Fuelling Discord: Oil and Conflict in Three Niger Delta Communities
Decades of impoverishment, destruction of livelihoods, and environmental pollution in the Niger Delta catalyzed conflicts. These conflicts, often escalating into wars, have led to numerous deaths and widespread destruction of villages. Root causes include exploitative oil and gas practices and government policies. Responses from authorities aim to silence opposition by manipulating community divisions.
Almost two decades after Shell was forced out of Ogoniland following community protests and international outrage over state sponsored murders, the company and the government are working in concert with some influential Ogoni leaders to perfect plans to bring back oil drilling and production companies. However, some community members continue to demand state action to address the demands of the people as contained in the Ogoni Bill of Rights. Skirmishes have already been reported between and within communities as tensions mount over government and oil company plans to restart oil production activities without addressing the fundamental demands of the Ogoni people.