The Niger Delta Crisis: A Social Justice Approach to the Analysis of Two Conflict Eras
This paper analyzes the parallels in two conflict eras in the Niger Delta region with a view to highlighting how salient issues in the resolution of the old conflicts remain germane to contemporary conflicts. The first conflict era refers to the trade in palm oil during the nineteenth century while the second period refers to the on-going conflicts caused and/or exacerbated by the exploitation of crude oil from the Niger Delta region. The paper identifies issues including the socio-economic importance of the products (palm oil and crude oil), the parties to the conflicts and the fundamental causes of the violent conflicts as common to both conflict eras. The paper's central argument, based on social justice normative concepts of distribution and recognition, is that the exclusion of the local communities from participating in the exploitation and benefits of the resources (palm oil and crude oil) in both eras instigated local restiveness. It posits that the recognition of these concepts that contributed to the resolution of the conflicts during the palm oil era are essential to the resolution of the multifarious conflicts caused (directly or indirectly) by the exploitation of crude oil in present times. Consequently, the paper suggests that public participation in the crude oil industry be integrated into initiatives programmed to bring sustainable peace to the troubled Niger Delta region.
Volume (Year): 11 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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