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NWO OIL CORRUPTION destroying Niger Delta

Title NWO OIL CORRUPTION   destroying Niger Delta
Director(s) AllOverAfrica
Date released (year) 2013
Production company AllOverAfrica
Length 8.15mins
Location Niger Delta
Keywords/tags Governance, corruption, natural   resources, oil, civil war, violence
Link to film
Synopsis A Nigerian activist says that   corruption is so pervasive in Niger Delta that its politicians have stopped   governing and only help in the rape of its resources.

Mother of Nigeria’s finance   minister was kidnapped this week amid reports of millions of dollars being   looted from Nigeria’s treasury. Also there has been a recent spate of   killings in the oil rich Delta State. Press TV has interviewed Ms. Alice   Ukoko, Founder of Women of Africa, London about this issue.


Reviews/discussion From Wikipedia:

Conflict in the Niger Delta

The current conflict in the Niger   Delta arose in the early 1990s over tensions between the foreign   oil corporations   and a number of the Niger Delta‘s   minority ethnic groups who felt they were being exploited, particularly the Ogoni   and the Ijaw.   Ethnic and political unrest has continued throughout the 1990s and persists   as of 2007 despite the conversion to democracy   and the election of the Obasanjo   government in 1999. Competition for oil wealth has fueled violence between   many ethnic groups,   causing the militarization of nearly the entire region by ethnic militia   groups as well as Nigerian military   and police forces (notably the Nigerian Mobile Police).   Victims of crimes are fearful of seeking justice for crimes committed against   them because of growing “impunity from prosecution for individuals   responsible for serious human rights abuses, [which] has created a   devastating cycle of increasing conflict and violence”.[6]   The regional and ethnic conflicts are so numerous that fully detailing each   is impossible and impractical. However, there have been a number of major   confrontations that deserve elaboration.

Nigeria,   after nearly four decades of oil production, had by the early 1980s become   almost completely dependent on petroleum extraction economically, generating   25% of its GDP (this   has since risen to 60% as of 2008). Despite the vast wealth created by   petroleum, the benefits have been slow to trickle down to the majority of the   population, who since the 1960s have increasingly been forced to abandon   their traditional agricultural practices. Annual production of both cash   and food crops dropped significantly in the latter decades of 20th century, cocoa   production dropped by 43% (Nigeria was the world’s largest cocoa exporter in   1960), rubber   dropped by 29%, cotton   by 65%, and groundnuts   by 64%.[7]   In spite of the large number of skilled, well-paid Nigerians who have been employed   by the oil corporations, the majority of Nigerians and most especially the   people of the Niger Delta states and the far north have become poorer since   the 1960s.[8]

The Delta   region has a steadily growing population estimated to be over 30 million   people as of 2005, accounting for more than 23% of Nigeria’s total   population. The population density is also among the highest in the world   with 265 people per kilometre-squared (reference NDDC). This   population is expanding at a rapid 3% per year and the oil capital, Port   Harcourt, along with other large towns are growing quickly. Poverty and urbanization   in Nigeria are on the rise, and official corruption is considered a fact of   life. The resultant scenario is one in which there is urbanization but no   accompanying economic growth to provide jobs. This has led to a section of   the growing populace assisting in destroying the ecosystem that they require   to sustain themselves.[7]

The case of Ogoniland   (1992–1995)

See also: Movement for the   Survival of the Ogoni People and Ken   Saro-Wiwa

Ogoniland   is a 404-square-mile (1,050 km2) region in the southeast of   the Niger   Delta basin. Economically viable petroleum   was discovered in Ogoniland in 1957, just one year after the discovery of   Nigeria’s first commercial petroleum deposit, with Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron Corporation setting up shop   throughout the next two decades. The Ogoni   people, a minority ethnic group of about half a million people who call   Ogoniland home, and other ethnic groups in the region attest that during this   time, the government began forcing them to abandon their land to oil   companies without consultation, and offering negligible compensation. This is   further supported by a 1979 constitutional addition which afforded the   federal government full ownership and rights to all Nigerian territory and   also decided that all compensation for land would “be based on the value   of the crops on the land at the time of its acquisition, not on the value of   the land itself.” The Nigerian government could now distribute the   land to oil companies as it deemed fit.[9]

The 1970s   and 1980s saw the government’s empty promises of benefits for the Niger Delta   peoples fall through, with the Ogoni growing increasing dissatisfied and   their environmental, social, and economic apparatus rapidly deteriorating.   The Movement for the   Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) was formed in 1992. MOSOP,   spearheaded by Ogoni playwright and author Ken   Saro-Wiwa, became the major campaigning organization representing the   Ogoni people in their struggle for ethnic and environmental rights. Its   primary targets, and at times adversaries, have been the Nigerian government   and Royal Dutch Shell.

Beginning   in December 1992, the conflict between Ogonis and the oil infrastructure   escalated to a level of greater seriousness and intensity on both sides. Both   parties began carrying out acts of violence and MOSOP issued an ultimatum to   the oil companies (Shell, Chevron, and the Nigerian National Petroleum   Corporation) which demanded some $10 billion in accumulated royalties,   damages and compensation, and “immediate stoppage of environmental   degradation”, and negotiations for mutual agreement on all future   drilling.[10]

The Ogonis   threatened to embark on mass action to disrupt their operation if the   companies failed to comply. By this act, the Ogoni shifted the focus of their   actions from an unresponsive federal government to the oil companies engaged   in their own region. The rationale for this assignment of responsibility were   the benefits accrued by the oil companies from extracting the natural wealth   of the Ogoni homeland, and neglect from central government.

The   government responded by banning public gatherings and declaring that   disturbances of oil production were acts of treason. Oil extraction from the   territory had slowed to a trickle of 10,000 barrels per day (1,600 m3/d)   (.5% of the national total).

Military   repression escalated in May 1994. On May 21, soldiers and mobile policemen   appeared in most Ogoni villages. On that day, four Ogoni chiefs (all on the   conservative side of a schism within MOSOP over strategy) were brutally   murdered. Saro-Wiwa, head of the opposing faction, had been denied entry to   Ogoniland on the day of the murders, but he was detained in connection with   the killings. The occupying forces, led by Major Paul Okuntimo of Rivers   State Internal Security, claimed to be ‘searching for those directly   responsible for the killings of the four Ogonis.’ However, witnesses say that   they engaged in terror operations against the general Ogoni population. Amnesty International characterized the   policy as deliberate terrorism. By mid-June, the security forces had razed 30   villages, detained 600 people and killed at least 40. This figure eventually   rose to 2,000 civilian deaths and the displacement of around 100,000 internal   refugees.[11][12]

In May   1994, nine activists from the movement who would become known as ‘The Ogoni   Nine’, among them Ken Saro-Wiwa, were arrested and accused of incitement   to murder following the deaths of four Ogoni elders. Saro-Wiwa and his   comrades denied the charges, but were imprisoned for over a year before being   found guilty and sentenced to death by a specially convened tribunal,   hand-selected by General Sani Abacha, on 10 November 1995. The activists were   denied due   process and upon being found guilty, were hanged by the   Nigerian state.[13]

The   executions were met with an immediate international response. The trial was   widely criticised by human rights organisations and the governments of   other states, who condemned the Nigerian government’s long history of   detaining their critics, mainly pro-democracy and other political activists.   The Commonwealth of Nations, which had also   plead for clemency, suspended Nigeria’s membership in response. The United   States, the United Kingdom, and the EU   all implemented sanctions, but not on petroleum   (Nigeria’s main export).

Shell   claims it asked the Nigerian government for clemency towards those found   guilty[citation needed],   but its request was refused. However, a 2001 Greenpeace   report found that “two witnesses that accused them [Saro-Wiwa and the   other activists] later admitted that Shell and the military had bribed them   with promises of money and jobs at Shell. Shell admitted having given money   to the Nigerian military, who brutally tried to silence the voices which   claimed justice”.[14]

As of   2006, the situation in Ogoniland has eased significantly, assisted by the   transition to democratic rule in 1999. However, no attempts have been made by   the government or an international body to bring about justice by   investigating and prosecuting those involved in the violence and property   destruction that have occurred in Ogoniland,[15]   although a class action lawsuit has been brought against Shell by individual   plaintiffs in the US.[16]


Links to other resources

Watts, M. (ed) (2008) Curse of the black gold: 50 years of oil in the Niger Delta.   New York: Powerhouse.

Academic discussion:

Also see The Curse of Black Gold:


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