n African Security Review - Poverty, pipeline vandalisation / explosion and human security : integrating disaster management into poverty reduction in Nigeria : essay

Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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This paper interrogates the common official refrain to attribute vandalisation-induced pipeline explosion to poverty in the country. It argues that although poverty has explanatory relevance in terms of the ubiquity of oil pipeline explosion, such attribution conceals more than it reveals: it clearly shows that the poor are the direct and hardest hit in oil pipeline explosion in Nigeria, but conceals the fact that rich vandalisation barons are behind these threats to human security; it conceals the contradiction between the material circumstances of the victims and the sophisticated technology deployed in such nefarious acts. While it reveals the disempowerment of the poor to negotiate their survival outside the lure of fuel scooping, it conceals the power of the barons to easily negotiate their freedom from conviction. Also, it conceals the seeming contradiction of perceptions of security between the government officials and the poor citizens. The paper therefore argues that it is this prevalent situation that not only accounts for the frequency of pipeline vandalisation, but provides reasons that government fails to pay compensation to victims of explosion or to evolve proactive disaster response strategies. Thus, it advocates the integration of a disaster management framework into government's overall effort of poverty reduction in the country.

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