Oil Conflict and Accumulation Politics in Nigeria

By
Kenneth Omeje

Unfortunately, violent conflict between local communities and oil companies in the Niger Delta is not new, dating back to the early1990s. The history and ramifications of the oil conflict in Nigeria, as well as its consequences for statesociety relations, the Niger Delta ecosystem, and the national economy, are well-known. Relatively unknown is the prevalence of a convoluted “rentier space,” its operational mechanisms and centrality to the origin, persistence, and continuation of the oil conflict. In this article, I outline the structure of the culture and patterns of accumulation surrounding oil and its implications for conflict, and attempt to develop a conceptual framework to explain the dynamics of Nigeria’s oil conflict, which could be applied to similar rent-driven extractive economies in the global South.

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