Since the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists in 1995, Nigeria’s Niger Delta has witnessed conflicts associated with oil production and agitations against oil companies operating in the region. Why did the initial peaceful protests of the oil-bearing communities turn violent? What are the recurring complaints of the people? What roles do the government and the oil corporations play in the perpetuation of the conflicts? In answering these and related questions, John B. Idamkue explores the deep-seated perceptions and grievances of the oil-producing communities by tracing the history of struggle in the region and eliciting the candid views and perspectives of key community actors and stakeholders using their words and responses in a study that is revealing and insightful. By isolating the six pillars of resource governance, Idamkue shines a bright light on the change in the actors, political institutions, and impact of oil production on the livelihood of the people to explain why conflicts linger.
John B. Idamkue is independent scholar.
Chapter 1 The People Arose: The Genesis of the Conflict
Chapter 2 Background and Historical Context of the Niger Delta Crises
Chapter 3 Understanding the Nexus Between Resource Governance, the State, and Protracted Conflict
Chapter 4 Six Cardinal Pillars of Resource Governance
Chapter 5 In the Eyes of the People: Perceptions and Grievances
Chapter 6—The Heart of the Matter: The Ideal Place to Seek Solutions
Chapter 7 Lessons and Takeaways for Leaders and the Rest of Us
Resource Governance and Protracted Conflict in Nigeria’s Niger Delta offers a breathtaking analysis of the enigma that is contemporary Nigeria. In this timely study, Idamkue offers readers more than a glimpse of what he had witnessed as a young community organizer and activist who worked alongside the venerable Ken Saro Wiwa to put environmental justice, good governance and resource control at the top of Nigeria’s national agenda in the 1990s. His argument, driven largely by data, that resource governance is both at the heart of the resource conflicts in the Niger Delta and the ideal place to find solutions deserves the attention of scholars, activists and policy makers in this time of tremendous flux.
Idamkue’s book is a searchlight into the labyrinthine intricacies of Nigeria’s political economy that reveals how a resource presents itself as boom in a section of the polity and as doom in another. The analysis conducted into the conflict precipitated by this irony covers the antecedences, the present situation and what needs to be done to achieve equity in resource management in a multi-ethnic state. Every architect of statehood interested in building a stable and harmonious socio-economic structure needs to read and apply both the stated and implied solutions prescribed in the present book.