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Book cover: Advances in Ecopolitics

Advances in Ecopolitics

ISSN: 2041-806X
Series editor(s): Liam Leonard
Currently published as: Advances in Sustainability and Environmental Justice

Subject Area: Environmental Management/Environment

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Chapter 3 The dilemma of justice: Foreign oil multinationals and human rights violation in the Niger Delta of Nigeria

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Title:Chapter 3 The dilemma of justice: Foreign oil multinationals and human rights violation in the Niger Delta of Nigeria
Author(s):Victor Ojakorotu
Volume:5 Editor(s): Liam Leonard, John Barry ISBN: 978-1-84950-748-6 eISBN: 978-1-84950-749-3
Citation:Victor Ojakorotu (2010), Chapter 3 The dilemma of justice: Foreign oil multinationals and human rights violation in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, in Liam Leonard, John Barry (ed.) Global Ecological Politics (Advances in Ecopolitics, Volume 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.43-72
DOI:10.1108/S2041-806X(2010)0000005007 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article type:Chapter Item

The crisis in the Niger Delta predates discovery of oil in large quantities at Oloibiri in 1956. Before independence in 1960, conflict in the region took the form of agitation for political representation and protection against marginalization by the dominant ethnic groups. However, this crisis took a new dimension in the early 1990s as oil became a major source of foreign exchange and the derivation formula was changed in favour of the federal government with negative consequences on the local people (the need to maintain constant flow of oil have resulted to gross violation of the local people's rights by the state and the oil multinationals) especially under the military regimes. The entrenchment of democracy in the late 1990s further escalated the tripartite conflict between the state, oil multinationals and host communities as the complex crisis drew global attention. The formation of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) and Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) in the 1990s to challenge the abuse of human rights over four decades was overwhelmed applauded by the local people of the region. More importantly, MOSOP was the first social movement in the region to have internationalized the plight of the local people while IYC took over from the period when MOSOP had some internal crises that undermined its struggle.

Equally the achievements of MOSOP and IYC have instigated the formation of other social movements in the Niger Delta as a whole. The pressure from these social movements might have accounted for sudden change of policies by the state and the major oil multinationals in the mid-1990s. However, the fundamental question is to what extent the social movements (MOSOP/IYC) and International civil society have been successful with the issue of human rights abuse in the region.

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