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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Between Discourse and Reality: The Politics of Oil and Ijaw Ethnic Nationalism in the Niger Delta
Author:Nwajiaku, K.
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Geographic term:Nigeria
hydrocarbon policy
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Politics and Government
Abstract:The paper explores competing and often violent attempts to redefine ethnic group membership in an Ijaw, oil-producing community in the Niger Delta. The proliferation of pan-ethnic nationalist movements in Nigeria, and particularly in the Niger Delta over the last decade, suggests that a certain degree of pan-ethnic cohesion or consensus exists amongst members of the ethnic group concerned. The paper argues that the question of ethnic belonging is an altogether more complex, widely contested and as yet unsettled one, in which the interests of different generations and social classes collide. Micro-level studies reveal that instead of pan-ethnic consensus in oil-producing villages in Ogbia, there has been an unravelling of an attachment to a pan-Ijaw identity and the emergence of new ethnic identities, which are more useful in the immediate struggles over the spoils of oil at a village level. This points to the need to re-evaluate our understanding of ethnicity and of pan-ethnic movements more generally, in this case those of the Ijaw, as non-static, dynamic phenomena, whose purpose and composition can only be understood relative to the contexts within which they emerge and the audience for which their discourse is intended. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]