The Poverty of Crisis Management Strategies in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: A Focus on the Amnesty Programme
The oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria has for many years been the site of environmental degradation, violence, vandalism, and chaos. The exploration and extraction of oil mineral resources is at the root of this problem. Conflicts between the region‟s residents and the Federal Government of Nigeria started as soon as the oil multinationals began setting up their operations. Over time, the people have had successive federal and state governments disregard their needs. Environmental degradation, pollution from oil spills and gas flares not only destroy the people‟s lands and livelihood, they shorten life expectancy. These resulted in local unrest and gradually deteriorated into armed struggle, obstructing local and national socio-economic development. By 1998, the region had become a “lawless zone”, where youths disrupted oil production activities, engaged in kidnapping and hostage talking, and communities frequently engaged with little provocation in destructive inter- and intra- community strife. Successive administrations have employed several strategies to resolve and manage the crisis in the region without success. The Amnesty Programme introduced in 2009 by Late President Yar‟Adua is one of such strategies. This study seeks to examine the inadequacies and short-comings of the Amnesty Programme as a crisis management strategy in the Niger Delta.