n AFFRIKA Journal of Politics, Economics and Society - The civil challenge : a profile of civil society in the resource struggle of the Niger Delta

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


There has been a flowering of civil society in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria since the late 1980s. The emergent civil society formation constructed a broad regime of advocacy, agitation and struggle that has transformed the content and intensity of the conflict and shifted it from a mere struggle for developmental attention to one for civil and environmental rights, resource control, self-determination and state reforms. This article interrogates the civil society formation, examines the content, variegation, projects and the dynamics of engagements, attempts a profiling of some of the groups, addresses the nature of response of the state and transnational oil companies to the engagements and critically assesses the effectiveness or results. The study finds that the civil challenge has resulted in greater state and corporate sensitivity to issues of the environment, community development and rights abuses; raised efforts at tackling issues of poverty, governance and local economic recovery and facilitated efforts at resolving the violent and militant segment of the struggle, but is yet to succeed in the resolution of the political dimensions which is critical to ultimate conflict resolution and transformation.

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