Guerrillas in oil districts







Since Independence Nigeria has experienced a major war of secession led by the Igbo peoples of the southeast. This ended in the defeat of the secessionists. Probably the causes of this war no longer exist. However, there remain many tensions within the state, especially between the predominantly Muslim north and the mainly Christian south.

The November 1993 coup by General Abacha raised the possibility of conflict between the people wanting democracy and the military.

The election of President Obansanjo in 1999 may have made the war less likely. However, considerable potential for conflict exists in the religious disturbances in the north and disturbances in the oil districts where the local people have benefited very little from the oil revenues, but suffer the pollution.

The religious disturbances make the separation of north and south seem more likely.

In 2006 a guerrilla war in the Niger Delta area seems to be increasing. People object that very little development has occurred, despite the pollution of the creeks, killing the fish, and the gas flares poisoning the air. This war is already reducing the output of the oil fields and may affect world oil prices. The delta region will become more important as the imbalance between oil supply and demand grows.

In 2010 the weakness of the government caused by the illness of the elected president may make these problems harder to solve. The new president, Goodluck Jonathan, has not necessarily had much effect.

Disturbances in the North between the anti-education "Boko Haram" (Education is evil) sect and government forces may also be a growing problem.

Last revised 16/08/11


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