Chapter 9: Opposition Movements and the Youth in Nigeria’s Oil-Producing Area: An Inquiry into Framing
9. Opposition movements and the youth1 in Nigeria’s oil-producing area: an inquiry into framing Katsuya Mochizuki INTRODUCTION This chapter looks at the ongoing evolution and transformation of youth organizations in the oil-producing area of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (the Niger Delta). Since the middle of the twentieth century, Nigeria’s petroleum resources have produced various social contradictions in the Niger Delta. Many of those involved are committed to a struggle over the oil, but they have pursued their own individual interests and have seldom acknowledged or understood the social position and setting of the other parties caught up in the situation. In this struggle, people have also found themselves limited in the political methods that they can employ. Furthermore, the types of action that they have been able to use have mutated as their social environment has changed. The Niger Delta has been the scene of a struggle by local people for autonomy and self-determination. As petroleum resources became critical for the Nigerian economy, this struggle became more serious and more widespread and was, in turn, suppressed. The oil boom in the national economy of the 1970s made these conflicts much worse and tensions were further exacerbated by a deepening of the economic crisis under the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) of the 1980s. Nigeria witnessed a series of organized protests by the local population in the 1990s. The Ogoni and other ethnic minorities in the Niger Delta demanded their fundamental rights and a fair share of the oil wealth. The...
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