Oil Wars in the Niger Delta: 1849 – 2009 by Tekena Tamuno
Oil Wars in the Niger Delta: 1849 – 2009 focuses on the perennial Niger Delta Question over justice, equity, equality, development, quality of life, peace and more, in a common fatherland or motherland. It did not find quick and widely agreed answers in what eventually became the Nigerian polity of ethnic pluralism and cultural diversity. But in this competently researched, analytical and authoritative study, it has received the attention it deserved since the era of Consular Jurisdiction in 1849. The searchlight has focused, appropriately and adequately, on the germane issues of micro-nationalism and macro-nationalism. Here, oil wars were best seen as series of combats with a dominant command and control authority before and since Nigeria’s emergence as a state. The big shift from palm oil to crude oil, from 1958, for purposes of Revenue-Derivation, brought consequential challenges and opportunities, including Resource Control. Understandably, the vision and mission of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) as well as burning issues which inflamed passions in what the author called the oxygen-states of the Niger Delta took centre-stage. This valuable documentary study candidly presents the pros and cons of fierce debates on Resource Control at the national level.