded the road leading to constitutional and legal victory by the Niger Delta to control its natural resource. The military decree which has now been constitutionalized under the provision of Section 44(3) and 3/5 of the 1999 Constitution are the final ingredients of the expropriatory laws in Nigeria (Robinson, 2005).
In general parlances, the nature of resources agitations in the Niger Delta are bisected into two dominate phases- peaceful agitations and violent agitations. The peaceful agitation phase refers to the era of peaceful demonstrations, rallies and protests, writing of petition letters and advocacy directed to the Federal Government and Multinational Oil Corporation, to address the needs of the region. The violent agitations phase on the other hand connotes the violent attacks on oil interests, and the militarization of the resource agitation struggle.
However, there is no consensus among scholars as regards the periodization of the phases. This is because, some scholars have indentified more than two phases and each view has its own merit. For instance, Owugah (2000), advanced four phases of resource agitations in the Niger Delta:
• The first phase from 1970s to mid 1980s was characterized by legal action against the oil companies for adequate compensation for changes;
• The second phase from mid 1950s to mid 1990s witness peaceful demonstrations and occupation of Flow Stations in demand for adequate compensation and provision of basic amenities;
• The third phase from mid-1990s to 1998 witness forceful occupation and shutting down of Flow Stations, destruction of equipment, seizure of vessels and vehicles;
• The fourth phase from 11th December 1998, the struggle evolved into a militant phase with the issuance of the historic Kaiama Declaration by the Ijaw Youth Council, which called for self determination within the Nigerian State and control of resources.
Be that as it may, Ikporukpo (2002) in his contribution argues that, the resources agitations in the Niger Delta could be divided into four main exclusive phases:
• First, the early civil society stage of the early 1990s which was characterized by advocacy largely by civil society organizations, prominent among them was the Association of Mineral Oil States (AMOS);
• The second phase ( the Ogoni phase), the approach was largely based on advocacy and protest marches which on 4th January 1993 involved about 100,000 people from all part of Ogoni land;
• The third phase, described as the Ijaw Youths phase, began on 11th December 1998 with the issuance of Kaiama Declaration which called for self–determination, resource control and social justices in Nigeria; and
• The fourth phase- the wilderness phase has been marked by a bewildering array of groups and centers’ of protest involving several social movements and ethnic- based organizations.
As an observable dynamics, the peaceful resource agitations (with the exclusion of the Adaka Boro led -12 Day revolution) was experience between the mid 1960s and early 1990s, while the violent oil agitations in vogue commenced from the late 1990s. The apparent “failure” of peaceful protests to effect change in the attitude of the State- Oil Companies alliance towards the Niger Delta, and the attendance violence attributed to resource extraction in the Niger Delta by the same alliance, has dialectically resulted in violent resistance, hence the militant insurgency that characterize the present phase of resource agitations. In its present “phase” local resistance in the Niger Delta refers to a collective action directed at blocking further alienation, expropriation and environmental degradation. It represents a mass protest of restitution and self determination arising from the exploitation of the regions oil by MNOCs backed by the Nigerian State (Obi, 2005). Thus, it was the continuous oppression and repression of peacefully protest and the arbitrary use of state power against the people of the oil producing region that made the advent of militant agitations inevitable. The next section will be devoted to a better understanding of the concept “militancy”

2.7 MILITANCY
The concept “militancy” basically connotes militant behavior and actions. However “militancy” will be better understood with a brief discussion of the terms “militia and militant”. According to the Macmillan English Dictionary (2007), a “militia” refers to a group of ordinary people who are trained as solders to fight in an emergency. Put differently a militia is an armed civilian group engaged in some para-military, security, crime and crime control functions in the projection or defense of communal, ethnic, religious and political causes. Egbesu Boys, Bakassi Boys, Boko Haram, OPC etc are good examples of militia groups in Nigeria.
Militant on the other hand entails using extreme and sometimes violent methods to achieve political or social change. The word militant comes from the 15th century Latin word “militare” meaning “to serve as a soldier”. That is a warrior who does not belong to any established government military organization but having a combative character, and aggressive, especially in the service of a cause. In general usage, a militant person is a confrontational person, regardless of the use of physical violence or pacifistic methods.
Militancy therefore refers to combative and aggressive activism or engagement in struggle for identified causes. It implies the willingness to engage in oppositional rhetoric and action (www.thefirstgroup.com). It is important to note that militia activity grows best where the general population is not actively included in the daily process of governance and there is generally perceived marginalization cum exploitation in terms of resource allocation cum distribution or development promotion. Encarta (2006) defined militancy as, an aggressive and active behaviour geared towards the defense and support of a cause (mainly politically), often to the point of extremism.
There are different types of militancy, such as Islamic militancy and economic militancy. The activities of youth groups in the Niger Delta, such as, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Niger Delta Vigilantes (NDV), Niger Delta People Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Coalition for Militant Action (COMA), Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), etc. all falls under the ambit of militancy. Thus, in the Niger Delta, the term “militants” refers to gunmen who make political demands, including the release of imprisoned leaders, cash reparations for communities, change of electoral candidates, and more importantly a greater share of oil revenues among other issues.
The next chapter will focus on detailed discussion on the origin of militancy in the Niger Delta, the militant creation process and attendant categories and lastly the sources of funding of militancy in the Niger Delta.




















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www.thefirstgroup.com
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CHAPTER THREE
MILITANCY IN THE NIGER DELTA

3.1 ORIGIN OF MILITANCY IN THE NIGER DELTA
I have explored for oil in Venezuela. I here explored for oil in Kuwait. I have never seen an oil rich town as impoverished as Oloibiri– A British Petroleum Engineer.
If I had been born in the oil producing area of the Niger Delta, I would have since become a revolutionary РDavid Pass̩, a Canadian after a tour of the Niger Delta.
These feeling were expressed after visiting the Niger Delta and seeing the devastating effect of the activities of the oil industry on the lives and livelihood of the people as well as the environment (Owugah, 2000). Militancy in the Niger Delta is undeniably the issue of local resistance. Nigeria is such a country with repressive State institutions. And the Niger Delta is the theatre where these repressive State institutions, at the behest of the Oil Multinationals Corporations, inflict their obscene brutalities on the helpless inhabitants of the oil bearing communities ( Owolabi and Okwechime, 2007).
From a transnational perspective, resistance polities has become the refuge for those who are alienated by capitalist social relations and hegemonic power of the federal government – corporate alliance over oil, and seek to oppose their exploitative agenda, depending on the specificities of each moment, the balance of social forces and the organizational capacity of local social movements, these movements seek forcefully to rectify the inequities embedded in the imperatives of global accumulation. We must reiterate the fact that the cocktail of political marginalization, repression, prostate conditions of poverty, abject deprivation and social exclusion in the Niger Delta represent legitimate grievance for violent group mobilization. The reason has been that, oil production in the Niger Delta has not generated wealth for majority of the people, but simply the outflow of wealth. For instance, the centralist nation-building project of the military in post-civil war Nigeria, bankrolled by petro-dollars, manifested as a virtual transfer of oil wealth from the Niger Delta to other regions of the country. And it is the failure to win concessions through peaceful means that the youths in the Niger Delta have been inexorably excited to militantly protest marginalization, unemployment, development deficit and inequality.
The origin of militancy in the Niger Delta can be divided into remote and immediate causes. The remote causes include: environmental degradation, marginalization and underdevelopment in the region, the existence of obnoxious laws such as the Petroleum Act of 1969 and the Land Use Act of 1978, the killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa etc. The immediate causes of militancy on the other hand include the militarization of the Niger Delta by the Nigeria State, the Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha programme, the Kaiama Declaration, bunkering by Niger Delta youths and the mobilization of youths as political thugs during the 1999 election, etc. Though youths involvement in the Niger Delta struggle took a decisive turn (militancy) with the repression suffered in the hands of the Abacha regime that turned Niger Delta communities into garrison enclaves patrolled by the Nigerian militancy, the eye-opener that propelled the youths to change the tactics of the struggle was the Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha programme while the motivational force was the Kaiama Declaration.
In this bid to transform himself into a civilian president, the late military dictator, General Sani Abacha, invited youths from all the Local Government Areas of the Federation to participate in the infamous Two Million Man-March in Abuja, and the event resulted in a serious number of backlashes especially in the Niger Delta. Hundreds of youths were mobilized to attend the Abuja programme from the poverty ridden and development elusive interior enclaves of the Niger Delta. While in Abuja, the youths from the Niger Delta for the first time in their life saw express roads with four lanes, roads that were pot holes free, bridges built over dry lands (flyover’s), contrasting the absence of bridges across creeks and rivers back home, beautiful streets and high rise building etc. The youths at first thought that they were in a foreign land, but after several inquiries they were told that they are in Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria, a new city built by oil revenue sourced from the Niger Delta. It’s indeed factual that, the perception of relative deprivation amplified by exposure of Niger Delta youths to the magnificent new Federal Capital Territory awakened the people of the region to the surreptitious persistence transfer of wealth from the Niger Delta to other regions (Ukiwo, 2009). Therefore, after seeing Abuja in its entire impressive splendor, the youths returned home to fight for the development of their land and to secure resource control. After the Abuja trip, protests against the activities of the oil industry increased in geometric progression and culminated in the birth of the famous Kaiama Declaration.
The Kaiama Declaration was named after the historic town of Kaiama (the home town of Isaac Adaka Boro, the revolutionary headquarters of the Ijaw Nation) where the All Ijaw Youths Conference was held on the 11th of December, 1998. On that fateful day (the day the Niger Delta changed), over 5000 Ijaw youths drawn from over 5000 Communities of about 40 Clans that make up the Ijaw Nation, met in Kaiama to deliberate on ways of finding solutions to the problems associated with the enslavement in the fraudulent contraption called Nigeria. Present at the meeting were several members of the Ijaw Council for Human Rights (ICHR), the Movement for the Survival of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND), Movement for the Reparation to Ogbia (MORETO), Elimutu Movement, MEINBUTU, the Ijaw Justice Association, Arogbo Freedom Fighters, Ogbe Ijoh Justice Front, Ijaw National Congress in the United States of America (INCUSA), the Supreme Egbesu Assembly (SEA), and the Ijaw Peace Movement. Others were the Okpolom Imo, the Engeni, the Nembe 1895 Movement, the Adaka Marines and the National Union of Bayelsa State Students etc. The Kaiama Declaration which was born at the close of deliberations stated that oil and gas are exhaustible resource and the complex lack of concern for ecological rehabilitation in the light of the Oloibiri experience is a signal of impending doom for the Ijaw race (Ikelegbe, 2005). The document was therefore signed and publicized to change the terms of relationship with the oil companies and the national government.
The first 4 articles of the Kaiama Declaration stated inter alia that:
(1) All lands and natural resources (including mineral resources) within Ijaw territory belong to Ijaw communities and are the basis of our survival.
(2) We cease to recognize all undemocratic decrees that rob our people / communities of the right to ownership and control of our lives and resources, which were enacted without our participation and consent. These include the land use Decree and the Petroleum Decree etc.
(3) We demand the immediate withdrawal from Ijaw land of all military forces of occupation and repression by the Nigeria State. Any oil company that employs the services of the Armed Forces of the Nigeria State to “protect” its operations will be viewed as an enemy of the Ijaw people.
(4) Ijaw youths in all the communities in Ijaw clan in the Niger Delta will take steps to implement these resolutions beginning from December 30th 1998 as a step towards reclaiming the control of our lives (The Kaiama Declaration, 1998).

“Operation Climate Change” was then launched as the preliminary step to actualize the vision. The Kaiama Declaration also gave birth to the formation of the Ijaw Youth Council, with the motto “Resource Control by Any Means Possible”. Thus, the Kaiama Declaration was the harbinger of the contemporary form of violence by the militants who abandoned the non-violent stance of the Ken Sara-Wawa’s era and adopted violent measures as their modus operandi. It also shaped and popularizes the term “resource control”. The reason been that, the youths regarded the elites and elders as weak, fearful and ineffective in seeking access, dialogue and agreement with an insensitive and repressive State, and exploitative and socially irresponsible MNCs. They thus resolved to take their destinies in their own hands by mobilizing, organizing and engaging the State and the MNCs (Ikelegbe, 2005).
It is important to note that the repressive character of the Nigerian State, coupled with military brutalities in the Niger Delta necessitated the acquisition or possession of alternative source of power to checkmate the activities of the Nigeria military. And this of course led to the re-invocation of the Egbesu Deity (The Ijaw god of war) as a means of protection cum fortification against military attacks. There is a belief in Ijaw land that if you are fighting a just cause, the Egbesu will make you to be impervious to bullets, if certain rituals are observed and even make you invincible. To Best and Kemedi (2005), “Egbesu seem to be an ancient cult that was revived in the 1990s with the aim of recruiting young Ijaw men to be inculcated with the Egbesu rites and beliefs so as to act as a cohesive group in the forceful protection of the Ijaw people’’.
Again inspired by the triumphant release of Timi Kaiser Ogoriba, President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND) from detention on the 29th of June 1998, after over powering the military security apparatus at Creek Haven, Government House, Yenagoa, by his followers wielding Egbesu power, the demonstrations that followed the Kaiama Declaration recorded unimaginable results. The Ogoriba-Government House incidence was the first public testing of the Egbesu power when the protesting youths became imperious to gun shots fired on them by security operatives in broad day light in Yenagoa. And the resultant effect spread like wild fire and was accompanied by widespread Egbesubirination (the ritual of obtaining Egbesu power) by youths in the region. The practical experience of the researcher which captures reality is that, the Egbesu power is a very potent force that compels its believers and devotees to be aggressive towards military personnel. Thus, the military men deployed to quell the early post-Kaiama Declaration demonstrations across the Niger Delta were boldly attacked bare handed by the youths, basking in the supernatural bullet proof euphoria, courtesy of the Egbesu power. A notable example is the killing of many soldiers in the Kaiama Declaration battle by youths from Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area in Bayelsa State, to liberate Kaiama from military occupation after the All Ijaw Youths conference.
More so, it is a fact of history that the first set of militants that emerged in the Niger Delta was not guns carrying insurgents, but violent resource agitators that depends solely on the protection of the Egbesu power to make exploits. And even the first sets of guns used for the struggle were those captured from security operatives. However, due to the strict regulations which are prerequisites of success in the use of Egbesu for protection and the attendant violations and deaths recorded on the part of the Niger Delta youths, the need to acquire arms and ammunitions becomes inevitable. I wish to emphatically argue that, the deviation from anchoring the struggle on the protection of the Egbesu power which emphasized purity, equity, justice and truth etc. ushered in greed, self-centeredness and fractionalization of the leadership of the struggle. With the walls of the status quo breached, every form of ‘’outsider’’ came streaming through the gates: cult leaders, political thugs, criminals, self-centered individuals etc. hiding under the garment of resource agitators. Therefore, instead of focusing on how the needs and aspirations of the region will be actualized through violent agitations to press home the demands of the local people, some militant agitators in the long run became preoccupied with how to satisfy their parochial interests, hence deviating from the tenets of the struggle.
The unholy mix between insurgency and criminality evidenced by the involvement of armed groups in hostage –taking, illegal oil bunkering, illegal oil refining and trading, as well as the proliferation of criminal groups disguised as militants has promoted the view in some circles that militancy in the Niger Delta is driven by the greed of the dramatis persona (The Nordic Africa Institute, 2009).
The scenario above necessitates critical analysis of militants in the Niger Delta, and that will be the preoccupation of the next section, and it will give us the enablement to grasp the rationale behind the proliferation of militant groups, the Babel of voices and discordant tunes in the militarized Niger Delta region.

3.2 TYPOLOGIES OF MILITANT GROUPS IN THE NIGER DELTA
We must reiterate the fact that the militants’ creation process in the Niger Delta is multidimensional; hence there are different types of militants in the region. This is attributed to the divergent factors or reasons that motivated or compelled such youth to become militants. Members of militants groups expressed a variety of reasons for joining. This includes: desire to protect their land, communities and ethnic groups; to protest against government and oil companies political and economic marginalization of their communities, regions and ethnic groups; fear for their personal safety following threats by members of other armed groups or government security agencies; being hired by politicians to help rig elections, intimidate voters, and attack opponents; to make money through criminal activities, to some militants, armed groups represented the only available source of income, while others saw it as chance to supplement an existing income through criminality; peer pressure; greed, prompted by awareness of the riches to be gained from kidnapping; to avenge the deaths of friends or family members; a vague desire for the prestige to be gained from posing as freedom fighter and protector of one’s people, and or low self esteem that led impressionable young men to seek power and influence in armed groups etc.
We shall therefore proceed to identify and discuss the typologies of militants in the Niger Delta which will help decipher, the issues of criminality and fighting for justice.
3.2.1 PEACEFUL RESOURCE AGITATORS ¬– MILITANCY
This category of militants refers to armed youths in the Niger Delta that decided to militarize the struggle due to the inability of peaceful agitations to yield the desired goals in the region. It embraces, youths that are committed to the lack of development and resource control struggle in the Niger Delta.
The first set of militants that emerge in the Niger Delta after the Kaiama Declaration, especially those who depend on the Egbesu power to execute the Operation Climate Change, belongs to this category. One crucial fact to note is that, the pioneer resource Agitations-Militants membership was devoid of criminality. And criminality only creeps in later as the struggle continues. The militants were thus sustained by goodwill donations from communities in their localities, and wealthy individuals. What actually transpired was that, youths with the zeal to fight for their people were mobilized to carry out attacks on oil companies and government security forces that seek to perpetuate exploitation, marginalization and exploitation in the region. A good example of militants that fall under this category are; Government Ekpemopolo (General Tompolo), Ebikabowei Victor Ben (Boyloaf), Alex Preye, etc.
3.2.2 POLITICAL THUGS – MILITANCY.
This second category transcends from political thugs to become militants in the Niger Delta. Though thuggery in the Niger Delta is as old as the Nigerian experience, it was the 1999 general elections that ushered in the Political Thugs-Militancy category.
We wish to recall that the move to return Nigeria to civil rule raised the curtain for serious politicking by politicians, struggling to be elected into various leadership positions. And considering the do-or-die character of Nigerian politics, which is premised on contesting to win at all costs, some able-bodied youths were contracted to execute nefarious activities of some politicians. That is, some youths were engaged to perpetuate electoral crimes such as election rigging, snatching of ballot boxes, intimidation of voters, kidnapping cum attacks on opposition candidates etc. And these youths were armed with dangerous weapons and financially mobilized by the politicians to carry out their parochial undemocratic plans. But paradoxically, after ensuring victory for their political masters, the youths were abandoned and nothing tangible was ever done to retrieve the guns and ammunitions from them. Therefore, with instruments of coercion in their possession, some of the frustrated and neglected youths decided to set up militant camps and commenced the kidnapping and hostage-taking of expatriate oil workers for ransom, destruction of oil installations etc.
The argument is that, the Political Thugs-Militancy category is the creation of politicians. Experience has shown that, the aftermath of every general election in Nigeria since 1999 has led to the emergence of new militant groups fighting for space and relevance in the Niger Delta. Youths are always contracted and armed prior to elections to perform illegal roles during elections. And it was in this context that, Asari Dokubo and Ateke Tom (in Rivers State) were recruited to the cause of delivering the 2003 elections for the Peoples Democratic Party. Specifically, they were to deliver certain local government areas that were seen as crucial to winning Rivers State. For instance, Ateke Tom (then a community vigilante leader) was contracted for the purpose of securing Okrika, Ogu/Bolo and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas in the 2003 elections. Asari was also contracted to perform similar functions in Akuku Toru, Degema and Asari Toru Local Government Areas. And they were both successful and the Peoples Democratic Party won the election in those areas (Conventry Cathedral, 2009:64; Best and Kemedi, 2005 and Manby, 2005). Likewise, in Bayelsa State, notable militant leaders such as; General Africa, Joshua Maverick, Young Shall Grow, Egberi Papa, Daddy Ken etc. graduated from political thugs to become militants. And due to the abandonment after usage syndrome, both Asari and Ateke in Rivers State, turned their attention to the transnational illegal oil bunkering networks, collecting tolls on the trade, providing security to bunkering crews, selling oil or operating illegal oil refineries, whose products were sold below market prices. In essence, the recruitment of young men from a widening cesspool of unemployed youths by politicians anchored another dimension of militant’s creation.
3.2.3 CULT GROUPS – MILITANCY.
As the name implies, the Cult Groups-Militancy category embraces initial cult leaders cum membership that graduated their activities to militancy. And this category of militants basically emerged from the Rivers State axis of the Niger Delta. According to the BBC English Dictionary (1992),” a cult is a religious group with special rituals, which is regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous”.
There are two types of cult groups that feature most often in the media reports of conflicts in the Niger Delta. First is the campus cult groups formed by the original fraternity groups such as: Supreme Vikings Confraternity, Black Axes, Buccaneers, Mafia Fighters, etc. Second are the urban social groupings that spun off from the university fraternities and use coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members most often for violent purposes. They includes: Dey Gbam, Dey Well, Greenlanders, Germans, and so forth. The later groups, which are also known as street cult groups, seek to exert control over defined geographic areas that they conceive as their territory.
The street cults are majorly the creation of the university cults in the sense that, the university students who founded the original confraternities recruited younger and less educated teenager to light their street battles, while these youths in turn recruited still younger populations. By this process a hierarchy of armed young people was formed. Life became cheaper the lower down the pecking order one descended (Asumi, 2009b:9-10). From initial clashes between cult groups with sticks and broken bottles, it soon progressed to the use of machetes, locally made guns (popularly known as Akwa-Made) and later advanced to the use of sophisticated guns and explosive like dynamites as the battle for supremacy and territorial control intensified. The fact remains that many of the politicians in the Niger Delta, especially in Bayelsa and River State, are known to be member of confraternities, particularly the Vikings (which dominates higher institutions in the two States). These politicians and other ex-members that are wealthy in the society acted as patrons to the various cult groups and also fund their activities. The cult groups were also contracted to perform thuggery roles during elections with the presentation of financial incentives and sophisticated guns and ammunitions. One cult member described a meeting in Government House, Port Harcourt just prior to the April 14, 2007 polls during which he saw government officials hand out between N5 million and N10 million to several different cult groups in return for their assisting or simply accepting the PDP plan to rig the polls (Human Right Watch, 2007).Some of them were also contracted to protect bunkering networks with their ever increasing armoury. Ateke Tom, Soboma George, Farah Dagogo, Occasion Boy, belong to this category. More so, in other to sustain their activities, Confraternities frequently swing their loyalty and actions in the direction of sources of money. Most of the confraternities have been blamed for taking hostage foreign oil workers and collecting ransom in the Niger Delta. Again, due to the exposure of cult members to gun battles, numerous militant groups such as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), employ confraternity member as combatants. For example, the head of the cult group, the Outlaws, Soboma George, doubles as MEND Commander (Wellington, 2007). It is a common practice in the Niger Delta whereby, Cult members were contracted by Militant leaders as combatants in their Camps and paid between N200,000 to N300,000 every two weeks based on the type of activities they carry out. Other notable Cult leaders simply break away from their parent bodies, set up their own groups acquire arms and ammunitions and began to operate as militants in the region.
3.2.4. COMMUNITY /ETHNIC WARLORDS –MILITANCY
The Niger Delta has witnessed series of intra and inter-communal conflicts. These conflicts are attributed to the divide-and-rule politics of the Nigerian State and their collaborators, the Multinational Oil Companies. Most of the conflicts were fought over land ownership claims, payment of compensation due to spillage and exploration activities, etc. Some notable conflicts of these nature include; the Warri crisis, Olugbobiri and Peremabiri crisis, Odioma and Liama crisis, Ogbolomabiri and Bassambiri crisis in Nembe, Biseni-Agbere crisis, Ikwerre and Okrika crisis, etc.
The zeal to protect one’s Community from external aggression led to the acquisition of Community armories’ manned by able-bodied youths. And as evidence in the Warri, Nembe, Olugbobiri, and Okrika crisis for instance which captures reality, the weapons acquired to fight communal wars were diverted to militancy when peace returned to the affected communities. Therefore the Ethnic Warlords-Militancy category of militants transformed from initial communal and ethnic warlords to become militants. Examples of militant that falls under this category are; Government Ekpemopolo, Prince lgodo, Alex Preye, kitikata, Shoot at Sight, etc.
Be that as it may, the line separating the various categories of Militants is very fluid. The reason been that, Militants like Ateke Tom, Tompolo, Sobama George, Farah Dagogo falls into two or more categories. More so, militants that basically carry out criminal activities like kidnapping of individuals or in worst cases children for ransoms belong to the Cult Groups-Militancy category.
3.3 MILITANT GROUPS IN THE NIGER DELTA
There are numerous militant groups in the Niger Delta, such as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Coalition for Militant Action, Niger Delta People Volunteer Force, Joint Revolutionary Council, Niger Delta Vigilante, but the most active and potent group presently among them is the dreaded Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). MEND is believed to have been formed in January 11, 2006 (Coventry Cathedral 2009:123). On that day, it attacked the EA Oil field of the coast of the Niger Delta, abducting four oil company workers that were held for nineteen days (Obi 2008;60). MEND had its root in a loose coalition including: the Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities (FNDIC), the Niger Delta People Volunteer Force (NDPVF) and other armed groups from Delta, Bayelsa and River State (Ukiwo 2007; Okonta 2007; Coventry Cathedral 2009:123-124). By 2005 there were already signs of contact between the leaders of major militia groups. Asari had for example taken refuge in Delta State, fleeing harrasment from Ateke, at the invitation of Tompolo. However, it was three high profile arrests that brought the groups together in a formal way. The first was the arrest of Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha (the acclaimed Governor-General of the Niger Delta) on allegations of corruption. He was a campaigner of resource control and since Bayelsa State is dominated by the Ijaws, the fiercely pro-ijaw militias viewed his arrest as grave insult. Moreso, due to the fact that Chief Alamieyeseigha was linked to the opponents of President Obasanjo, it was concluded that his arrest was politically motivated. The second major actor to find himself behind bars was Asari Dokubo who in September 2005 was apprehended on charges of treason linked to comment he made calling for the breakup of the Nigeria State. The arrest of Asari and Alameyesiegha were conceived as blatant govrenment provocation and provided a rallying point for all Niger Delta militias to react. The third arrest occured in River State in November 2005, when Government authorities arrested a renowned Cult leader and millitant called Olo. This final catalyzing event prompted Farah Dagogo and Boyloaf to leave Rivers State for the perceived safety of Delta State, and added more broadly to a growing sense of insecurity among other militant leaders. Therefore, at the invitation of Tompolo and other Senior Militants and Elderstatemen in the sruggle, a series of meetings were convened to discuss the latest developments in the region, especially the incarceration of Alamieyeseigha and Asari. Representatives from the Federation of Niger Delta Ijaw Communities (FNDIC) and the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF) were present, along with fighters from Cult groups such as Klansmen Konfraternity (KKK) and Greenlanders. The outcome of these talks was the emergence of a new group- MEND. An agreement was also made to start using militant force to attack oil instalations. Moreso, bunkering syndicates were merged and sophisticated heavy weaponry were purchased. The prevailing arrest of figure heads in struggle equally inspired MEND to be faceless group without a public leader.
MEND has since then attracted international attention to the plight of the region, and its resistance campaign through taking hostage of foreign oil workers, demonstrating the inability of Nigerian forces to stop its attacks and sabotage of oil installations with the effective use of the global news media. Using the internet to send e-mails and images to the World’s leading news agencies and local newspapers, coupled with taking journalist to its camps in the swamps of the Niger Delta, the group has become a force to reckon with (Junger, 2007). MEND became factionalized in late 2007 into Western Central and Eastern blocs and is led by Tompolo, Boyloaf and Farah Dagogo respectively.

3.4 SOURCES OF FUNDING OF MILITANCY
Militants in the Niger Delta carry out their activities from their bases called Camps located far away from towns and villages in the interior enclaves of Creeks, Rivers and Rivulets in the Niger Delta. Most of these camps also boast of over 200 to 500 fighters, armed with sophisticated arms and ammunitions such as: General Purpose Machine Guns (GMP); Assault rifles; AK-47s; Rocket Propel Grenades; Bazookas; Anti-Aircraft Missiles; Dynamites; Remote-detonation and Night-vision equipments; Gunboats etc. This necessitates the need to investigate the sources of funding of militancy which is the preoccupation of this session.
Militant groups in the Niger Delta are funded though diverse means but prominent among them is illegal bunkering. The process of “illegal bunkering” entails tapping crude oil from pipelines with advanced technological equipments or loading crude oil (or petroleum products) into barges in the labyrinthine creeks of the Niger Delta directly from Oilfield Production Well Heads, or from NNPC Jetties at Okrika, Calabar, Effurrun, Escravos, Atlas Clove (Lagos), or from a myriad of private jetties (Ikelegbe, 2008). Studies have shown that “one day’s worth of illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta will buy quality weapons for and sustain a group of 1,500 youths for two months (Conflict Expert Group Baseline Report 2003).
There are basically three types of bunkering. The first type of illegal bunkering that was introduced in the Niger Delta involves the excess lifting of Crude Oil beyond the licensed amount. Some of such illegal bunkering badges usually use forged bills of lading, which are the documents issued by a carrier to a shipper, listing and acknowledging receipts of goods for transport and specifying terms of delivery (Asuni, 2009a: 5).
The Nigerian government gives out legal bunkering licenses (which are subject to renewal after a period of time) to individual to lift oil. And majority of those licensed to lift oil in Nigeria are not from the Niger Delta. The reason been that, the character of the Nigerian State has made it glaring that, it is those who are close to the top echelon of power that benefits from its reward system and the Niger Deltans do not enjoy this privilege. I wish to state categorically that, it is the legal bunkers in collaboration with corrupt State officials and the Oil companies that introduced illegal bunkering in the region.
Due to the huge profit that accrues from illegal bunkering, the practitioners no longer depended on using forged bills of lading, but simply load crude oil and petroleum products into extra badges and contracted able bodied youths from the region to secure the illegal bunkering badges to the high seas, where the crude is transferred to waiting vessels and money paid in hard currencies. The youths were then paid peanuts, and provided with arms to secure future trips from Customs and Naval patrols. But as time goes on, the youths became conscious that the job they are doing for their masters is highly profitable and since they have mastered the trade coupled with the intensifying militarization of the struggle decided to set up their own bunkering networks as a source of revenue.
The second type of illegal bunkering involves the small-scale pilfering of condensates and petroleum products destined for the local market. That is, militant groups develop low capacity local refineries and refine stolen crude for sale in the local market. Though the refined products from such local refineries are below the standard of the legal large scale refineries, their products are very popular as a result of the low prices they were sold. In fact, the products refined by one prominent militant leader, Asari Dokubo (Asari fuel, named after him), became so popular that, they were sold to Filling Stations in the region and beyond.
The third type of illegal bunkering which happens to be the major source of revenue to all militant groups in the Niger Delta, involves stealing crude oil either by hacking into the pipelines directly or by tapping the Well head. This process involves removing the structure at the top of the Oil Well, called the Christmas tree, and attaching a hose to siphon off the oil (Asuni 2009a). In some instances, plastic pipes are fixed to manifold points and intersection of several pipelines and crude oil is then pumped into barges. The barges are then taken to the high sea and loaded into large ships and transported to different parts of the world. The militants then use the proceeds realized from illegal bunkering to purchase sophisticated arms and ammunitions, pay the wages or allowances of their fighters and up keep of the Militant Camps. Again, due to high profitability of stolen crude in the international black market, foreign business interest sometimes exchange barrels of stolen crude with brand new military hardware to suppress attacks and obstructions from the Nigerian security operatives. While in other cases, canned foods were also provided for the militants.
Another vital source of funding of militants in the Niger Delta is hostage release payments. There is no denying the fact that, hostage taking allows militant groups to focus international attention on the Niger Delta, and to exploit the blaze of publicity generated to announce their grievances and demands on the Nigerian State and Oil Multinationals. Thus, when hostages have been captured and taken to secret locations, the militants usually receive the payment of ransoms before releasing their captives. For instance, the value of an expatriate worker to his parent company determines the amount been paid to secure the release of the hostage. And this explains the high number of kidnapping and hostage cases making the rounds in the region. Most militant groups started with hostage taking as means of generating revenue before graduating to illegal bunkering activities.
Militants in the Niger Delta also source funds from performing security services to oil companies. Most militant groups are paid huge amounts of money by oil companies to provide security for oil installations in their territories. Some militants are also contracted by Oil Servicing Companies to secure their expatriate staffs while carrying out short time repair works in the region. Government Ekpemupulo (General Tompolo) the most powerful militant in the Niger Delta made a lot of money by offering security services. Oil companies have also provided payments direct to communities to ensure oil operations are permitted to continue without disturbances. Such payments are often used by disaffected youths (militants) as a means to improve their arsenals (Davies and Kemedi, 2005).
Patronage by government officials and politicians constitute another major source of funding of militancy in the Niger Delta. Most government officials in the region act as patrons to different militant groups and make periodic monetary donations to such militant groups. In Bayelsa State for example, the widespread activities of militants, resulted in disruption of oil production and shutting down of Flow stations, and attendant low Derivation fund and Statutory monthly financial allocation from the Federation Account. The Bayelsa State Government was therefore paying militants in the State about 80 to 100 million naira monthly as a precautionary measure for the militants not to attack oil installations. The logic is that, the more militant attacks, the lesser the amount of the monthly financial allocation accruing to the State. While the reduction in militant activities, translate to increment in the State revenue profile.
Militant leaders in the region were also appointed and paid to perform legal duties in some States. In Delta State, MEND Commander, Government Ekpemopulo (Tompolo) was appointed by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, as Chairman of the State Waterways Security Committee, with entitlement to monthly allowances. While in Bayelsa State, Ken Niweigha until his death in June 2009 was appointed as the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area coordinator of Bayelsa Volunteers (a security body operated by the State Government). The implication is that, the militants were accommodated and supported financially by governments of the region. Politicians in the region also make financial contributions to various militants’ camps in the region with the intention of making use of militants from such camps as political thugs during elections. One of the prominent militant camps that enjoy such patronage especially from politicians in Delta and Bayelsa State is CAMP 5 in Delta State operated by Tompolo. While politicians from Rivers State patronizes Militant Camps operated by Ateke Tom, Farah Dagogo and Soboma George.
Therefore, it is quite glaring that militancy in the Niger Delta is funded through multi-dimensional mechanisms.












REFERENCES
Asuni, J. (2009a). “Blood Oil in the Niger Delta”, United States Institute of Peace, Special Report 229, August.
Asuni, J. (2009b). “Understanding the Armed Groups of the Niger Delta”, Council on Foreign Relation, Working Paper, September.
BBC. (1990). English Dictionary, Africana Fep Publishers limited, Ibadan.
Best, S. and Kemedi, D. (2005). “Armed Groups and Conflicts in Rivers and Plateau States, Nigeria”, in Florquin and Berman (eds) Armed and Armless: Armed Groups, Guns and Human Security in Ecowas Region, May, p.18.
Conflict Expert Group (2005). “Peace and Security in the Niger Delta, Working Paper for SPDC” Baseline Report, WAC Global Services, December.
Ebiokpo, S. (2008). “Illegal Oil Trade in the Creeks”, IZONLINK, Volume 13, No. 19.
Human Rights Watch (2007). Criminal Politics: Violence, Godfathers’ and Corruption in Nigeria, October, Volume 19, No. 16, p.84.
Ijaw Youths Council (1998). The Kaiama Declaration.
Ikelegbe, A. (2005). “ Encounters of Insurgent Youth Associations with the State in the Oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria”, Journal of Third World Studies, Volume XXII, No. 1 Spring, pp. 151-181.
Junger, S. (2007). “Crude Awakening”, The Observer Magazine, April 15.
Manby, B. (2004). “Oil Jihad in the Niger Delta?”, Open Democracy, October 27, http://www.opendemocracy.net/content/article...accessed February 13,2009.
Nordic African Institute (2009). “Causes and Cures of Oil related Niger Delta Conflicts” Policy Notes, Uppsala, P. 1.
Obi, C. (2008). “Enter the Dragon? Chinese Oil companies and Resistance in the Niger Delta”, Review of African Political Economy, Volume 35, No. 117.
Okonta, I. (2007). “Niger Delta: Behind the Mask, Ijaw Militia Fight the Oil Cartel”, in WORLD WAR 4 REPORT, www.4report.com
Owolabi, O. and Okwechime, I. (2007). “Oil and Security in Nigeria: The Niger Delta Crisis”, African Development, Volume XXXII, No 1.
Owugah, L. (2000). “Political Economy of Resistance in the Niger Delta” in The Emperor Has No Cloths: Report of the Conference on People of the Niger Delta and the 1999 Constitution. Environment Rights Action. Benin-city, pp. 105-127.
Ukiwo, U. (2007). “From Pirates to Militants: A Historical Perspective on Anti-Oil Company Mobilization among the Ijaws of Warri, Western Niger Delta”, African Affairs, Volume 106, No. 425.
Ukiwo,U. (2009). “Causes and Cures of Niger Delta Conflicts”, Policy Notes, Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala.
Wellington, A. (2007). “Nigeria’s Cults and their role in Niger Delta Insurgency”. Terrorism Monitor, Volume 5, Issue: 13.











CHAPTER FOUR
MILITANCY AND POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NIGER DELTA
The focus of this chapter is to analyze the impact of militancy on the Nigerian economy, assess militancy and political opportunities in the Niger Delta, and lastly assess the Presidential Amnesty programme in the region.

4.1 MILITANCY AND THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY.
The militant uprising in the Niger Delta which has been simmering for years has assumed a dangerous dimension as regards the Nigerian economy. That is, the daily buffet of violence served by militants to protest the lack of development and marginalization in the region has serious economic implications for the nation. For instance, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in recent years almost succeeded with its threats to cripple the Nigerian oil industry (IRIN, 2006).
The Nigerian Economy no doubt is a mono product economy with a high level of dependence on oil. It is equally worthy to note that, the Nigerian nation is sustained majorly by proceeds from the exportation of oil and gas, produced in the Niger Delta. Be that as it may, the advent and proliferation of militant groups coupled with the sophisticated nature of their attacks have made the Nigerian economy vulnerable to such attacks. For instance, the Nigerian nation was taken aback, when in June 2008, the militants were able to move into the deep-sea-operation area to attack Nigeria’s largest offshore oil platform, the Bonga Oil Platform which lies 120 kilometers off the coast of the country. That operation almost grounded oil business in Nigeria and made the country to cede her position as the foremost oil exporter in Africa to Angola (Punch, 2009). The Bonga oil platform produces 225,000 barrels of crude oil per day on its computerized, production, storage and off-loading platform (Mbah, 2008). More so, the Atlas Clove oil facility attack in Lagos by militants in 2009, equally demonstrated the capability of militants to wreck havoc on the Nigerian economy. Niger Delta militants have carried out series of preconceived attacks on the oil industry after the expiration of deadlines. A notable example is the execution of “Operation Climate Change” and “Hurricane Barbarossa”. Hurricane Barbarossa commenced on the 14th of September 2008, with heavily armed fighters in hundreds of War boats filling out from different MEND bases across the Niger Delta in solidarity to carry out destructive and deadly attacks on the oil industry (Opukeme, 2008). Thus, the massive disruption of oil production with attacks on pipelines, pumping stations and platforms hinders the free flow of oil production activities and causes negative implication on the Nigerian economy. The Nigerian government, so alarmed by this development, as it severely threatens its rent-collection and mono-cultured economy, in the face of a fast paralyzing oil industry, resorted to unleash further violence on the oil bearing people of the Niger Delta in assuring the petro-businesses of maximum security of personnel and oil installations (Eseduwo, 2008). It was however observed that, the suppression of militant agitations by increasing military presence in the region only escalated the crisis. For example, where as the Federal Government budgeted about 400 billion naira for security in the Niger Delta in 2008 (Ajaero, 2009), militant activities soared higher and continued unabated.
We must reiterate the fact that, the spate of militancy in the Niger Delta has made Nigerian Oilfields among the most dangerous in the world with negative repercussion on the nation’s economy. The activities of militants has at times forced oil production shut downs of up to 800 barrels per day, threatening the Nigerian government plans to nearly double production to four million barrels a day by 2010 (International Crisis Group,2006). The cost of militancy to the Nigerian economy is enormous. A recent study by the International Centre for Reconciliation (ICR) put the total value lost to the Nigerian economy from stolen crude (bunkering) and disrupted oil production between 2003, to 2008 at 14 trillion naira, approximately 100 billion dollars.
Table 4.1 Estimated Value of Nigeria’s Stolen and Shut-in Oil Production, January 2000- September 2008
Year Average price of Bonny Light per barrel (in U.S.D) Volume of oil stolen per day (in barrels Value of oil stolen per annum (in U.S.D) (billion) Volume of oil shut-in per day (in barrels) Value of oil per annum (in U.S.D) (billion) Total value of oil stolen or shut-in per annum (in U.S.D) (billion)
2000 28.49 140,000 1.5 250,000 2.6 4.1
2001 24.50 724,171 6.5 200,000 1.8 8.3
2002 25.15 699,763 3.2 370,000 3,4 6.9
2003 28.76 200,000 3.2 350,000 3.4 6.9
2004 38.27 300,000 4.2 230,000 3.2 6.4
2005 55.67 25,000 5.1 180,000 3.7 8.8
2006 66.84 100,000 2.4 600,000 14.6 17.0
2007 75.14 100,000 2.7 600,000 16.5 19.2
2008 115.81 150,000 6.3 650,000 27.5 33.8
Source: Coventry Cathedral (2009).
This is a rough estimate at best because the Nigerian Government does not keep statistics that distinguish between stolen crude and shut-in production, nor between losses through forged bills of lading (Asuni, 2009a). The table show that, although the actual volume of stolen crude went down between 2003 and 2008, the total loss to the country steadily increased due to increase in the price of oil at the international market, which peaked at 147 dollars per barrel in the summer of 2008.
The report of the Ledum Mitee led Technical Committee on the Niger Delta estimated that: Nigeria lost about 8.84 trillion naira or 61.6 billion dollars to oil theft and sabotage in the volatile Niger Delta region between 2006 and 2008. Details of the report showed that in 2006 alone, the total cost of oil loss due to the activities of militants was 2.45 trillion naira, while an additional 283 billion naira or 1.9 billion dollars was lost to oil bunkering. In 2007, the country also lost 2.69 trillion naira or 18.8 billion dollars to the debilitating Niger Delta crisis. Again, Nigeria lost an estimated revenue of about 2.97 trillion naira to attacks on oil installations resulting in shut downs and spillages in the first nine months of 2008 (Cited in Ajaero, 2009).
Statistics revealed that, from a peak production of an average of 2.1 million barrels per day, achieved in March 2008, Nigeria’s oil production declined to 1.7 million barrels per day by May, 2009. Again, with the retaliatory attacks by militants in June same year due to the Nigerian military onslaught in Gbaramatu kingdom in Delta State, oil production hovers between 800,000 barrels and 1.2 million barrels per day till November, 2009.
The degree of shut-in production, also vary from company to company, exploring and extracting oil in the region. Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), which account for about 60 percent of Nigeria’s oil and gas production suffered the most disruptions in its operations. This is attributed to the fact that, from a previous production capacity of about one million barrels per day, Shell’s production delivery drastically reduced to an alarming 140,000 barrels per day as at June, 2009 due to production shut-ins, which amount to about 85.9 percent drop in production output (Adeyemo, 2009). The production output in Nigeria began to appreciate with the militants’ acceptance of the Presidential Amnesty. The fact remains that, where as oil production in the pre-amnesty 2009, peaked in April at the average of 2.2 million barrels by day, it paradoxically declined to 1.2 million barrels per day with the face off in June between the militants and the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta. This is attributed to the fact that, when the Joint Task Force of the Nigerian military sacked the Government Ekpemopulo led MEND faction from CAMP 5 (one of the most potent and sophisticated militant camps), in Delta State in June, the militants in their anger blew up every pipeline on their way, as they faded into the creeks. Consequently, oil production plummeted to less than one million barrels per day (Agbo, 2009). The above action by militants almost paralyzed oil production in the Western Delta. The argument in essence is that, the attacks by militants on oil installations, coupled with the lucrative and thriving oil bunkering business in the Niger Delta, punctures the revenue profile of the Nigerian government. Logically, uninterrupted production of oil and gas in the Niger Delta implies dependable source of revenue for the rent-seeking Nigerian government. On the other hand, disruptions in oil production and uncertainty in government source of revenue impedes economic activities in the country.
From another perspective, due to the continuing and festering crisis situation in the Niger Delta, numerous foreign companies are pulling out daily from the region and foreign workers are retreating to their native countries. A notable example is the case of Julius Berger, one of the foremost foreign construction firms in the country, which has abandoned most of its contract jobs due to the persistent cases of kidnapping and abduction of its staffs. Some of such abandoned road projects include: the Kaiama-Port Harcourt axis of the East-West road; the Yenagoa-Oporoma road; Ogbia-Nembe-Brass road; Amassoma-Ekeremor road, among others. Julius Berger pulled out of the contract of the construction of the all-important East-West road simply because militants kept kidnapping their workers and in one year, the company was alleged to have paid as much as about 430 million naira in ransom. At that rate, they feared that the bulk of the contract sum would be paid out as ransom, apart from the fact that some staff could get killed (Agbo, 2009).
More so, some foreign partner companies are reneging on contracts which are attributed to the fact that, the militant activities in vogue creates a hostile environment that is not conducive for capital investment. The 30 billion dollars oil deal with China National Offshore Oil, have not been actualized due to insecurity in the region. Again, oil servicing firms, which handle the bulk of oil and gas production, have been turning down new contracts, worried that their workers could be kidnapped by the militants. These companies are increasingly looking to Angola, Gabon, and other Gulf of Guinea countries deemed to be less volatile for business. The Nigerian government, the majority share holder in the joint ventures with the oil companies, now pays out far more in escalating costs, including picking up the bill for foreign security companies retained by the firms to protect their workers (Bot, 2008:470)
The militant uprising in the Niger Delta equally encourages capital flight. Capital flight no doubt has a multiplier effect on any economy. It impedes business investment, economic growth and productivity, spurs inflation, etc. This ugly scenario leads to low economic activities and have even swelled up the unemployed army in the country. Put differently, it inhibits the creation of multi-million naira projects that will inject fresh capital to the polity, create jobs and improve the standard of living of the citizenry.
Electricity (Power) supply and transportation are crucial sectors of the Nigerian economy. Considering the fact that Nigeria parades deplorable road network especially in the southern part of the country, where the Niger Delta is located, the execution of road contracts would have boosted the transportation sector. Thus, the activities of the militants which led to the abandoning of road projects in the area have only increased the plight of oil marketers and other transporters that depends majorly on the pot-holes infested roads to transport their products. The reality is that, difficulties in transportation have led to placing exorbitant prices on goods and services which is not a positive index of economic development.
The impact of militancy on the Nigerian economy is also felt in the area of electricity supply. As opined earlier, electricity power supply plays a vital role in the economy. It is a fact of history that the wave of industrialization in the globe is sustained by the advent of machines that depend on electricity for the production of goods and services. Electricity supply in Nigeria is very epileptic, and since the return to civil rule in 1999, efforts have been made develop the sector without success. The most recent policy initiated to improve the electricity supply in the country is the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), saddled with the building of new power stations in the country. The turbine power stations were also designed to depend on gas supply for electricity production. The national target to increase the electricity production capacity in the country to 6000 mega watts by December 2009 was factored on the estimated production output of the newly built power stations in the country. However, the supply of gas to power the newly built Power Stations to fire the turbines and make them effective was frustrated with the vandalization and destruction of gas supply pipelines by militants in the Niger Delta. It is important to note that improvement in the electricity situation in the country which is pitiably about 2000 mega watts would have been a catalyst for economic development. Most manufacturing companies and industries in the country have either stopped production or relocating to neighboring African countries as a result of the deplorable electricity supply situation. This is because, dependence on private power plants for electricity generation make the cost of production capital intensive, driving most entrepreneurs out of business.
The dredging of the River Niger was another project designed to enhance economic development that has suffered setback due to militant activities in the Niger Delta. The dredging of the River Niger from Lokoja in Kogi State to Warri in Delta State was earmarked to facilitate the movement of small ships to the hinterland of the country. Due to the glaring congestions at the nation’s seaports, the dredging of the River Niger was perceived as a panacea of decongesting the seaports, and equally promote inland waterways transportation. Therefore, to optimize the economic benefit of the project, the Federal government approved the construction of seven inland ports at Baro, Agenebode, Lokoja, Idah, Okwagbe, Yenagoa and Aguata. The Onitsha (river) port was also earmarked for rehabilitation, all aimed at making the River Niger navigable round the year and, providing cheaper and safer means of goods haulage, and decongesting the over stressed existing ports, especially in Lagos and Port Harcourt. Be that as it may, though President Yar’Adua with fanfare declared open the commencement of the dredging of the River Niger in 2008, not much has been achieved due to militant activities and their opposition to the project, sighting faulty environmental impact assessment and ecological implications. The militants, especially in Bayelsa and Delta State are against the dredging project simply because it will increase the volume of water and flow of current in the River Niger, and cause serious erosion problems to communities settled along major rivers in the two States.
In essence, the analyses presented above corroborate the fact that, the effect of militancy on the Nigerian Economy is multi-dimensional and constitute an enormous negative development to the economy. The Brass Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project and the Gbaran-Ubie Gas gathering project are also some vital economic development Projects whose progress has been hindered by the activities of militants.

4.2 MILITANCY AND POLITICAL OPPORTUNITIES IN THE NIGER DELTA.
The ethnic minorities of the Niger Delta, despite their contribution in sustaining the Nigerian State have not enjoyed a favorable political space commensurate with the wealth they produce. The essence of political governance in the modern day nation is a welcome development to foster unity, protection and rapid development, if the governing authority is sincere and manifestly patriotic and nationalistic. Thus, a sense of belonging is engendered in those that are being governed and they shall do their very best to contribute to the success of such administrative and political governance, by lending their undiluted support to the government in power (Moro, 2009), but that is not the case in Nigeria. Ethnic minorities in the Niger Delta have suffered gross political subjugation, exclusion and marginalization.
The Nigerian State for decades neglected the genuine demands and aspirations of the people of the Niger Delta in the equitable distribution of resources and political power, simply because they do not occupy commandeering heights in the corridors of power. That is, the Niger Deltans do not have a strong political voice in the federal government to present, represent and defend their interest and demands at the national level. This is attributed to the fact that, the region is politically (and in a relative sense numerically) a minority and is thus disempowered, leading to a feeling of alienation. From a different perspective, the experience of the Niger Deltans in the Nigerian State can be described as internal colonialism. More so, the people of the Niger Delta were treated as second class citizens and issues that concern them were addressed with laxity and kid gloves. The implication been that, solutions offered for Niger Delta predicament were merely tokenistic and cosmetic measures designed not to stand the test of time. The thrust of the argument is that, as evidence in most third world countries, Nigeria inclusive, those who control political power virtually controls all other spheres of social existence.
It is sad to note that, prior to 2010, when Goodluck Jonathan became President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after serious political intrigues and the invocation of the doctrine of necessity by the Nigerian Senate, and the eventual death of President Yar’Adua, none of the political heads of the country came from the Niger Delta. Thus, the Heads of State, either military or civilian had been coming from the hegemonic major ethnic groups (Hausa, Yoruba and Ibo), outside the oil producing Niger Delta.
Table 4.2 Nigerian Heads of State according to Zones.
S/No RULER GEO-POLITICAL ZONE PERIOD
1 SIR. ABUBARKAR TAFAWA BALEWA NORTH- EAST 1960-1966
2. GEN. T. AGUIYI- IRONSI SOUTH- EAST Jan-July 1966
3. GEN. YAKUBU GOWON NORTH- CENTRAL 1966-1975
4. GEN. MURTALA MUHAMMED NORTH-WEST 1975-1976
5. GEN. OLUSEGUN OBASANJO SOUTH- WEST 1976-1979
6. ALAHJI SHEHU SHAGARI NORTH- WEST 1979-1983
7. GEN. MUHAMMED BUHARI NORTH- WEST 1983-1985
8. GEN. IBRAHIM BABAGINDA NORTH- CENTRAL 1985-1993
9. CHIEF ERNEST SHONEKON SOUTH- WEST August- November 1993
10. GEN. SANI ABACHA NORTH- WEST 1993-1995
11. GEN ABDUSALAM ABUBARKAR NORTH-CENTRAL 1998-1999
12. CHIEF OLUSEGUN OBASANJO SOUTH- WEST 1999-2007
13. ALAHJI UMARU YAR ADUA NORTH- WEST 2007-2010
14. GOODLUCK JONATHAN SOUTH- SOUTH 2010-DATE
Source: Compiled by the Author (2010)
Analysis of the table above depicts the fact that, where as the North-East zone has ruled the country for 6 years, South-East 6 months, North-Central 23 years, North-West 9 years and the South-West 14 years, the South-South assumed the leadership of the country only recently. And as such, this has exacerbated and amplified the dominant ethnic groups’ policies of alienation, tribalism and nepotism against the ethnic minorities of the Niger Delta based on the exercise of negative political will towards the region (Moro, 2009). More so, the position of the President and the Vice President during civilian rule were seen as forbidden areas for the Niger Delta people. Reacting to his nomination as the Vice Presidential candidate of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2007 general elections, the present President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, then Governor of Bayelsa State posits that “ before this time, what we have is this feeling that Nigeria is not for all of us”. This confirms the inferiority complex demonstrated by people of the region, and living like strangers in their own country.
Though, the Niger Delta people hitherto had a very weak bargaining power in national politics, the region is gradually becoming non-neglectable politically. One can assert equivocally without mincing words that the advent, intensification, proliferation and sophistication of militancy have enhanced political opportunities of the Niger Delta people. The consideration, nomination and emergence of Goodluck Jonathan, a native of Otuoke (near Oloibiri, were oil was first discovered in commercial quantity), in Ogbia Local Government of Bayelsa State, as Vice President in May 2007, is attributed to militant oil agitations in the region. The idea is that, his emergence deviates from the earlier practice of rotating the position of the President and Vice President among the dominant ethnic groups. For example, when Nnamdi Azikiwe (Ibo), was President in the first republic, the Prime Minister was Tafawa Belewa (Hausa). In the second republic, Shehu Shagari (Hausa) was President and Alex Ekwueme (Ibo) Vice President, while in the aborted third republic, Moshood Abiola (Yoruba) was the self-acclaimed winner of the presidential elections and his running mate was Babagana Kingibe (Hausa). Again, during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo (Yoruba), the Vice President was Atiku Abubakar (North). Therefore occupying the Vice Presidential office by a core Niger Deltan was a significant political victory for the region, and giving them a sense of belonging, courtesy the violent agitations in the region.
We wish to reiterate the fact that, during the build up to the 2007 general elections the people of the Niger Delta (South South geopolitical zone) under the auspices of different socio-political zones were clamoring to produce the President of Nigeria. Some of such vocal socio-political groups were the South-South People Assembly (SSPA), Izon National Congress (INC), and loose coalition of militant groups, which inspired many Governors in the region to aspire for the presidential slot. Peter Odili, the former governor of Rivers State was the most serious contender from the region. Bearing in mind that the Ibos in the South-East geopolitical zone were also agitating to produce the president of the country, the ambition of Peter Odili was not supported by the core Niger Deltans. Historically, Peter Odili is maternally from Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, which shares common boundary with Imo State, his alleged paternal roots. He was therefore seen more as an Ibo man than a Rivers man, which make political analysts to conclude that he might be a compromise candidate even for Vice President to pacify the presidential aspirations of the two zones. Analysts were however proved wrong with the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan, a core Niger Deltan that never nursed the ambition to occupy Aso Rock, seat of the Nigerian Federal Government, as Vice President of the country.
Militancy no doubt, has given impetus to the bargaining power of the Niger Delta in different dimensions. This is exemplified by the circumstances which led to the release from detention of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, former governor of Bayelsa State, Asari Dokubo, leader of the Niger Delta People Volunteer Force (NDPVF), and Henry Okah, a militant leader and arms dealer. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, after his impeachment as governor of Bayelsa State in 2005, for money laundering and corruption charges. As a vocal advocate of resource control and true federalism, the incarceration of Alamieyeseigha was conceived as political vendetta against him due to his vehement opposition to issues that do not benefit the Niger Delta. Asari Dokubo, on his part was arrested due to public utterances calling for the secession of the Niger Delta from the Nigerian State. While Henry Okah, was arrested in Angola and repatriated to Nigeria and detained for gun running charges. The arrest and detention of these three personalities under different circumstances was seen by the militants’ community as unwarranted suppression and victimization of inhabitants of the region by the repressive Nigerian State. Angered by these developments, militant groups gave the government ultimatum for the unconditional release of the detained trio and carried out deadly attacks oil installations to press home their demands. The most pronounced militant groups at the vanguard of securing the release of their detained kinsmen were: Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the Joint Revolutionary Council, Martyrs Brigade, and the Coalition for Militant Action (COMA). And the intensification of attacks on the oil industry, the attendant shrinking of revenues from the oil production as a result of such attacks and continuous pressure on the government, eventually led to the release of the detained sons of the Niger Delta. This was contrary to the experience in 1995, prior to the advent of militancy, when Niger Delta activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his kinsmen were executed by the military junta, despite local and international efforts to secure their release.
Another dimension, through which militancy has enhanced political opportunities of the Niger Delta people, is the appointment of sons and daughters of the region into key positions of trust at the national level. Due to militant agitations in the region, more Niger Deltans are increasingly been appointed into key positions at the federal level, where they were hitherto excluded from. Some of such important federal positions include: Ministers of External Affairs, Works, Petroleum Resources, Transportation, Aviation, Finance etc. and key military positions such as Chiefs of Defense, Army, Navy and Air Staffs; Inspector –General of Police, and Commandant of the National War College among others. Mike Okiro from Rivers State is the immediate past Inspector-General of Police, Rear Admiral G. Jonah from Bayelsa State is the present Commandant of the National War College, while Andrew Owoye Azzazi, equally from Bayelsa State, was appointed Chief of Army Staff in 2006, and later became Chief of Defense Staff in Nigeria. These appointments were historic in the sense that, the appointees were the first core Niger Deltans to occupy such exalted positions in Nigeria.
Table 4.3 Chiefs of Army Staff in Nigerian according to Section
S/NO NAME SECTION TENURE
1. COL. R.A. ADEBAYO SOUTH (W) 1964-1965
2. COL. K. MOHAMMED NORTH 196-1966
3. LT.COL. UAKUBU GOWON NORTH Jan- July 1966
4. LT. COL. J. AKAHAN NORTH 1966-1967
5. BRIG. H. KASTINA NORTH 1967-1970
6. MAJOR- GEN. D. EJOOR SOUTH(N) 1971-1975
7. LT. GEN. T. DANJUMA NORTH 1975-1979
8. MAJOR GEN. A. AKINRINADE SOUTH(W) 1979-1980
9 LT. GEN. G. JALLO SOUTH(W) 1980-1981
10 LT. GEN. M. WUSHISHI NORTH 1984-1983
11. MAJOR- GEN.I.B. BABGINDA NORTH 1984- 1985
12 MAJOR- GEN. SANI ABACHA NORTH 1985 -1989
13 MAJOR- GEN. SALIWU IBRAHIM NORTH 1989-1993
14 MAJOR- GEN. CHRIS ALLI NORTH 1993-1994
15 MAJOR- GEN. KAZIR NORTH 1994-1996
16 MAJOR- GEN. ABDUSALAM NORTH 1996-1997
17 MAJOR- GEN.I. BAMAIYI NORTH 1998-1999
18. LT. GEN. A. OGOMUDIA SOUTH(N) 1999-2003
19 LT. GEN. LUTHER- AGWAI SOUTH(W) 2004-2006
20 LT. GEN. O. AZZAZI SOUTH(ND) 2006- 2007
21 LT. LUKA YUSUF NORTH 2007-2008
22. LT. GEN. DAMBAZZU NORTH 2008- DATE
Source: Compiled by the Author (2010).
From the above the table, the only core Niger Deltans that have occupied the highly exalted Chief of Army Staff position is Owoye Azzazi from Peretorugbene in Bayelsa State.
The truth remains that, military officers from the Niger Delta are no longer arbitrarily retired prematurely from office when they are not due for such retirements. More so, the previously rampant cases of stagnation of the promotion of officers from the region are fast becoming a thing of the past. The argument is that, sequence to the high degree of tribalism and favoritism in the country, people from same ethnic groups always protect the interest of one another in federal establishments. Therefore, the elevations of Niger Deltans to occupy apex positions of authority invariably translate to job security, juicy recommendations and promotion of their kinsmen. The above scenario as resulted to the emergence of more senior military and police officers from the region than ever before. Again the policy initiated and implemented by the Obasanjo administration to employ 500 youths from the region into the Nigerian military in 2007 as a means to reduce militancy have also increased the number of Niger Deltans in the military.
More so, in the present President Goodluck Jonathan administration, the Ministries of External Affairs, Petroleum Resources and Niger Delta Affairs are headed by Odein Ajumogobia, Dezani Allision-Madueke and Godsday Orubebe respectively, all from the Niger Delta. The above feet buttress the fact that, people of the region are progressively been given a sense of belonging in the body polity. There are also more Niger Deltans as Heads and Members of Federal Boards, Commissions and Agencies in the present dispensation, all attributed to militant awakening in the region.
The absence of federal presence is another crucial area which forms the bases for agitations in the volatile region. The location of federal establishments no doubt engenders socio-economic development as regards employment creation. There is an employment policy in Nigeria which mandates establishments to employ majority of its Grade Level 1 to 6 Staffs from the immediate environment or locality. Despite the policy instrument, most areas in the Niger Delta has not benefitted from the policy due to absence of federal presence in the region. Bayelsa State is a good illustration because until 2006, there was no federal presence in the State, no Federal Secretariat, Central Bank Office, Federal Tertiary Institutions, Federal Housing Estates, Army, Navy and Air Force barracks, Federal Radio station, and Seaport, etc. More so, the State was not connected to the National Grid of Electricity Power Supply. Be that as it may, the situation is improving gradually with the connection of Bayelsa State to the National Grid in December 2006, the establishment of Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas, at Ekowe, Bayelsa State, Federal University of Petroleum Resources at Effurun, Delta State and the approval of a campus of the Nigerian Law School in Yenagoa. The institutions above will go a long way in creating employment opportunities for the local people.
The establishment of the Ministry of the Niger Delta to promote development and the unconditional amnesty offered to militants also gives credence to the ever increasing bargaining power of the region. The implication is that, the demands and agitations of the region are no longer written off as empty threats. Juxtaposing the experience of the pre-militancy era and the militancy era, it’s obvious that the scales of second class status hitherto suffered by the people are gradually falling of the skin of the region, and the door of political opportunities is opening wider. Militancy has made the people to be seen and heard, leading to political developments advantageous to the region. For instance, the invitation of militant leaders from the creeks in 2009 to meet with the President of the country in Abuja is unprecedented in the history of the country. The political class in the region supports the militants covertly or overtly because they conceive their activities as stepping stones to greater political glory.

4.3 THE PRESIDENTIAL AMNESTY PROGRAMME AND MILITANCY.
A Niger Delta Militant accepting “amnesty” wept while submitting his best friend, a rocket launcher, and disgustedly contrasted the opulence of oil-money built Abuja with the underdevelopment of the Niger Delta. The airport in Abuja is fed by a 10-Lane highway costing 54 billion naira and a planned local railway. Are we on the same planet, he asked? Will the amnesty reverse lost development, jobs and wellbeing? (Marinho, 2009:19).

As opined earlier, due to the mono-dependant and undeveloped character of the Nigerian economy, disruptions in oil and gas production attributed to the activities of militants, causes adverse effects to the nation. Therefore, the declaration of the Presidential Amnesty on the 25th of June 2009, to all militants in the Niger Delta that willingly surrender their guns on or before October 4th 2009, ushered in a new dimension to the politics of sustaining oil exploration and exploitation in the region. Though we are not unaware of the impact of corruption on the economy, the sophistication and proliferation of militant groups, singing discordant tunes, and their activities such as destruction of oil facilities, kidnapping, oil bunkering, among others became the Achilles heel of the Nigerian oil industry. Militant activities in the Niger Delta not only affect oil and gas production, but equally constitute a serious threat to live and property in the area. For instance, the number of persons reportedly kidnapped or held hostage increased from 353 persons in 2008 to 512 persons in the first four months of 2009 (Eseduwo, 2009). In addition, militant agitations in the area contribute to the epileptic operations of the nation’s refineries due to the vandalization of crude oil supply pipelines feeding the refineries.
More so, despite the suppression and repression tactics of the Federal Government which culminate in the militarization of the region, militant activities continued unabated geometrically. The interpretation been that, military onslaught in the region was only increasing the strength and capability of the militants. From the foregoing, it became imperative that, something drastic ought to be done to save the vulnerable economy from imminent collapse, actualizing the zero crude oil export threat by the militants. We wish to categorically assert that, it was the multi-dimensional impact of militancy in the Niger Delta which instigated the federal government to come up with the amnesty programme, hoping that it would pacify the militants and afford the multinational oil companies the opportunity to resume uninterrupted exploration, production and exportation of oil and gas. Put differently, the amnesty programme was initiated to perhaps get a breather for the Nigerian economy which was heading for crisis.
The declaration of the Presidential Amnesty offer was succeeded by a 60-Day window period, requesting all militants who choose to embrace the amnesty programme to surrender their arms and ammunitions on or before 4th October, 2009. To achieve the policy objectives, a Presidential Amnesty Committee was set up, headed by the then Minister of Defense Godwin Abbe. Arms collections and mobilization centers were also set up in strategic locations across the region and the initial sum of 50 billion naira was released to execute the programme.
The leadership of the militants initially rejected the amnesty offer outright, claiming that it was simply one of the insincere and deceptive policies of the federal government to perpetuate the unbridled exploitation of the region. Some militant leaders, such as, Government Ekpemopulo (Tompolo), Asari Dokubo, Commander Ajugbe (Shoot-at-Sight), Ogumboss etc. equally argued that they are freedom fighters, fighting for the development of the over exploited oil rich region, and since they are not convicted criminals, the amnesty offer cannot be accepted. Again in tandem with the fact that he who make peaceful change impossible, makes violent change inevitable, the militants argued that, it is the insensitive and exploitative Nigerian State that instigated them to assume their present position, hence the struggle must continue until victory is won for the region. Reacting to their bunkering activities, the militants opined that, there is absolutely nothing wrong in taking what belongs to them. That is, the oil deposits in the region belong to the people of the region and they have the right to use it for their development. However, after serious persuasions and politicking, all the known militants except Asari Dokubo and the faceless members of MEND embraced the Amnesty Programme. The position of MEND was that, it allowed its commanders to accept the amnesty because their identities have been known, but promise to replace them with a new set of dedicated faceless commanders to continue with the struggle. The general acceptance of the amnesty offer was followed with the massive surrendering of different typologies of arms and ammunitions, including sophisticated Anti-Aircraft guns, Rocket Propelled Grenades and Multi-Purpose Gun-Boats. A visit to the Arms Collection Centers and the number of arms and ammunitions submitted by the repentant militants was reminiscent of countries plagued by years of civil war. From Okitipupa to Warri, Yenagoa to Port Harcourt and Benin to Eket, the story was the same.
While surrendering his weapons at the Isaac Boro Peace Park, Yenagoa, amidst fanfare, one the repentant militants, Commander Lagos Jackson, spoke the mind of many of the militants when he assert that, the decision to surrender his arms and disband his camp in the creeks was based on the proclamation of an unconditional amnesty to all militants by President Yar’Adua, which will allow them the opportunity to return to normal life in the cities unmolested (The Nation, March 21, 2010). This is attributed to the fact that, becoming a militant in the Niger Delta was seen as signing your death sentence, with a high propensity to be killed by military forces, especially the Joint Task Force (JTF) saddled with the responsibility of keeping the peace in the region. The movement of militants publicly was therefore highly restricted simply because they were seen as enemies of the State, social deviants and criminal elements in the society, which explains the highly secret camp locations and lifestyles.
The second vital reason why the amnesty programme was embraced by the militants was to give peace a chance and watch keenly what the Federal Government has up his sleeves. To demonstrate to the world that the ethnic minorities were peace loving people, but only became violent as a result of decades of victimization, suppression and brutalization, the militants decided to lay down their arms and give government the opportunity it has been yawing for to reverse the development deficit in the region. This was against the lame excuses often advanced by government that militant activities frustrate the development agenda of the region.
However, we wish to state emphatically that, with due regard to the backward and deplorable condition of the Niger Delta amidst the wealth that the region produce to sustain the nation; the arbitrary use of State power to suppress peaceful agitations for decades, to mention but few, the Federal Government has no moral justification to brand freedom fighters as criminals and granting them amnesty. Amnesty is granted to convicted criminal, and since the militants were not prosecuted and convicted by any court of law in the land, it is a misnomer to grant them amnesty. Indeed it is irrational and there is no justification of telling indigenes of Odi, Oporoza, Gbaramatu, Umuechem, Kaiama, Ezetu, Choba, Agee, Okerenkoko, Ogoni land etc. that the Federal Government has pardoned them. The government is guilty of gross human right abuses in the region. In an ideal situation, all things been equal, it is the Niger Deltan that should be thinking of forgiving and writing off the sins of the government for the uncountable atrocities committed against them.
As a panacea of achieving peace, amnesty for militants in the Niger Delta is a good idea. However, the Federal Government must demonstrate the political will to muster resources for the development of the region. The reason has been that, Government so easily finds funds for peripheral matters on the Niger Delta, and not for core issues begging for attention. The above kind of sentiment completely betrays a deep misunderstanding, or covering up, of the working of capitalism in general and the especially short sighted kleptomaniac characteristic of the Nigerian State.
A significant point to note is that, the popularized amnesty programme was not adequately planned, but highly monetized and politicized. To achieve sustainable and dependable outcome, the pioneer step on the part of Nigerian government basically ought to have been a comprehensive militants and arms audit in the region. The argument is that, carrying out a comprehensive audit of the rank and file of the militant population in the region would have afforded the government the opportunity to ascertain the strength of the various militant camps and arms capacity in the region. But since that was not done before the hasty amnesty proclamation, it is difficult to ascertain whether the arms surrendered by the militants at the various arms collection centers across the region actually represent the genuine arms and ammunition capacities of such groups. The grim reality is that, due to the thick fog of insincerity that cloud the relationship between the people of the Niger Delta and the Government, most militants especially the Resource Agitators-Militancy category, surrendered only part of their armory. In other instances, it was alleged that even the arms and ammunitions submitted by the militants were bought for them for submission by some top government officials simply to demonstrate the acceptance of amnesty in those States. Bayelsa and Delta State are reference points where such allegations held sway.
Furthermore, there was no concrete post-amnesty plan, and the government’s amorphous amnesty menu, which offers tripartite rehabilitation jobs, skills acquisition (including education), and private business- does not suit all the targeted beneficiaries (Agbo, 2009). More so, most registration and mobilization centers for the repentant militants were Secondary School Buildings without windows and other facilities conducive for habitation. The amnesty programme was designed to pay monthly allowances to the repentant militants. But it was observed that, due to the monthly meager allowances paid to the repentant militants for their up keep, some militants were even excluded from the registration process. Some militant leaders claim that the Amnesty Co-ordination Committee members told them to bring in only a specified numbers of repentant militants for registration from a particular camp. The fundamental question that begs for an answer is that, where will the rest militants go to and what would become of them? That is, after earning about three hundred to six hundred thousand naira per month as militants, and being discriminated or segregated in a process where they are to earn an insignificant amount of twenty five thousand naira, actually leave them with no option than to go back to the trade they have mastered.
More so, the amnesty package was heavily monetized and corruption was a major bottle neck for the efficient and effective implementation of the programme. Evidently, there have been persistent cases of non-payment of allowances to militants, coupled with the inflation of payment vouchers with ghost names. This means, non-militants are receiving the allowances of ex-militants, which clearly pictures the massive corruption that engulfed the amnesty programme. The demonstration by ex-militants at Benin, Warri, Yenagoa and Port-Harcourt were reactions against the high degree of corruption in the programme.
The politicization of the amnesty programme also play out in the tense rivalry between the State representatives of the presidential amnesty committee and some Governors, battling for the soul of militants in the region. That is, there was serious political interest protection, centered on influencing militants, especially the political thugs–militancy category to surrender their weapons through the initiative of either the Governors of the State or Presidential Amnesty Committee members. The implication is that, militants that surrendered their weapons through each party will be loyal to them and politically useful during the conduct of elections. In Bayelsa State for instance, the militants loyal to Governor Timipre Sylva surrender their weapons amidst funfair at the Adaka Boro Peace Park in Yenagoa. While the militants loyal to a political big wig in the State, Timi Alaibe, the Honourary Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta, and former gubernatorial aspirant and Managing Director of the NDDC, were not part of the Peace Park ceremony, but surrendered their weapons at Azuzuama, in the remote creeks. More so, where as the pro-Sylva militants were given red carpet reception and presently accommodated in Government House, Yenagoa, their counterparts do not enjoy this privilege, which creates bad blood in the militant community.
Again, several months after the inception of the amnesty programme, the repentant militants are yet to be rehabilitated and trained in trades that will sustain them. Therefore the absence of an effective and acceptable post-amnesty plan, coupled with the ill health of President Yar’Adua is gradually eroding the halcyon days in the Niger Delta, with the recent resumption of attacks by the militants. Though militant agitations seized in October 2009 and led to increase in the oil production output, Nigerians were taken aback when militants blew up an oil pipeline at the Abonemma area of Rivers State, late in December 2009. This has been followed with similar attacks in 2010 at the Shell Petroleum Development Company oil pipeline in Kokori, Delta State, Shell Trunk Line in Obunoma, Rivers State and the most recent Car bomb attacks in Warri, Delta State.
The fact is that, the absence of a workable post-amnesty programme has led to a vicious circle of conferences without tangible results. Angered by the above scenario, the militant community called for ending of empty talks been recycled and demands the implementation of a sustainable development blue print for the region. And to demonstrate their opposition to unproductive talk shops, MEND, planted and detonated two car bombs on the 15th of March, 2010 to disorganize one of such conferences in Warri, Delta State. The conference which was tagged “Post Amnesty Dialogue” was organized by Vanguard to discuss the post-amnesty road map for the region and was attended by Governors, Activists, Traditional Rulers and top Government functionaries. Though the action of MEND is highly condemned because it led to the death of two persons and several others wounded, it demonstrate the more pertinent issues of the failure of the government to latch on to a window of opportunity to effectively restore stability and progress to the volatile region. From another perspective, the cavalier attitude some political leaders have for the Niger Delta crisis is also detrimental to maintaining peace in the region. As claimed by MEND, the bomb blasts were carried out to prove wrong Governor Uduaghan of Delta State assertion that, “MEND is not real but a media creation”. The reality is that, youths in the region are ever ready to relocate to the creeks due to the elongated famine of the supposed amnesty dividends in the region.
The argument in essence is, the present existential condition authenticate and corroborate the perception that, the amnesty policy was formulated and implemented to safeguard the uninterrupted flow of oil and gas production in the region. The amnesty programme is failing gradually simply because, with the ever increasing consciousness of exploitation in the region, peace will be elusive if the agitations of the people are not adequately addressed.





















REFERENCES
Adeyemo, W. (2009). “A Presidential Retreat? TELL, July 12, P.25.
Agbo, A.(2009). “The Gains of Amnesty” TELL, November 2.
Ajaero, C. (2009). “Nigeria’s Lost Trillions”, Newswatch, May 4.
Asuni, J. (2009). “Blood Oil in the Niger Delta” Special Report, United States Institute for Peace, Washington, DC.
Bot, D. (2008). “Militarization of the Niger Delta: Implications for National Security”, Conference Proceedings, International Conference on the Nigerian State, Oil and the Niger Delta, Organized by the Department of Political Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, March 11-13.
Coventry Cathedral (2009). The Potential for Peace and Reconciliation in the Niger Delta, International Council on Reconciliation, Coventry, February 8.
Eseduwo, F (2008). “Petroleum Prospecting, State Violence and Hostage Taking in Nigeria: A Study of the Niger Delta region (1966-2007). Conference Proceedings, International Conference on the Nigerian State, Oil and the Niger Delta, Organized by the Department of Political Science, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, March 11-13.
International Crisis Group (2006) “The Swamps of Insurgency: Nigeria’s Delta Unrest”, Africa Briefing, No. 115, August 3.
IRIN News (2006). “Nigeria: Militants Threaten to Cripple Oil Exports if Demands Not Met”. January 17, www.irinnews.org.
Marinho, T,(2009). “Decentralization and True Federalism in Practice, Not Theory”, The Nation, Wenesday 7, P.19.
Mbah, G. (2008). “From Hope to Suicide Mission”, INSIDER WEEKLY, October 13, P.13.
Moro, A. (2009). Socio-Political Crisis in the Niger Delta, Spectrum Books Limited, Ibadan.
Opukeme, C (2008). “Sorrow and Blood” THE WEEK, September 29, Volume 28, No. 7, P.23.
Punch (2009). Upsurge of Militancy in Niger Delta, May Wenesday 4.
The Nation. (2010). “Niger Delta: The Return of the Oil War”, Volume 04, No. 1339, March 21, P.18.




















CHAPTER FIVE
CONCLUSION

5.1 SUMMARY/CONCLUSION
The study have shown that oil is a very important natural resource with great potential of promoting development, if well utilized, but can equally be a source of conflict and underdevelopment when entangled with greed, corruption and mismanagement. Nigeria no doubt is a multi-ethnic society, dominated with three ethnic groups. The nation is also endowed with abundant natural resources and principally among them is crude oil and gas. Presently, oil and gas production is the life wire of the Nigerian economy. The oil and gas resources that sustain the nation’s economy since the early 1970s is produced in the ethnic minorities dominated enclave of the Niger Delta region, located in the southern part of the country. But despite the wealth produced in the region, the area paradoxically remains one of the least developed parts of the country. The derivation principle which held sway in the era when agricultural products forms the basis of the nation’s economy and was utilized by the major ethnic groups to promote development in their territories was discarded when oil, produced in minorities dominated areas became the major income earner. This denied the region the opportunity to utilize its resources to create development. Therefore there is gross development deficit in the Niger Delta which is evidence in the absence of basic social infrastructures, high unemployment figure, environmental degradation, endemic poverty, high cost of living, human rights violations and very low life expectancy rate, among others. Juxtaposing the wealth produced in the region and the level of development, Government and the Multinational Oil Companies operating in the region has not done much to develop the region. The oil companies scores conspicuously low in the area of corporate social responsibility by neglecting their host communities in darkness while they reap petro-dollar profits from their surroundings and degrading the environment. The interventionist agenda of the Government by setting up Commissions and Agencies have also failed to create the much needed development in the region due to lack of political will on the part of government.
Due to the backward and deplorable condition of the region, the people of the Niger Delta, acting under different auspices have been making demands on the Nigerian state to positively address the plight of the region without recording acceptable results. The most recent of such demands is the militant agitations in vogue that characterize the region. The study observed that, there is a link between oil wealth produced in the region, lack of development in the region and the emergence of militant agitations. The reason been that, the advent of militant agitations by youths in the region is attributed to the inability of various governments to translate the stupendous oil wealth generated from the area into improved the standard of living of the people and regional prosperity, despite decades of peaceful protests and demonstrations.
Put differently, the rise of militancy among the youth in the Niger Delta has been fuelled by extreme poverty in the midst of abundance, underdevelopment, discontent with the ugly practices of the international oil companies, pollution of the environment, and corruption by government officials that ensures that little development funding reaches the oil bearing or host communities. The peace protests and demands of the people were ignored in most cases or simply treated with kid gloves in other instances. The coercive instrument of the state was also rolled out to brutalize and suppress the people. That is, instead of redress, the Niger Deltans were continually served progressive dosage of exclusion, marginalization, repression and disempowerment, hence the militant agitations in the region. The militants in the region have demonstrated the ability to destroy large parts of the oil production facilities in the country. And even the Nigerian military has found it difficult to achieve a decisive advantage over them due to the guerrilla tactics they adopt, the terrain of the swamps where the militia camps are located, and the dispersed infrastructure of oil pipelines and production facilities in the delta.
The activities of the militants without mincing words has negatively affected the Nigerian economy with the destruction of oil installations and facilities, creating uncertainty and shrinking of the nation’s source of revenue. The undeniable fact is that, if the principle of good governance and equitable distribution of resources is undermined, it precipitates opposition, alienation, resistance and disillusionment. More so, bad governance, and the obnoxious laws that governs the oil industry in Nigeria breeds discontent and frustration, and has allowed for the growth in violent behaviours cum restiveness with serious socio-economic implications, and that captures reality in the Niger Delta.
The study also revealed that, militancy in the Niger Deltans has enhanced political opportunities of the people. Niger Deltans were hitherto politically marginalized and treated as second class citizens in the Nigeria because they were not allowed to occupy some positions in the country. This means they were offered limited political opportunities. But that has changed with the advent of militancy in the region. Niger Deltans are progressively occupying more positions they were previously denied by the ruling class in the country. Again, militant agitations in the oil rich Niger Delta has equally increased the bargaining power of the region in national politics. The demand and release from Federal Government detention of Niger Deltans such as Asari Dokubo, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and Henry Okah; the emergence of Goodluck Jonathan as Vice President, and subsequently President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the creation of the Niger Delta Ministry and lastly; the unconditional Amnesty granted to militants in the region buttress the fact that, Niger Deltans are increasingly becoming heard and seen. The above feet achieved in the region is attributed to the activities of militants, simply because, these would not have been possible prior to the commencement and intensification of militant hostilities in the area. The Amnesty programme initiated by the government was a step in the right direction, but government once more demonstrated the lack of political will to address issues that affect the region.
The study thus concludes that, the upsurge of militant oil agitations in the Niger Delta is attributed to the grim reality of the inability of oil produced in the region to translate regional prosperity, due to the unacceptable and faulty resource distribution mechanism in the country, the development deficit and environmental degradation suffered by the people, neglect of oil bearing communities by the Multinational Oil Companies, etc. More so, the militarization of the region occasioned with the suppression and repression of peaceful agitations, the mere cosmetic measures offered for the development of the region which is the economic livewire of the nation’s economy, creates a high degree of deep rooted frustration, hence the violent agitations. There no doubt that militancy in the region has led to loss in national revenue together with life and property, eroded peace and progress and, made the region hostile to investment. The Presidential Amnesty programme would have been a positive development to enshrine lasting peace and development, but pitiably that is not the case. Experience has shown that, due to the garments of faulty planning, insincerity, lack of political will and corruption that cloths the programme, the amnesty initiative is gradually failing with the resumption of militant attacks in the region. The recent car bomb attacks in Warri, Delta State, carried out by the dreaded Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, sent a dangerous message, which leaves much to be desired. Be that as it may, the militant oil agitations in the Niger Delta, to a very large extent have contributed immensely to the enhancement of political opportunities for the people of the region. This is evidence in their occupation of positions they were earlier excluded from.



5.2 RECOMMENDATIONS
In other to close the curtain on violent militant agitations in the Niger Delta, and allow oil to translate to regional prosperity and development, the study advances the following recommendations.
First and foremost, government should demonstrate the political will to develop the oil rich but underdeveloped Niger Delta region. The various White Papers and Reports of Commissions/Committees set up by the Federal government to unravel the immediate and remote causes of oil agitations in the region, especially the recent Lidum Mitee-led Technical Committee on the Niger Delta Report, should be implemented.
Niger Deltans should also be given the leverage to participate actively in the oil industry. Oil Blocs should also be offered to the people of the region, especially the oil bearing communities to give them a sense of belonging. Government should release all the budgetary funds owed the Niger Delta Development Commission and also fund it adequately to foster development in the region. The Ministry of the Niger Delta, set up to augment the NDDC to develop the region must also be repositioned to produce acceptable and sustainable results.
More so, government should adhere to the practice of true federalism by allowing the component units (states) to controls the resources produced in their domains and pay taxes to the central government or increase the derivation principle from the present 13% to at least 25%. The obnoxious laws that govern the oil industry such as petroleum Act of 1969, the land use Decree of 1978, Anti Sabotage Act, Off shore- onshore dichotomy law etc. which legally denies the Niger Delta people from benefiting from the oil produced beneath them must be abolished. These laws are not in the interest of the oil producing ethnic minorities; therefore abrogating them will give them a sense of belonging and legal control of their resources. Again, due to high level of environment degradation and pollution attributed to the oil industry, government should speedily enact environment friendly laws, in line with global standard to protect further devastation of the Niger Delta environment. The Petroleum Industry Bill currently before the National Assembly must address the issues of marginalization, pollution, exclusion and inadequate compensation advanced by the people. More so, government should fast track the cleaning up of the polluted Niger Delta environment due to oil spillages and gas flaring, etc. and compels oil companies to pay adequate compensations to the people. Again, there is need to build new cities in the region and execute capitals intensive projects such as building of Hospitals, tertiary institutions, bridges, and the construction of roads to open up the deltaic environment. Massive construction of roads and bridges is very important because it would open up the back ward creeks the militants use as their hideouts. Government should also enact laws to compel the Multinational oil companies to employ at least 45% of their senior staffs and 55% of their junior staffs from the Niger Delta to mop the unemployed and frustrated army of youths in the region.
The Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the region should also be withdrawn to reduce the security tension in the area. The governors of the Niger Delta States must equally be prudent and accountable in efficiently and effectively managing the statutory monthly financial allocations to the region. The militants on their part should stop the destruction of oil pipelines and carrying out criminal activities in the region.
We wish to further submit that, the Nigerian should evolve necessarily modalities to conduct tree and fair elections in the country and eradicate the use of political thugs during election. The security of our national borders and territorial waters should also be enforced to clamp down on all forms at illegal bunkering and checkmate the flow of arms and ammunitions to the country. The political space of the region in national politics should be enlarged by giving more Niger Deltans the opportunity to occupy sensitive national position.
Lastly, due to the constant agitations and widespread culture of militancy in the region, there is urgent need for a holistic re-socialization of the youthful population affected by the militancy culture cum mentality in other to forestall future occurrence. On the part of the repentant militants, government should evolve crucial modalities to understudy them and make provisions for sustainable employment, education and business commitment as the case may. There should also be caution to avoid intra- conflicts between them to avert dragging the region to the bad waters of violence. The fundamental reality is that, if the issues that gave birth to violence agitations in the region are not adequately addressed, peace will be elusive and militancy inevitable.














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