SPECIAL REPORT: Checkmating the Resurgence of Oil Violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria

Tuesday, 18 May 2010 00:00 Dr. Victor Ojakorotu and Lysias Doddd Gilbert
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Violence in and around the Niger Delta has plagued Nigerian oil output for the past decade.  For Africa’s most populous state, this violence has cut oil production by one-third and is a not only an economic but a human tragedy for a country that bases 90 percent of its GDP on its hydrocarbon wealth.  Environmental activism and militancy have been the response from the tribal groups indigenous to the Delta region.   Among the various group active across the region, MEND or the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta is probably the best known.  In August 2009, Dr. Victor Ojakorotu contributed an initial article to the Journal of Energy Security entitled, “Militancy and Oil Violence in the Niger Delta.”  Since then, Victor and twelve other African experts who focus their research on the problems that plague the Delta have assembled their thoughts into a new book entitled, “Checkmating the Resurgence of Oil Violence in the Niger Delta of Nigeria.” 
Concurrent with the book’s release come new reports that MEND is threatening new oil violence in the Delta which comes in the wake of the death of Nigerian President Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua who had brokered an amnesty for thousands of Niger Delta militants in return for them laying down their weapons.  While MEND refused to take part in the amnesty program some of their commanders did.  For students, policy makers, and industry professionals interested and concerned about the roots of disquiet in the Niger Delta the text is an indispensible aid in better understanding the future of this rich and diverse region. 
Click here to access the full-text version of the book.