5- Slow Death in the Niger Delta
Corresponding Author(s) : Sanya Osha
Africa Review of Books,
Vol. 2 No. 1 (2006): Africa Review of Books, Volume 2, n° 1, 2006
Where Vultures Feast: Shell, Human Rights, and Oil
by Ike Okonta and Oro
In order to understand the various ramifications of the Ogoni crisis, it is necessary to track how the combination of local and global political violence unleashed the peculiar brew that has transformed in ecological terms not only Ogoniland but the Niger Delta as a whole. It is the mix of local and global terror that created the volatile situation that affects the entire region. The expansion of capital, to a large extent, must be blamed for the various forms of destruction affecting the Niger Delta. We are often reminded that “the Niger Delta has substantial oil and gas reserves. Oil mined in the area accounts for 95 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings and about one-fourth of Gross Domestic Product” (p. 18). It is necessary to provide various interpretations for political terror in relation to the crisis in the Niger Delta. In order to do so, I will address Ike Okonta and Oronto-Douglas’s study of the ecological crisis in the Niger Delta and suggest ways in which it can be construed theoretically. I shall also address broader phenomenologies of political violence which their study does not completely foreground even though it provides excellent descriptions of gross governmental corruption and the duplicity of multinational capital.