Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Trying to Understand the Niger Delta

Dear all,

I've decided that, while I'm in the Niger Delta, it makes sense to try to understand its challenges and issues. Mentally, I've divided the challenges into: the oil industry, the government and the people (which involve both).

So, strangely enough, when I was looking to meet up with some oil people, I ran into one of the world's leading experts on the Niger Delta conflicts (and the people fighting against the oil industry/the aspects of Nigeria's government, in efforts to get their homes cleaned up and interests represented). Funny how that works.

So, I thought I'd help you, the reader, with some information.

I met Michael Watts from UC Berkeley. His Wikipedia page.

His Book: Curse of the Black Gold

Important articles by him:

List of Publications:

Goodnight and Goodluck Jonathan: The Niger Delta Cries Out for EcoJustice

Niger Delta Rising.

His Program at Berkeley:

Niger Delta: Economies of Violence See the link to the Stained With Blood and Oil: The Niger Delta video at the bottom.

Will go ask the oil people nosy questions tomorrow!



  1. From a Reader:

    Niger/Delta,is an oil rich Southern parts of Nigeria,it derives its name from the Niger river,it Delta and tributaries.For economic exploitations of the region,the British refuses to grant them an Autonomy over their region to partly manage their God's given resources.Instead the British carved out parts of Niger,Chad,Libya,mostly Arab and Islamic countries;land locked,impoverished and bacward to form what is now Northern Nigeria?Who subsequently curnived with the British to jointly steal what belonged to this innocent peaceful people which regions comprising six States of original Niger/delta:Edo,Delta,Bayelsa,Rivers,Cross-Rivers,Akwa-Ibom.

    The result?Oil spill,Gas flaring.Looting of their resources by the Hausa,Fulani/Arab Oligarchs from the Northern side,no infracstructures,no development in their area,no hospitals nor schools,no land for Agriculture,as corruption in Nigeria have seen every budjet stollen by the present and previouse Juntas,b,the worst been the PDP forced Goverment to the people who never wins an election.

    Wanting some body to meet in Yenagoa?Please thread carefully,as these areas if simmering.

    The Governor is the rulling Juntas Party who will not tell you all the truth.

    Their are real and fake Militants particularly from Igbo speaking areas from neighbouring states who are out to kidnapp and robb any body on the pretence of been Militants.

    Safe place to be?Asaba,Delta state-capital

    This is the most peaceful,civilized and decent town,consisting mostly of Students'Civil Servants' Intelectuals and decent people to mix with

  2. In the United States, the Federal government taxes off-shore oil production in the gulf, but the states cannot, despite bearing the brunt of the suffering when things go wrong. I believe the main 'challenge' of the delta is that oil is concentrated wealth that doesn't take many people to reap the benefits. For that, there is little reason to make sure the wealth is distributed.