Conflict and Conflict Resolution in the Niger-Delta the Bayelsa Experience



Conflicts, crisis, youths restiveness, hostage taking, kidnapping are recent phenomena that appear synonymous with the Niger Delta, the oil rich region of the Nigerian Nation-State. This region serves as the economic nerve center of the federation. Since the discovery and the production of oil in commercial quantities in 1958 at Oloibiri. Annual budgets of the country had largely depended on oil, with oil revenue accounting for about 80-90% annually which translates into huge financial resources to the federal government, little or nothing is left behind to alleviate the sufferings of the people of this region from whose land bank accounts of transnational companies abroad and the treasury of the federation are been swollen.

The concern of the people from this region is that the Nigerian State has not been fair. The formula being adopted after the discovery of oil is fraudulent to the extent that it deprives them the right to control their resources. They hold ths view against the backdrop that before the discovery of oil and oil revenue the principle of derivation was 100%.

The feeling of neglect, deprivation and underdevelopment has given rise to so many violent conflicts in recent times. From Ondo State in the SouthWest to Cross River State in the South-South region. Notable among these conflicts are: the Ijaw-Arogbo/Ilaje crises, the Warri Crises, these are inter-ethnic crises over resources and Local Government Headquarters, the invasion of Opia, Ikiyan, Odi, Ikebiri, Olugbobiri, Isoko/Olomoro Crises, Evwreni killing and so on.

These are resources driven. The Kaiama declaration, the Ogoni Crises and so on are political and resource driven.

IFE PsychologIA Volume 9 no 3, 2001, pp. 95-111

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eISSN: 1117-1421