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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Who Owns the Oil? The Politics of Ethnicity in the Niger Delta of Nigeria
Author:Ejobowah, John B.
Periodical:Africa Today
Geographic term:Nigeria
hydrocarbon policy
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:In Nigeria, the second half of the 1990s has witnessed a renewed uprising by ethnic communities of the Niger Delta against the State and oil-producing companies. The uprising has been violent, and its geographic spread portends danger to State stability. The Niger Delta question has to do with conflict arising from the federal government's control of oil resources and the distribution of their revenue among the constituent States of the federation, and oil communities' ownership claims to the resources. This paper evaluates these conflicting claims. It details the colonial origin of the State's control of oil resources and the political context of the conflict. Using theoretical principles drawn from classical and modern liberalism, the paper considers the grounds on which each side makes its claims and rejects the sovereignty argument that Nigeria belongs to its entire people and so do the resources within it. Instead it shows that the multiethnic makeup of the country has prompted the adoption of a differentiated political community: the national and sub-national. This requires the sharing of jurisdictional rights within the country that will also include rights to mineral resources. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.