Since the 1990s, oil violence in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria has constituted festering sores on the thumbs of the Nigerian state, the Multinational Oil Companies (MNOCs), and the Niger Delta communities. The recent resumption of attacks against the oil industry in the Niger Delta and the resultant decrease in oil supply have reminded the world that the unrest there is not a problem for Nigeria alone. Indeed, the business of militancy, involves players far beyond the shores of Nigeria. After decades of environmental abuse and human degradation coupled with unfulfilled promises of redress on the part of the State and Transnational oil companies; the agitations of the Niger Deltas have taken a violent and militant dimension. These militant activities have impacted gravely on national economy and security thus prompting the state to launch military attacks on the region intermittently. However, such military responses have done little to curtail the militant agitations in the Niger Delta and the Federal Government itself is far from winning the war. It is important to note however, that the Nigerian state has implemented some constitutional and institutional measures as deliberate efforts geared towards the resolution of the region‘s unrest; ranging from the establishment of Niger Delta Commission, Ministry of Niger Delta to Amnesty. All these efforts too have not brought the anticipated peace. It is against this background that the study aims to enhance understanding of the factors that have contributed to violent conflict in the Niger Delta so that the development partners and government can take them into account in strategy formation and program development. This paper is anchored on the Frustration Aggression Theory to buttress the militant and violent dimension of the Niger Delta crisis. Based on secondary research and discussion with experts on the Niger Delta, the study found that the intersection of (a) structural factors that make the region particularly vulnerable to instability; (b) specific factors that contribute to the political struggle and drive the violence; and, (c) factors that exacerbate the conflict by making violence and crime profitable result in the region experiencing violent conflict. Arising from these therefore, it is our recommendation that the federal government should urgently and comprehensively tackle the underlying economic and social problems of the Niger Delta region so as to prevent the nation from total collapse, civil war and bankruptcy.
Onodugo Ifeanyi Chris, Odo Victor, Onodugo Chinwe Felicia. Militancy and oil wars in Africa: The Niger delta experience in Nigeria. National Journal of Multidisciplinary Research and Development, Volume 6, Issue 2, 2021, Pages 19-27