n AFFRIKA Journal of Politics, Economics and Society - Curtailing conflicts in the resource-endowed Niger Delta communities of Nigeria

Volume 2, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 1998-4936
  • E-ISSN: 2075-6534


Violent conflicts continue unabated in the Niger Delta communities of Nigeria despite the efforts of successive governments and international organisations to broker peace in the area. Using an interpretive approach with insights from historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives, various studies were reviewed and 24 key informant interviews were conducted with stakeholders in four oil producing Niger Delta communities purposively selected from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states of Nigeria. Respondents were purposively drawn from different groups comprising community/religious leaders, youth activists, government officials, managers of multi-national oil companies and members of the National Union of Petroleum Engineering and Natural Gas (NUPENG). The findings indicate that opinions differ among different groups concerning conflict resolution mechanisms in the Niger Delta. 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. However, community and religious leaders perceived structural barriers such as intervention efforts that failed to facilitate peace, the rising 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 article concludes with strong recommendations.

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