Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 7, No. 1, 2009
Pages 1-16

DOI: 10.36108/ijss/9002.70.0110

Curtailing Conflicts in the Resource-Endowed Niger Delta Communities of Nigeria

Akeem Ayofe Akinwale

Department of Sociology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria



Violent conflicts rema.in unabated in the Niger Delta communities of Nigeria despite efforts of successive governments and international organizations to broker peace in the area. Using an interpretive approach, with insights from historical and contemporary theoretical perspo6yiyss, various studies were reviewed and 24 Key Informant Interview’s were conducted with stakeholders in four oil-producing Niger Delta communities selected from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States of Nigeria. The respondents were drawn from different groups, comprising community/religious leaders, youth activists, government officials, managers of multi4ational oil companies and members of the National Union of petroleum Engineering and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG). The findings reveal that there are differing opinions about conflict resolution mechanisms in the Niger Delta among the different groups. While government officials and multinational oil companies were optimistic about mechanisms for conflict control, youth activists and labour leaders were pessimistic about the possibility of lasting peace in the study area. The community and religious leaders identified structural barriers such as intervention efforts facilitate that failed to peace, using spate of hostage taking by militant youth and. inadequate infrastructure.  However, what appear as intractable conflicts are informed by divergent interests of state elites and, local leaders over the modalities for managing the prevailing circumstances in the region. The study concludes with strong recommendations.

Keywords: Niger Delta, exploitation, violent conflict, youth militancy, Nigeria


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