The consequences of ethnic minorities agitations in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria
Dr. Deedam Dorka Godbless, Akpe Charehill Okechukwu
This paper examines and explores the consequences of ethnic minorities’ agitations in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The paper reveals that the ethnic minorities in the Niger Delta were forced to agitate and made several demands from the multinationals oil companies operating in the area and the federal government who paid deaf ears to the yearnings, aspirations and existence of the host communities. The people lacked basic necessities of life, such as good roads, portable water, electricity, good hospitals etc. and are faced with environmental degradation as well as flaring of gases at close proximity to human habitation. This legitimate agitation and non violence protest led to intense crises and conflicts. This led to the death of so many people while communities were razed down and properties worth million of naira destroyed by the police and army operating in the area. More importantly, so many militia groups sprang up (unemployed youths) in anger and in reaction to the long years of neglect and exploitation. This also deepened the crises, and led to economic sabotage which is the direct result of kidnapping, illegal refineries, vandalisation of oil facilities etc. All these affected our foreign earnings. I therefore strongly recommend that the federal government should initiate a sustainable programme that will re-integrate the ex-militants, as well as given them the opportunity to access loans from the banks so that they can establish their businesses and become self reliance. Again, constant flaring of gases at close proximity to human habitation should be stopped while proper cleansing of the environment should be carried out (international standard).