Since the mid-1980's, the issue of security has become a significant
point of contention for the petroleum industry in Nigeria. The environmental,
economic, political and social deprivation the industry created within
the oil-producing regions of Nigeria threatened not only the security
of the communities of the Niger Delta, but the State's and the industry's
stability as well. Mass community protests against multinationals began
with the Ogharefe women's protest in 1984 against US Pan Ocean. Increasingly
since this protest, the Nigerian State and multinational oil corporations'
actions have been to secure oil production through military means in an
effort to protect national and international security. However, their
actions further threatened the security of the Delta communities and the
future of the industry. As violence intensified, an international debate
developed around the petroleum industry, which questions the security
interests of the State, the corporations and the western sphere of influence
over the production of oil. This paper seeks to identify the growing security
concerns in the Niger Delta and provide insight as to how and why the
breeches in national, international and global security continue to proliferate
within the global production of oil.
Since the end of the Cold War, the field of security studies has expanded
to incorporate notions of security beyond the threat of interstate warfare.(1)
Security issues now include economic, social and environmental factors.
The field is also changing to include individual and collective actors
as active participants in addition to state actors as it has become apparent
that state foreign policy can be affected by individuals and collective
groups. A significant debate exists about the placement of these 'new'
factors within the discipline of 'traditional' security studies. Realists
claim the involvement of these factors tarnish the true intellectual meaning
behind the field. They claim defense mechanisms for economics or the environment
should be handled by diplomatic international institutions or framework
rather than through military means.(2) However, it is becoming increasingly
apparent that international institutions, particularly the World Bank's
involvement in extractive industries, are funding development programs
that rely on military force to protect its success. In the case of Nigeria,
national and international military defense is used to protect economic,
social and environmental programs funded by The Bank and multinational
According to Lawrence Freedman, international security focuses around
"questions of force", which include all forms of military activity
and analyze the conditions that lead up to or put an end to organized
violence.(3) Gwyn Prins explains security studies as "high politics-state
politics-and military force, which secures the state", which is seen
as a form of protection.(4) Furthering this definition of security, Prins
places security in a global context three ways:
(i) into substantial and powerful existing ideas and institutions of
the most reformable of the agents of power;
(ii) into key underpinning values, such as justice, which lack such
instruments and opportunities; and
(iii) into traditions of normative discourse and practical reasoning
may give us the means to link and interlock the other two.(5)
Global security moves beyond the military standpoint, and examines what
is known as "threats without enemies", such as pollution and
poverty.(6) These definitions of security are important to think about
when discussing the expansion of national and international social movements
within the Delta region. Ellen Dorsey explains that it is the "quest
of certain levels of economic and social well-being
" that is the "primary motivating force" for participation
in protests and social movements. She furthers that "social movement
participation is an attempt by the individual to redress the deficiencies
in the state's capacity to provide security and to reclaim the polity".(7)
Therefore, social movements are placed into the realm of security studies.
Security in Numbers
The growing petro-movement has had a profound affect on oil production
and State politics by contributing to the instability of the region by
discouraging oil activity and halting production capabilities.(8) The
growth and strength of the petro-movement during the 1990's has forced
the petroleum states, multinational corporations and international supporters
of petroleum to recognize the global security issues of the oil producing
communities, as well as the national and international security concerns
of the industry and the State.(9)
According to Dorsey, the growing phenomena of an "emerging global
consciousness" is best displayed through the participation in transnational
social movements (TSM). Dorsey explains that a TSM's purpose is "to
broaden the realm of political participation and concurrently expand public
discourse on foreign policy issues".(10) This objective is achieved
through a process, which begins with a "local based strategy"
that is "linked across issues and methods" within a global arena
creating a "transnational public space for the promotion of individual
interests and rights".(11) There are four characteristics of a TSM.
1. [It] is a community of individuals linked by a solidarity of concerns
of agendas. Their shared consciousness is global in nature and transcends
interest of one societal or political context.
2. [They] operate as loosely constructed webs of activism with smaller
linked through different organizational forms, overlapping memberships,
contact between participants.
3. [It's] activity is characteristically a non-institutional means of
participation; a politics
of non-violence, of challenging state accountability, of resistance
and of creating alternative sources of information.
4. The self-conscious recognition of the global movement by the participants
TSM's are important because they create global agendas out of local demands
of social, economic and/or political justice. As the saying goes, there
is strength in numbers. Global agendas incorporate a multitude of participants
(both state and non-state actors) into an issue that affects the future
of international relations. These participants add to the existing pressure
that affects foreign policy objectives creating a "new mechanism
for the exertion of political power" and enhances the urgency of
the claim.(13) TSM's speed up the process of cause and effect.
The Niger Delta's alignment with international organizations and transnational
social movements was a strategically successful maneuver. For example,
the Ogonis used local and international forums to gain support for their
movement. The Ogoni Bill of Rights was presented to the United Nations
Sub-Committee of Human Rights on the Prevention of Discrimination Against
and Protection of Minorities, the African Human Rights Commission, Rain
Forest Action Group, Green Peace, the tenth session of the Working Group
on Indigenous Populations in Geneva (1992), and the General Assembly of
the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization at the Hague (1993).(14)
Coverage of the Ogoni's and other oil producing communities' plight by
international organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Project Underground
expanded the platform of the communities' grievances into a global arena.(15)
Mainstream media, such as the Economist, increased reportage on oil related
issues in the Delta, which broadened the audience involved in the movement.(16)
Nigerian based organizations aligning with US based organizations to do
conscious-raising talks across the US contributed to increased support
for the oil producing communities' argument against oil corporations'
practices, exclusive Nigerian state structures and the western sphere
of influence that protected petroleum production over human rights.(17)
These petro movements that evolved in Nigeria since the mid-1980's were
a reaction to the inequalities within state development and petroleum
The Start of Something Dirty
Black oil: lucrative and powerful, yet corruptive and noxious. Numerous
scholars have written on the affects of oil production on state development
and international relations.(18) A "petro-state"(19) unequivocally
blends its economic and political policies to secure its position in a
powerful petroleum world market. According to Fernando Cardoso and Enzo
Faletto, economic power is politics.(20) Petroleum was security for the
Nigerian State and had to be protected at all costs by its beneficiaries.
As economic strength in oil grew for Nigeria, political and social structures
became more problematic. Historically, oil production has always maintained
the interests of the western sphere, particularly the US. The oil interests
of the US dictated the increased interference of US foreign policy into
the Nigerian market and political affairs. US economic interests in Nigeria
altered development of the State in a way that favored a secure petroleum
industry and disregarded global security concerns.
By Nigerian independence, petroleum was Nigeria's main export.(21) Due
to its versatility, Nigerian oil was a valued commodity on the world market.(22)
High revenues led to an inevitable pairing of politics and economics and
the increasing political power of oil.(23) Many of the exclusionary rules
and regulations within the oil industry were residuals from Britain's
attempts to maintain economic control during colonial rule.(24) The political
and economic structures of oil production practiced after independence
remained exclusionary. According to Augustine Ikein, international oil
companies were a replication of colonial interests: inhabiting Africa
to profit from the extraction of raw materials while disregarding indigenous
claims to ownership and participation.(25) In addition to the multinational
corporations' attempts to control the resource, Nigerian political elite
sought to control the country's petro-wealth.
An early example of national security of oil production was during The
Biafran War (1966-1970). During the Nigerian civil war, the issue of oil
royalty payments increased the conflict. Since the oil fields were located
in the east, the secessionists(26) demanded payment of oil royalties.
However, the Federal Military Government warned that any company who paid
royalties to Biafra would have their licenses and concessions revoked,
thus threatening continued production for the multinationals.(27) These
payments to the FMG aided in the demise of Biafra and depicted growing
lack of security for the Niger Delta communities. Hostilities increased
within oil producing areas of the Niger Delta towards the industry, the
international sphere and the State.(28)
By the end of the war, Nigeria embraced an assertive foreign policy with
the US and Britain. The confidence of Nigeria's political elite grew with
price increases and production capabilities. Nigeria and US economic ties
were strengthened due to the success of oil production.(29) The success
made the discussion of oil revenue distribution a focal point in domestic
policy. Producing communities demanded a share in the economic security
oil offered. However, the political elite found it necessary to harbor
revenues to protect the national interest of their newly powerful position
in the international sphere.(30) Historic exclusionary practices against
minority ethnic groups only increased the instability of the State.(31)
The Booming 1970s?
With the reliance on oil production, Nigeria lost agricultural security.(32)
Prior to the oil boom, Nigeria was an international agricultural exporter
of cocoa, groundnuts, palm oil, rubber, cotton and hides. Oil wealth drowned
out these commodities and disenfranchised the workers who were mainly
women. State development planning relied upon oil revenues for funding
and caused Nigeria to rely on western economies and multinationals for
income. The State became vulnerable toward western recessions.(33) National
economic security came into question. The State attempted to secure its
control of the industry in 1969, when the military government wrote a
decree(34) that declared the federal government had primary ownership
and control of the petroleum in Nigeria and then established the Nigerian
National Oil Corporation. In 1977, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation
(NNPC) was constructed out of the merger of the Nigerian National Oil
Corporation and the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources.(35)
During this time, the US increased its business interest despite its
distrust of Nigeria's nationalization movement. The US State Department
put pressure on embassy personnel in Lagos to relay US concern of the
shifting oil policy. In turn, the Nigerian government restricted US personnel
from contacting Nigerian oil functionaries.(36) The Nigerian government
clearly wanted control of its own market, but these political games only
increased US commitment to be involved in Nigeria's economic and political
affairs.(37) In September of 1979, Stephen Solarz, Chairman of the Subcommittee
on Africa in the House of Representatives, declared Nigeria as a necessary
source of oil and economic investment:
Nigeria has become the most important state in black Africa and one of
the most influential nations in the Third World
with a population
of 80 million people, and still untapped sources of oil, Nigeria is bound
to continue as a growing partner in U.S. trade and investment into the
1980's and beyond.(38)
The US wanted Nigerian oil.(39) Acknowledging the continued power of
oil, the US took Nigeria seriously for fear "Nigeria might use its
oil as a political tool in its relationship with the United States".(40)
The Nixon Administration then announced the US would "intervene militarily
to ensure the continuation of oil to western countries".(41) A public
declaration that foresighted the military use of force to protect the
industry. Despite these perceived threats, Nigeria used their oil leverage
to accumulate substantive power and money throughout the 1970's.(42) In
1974, the FMG received a 55% share of Shell-BP, Mobil, Gulf, AFIP-Phillips,
Texaco and Chevron. These compensation costs alone would bring over $9
billion in revenues to the FMG.(43)
The oil boom inspired imprudent spending on Nigeria's military, extravagant
'development' projects, financial aid to the rest of Africa, government
salaries and personal pockets.(44) The boom, in conjuncture with historically
corrupt political structures, made it extremely difficult for heads of
state to turn over power to representatives chosen by the people or address
revenue distribution arguments.(45) This political instability spurred
severe disengagement between the State and society. People challenged
the authoritative structures that failed to recognize their needs.(46)
In response to community complaints, the State chose to ignore, apply
force or institute government policy to silence their opposing voices.(47)
The State had entered an alliance of oil best described by Cardosa's and
Faletto's concept of the "pact of domination".(48) This pact
consisted of Nigerian political elite, multinational oil corporations
and the western sphere of influence, particularly the US, in an effort
to protect the oil industry for the pact members' economic and political
interests. As a result of this alliance, the oil industry has become increasingly
The Secure Position of a State with Oil
Throughout the 1970's there existed an illusion of security for Nigeria.
Other African states looked to Nigeria for many services and security.
African states saw Nigeria as a mediator, military assistance and economic
strength for Africa's increasing security problems.(49) Nigeria joined
the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in 1971 reinforcing
their economic value to not only Africa, but the world market as well.(50)
Western democratic beliefs were pushed on the productive State and in
October 1975, General Muhammed was active in creating the Constitution
Drafting Committee to ensure a commitment to the return of civilian rule.(51)
An appeasing thought for pro-democracy US. However, Muhammed's November
1975 decision to recognize the communist MPLA regime in Angola upset Nigeria's
western allies and introduced international political suspicion and concern
for the future of oil production.(52) The US attempted to pressure Nigeria
into remaining neutral and Muhammed sent a diplomatic team to the US to
assure investors that the disagreement between the two countries rested
only in Angola and economic ties should be maintained despite the US's
concern.(53) This was Nigeria's attempt to illustrate its political security.
However, the pact was threatened over these differences in political interests
and the attempted separation of politics and economics was unable to endure
western pressure. When General Olusegun Obasanjo replaced assassinated
Muhammed, he professed that Nigeria would "defend justice",
"human dignity" and "world peace", by using oil politics
to force Nigeria's position in the southern African struggles for independence.(54)
Nigeria threatened to cut oil supplies to Britain unless they changed
their policies towards Rhodesia. This introduced what the US feared, oil
as a "weapon" into Nigeria's foreign policy objectives and opened
the door for military presence.(55)
In 1979 civilian President Shehu Shagari was elected and won US approval
of $65 million in economic aid and political presence in Nigeria.(56)
When oil revenues fell, Shagari lost US popularity. In 1982, Nigeria fell
from the second most important supplier of crude oil to the seventh for
the US.(57) The US government welcomed the 1983 coup that booted Shagari
out of office.(58) His replacement, General Muhammadu Buhari, was known
as the "least competent and most hated leader"(59) by the Nigerian
people and declared a "pro-western figure who could help restore
stability and keep Nigeria aligned with the west" by the US government.(60)
Western political and economic support for unstable regimes added to the
problems of state-society relations and contributed to the growing insecurity
within oil production.
In addition to the political and economic insecurity the oil industry
offered the Niger Delta region, production also destroyed environmental
and social aspects described in the global security context. The oil producing
regions of the Niger Delta are predominant regions for farming, fishing,
forestry, mangroves and wetlands.(61) Nigeria has the third largest mangrove
forest in the world and the largest in Africa. These forests are the homes
to numerous species, including endangered species such as the Delta elephant,
the white-crested monkey, the river hippopotamus and crocodiles.(62) The
exploration and production of oil has significantly altered these habitats
and people's livelihoods. Frynas recognizes three methods of exploration:
1. Analysis of existing geological and other information. This step
is a study of geological and geochemical information. It involves little
or no contact with village communities.
2. Seismic surveys. This step gathers information through sound waves
into the earth's crust to measure the depth of the rock layers. In order
to survey, the land/water must be cleared of all vegetation. Explosives
are detonated a few metres below the ground surface. It involves close
contact with the village communities.
3. Exploration drilling. This involves massive clearing of vegetation,
the building of access roads and canals, large holes drilled into the
ground and the use of specialized industrial equipment. It involves
even closer contact with the village communities.(63)
When production began, endangering environmental issues rose because
of the way oil is produced and transported. A mixture of oil and gas float
to the surface due to the lightness of gas and reservoir pressure issues.
The mixture of oil, gas and water is transported via pipeline from a well
head to a flow station where gas will be removed from the oil and water
and be flared. The oil/water is transported to an export terminal where
the water is removed and the crude oil is loaded on tankers.(64) Spills
during transportation occur and further damage the environment.
Exploration and production negatively affect producing communities because
the activities cause destruction of vegetation, water drainage issues,
contaminated or lack of farm land, oil spills, gas flares, waste products,
polluted water sources, blockage of land use, degradation of living organisms
and health hazards.(65) According to Innocent Aprioku and industry sources,
there are three types of oil spills: equipment failure, human error and
sabotage.(66) Spills are detrimental to the land and communities because
of the fires they generate and the large quantity of oil that saturates
the ground contaminating and killing flora and fauna.(67)
Gas flaring releases carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen suphide,
nitrogen dioxide and sulphur oxide, which damage vegetation, buildings
and people. The release of these poisonous gases into the environment
contributes to local and global problems such as acid rain, the greenhouse
effect and global warming. Most of the flares in the Delta are horizontal
and produce higher heat and chemicals. Besides the above listed hazards,
flares also scare away wildlife. This has a serious affect upon a community
that depends on hunting. Waste products from refineries, petrochemical
plants, export terminals, storage tanks and deballasting tankers get dumped
into streams and coastal waters further debilitating crops, mangroves,
marine life and beaches.(68)
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the oil producing communities suffered
environmental and health hazards, however the Nigerian government, multinational
oil companies and western foreign policy leaders continued to work together
to secure business as usual. While the 1970s proved to be successful revenue
years, the 1980s became known as the lost decade for Nigeria. Although
Nigeria seemed to gain wealth and political prestige in the international
sphere, the 1980s proved it would remain a peripheral state that was subject
to its one commodity of oil. Painstakingly, the problems of the Delta
communities would intensify and break out into mass protest action against
the petroleum industry in the 1980's.
The threat of the Delta communities on the oil industry was evident by
the time of the 1984 mass protest led by Ogharefe women against US Pan
Ocean. These women changed the way the community would react to the oil
industry. They halted production through dance, song and the threat of
nakedness in an effort to restore their community's economic, environmental
and social security.(69) After this protest, community action against
the State and multinationals increased with a series of mass protests
demanding economic, political and social justice.(70) The mass halting
of production threatened the State and the industry's power significantly
and resulted in State-sponsored violence against the communities. Since
the mid-1980s there have been numerous attempts to violently squash any
oil-producing community activity against the oil industry in an effort
to protect the industry. Threats and insecurities surrounding the politics
of oil continued to heighten throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s.(71)
Andrew Rowell and Stephen Kretzmann constructed a detailed timeline of
violence in Nigeria, particularly in relation to the Ogoni movement. By
using examples from their timeline, as well as incorporating reported
security related events from other sources, it is evident petroleum production
in Nigeria is a wide scale security issue. Some examples of the threats
created by the communities, the State and oil corporations are as follows:
1987 - The Iko community demonstrated against Shell. The Mobile Police
Force (MPF), locally known as "kill-and-go" were sent to quash
the demonstration. According to the Nigerian-based Environmental Rights
Action, 40 houses were destroyed and 350 people made homeless by the
MPF's attack. (72)
10/29/90 - The Etche people demonstrated against Shell at Umuechem.
J. R. Udofia, the divisional manager of SPDC's eastern division wrote
to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police. In a letter entitled "Threat
of Disruption of our Operations at Umuechem by Members of the Umuechem
Community", the letter read "we request that you urgently
provide us with security protection (preferably Mobile Police Force)
at this location."(73) Up to eighty people were killed and 495
7/92 - The Mobile Police Force were sent to quell an anti-Shell demonstration
at Bonny. The Force killed a 21-year-old man, shot 30 people and beat
150 individuals. The protesters were complaining that Shell had not
provided them with basic facilities - water, roads, electricity - despite
being in the area for over 20 years.(75)
1/4/93 - 300,000 Ogoni protest against Shell's activities and the environmental
destruction of Ogoniland.(76)
2/93 - SPDC and Shell International Petroleum Company met in The Hague
and London to discuss the internationalization of the Ogoni issue. Company
officials discussed the need for environmental improvements especially
in relation to spills, flares, air and water quality. They also proposed
that "SPDC and SIPC PA departments to keep each other more closely
informed to ensure that movements of key players, what they say and
to whom is more effectively monitored to avoid unpleasant surprises
and adversely affect the reputation of the Group as a whole." (77)
4/18/93 - Ken Saro Wiwa, leader of the Ogoni movement, was arrested
at Port Harcourt International Airport and held for 16 hours without
charge, but then released. He was re-arrested five days later.(78)
4/29/93 - Protests disrupted oil production at Shell's Forcados base
for two days.(79)
4/28-30/93 - a large group of Ogoni women blocked the US pipeline contractor
for Shell, Willbros, from entering and bulldozing Ogoni farmland. The
protest grew to around 10,000 people and Willbros called in the Nigerian
army who killed one and injured several. The contractor was forced out.
Shell claimed it legally required the land and paid compensation to
the community, however the chiefs that Shell made the deal with were
not representatives of MOSOP and they did not consult the organization.
A letter from Willbros to SPDC stated "Fortunately there was a
military presence to control the situation". (80)
5/2/93 - The Government passed the Treason and Treasonable Offenses
Decree 1993, making the simple calls for minority autonomy a treasonable
offense, punishable by death. It became known as the "Ken Saro-Wiwa
6/21/93 - Soldiers were moved into Port Harcourt to put down demonstrations
about the arrest of Ken Saro-Wiwa and others. MOSOP reported indiscriminate
beatings and arrests. (82)
8/5/93 - Over 100 Ogoni were killed in the town at Kaa, on the Ogoni
and Andoni border. The town was effectively destroyed, and 8,000 were
made homeless. Soldiers later testified that they were involved in the
attack. MOSOP blamed the military for inciting the clash and SPDC for
its complicity. 20 similar incidents were to occur over the coming months.(83)
10/4/93 - 5,000 people demonstrated against an Elf refinery in Obagi,
which led to crackdowns by the Mobile Police Force over the coming months
2/12/94 - Violence erupted between police and Obagi villagers over a
computer that had purportedly been stolen from Elf's premises. Police
returned on 2/19/94 and looted homes and beat and shot individuals indiscriminately.(85)
2/21/94 - Residents of Rumuobiokani staged a peaceful protest outside
Shell's facility in order to demand a meeting with a SPDC. A Shell security
agent ordered the demonstrators to disperse. Some time later, armed
soldiers and members of the MPF arrived. The forces fired indiscriminately,
made arrests and beat demonstrators. Five people were shot. Shell admitted
that the arrival of these forces in this context was "embarrassing".
3-8/94- A series of memo's were sent back and forth between Shell representatives,
government military officials requesting more military presence in the
11/10/95 - Ken Saro-Wiwa, and another eight Ogoni were sentenced to
3/28/98- the day after the U.S. President made his African Growth and
Opportunity speech, Chevron was involved in political oil killings.
The Chevron Company transported Nigerian soldiers, in company vehicles,
to the Parabe oil platform where activists were protesting. Two protesters
were shot to death, others wounded, and eleven imprisoned.(89)
12/98--Two warships and 10-15,000 Nigerian troops occupied Bayelsa and
Delta states as the Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC) mobilized for Operation
Climate Change, two weeks of nonviolent action to shut down gas flares
in their homeland. Soldiers entering the Bayelsa state capital of Yenagoa
announced they had come to attack the youths trying to stop the oil
companies. Two thousand young people processed through Yenagoa, dressed
in black, singing and dancing. Soldiers opened fire with rifles, machine
guns, and tear gas, killing at least three protesters and arresting
twenty-five more. After a march demanding the release of those detained
was turned back by soldiers, three more protesters were shot dead. The
military declared a state of emergency throughout Bayelsa State, imposed
a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and banned meetings. At military roadblocks,
local residents were severely beaten or detained. At night, soldiers
invaded private homes, terrorizing residents with beatings and women
and girls with rape.(90)
1/4/99-- Chevron transported about one hundred soldiers from the military
base at Chevron's Escravos facility aboard its leased speedboats and
a helicopter to Opia and Ikiyan, two Ijaw communities in Delta State.
Soldiers on board opened fire indiscriminately at each village. Bright
Pablogba, the traditional leader of Ikiyan, who came to the river to
negotiate with the soldiers, was shot along with a seven-year-old girl
and possibly dozens of others. Of the approximately 1,000 people living
in the two villages, four people were found dead and sixty-two were
still missing months after the attack. The same soldiers set the villages
ablaze, destroyed canoes and fishing equipment, killed livestock, and
destroyed churches and religious shrines.(91)
These examples are a mere fraction of the violent events that haven taken
place in Nigeria over the past two decades. As more people speak out against
oil production and the Nigerian State, more people are subject to military
threats. Be it shot, beaten, arrested, detained, exiled or killed, State
action has made it clear that the security of oil production overrides
the rights of its citizens.(92)
All Those for Military Action Say Yeah
One of the most troubling factors about the military violence in Nigeria
is that it has continued to increase throughout democratic transition
with the support of multinationals, the US and western funding institutions.
The quickness of the multinationals to call in Nigerian soldiers, the
increased involvement of the US in Nigerian oil affairs and the expansion
of World Bank funding for extractive industries have been significant
contributions to the problematic security issues surrounding oil production.
Democratic transition was delayed repetitively by Nigeria's authoritative
leaders. During the height of the global tensions in the 1990's that surrounded
General Sani Abacha's blatant disregard for human rights, President Clinton
pushed for the "expeditious" passage of the African Growth and
Opportunity Act (the "African NAFTA") during his State of the
Union Address. The goals of this act were to reform economic growth in
the countries of Africa (particularly Nigeria) and establish stronger
business ties between the US and Nigeria.(93) The day after Clinton's
Address, US Chevron drove Nigerian soldiers to kill unarmed protesters.
International activist and lawyer, Oronto Douglas, declared "it is
very clear that Chevron, just like Shell, uses the military to protect
its oil activities
they drill and they kill"(94) Throughout
the entire crisis, the US continued to look out for its oil interests
by granting money for democratic and development programs.(95) During
the 12 March 1998 meeting at the Brookings Institution on American Policy
on Africa, Condolezza Rice, at that time Assistant Secretary of State,
announced that "the US government would not accept electoral victory
by any military candidate in Nigeria's forthcoming presidential election".(96)
Yet, during President Clinton's tour of Africa in April of 1998, he "dropped
the hint that Abacha might just be acceptable to the US if elected president
as a civilian".(97) These contradictory examples support the goal
of the members of the pact of domination for a productive oil industry,
but reinforced a politically weak state.
In 1998, mobilization efforts of the communities were achieving new levels.
One of their largest obstacles, General Abacha, died in June. International
mounting pressures led General Abdulsalami Abubukar to return Nigeria
to democratic elections(98). President Obasanjo's first attempts in office
seemed exemplary.(99) However, almost immediately after elections, conflict
re-emerged and continued to de-stabilize the country. The daily news was
plastered with religious disagreements resulting in massacres,(100) environmental
and human degradation committed by oil companies,(101) and unlimited protests
against oil production resulting in more state-sanctioned violence.(102)
Armed security continued to be focal point of Nigerian daily life. Multinational
oil companies, worried of losing production revenue, increased security
levels with military personnel and private security agents who suppressed
protests with violent military retaliation.(103) The US continued to worsen
the problem by increase military training in Nigeria and listing the Niger
Delta as a terrorist region that must be supervised by the US against
violent acts by Nigeria's people.(104) These declarations are an attempt
to position the US government and military as protectors of Nigeria's
security and ultimately the protectors of the industry.
So what does this mean for the future of Nigeria's industry? What are
the consequences of the US using its political, economic and now military
influence within the oil producing State in an attempt to achieve stability
within the industry? The problem goes beyond Nigeria's oil industry, it
is indicative of the industry on a global scale. Corrupt oil practices
that deprive people of their security leads to mass protests and international
social movement alignments, which in turn spurs State-sanctioned violence
supported by international actors as a means to protect national and international
security concerns of the oil industry. It is a snow ball effect that has
no end because each side threatens the security needs of the other. With
each year, the problem continues to expand by the addition of new actors
and security issues.
Enter World Bank
In 1985, a World Bank study analyzed the effects of petroleum on Cameroon.
The authors state in their introduction that the recent experience of
several oil-exporting developing countries has shown that petroleum revenues
can be a mixed blessing. Despite their potential for financing investment
required for economic growth, these revenues can bring about structural
changes in the economy that may be undesirable.(105)
In 1989, a World Bank study focused on petroleum trading and how to develop
the traders of the "developing countries [that] have lagged behind
those in the developed countries".(106) In 1997, a World Bank study
was released that examined the growth of petroleum demand in 1971-1993.
This study showed that world oil demand increased by 18.3 million barrels
per day and the demand in developing countries tripled raising their demand
from 15% to 33%, yet developing countries' levels were only one-tenth
of OECD levels. This study projected that oil demand would double the
1993 figure by 2010. It warned that the rise in demand would have "significant
implications for the world market, governments, industry and environment".(107)
In 1998, The Bank published a study that took into account "social
concerns" of the petroleum industry. The following is the abstract
of this study: Corporations within developing countries often have a profound
impact on the social fabric of the area within which they operate, particularly
in sectors such as mining and oil and gas. Even the more socially responsible
corporations have difficulty in managing their relations with and responsibilities
towards local communities and other stakeholders. This publication deals
with the integration of social concerns into project planning and development
in the mining and oil and gas sectors. It explores the government, corporate,
and NGO / community factors-referred to as critical success factors-which
support the integration of social concerns. The primary focus is corporations,
and a series of recommendations are presented to assist corporations to
manage the social aspects of their activities. The publication also explores
the linkages between social and environmental assessment of projects,
identifies current practices with respect to social assessment, and makes
specific recommendations on their integration. The publication is aimed
at both strategic decisionmakers (within corporations, governments and
NGOs), and at those with direct responsibility for managing social issues
at project levels.(108)
The first observation about these examples is the evolution of The Bank's
papers. Back in 1985, The Bank explains that oil production is needed
for economic growth, but destabilizes other aspects of the economy because
of the focus on one extremely powerful commodity. World Bank statistics
verify the destabilization with examples such as, continued positive growth
for food imports in oil producing states.(109) The 1989 study suggests
the negative economic effects of oil production can be overcome with proper
trading skills. It then becomes The Bank's position to teach these trading
skills. The 1997 study explains that oil demand will continue to grow,
despite alternative means of energy. Therefore, oil production must continue
and government policies become the critical factor in keeping prices stable
for consumption. The Bank and governments aligned together to protect
the future of the industry. The 1998 example begins to address the problems
of the 1970s in relation to the oil producing communities, albeit incompletely.
The purpose of the 1998 study was to illustrate accountability aspects
for corporations in the oil industry in order to secure the future of
the industry. However this acknowledgment places The Bank as the authority
on corporate accountability and security issues in the areas of oil, gas
and mining. All of these reports focus on how to support the petroleum
industry securely and productively through the self-declared authority
of The Bank.
The World Bank increasingly involved itself in moneymaking policies that
primarily benefit corporations rather than the communities in which The
Bank claims to aid. According to Cray and Kretzmann, the International
Finance Corporation (IFC) funds "large infrastructure projects"
such as oil because it is among the most profitable.(110) The Bank has
also aligned with the oil corporations. Cray and Kretzmann point out that
between 1992 and 2001, The Bank approved $18.5 billion in oil, gas and
coal projects in 25 developing countries.(111) One of the problems with
these funding policies is local communities are hardly consulted with,
rather it is corporate affiliates that meet with IFC representatives to
discuss funding approvals.(112) Along with excluding those people it is
claiming to offer development to, The Bank overlooks its role in contributing
to political, social and economic unrest in oil producing regions by continuing
copious amounts of funding to oil corporations.(113) It is clear that
the IFC is not out to help the poor directly. Cray and Kretzmann point
out that Virginia based Applied Energy Services (AES) is the "largest
independent power producer in the world" and the company that benefits
the most from IFC.(114) The Bank, contradictory to its development claims,
creates larger obstacles for the people of the oil producing regions and
adds significantly to the security issues surrounding petroleum.
The Problematic Pipeline- Yet Another Example
Oil development in Chad has also been problematic. Oil exploration began
in the 1970s and was discovered at Doba Basin. Conoco, Chevron, Exxon
and Shell were the major participants in the area. Civil war in the late
1970s halted activity. By 1993, Exxon, Shell and Elf were the only competitors.
Development was to begin again in 1994 with Exxon and Shell hold 40% each
of the shares and Elf holding 20%. Between 1992-1996 violence between
the rebels (Armed Forces of the Federal Republic) and President Idress
Déby forces occupied the region and prolonged oil development.
By the end of 1997, the rebel leader was dead and the government's focus
on oil became a reality. The oil corporations felt that if they received
World Bank funding for development, it would offer stability to the region
and the corporations through "revenue management assistance, environmental
and social oversight, and risk mitigation".(115)
Since its inception, The Bank's funding of the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline
raised controversy. Both the IFC and the International Development Association
(IDA) branches of The Bank contributed $370 million to the project, which
by first analysis seems low. However, it is The Bank's presence that contributed
to the security of the project for Exxon, Shell and Elf corporations and
the government. Due to the problems of the Nigerian oil industry, the
Chad-Cameroon project revolved around avoiding security issues.(116) Despite
attempts at avoiding instability, the pipeline project caused civil unrest
much like that of Nigeria with issues of environmental damage and social
inequalities because The Bank aligned with corporations and governments
and failed to incorporate the local communities, thus maintaining the
western sphere of influence.(117) Nigeria had introduced a petro-movement
that completely changed the politics of the oil industry.
Douglas Yates and Ian Gary detailed the environmental, political, economic,
and social problems generated through the construction of the pipeline.
Some of the devastating effects they list are as follows:
1. pressure reduction units used for the pipeline and the digging involved
in creating the pipeline damaged and polluted local villages well water
2. clear cutting of oil growth trees and agriculture to make space for
the 1,070 kilometers of pipeline has contributed to illegal forestry,
3. compensation for land acquired was minimal
4. the terms of the agreement negotiated by ExxonMobil, the operator,
holding 40% of the investments, the consortium will receive 55 % of
the oil receipts, the government of Chad will receive 36 %, and the
government of Cameroon will receive 9 %
5. the pipeline is buried underground, monitored by electronic surveillance,
and provided with a pressure reduction unit (at Mpangou) two kilometers
from the coast to prevent a major oil spill from hitting the coast
pressure reduction unit will release such emergency spillage right in
6. X-ray technology was used to monitor for spilling, now they are telling
the villages they have to wait 5 years to see if they will suffer from
any effects of the radiation(118)
The World Bank promised development programs, but they have yet to begun
since the inception of pipeline construction.(119) Through the examples
of local newspapers and the initiatives of international non-governmental
organizations, the affect of the pipeline created multiple risks to the
local people in Chad and Cameroon.(120) The security of the community
was sacrificed for the security of the multinational oil corporations
and the stability of oil production.
The seriousness of the problems expanded globally. World Bank funding
for oil production is not limited to Nigeria and the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline.
The World Bank has been involved in numerous oil producing regions, such
as Bolivia and Brazil,(121) Bosnia,(122) Guatemala,(123) Russia,(124)
and Trinidad and Tobago(125) to name a few. Since the inception of the
Nigerian petro-movement, the international community demands that The
Bank's funding of the environmentally damaging projects of oil, gas and
mining be stopped in order to protect the future development of these
producing societies.(126) Environmental Media Services posted an NGO platform
supported by 200 groups from 55 countries that provided ten reasons why
The Bank should no longer finance oil, gas and mining projects in developing
countries. The reasons they list are as follows:
1. The Poor Often Pay the Highest Price
2. Indigenous Communities are Jeopardized
3. Leads to Forest Destruction and Biodiversity Loss
4. Toxic Contamination of Communities
5.Negatively Impacts Women
6. Extractive Industries Often Tied to Human Rights Abuses
7. Ties with dictators and corrupt governments
8. Supports Corporate Welfare
9. Extractive Industries Fuel Global Climate Change
10. Increases Debt and Dependency of Poor Countries.(127)
Despite increasing reports and platforms against the activities of the
World Bank, The Bank continues to support the importance of Big Oil. As
oil demand rises, The Bank, multinationals and western governments feel
they are the socially responsible mediators who fund and reform the industry
by offering security. In the case of the Chad-Cameroon pipeline, the World
Bank will supervise the pipeline for the next 25 years with the power
to shut it down at any time.(128) Despite the public outcry, it continues
to function. The communities do not consider The Bank to be a socially
responsible mediator because The Bank contradicts the needs of the communities.
How is The Bank able to maintain this position? The United States has
roughly 17% of the voting power of the World Bank. The seven largest industrialized
countries (G-7) hold a total of 45% of the vote. Voting is based upon
financial contribution and gives more power to developed nations.(129)
According to Dan Plesch, the US has used the oil industry and the economic
support of World Bank funding as leverage tools to achieve a higher balance
of power within the international system.(130) Historically, the US has
a dependency on petroleum and increasingly it attempts to control the
world market of oil for its own political and economic power.(131) Some
of this history was explained through the case of Nigeria. The roots of
the World Bank's funding of oil can be traced back to the Reagan Administration's
instructions for World Bank involvement in the oil sector in an effort
to introduce institutionalized political and economic security for the
benefit of Northern companies.(132) Clearly the World Bank is an allied
partner in the pact of domination. The Bank will continue its petroleum
funding, as long as its funding and voting members encourage it to do
so. The violence and breeches in security for all members involved will
continue until the pact of domination ceases to exist and communities'
needs are met without violence.
Security studies is a prominent part of understanding the problems within
the relationship of the Niger Delta and the global petroleum industry.
Oil production began as economic development for the State, but due to
the nature of the economic and political power achieved with petroleum,
the mishandling of its production by State leaders and international oil
companies created significant social unrest within the producing communities.
The increasing environmental, economic and political threats transformed
into a military violence because of the State's decision to squelch protests
through armed force. The participating actors involved in the security
surrounding oil production include the Nigerian government, multinational
oil corporations and the oil producing communities, but increasingly the
foreign policies of the United States and the international funding of
extractive industries by the World Bank negatively intensify an already
volatile situation. The attempt of this paper was to provide explanations
and examples as to how and why the petroleum industry continues to be
a national, international and global security issue.
For the case of Nigeria, politics have been dominated by military rule.
The values and attitudes of these decision-makers have dictated the economic
and political systems. A country dependent on oil revolves around oil.
The national goal of achieving to be an economic, military, and political
stronghold in Africa and the international system has yet to be achieved
due to the lack of governmental accountability to the society in which
it presides over. Consistently throughout the years Nigeria's international
image has been one of instability and economic mismanagement. Yet with
the backing of the US, Nigeria's foreign policies continue to focus around
the achievement of power.
The international system has played a large role in helping to determine
Nigerian security issues. Resource rich, Nigeria has increasingly been
a hot spot for the US. The push from the US to protect the petroleum industry
has created much of the turmoil and tension within Nigeria as well as
with her African neighbors. If the international system was not interested
in oil, Nigeria, other oil producing countries and the corporations may
not have the instability and security issues they do today.
As oil politics continue to be volatile and raise security concerns,
it is the role of activists and academics alike to be responsible to and
aware of the complete picture of international petroleum. Nigeria is not
alone in the struggle of political, economic and social justice against
Big Oil.(133) As developed nations, such as the US, continue to increase
funding for military training(134) to protect pipelines and their strategy
for "global oil acquisition"(135), the international petro-movement
reacts accordingly to help protect and respect the oil producing communities'
security needs described by those communities' members. Responsibility
lies in the continuing of research, sharing of information, protests and
policies that create individual, state, corporate and international accountability.
The discipline of international relations conceivably is at the forefront
of analyzing these security issues and it is there is an obligation to
be aware of all participating actors and their historical relationship
to one another in an effort to bring understanding to an increasingly
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1) For example see Desch (1998), Freedman (1998) and Prins (1995 &
2) Freedman (1998): 48-53.
3) Ibid 48.
4) Prins (1998): 781.
5) Prins (1995): 817-818.
6) Ibid 818-819.
7) Dorsey (1993): 242-243.
8) Project Underground (1999)reports that in August of 1999 US-based Texaco
was forced to stop its oil operations in the southern part of Nigeria
because of ongoing protests and direct action by local communities in
the Niger Delta. See also Economist (4 December 1999): 44 and (15 January
9) Economist (1 November 1999): 48-49, Lawal (2001) and Onishi (1999):
A1. Another interesting example is Shell's essay writing competition,
this year's topic is "How Much Freedom Should We Trade for Our Security?"
(23 February 2002). See also websites for British Petroleum, Chevron and
Shell for discussions on community relations.
10) Dorsey (1993): 237.
11) Ibid 244.
12) Ibid 241-242.
13) Ibid 245. Dorsey uses the Peace Movement as one example of a TSM.
14) Osaghae (1995): 335. Rain Forest Action and Green Peace wrote letters
to Shell International on behalf of the Ogoni's and other oil producing
15) See websites for Human Rights Watch and Project Underground for a
plethora of examples.
16) See list of Economist articles located in the bibliography.
17) Rowell and Kretzmann (1996) for example, Nigerian based Environmental
Rights Action networked with U.S. based Project Underground for conscious
raising and lobbying efforts. Movement leaders also came to the U.S. with
the help of U.S. organizations to give talks at public forums, such as
Universities [See Douglas (2001)]. Olufemi and Don-Pedro (1999) introduce
Oronto Douglas as "a British-trained environmental lawyer and one
of the leaders of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC). He is also the Head,
Bureau of Publicity of Chikoko Movement which has been forging unity among
the various ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta, and one of the directors
of Environmental Rights Action (Friends of the Earth, Nigeria)".
18) For example see Economides and Oligney (2000), Frynas (2000), Fulda
(1979), Gelb (1988), Hartshorn (1993), Ikein (1990), Karl (1997), Khan,
(1994), Odell (1979), Park (1976), Pearson (1970), Tanzer (1969), Turner,
L. (1978), Turner, T. (1978, 1986, 1997), Turner and Oshare (1993, 1994),
Vernon (1976) and Yergin (1992).
19) Karl (1997).
20) Cardoso and Faletto (1979): 15.
21) Frynas (2000): 9-11. Ikein (1990): 25 indicates that 170,000 barrels
per day were being produced and exported by 1960.
22) Pearson (1970): 5. EIA [5 March 2002] describes Nigerian oil as "having
gravities ranging from 21o API to 45o API. Nigeria's main export crude
blends are Bonny Light (37o API) and Forcados (31o API). Approximately
65% of Nigerian crude oil is light (35o API or higher) and sweet (low
23) Khan (1994): 43. Ihonvbere (1994): 22 lists oil exports jumped from
2.7% in 1960 to 97.6% in 1975 and continued to be the major export in
1990 at 97%. United States Central Intelligence Agency (2001) lists petroleum
and petroleum products as 95% of Nigeria's exports in 1999. See also Pearson
24) Frynas (2000) gives historical account of policies and ordinances
between international oil companies and Nigeria. He explicitly reveals
how oil regulation is constructed for the benefit of oil companies so
revenue into the State is secured, thus discriminating against the communities
in which the extraction is taken place. By listing a series of court cases,
their claims, and results, Frynas declares the social, economic, and legal
problems of village communities is directly related to the justification
of abusive oil practices by the State and the international sphere.
25) Ikein (1990): 26.
26) Pearson (1970): 138-139. Igbos were the main ethnic group in the east
pushing for secession, however the eastern region secession would have
placed several minority ethnic groups under Igbo "control".
Also, minority groups and not the major Igbo group inhabited most of the
oil producing areas. These factors created significant disagreement between
people in the east. See also Ejituwu and Sorgwe (1999).
27) Ikein (1990): 65.
28) Ogene (1983): 86-99. Shepard (1991): 35-36 indicates the oil fields
were major strategic points of the war because they provided a bulk of
the country's revenue. With the help of the arms from Britain and the
USSR, the Federal Government was able to blockade and conquer most of
the oil fields from Biafra. Ogene (1983): 86 notes that American oil companies
originally claimed that they would pay their oil royalties to the government
who controlled the respective oil assets (mainly the east). However, the
U.S. State Department and U.S. Commerce Department pressured the American
companies to pay royalties to the FMG in an effort to protect U.S. oil
interests. Pearson (1970): 107 explains that most of oil production was
shut down in July 1967 due to the war causing availability and revenues
to head downwards. Osaghae (1998): 69 quotes oil revenue at US$257 million
in 1966 to US$164 million in 1968.
29) Ate (1987): 169 and Shepard (1991): 50-51.
30) Ikein (1990): 31-39 and Pearson (1970): 142-144.
31) Pearson (1970): 140-141. See table 4.4 and 4.5 for ethnic origin and
state location of oil production in April 1967.
32) See Turner (1978) for the relationship between profit making and the
state in the 1970's.
33) Ikein (1990): 19-21 indicates a rapid decline in the agricultural
sector citing GDP fell from 60% in 1960 to 21% in 1977 and less than 10%
34) Frynas (2000): 31 indicates the Companies Act of 1968 made all companies
become incorporated in Nigeria. The Petroleum Act of 1969 stated 75% of
employees in upper level positions need to be Nigerian within 10 years
of the grant of their oil mining lease. This act also insured that only
those companies that followed the 1968 incorporation act would be granted
35) Ibid 2-3. Ikein indicates that in 1974 the Nigerian National Oil Corporation
had 55% equity participation for the government and in 1979, the Nigerian
National Petroleum Corporation had raised equity participation to 60%.
36) Ate (1987): 169-172.
37) Kitchen (1983): 87.
38) U.S. Congress (1979): 1-2.
39) Shepard (1991): 67.
40) U.S. Congress (1979): 49. See also Onoh (1983): 125-126.
41) Ibid 129.
42) Okoji (2000): 2 explains that one part of the reason why oil became
a central part of the Nigerian economy was the sudden rise of oil prices
due to OPEC's embargo on the US as a result of their participation in
the Arab-Israeli conflict. He indicates that crude oil prices rose from
US $2.00 per barrel in 1969 to over US $4.00 in 1973. By 1979 it was over
US $21.00 per barrel and by 1982 it was US $35.00 per barrel.
43) Shepard (1991): 59. In these negotiations oil companies received the
"right to distribute 86.25% of Nigeria's total production".
44) Osaghae (1998): 72-73. For example, expenditures for the second National
Development Plan (1970-74) were estimated at N2 billion, while expenditures
for the third National Development Plan (1975-80) were estimated at N43
45) Ibid 78-80. General Gowon was overthrown in 1975 and General Murtala
Mohammed became head of state until February 1976 when he was assassinated
in an abortive coup. General Olusegun Obasanjo replaced the late head
46) For further discussion on political and economic mismanagement by
the Nigerian government see Adedeji and Otite (1997), Badru (1998), Bienen
and Diejomaoh (1981), Biersteker (1987), Ihonvbere (1994, 2000), Ihonvbere
and Shaw (1988, 1998), Lewis, Robinson and Rubin (1998), Osaghae (1998),
Panter-Brick (1978), and Wright (1998). See Barber (1982) for discussion
on popular reactions to oil wealth and government greed through plays
that were performed criticizing the greediness of the government and offering
a moral alternative to exploitative practices of petro dollars.
47) See Inhovbere and Shaw (1988, 67-117) for explanation on the multiple
National development plans, the indigenisation act, and agreements with
western institutions. Frynas (2000): 77-78 explains that Land rights "disappeared"
in 1978 when General Olusegun Obasanjo passed the Land Use Act, whose
key objective was to "allow the government and oil companies to obtain
land for economic development" at any cost. The Act states that ownership
of all land is vested in the state military governors and makes specific
references to the oil industry's requirements for land and overrides public
48) See Cardosa and Faletto (1979). Here Cardosa and Faletto explain that
actors will align to promote and protect an interest that is already under
their domain in an effort to avoid losing their power invested within
the issue. See Banerjee (1984) for further discussion on "pact of
49) Akiba (1998): 102 explains in 1971, Gowon had Nigeria's Good Offices
help mediate the peace between the Benin and Niger dispute over Lete Island.
In 1972, Gowon's intervention helped bring temporary peace to Burundi.
In 1974, he aided a peaceful solution between Guinea and Senegal border
disputes. In 1970, Gowon lent the use of Nigerian troops in Guinea against
Portuguese threat of invasion and Chad to help restore social stability
by the FROLINAT struggle. Akiba (1998): 103 explains Gowan was also an
important in the establishment of the OAU Commission on the Arab-Israeli
conflict. Aluko (1990): 322 and Library of Congress. Nigeria: Relations
with the Rest of Africa. [14 November 2000] show that in 1974, Gowon and
the government decided to deliver oil to African states at concessionary
rates. Akiba (1998): 70-72 states between 1973 and 1975, Nigeria strongly
promoted and encouraged the development and implementation of ECOWAS (Economic
Community of West African States) in an effort to stream line development
policies and move towards a mutual ideology of west African states.
50) Library of Congress. Nigeria: Independence. [14 November 2000].
51) Ibid. 81-82, 87. The Muhammed regime was devoted to policy issues
around boundary issues, corruption, and the stabilization of the economy.
Library of Congress [14 November 2000] states that Muhammed terminated
the 1973 census which favored the north (he was a northerner), he removed
top officials claimed to be corrupt (some even stood trial), and he also
began to demobilized the over-enlarged army.
52) Akiba (1998): 104-05. In the fall of 1975, Cuba and the USSR supported
MPLA with massive military assistance. The FLNA-UNITA forces were heavily
armed and supported by the western states, especially the US. For the
international scene, the Angolan war was escalating into a war of ideology
between democracy and communism.
53) Akinyemi (1979): 155 and Easum [22 November 2000]. In late September
1975, South Africa (still under the Apartheid rule and Africa's biggest
enemy) decided on direct action and moved armed forces into Angola in
the support of the UNITA faction. Muhammed took this action as a direct
threat to the independence and security of Africa. He further perceived
the U.S. had urged South Africa to invade Angola. Akiba (1998): 105 states
that Muhammed had always been critical of the American humanitarian support
and the South African logistical support for Biafra, and thus interpreting
these acts were directly against the Nigerian State.
54) Aluko (1981): 264.
55) Akiba (1998): 156-57. However, one must be reminded that while he
used oil to protect liberation struggles in southern Africa, he made policies
(Land Decree Act of 1978) that denied oil-producing communities land ownership.
56) Nwachuku (1998): 584-584. A $2 million contract between the Nigerian
Federal Capital Authority and International Planning Associates (part
of Audi Systems in Van Nuys, CA) was signed to construct the new capital
in Abuja. Ate (1987): 221 explains that Nigerian government officials
were sent off to Washington to be properly trained in "American"
style government. Shepard (1991): 132-134 explains Reagan held a minimal
interest in the State but had an obsession of 'how Nigeria would fall
into the American-Soviet rivalry'.
57) Ate (1987): 223.
58) Ibid 221-238.
59) Shepard (1991): 143.
60) Ibid 144-149. During his tenure, there were a series of problems that
erupted within the country. Muslim extremists in the North were only one
area of focus. More attention was placed on Lagos, where corruption, anarchy,
and turbulence prevailed. CBS's 60 Minutes declared Lagos the "worst
place on earth". Buhari also evicted Ghanaians out of Nigeria, which
caused human rights activists to accuse the Nigerian government of abuse
and dehumanization. Dissenters to Buhari were thrown in jail and newspapers
were discontinued if they wrote against the government.
61) Okoji (2000): 2, some 70,000-km of wetlands.
62) Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (2000).
63) Frynas (2000): 151-154.
64) Ibid 154-155. Okoji (2000): 4 indicates there is about 4,500 km of
pipeline in Nigeria.
65) Frynas (2000): 158-169. See also Aprioku (1999); Environmental Rights
Action [14 March 2002]; Ikein (1990); Okoji (2000); Project Underground
[14 March 2002]; and Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (2000) for
more examples of environmental and health hazards due to oil production.
66) Aprioku (1999): 2-4. Equipment failure could be overflow at loading
terminals, pressure problems due to valve failure, rupture and corrosion
of pipes and worn out equipment due to age. Human error could be accidents
due to lack of concentration, distraction, physical stress, drug abuse
and lack of sleep, all of which are due to negligence. Sabotage relates
to deliberate and malicious damage of pipelines and equipment. Aprioku
indicates that sabotage is distinguishable because it is "perpetrated
to obstruct the smooth evacuation of crude oil from wells to reservoirs".
67) Ibid 5-6. For example, the 17 January 1980 Funiwa oil spill where
Texaco had a well blow that started a 46-hour fire and 12 day oil spillage
of between 146,000 and 200,000 barrels. Pollution affected Funiwa to the
Sangana River encompassing the villages of Koloama I, Koloama II, Sangana
town, Fish town and Otuo. 350 ha of mangrove were destroyed. See article
for more examples of environmental and human degradation caused by oil
68) Okoji (2000): 5-6. 1.44 billion SCF of gas is flared daily, 526.6
billion SCF annually.
69) Turner and Oshare (1994): 139-141.
70) See Turner and Oshare (1994) for examples of women's mass protest
during 1986. See Niger Delta Women for Justice [January 2001] for examples
on women's protest. See Turner [5 March 2002], Project Underground (17
April 2000) and Saro-Wiwa (1995) for examples of Ogoni mass protests.
See Environmental Rights Action [14 March 2002] for examples of Ijaw mass
71) See World Bank (2001): 343-362 for environmental indicators reflecting
environmental security issues.
72) Rowell and Kretzmann (1996) citing Environmental Rights Action, Shell
in Iko - The Story of Double Standards, 1995, 10 July.
73) Ibid citing J. R. Udofia, Threat of Disruption of our Operations at
Umuechem by Members of the Umuechem Community, Letter to Commissioner
of Police, 1990, 29 October.
74) Ibid citing Hon O. Justice Inko-Tariah, Chief J. Ahaiakwo, B. Alamina,
Chief G. Amadi, Commission of Inquiry in to the Causes and Circumstances
of the Disturbances that Occurred at Umuechem in the Etche Local Government
Area of Rivers State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1990.The official
Inquiry into Umuechem was suppressed, however it blamed the police for
the massacre. This said, community frustration was evident in the official
report. "These [Shell Petroleum Development Company] drilling operations
have had serious adverse effects on the Umuechem people who are predominantly
farmers, in that their lands had been acquired and their crops damaged
with little or no compensation, and are thus left without farmlands or
means of livelihood" said the Umuechem community in their evidence
to the official inquiry "Their farmlands are covered by oil spillage/blow-out
and rendered unsuitable for farming". Rowell and Kretzmann also cite
R. Tookey, Letter to Mrs. Farmer concerning Shell's operations in Nigeria,
1993, 11 June to point out that Shell distanced itself from the killings,
stating that "the problems which gave rise to the demonstrations
and the consequent police action were not really of Shell's making at
75) Ibid (1996) citing E. Bello et al, On the War Path, African Concord,
1992, August, pp18.
76) Turner 1997.
77) Rowell and Kretzmann (1996) cite SPDC, Meeting at Central Offices
on Community Relations and the Environment (15/16th February in London,
18th February in The Hague), Draft Minutes, 1993.
78) Ibid cite R. Boele, Ogoni - Report of the UNPO Mission to Investigate
the Situation of the Ogoni of Nigeria, 17 - 26 February, UNPO, 1995, 1
79) Ibid cite Nigerian Protesters Disrupt Shell Oil Activity, The Reuter
European Business Report, Apr. 29 1993.
80) Turner 1997 and Rowell and Kretzmann (1996) cite The Ogoni Crisis:
A Case-Study of Military Repression in Southeastern Nigeria, Human Rights
Watch/Africa, July 1995, Vol. 7, No. 5, p. 10; Richard Boele, Report of
the UNPO Mission to Investigate the Situation of the Ogoni in Nigeria,
May 1, 1995, p. 23.
81) Rowell and Kretzmann (1996).
82) Ibid cite R. Boele, Ogoni - Report of the UNPO Mission to Investigate
the Situation of the Ogoni of Nigeria, 17 - 26 February, UNPO, 1995, 1
83) Ibid cite R. Boele, Ogoni - Report of the UNPO Mission to Investigate
the Situation of the Ogoni of Nigeria, 17 - 26 February, UNPO, 1995, 1
May, pp50; Human Rights Watch / Africa, Nigeria: The Ogoni Crisis: A Case
Study of Military Repression in Southeastern Nigeria, 1995, July, Vol.
7, No.5; A. Rowell, Green Backlash - Global Subversion of the Environmental
Movement, Routledge, 1996.
84) Ibid A. Rowell, Green Backlash - Global Subversion of the Environmental
Movement, Routledge, 1996, pp296.
86) Ibid cite The Ogoni Crisis: A Case-Study of Military Repression in
Southeastern Nigeria, Human Rights Watch/Africa, July 1995, Vol. 7, No.
5, p. 37-8.
87) Ibid see 3/31, 4/18, 4/21, 5/12, 6/24 and 8/17/94 timeline entries.
89) Goodman and Scahill (1999).
90) Project Underground [1 April 2002].
92) See Environmental Rights Action website for further examples of individual
arrests and community harassment.
93) US State Department Bureau of African Affairs [September 2000] and
US White House [September 2000].
94) Goodman and Scahill (2000).
95) See National Endowment for Democracy (January 2000) and US Agency
for International Development (January 2000) for funding information.
96) Odunlami (1998): 11.
97) Ibid 12.
98) Maier (2000): 4-7.
99) The Economist (1999): 40. He sacked the military personnel, released
political prisoners, and assured he was working on an economic program
100) The Economist (2000): 52. In March 2000, christians seeking revenge
for the killings in the north that previous February massacred muslims
in the southeast. The conflict was over the debate of installing Islamic
law in the northern region of Kaduna. Religious law made into political
law supports one ethnic group while ignoring another and would enhance
inequalities. Obasanjo condemned any installation of Islamic law but then
said "as president he could do nothing about it".
101) Project Underground (December 2000) reported "More than 50 people
were killed when a fuel pipeline caught fire near the fishing village
of Ebute-Oko near the city of Lagos. Huts and wooden houses were engulfed
in flames, and many of the dead were reported to be "fisherfolk"
burned alive in their dugout canoes. This tragedy is one in a series that
have torn through Niger Delta communities this year, while human rights
abuses attributed to oil operations continue despite national and international
102) Ukeh (2000), on 18 April 2000, the government arrested fifty protesters
from the Movement for the Survival of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB).
Other protesters suffered from tear gas explosions that police threw at
them. These unarmed protesters were demanding equal representation in
governmental policies. Another example, "Restive Bayelsa Youths Seize
Gas Flaring Station" (2000), on 21 April 2000, Ijaw youths seized
the Oluasiri Gas Flaring Station in the Rivers State. The youths were
demanding equal payment from the oil revenues and more sensitivity towards
the land that the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company occupied.
103) Project Underground (October 2000) reported OPEC called for making
"economic and social development and the eradication of poverty
the overriding global priority" during their summit. Also at that
time a "new Nigerian military division was assigned to patrol the
impoverished and resistant communities of the Niger Delta was launched".
See also Ekine [December 2001].
104) US State Department (May 2000).
105) Benjamin and Devarajan (1985): 1.
106) Razavi (1989): iii.
107) Gately and Streifel (1997): ix-x.
108) McPhail and Davy (1998): vi.
109) World Bank (2001): 106-107.
110) Cray and Kretzmann (2001): 23 states that "extractive industries-oil,
mining and gas-represent 11% of the IFC's portfolio". They also quote
the IFC saying that extractive industries have "by far the highest
111) Ibid 24. This is 25 times more than what is spent on renewable energy
112) Ibid 23-24. Cray and Kretzmann illustrate this point with a Nigerian
example where the IFC was about to approve a $15 million loan to Royal
Dutch Shell in Nigeria. A IFC representative called one staff member of
the Environmental Rights Action to consult about the loan. The staff member
opposed the loan. Four out of the five additional consultations were funded
by the oil industry and the fifth consultation was with an US academic
traveling in the area. The loan was approved despite the community's resistance
113) Ibid 24-25. Cray and Kretzmann quote an IFC internal paper "the
notion that governments invest incremental rents/returns from extractive
industries profitably and for the benefit of poor people is all too often
more of an aspiration than a reality. Cross national data from 113 countries
between 1971-1997 has shown that oil exports are strongly associated with
governance weaknesses-some resource rich governments use royalty proceeds
to keep tax rates low, cultivate patronage and increase military expenditures".
114) Ibid 26. AES has won funding or is in the process of winning funding
for at least 9 energy projects through IFC.
115) Rosenblum (2000): 197.
116) Horta (1997): 10.
117) Ibid 11. Horta cites an example that in Doba in 1994 a local peasant
(Dingamtolem Ajikolmian) went to a field where an airplane was landing
to show his children this rare event. Upon the landing, the man was shot
to death in front of his children by security forces that were protecting
Exxon staff. Local villagers testified that Mr. Ajikolmian was not a rebel,
but a local resident who wanted his children to see the landing. The military
chief declared him a rebel and justified his killing and closed the case.
See also Catholic Relief Services website, "Same Oil Story"
(1998), Economist (06/10/2000) and Raeburn (2000 & 2001).
118) Yates and Gary (2002).
119) Ibid 19. Yates and Gary state that "The World Bank and the consortium
have made many promises: (1) good conditions for local workers, (2) preparation
of local business for competing for contracts, (3) encouragement of small-scale
business along the pipeline route to supply workers, (4) protection of
cultural and sacred sight, (5) microfinance for populations in the oilfield
area, and so on".
120) See "Extractive Industries in Africa Initiative" [12 February
2002] , Le Lien Nkeng-Shalom (2001) and Pipeline Journal (2001) for local
people's perception on the pipeline. See also Project Underground (30
121) See "Plundering the Planet" [1 May 2002].
122) See "Bosnia and the Oil Connection" (1995).
123) See "Plundering the Planet" [1 May 2002].
124) See Land (1995) and Schmidt (1997).
125) See "Trinidad and Tobago Protect the Environment" (1995).
126) See Chungyalpa (2002), Cray and Kretzmann (2001), "Extractive
Industries in Africa Initiative" , Friends of the Earth ,
Horta (1997), and Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (2001).
127) See "NGO Platform Calling on the World Band Group to Phase Out
Financing Oil, Gas and Mining Projects" (2000).
128) Yates and Gary (2002): 19.
129) Global Exchange .
130) Plesh (2002).
131) See Economides and Oligney (2000), National Public Radio (2002) and
Yergin (1992) for discussion on US-oil power relationships.
132) Daphne Wysham, director of Sustainable Energy and Economy network,
introduced this idea on the Extractive Industries Review Strategies Listserve
(which is a discussion platform for organizations monitoring the Extractive
Industries Review of the World Bank) with documentation from the United
States Office of the Assistant Secretary for International Affairs (1981):
25-26, see bibliography.
133) For a few examples of current global oil conflicts see Buchan (2001),
"City to Nail Oil Giants" , "Colombia: State Oil
Firm Head Comments on ELN Offer to End Attacks on Pipelines" (2002,
Mayoyo (2002), Pan (2002), Roberts (2002), Thorn (2002), United Nations
Integrated Regional Information Networks (2002), and Warn (21 & 23
February 2001). See also websites for Friends of the Earth, Oil Watch,
Project Underground and Sustainable Energy and Economy Network.
134) Foreign military assistance for training and anti-terrorism has consistently
increased between 1997 and 2002, see United States Executive Office of
the President (1999-2002).
135) Klare (2002) and Penhaul (2002).