The success of any political system lies in its policy making and implementation process. Policy as an instrument of government affects the lives of each person. It involves a central position in the success of every administration, whether public, private or not-for-profit making organization. The Amnesty Programme was embraced to address the main causes of the Niger Delta crisis, which has affected economic, social and political activities of the country. As a matter of fact, the crisis has destabilized the political system of the country and, decreased oil product. The activities of militant in the area postured serious danger to the nation’s economy. These among others were the issues that prompted the formulation and implementation of the Amnesty Programme. Will the Amnesty Programme address the main causes of the Niger Delta crisis? The section concentrates on relevant literature that has relationship with the present study.
Davis and Filley (1997) defined policy as a statement of principle or group of principles, with their supporting rules of action, that condition and govern the accomplishment of certain target to which a business is aimed.
According to Ikelegbe (2006, p.2), Policy is a course of action or a programme of actions, which is selected from among several options by certain actors in response to certain problems.
The essence of formulating a policy is to address social problems. The Amnesty Programme was formulated and implemented with the plan of tending to the main causes of the Niger Delta crisis and to boost the national economy through oil production. Numerous stakeholders were against the implementation of the Amnesty Programme, claiming that they doubted the business as usual of the Programme. According to Idumange (2012), who states that the Amnesty Programmed will get to be a part of Nigeria’s experience, and a misdirection considering the hastened and ill-conceived way it was presented on one hand, and governments hasten in the implementation of the programme. The Amnesty Programme is seen as a misuse of vitality and misuse of public fund, saying if the militants were really battling for the development of the Niger Delta Area, the beginning of gigantic infrastructural and human capital development is sufficient to disarm militants (Oghenejabo, 2012).
The part of elites in the control of policy made space for uncertainty on the successful implementation of policies in Nigeria. Elites control the process to extort from the masses. Successful formulation of policy should accomplish to a degree, its set targets. According to Jkelegbe (2007, p.70), Policy process comprises of six key perspectives, policy generation, formulation, policy output, implementation, performance and impact, which are considered as policy generation, formulation and implementation.
The process of policy making from the generation stage comprises of environment, where the problem is generated. The Niger Delta crisis was fuelled by inability of the state to use the resources produced from the physical environment to make grow of it. The physical environment embodies natural and man-made environment. The role of government is to use the resources which are the derivable of the physical environment for the well-being of the citizens. The misinterpretation is between the changes of the environs with the resources generated in the environment. There could be formulation of a pragmatic policy. Policy formulation involves different institutions; the ability of policy makers to address social problem dwells in the interest of the different institution to formulate policies aimed towards significant development. The interest of policy makers as well affects the implementation of any policy.
The method and approaches used as a part of the implementation of a policy direct the effective or ineffective implementation of the policy by the implementing agency. There are different approaches for the formulation and implementation of policies. The prescriptive approach which gives information where alternatives and options are arrived for making policy, it prescribes future outcomes. The descriptive approach describes public policy; it concentrates on the account of making development, causes, implementation, consequences and problem of Public policy (lkelegbe, 2006, p.28).
Micro approach concentrates on the study of particular public policy and policy problem. Macro approach aids in the development of knowledge and comprehension of problem policy process. The dependent variable, independent variables approach, Qualitative and quantitative method, Regardless of the above mentioned approach used as a part of formulating policy to address social problems. Government has not been able to adopt the right method and approach to address the main causes of the crisis.
The Nigerian state has embraced different types of policy to address the crisis first and foremost; they adopted the distributive policy where resources are apportioned among political elites, resources that should be directed for the development of the state. The dispersal of resources is a nonstop process and hence those not favored a! One point are later suited through further dispersal some other time. A genuine picture of the Nigerian state, is seen in the alliance between the state/oil giants and domestic bourgeoisies, whose alliance has led to the underdevelopment of the Niger Delta region (Ejumudo, 2010)
In implementation of regulatory policy type the state has in fact regulated the activities of groups in the society to the detriment of the Niger Delta area. Nigerian legislation on petroleum and partnership with oil multinationals, grant access to oil giants to exploit from the region, yet the state couldn’t regulate their activities as in pollution of the environments. Protection of land is not the interest of the state.
There is no cordial relationship between multinational oil companies and the host groups communities since the discovery of (Ntido, 2011). This prompted militancy, because of the inability of young people to endure the activities of government and oil multinational in the Niger Delta Area.
The fact that the Niger Delta area is still pauperized is the inability of the state to formulate policies that will address the main causes of the Niger Delta Crisis. The Nigerian State has also adopted the redistributive among groups. The resources of the Nation are distributed among groups. Today, politicians and their allies are gaining from the wealth got from the Niger Delta area. However the Niger Delta, the main oil and gas producing areas of Nigeria have been neglected (Ntido, 2011).
Struggle groups generate conflict and tension which may degenerate to wrong ideology that will post threat in the political system of a state where by the final result may end up not being favourable to all.
2.2. The Nature of Policy Making in Nigeria
Policy making and implementation has been classified the instrument of every political system. Policy is used to address fundamental issues. According to Obikezie and Obi (2004), see policy as the “guiding principle towards the realization of target”. To deal with the problems confronted by Oil Producing Communities in the Niger Delta region, policy making must be considered. The character of the Nigerian State has affected its policy as a process; policies no more actualize its stated targets due to the fact that policies are formulated based on personal and group interest or party politics.
The Nigerian System of Policy making is characterized by factors, for example, ethnicity, corruption, lack of persistence in government policies, inadequate human and material resources, all of which frequently prompt policies failures. These are the centre problems of the Amnesty program.
According to Ikelegbe (2006, p.79) “The Policy making formulation System comprises of policy making structures and interaction”. The policy making stage involves policy makers which comprises of the legislative body, the executive, judiciary and bureaucracy officials of the ruling political parties, whose major aim ought to be to formulate policies that will address social problem. The truth of the matter is that the above institutions have failed to deliver effectively; its resultant effect is being seen in the socio- economic system of the nation.
The failure of the Nigeria State to address political, economic and social problems has degenerated the use of force and violent measures from the individuals to attracts the attention of government to their plight.
Ojefia (2010) attest to the fact that “the state is less trouble about the environment and developmental problem associated with oil exploration and production activities’. Thus every agitation whether armed rebellion or intellectual postulation in the form of resources control agitation, the state addresses it with violent and intimidation through the use of force.
It is clear that the state understands the problems and main cause of the crisis result from its nefarious activities, in any case, due to its exploitative and dubious role, decided to divert attention from its primary function, such as protection and provision of social amenities to exploit from the region.
Nigeria’s poor socio-economic condition since the achievement of political independence from 1960- till date has been attributed to poor policy formulation and its inadequacy in policies implementation. Policy failure has worsened the living condition of the citizens, and has also stagnated the development process.
Government has failed to address the crisis that has engulfed the whole political process since independence this exposes government lack of will-power and ability to deal with problems squarely.
2.3. Public Policy
Public policies are policies and program aimed to handle with particular social problems emanating from environment. Public policy deals with present and future problems. Thomas Die, (1972) defined public policy “as whatever government chooses to do or not to do” Carl Fredrick, (1975). See public policy as “proposed course of action of the government or one of its demands”. Victor Nlekwa, defined public policy as “official statements determining the plan of action or what the government needs to do”. The definitions state that legislative statues, decree, presidential orders, administrative rules and regulations are policy statement which determines what government intends to do.
Ikelegbe, (2006, p.80) see public policy “as the integrated courses and programed of action that government has set and the frame work or lead by planned to direct actions and practices in certain problem areas”.
The definition illustrates the steps government takes in the formulation of policy to address social problems emanating from the environment due to administration, and the framework or guide lines it has designed to direct its action to solve social problems but in the case of Nigeria, corruption, individual and group interest, have hindered the smooth implementation of the Amnesty Policy in the nation.
The Nigeria state is defined as a neo-colonial state whose character has been deeply affect by the dynamism generated from the colonial experience and the attendant weak development of capitalist relations. (Ojefia, 2010). The character of the Nigeria state is attributed to or inherited from the colonial experience is that of exploitation. Its style of administration involve the making of policies to attract the attention of the citizens to give them hope and toward the end fail to implement such polices, while its programs are formulated to enrich the few (the elites) and not for the interest of the entire public (citizens).
Federalism as a system of government is the government in which the individual states of a nation have control over their own affairs, but are controlled by a central government for national unity and security. The essence of control by a central government is to manage the resources of the nation for the benefit of all. Anyway the Nigerian state manages the state resources for the interest of few elites. Ojefia, (2010) state that “the emergence centralizing tends arouse mostly from the character of political elite that needed a solid interventionist state to make facilitate accumulation”. Again the high stake of the central government in the control of crude oil became and important channel for the dominant elite to facilitate the process of extracting oil wealth for private use, to the expense of oil producing communities. Oil that supposed to be used for the development of the region has become a major for commodity interest, by which political elites rely on to enrich themselves.
Any success policy that is ever formulated and implemented is backed up with some ulterior though. Furthermore, if implemented, its implementation wills finally yielding negative impact in the society. Example of past programed that were formulated and implemented, whose implementation failed, and whose adverse effects were on environment are, Structural Adjustment Program, Privatization is a policy where most government establishment were sold to private people. This failure prompted the downfall of government establishment e.g. Delta Steel Company (D.S.C), Owian and Ajukuta Steel Mill among others.
Once more, the Free Education Policy program which was adopted in view of the manifesto of the UPN, whoâs four Cardinal Program was free education at all levels. The policy was founded of the belief that education is the way to national unity, an enlightened manpower development. The renewal of geographical, regional, social and educational inequality would mitigate social and ethical disagree and improve national unity. (Ikelegbe, 2006, p.218).
The program was implemented in the out-dated Bendel and Oyo States; it was announced at the inauguration ceremonies of the civilian administration in both states on October 1, 1979. In Bendel State, free education at all levels, abolition of all school fees and calling off all state loads to students were announced on October 1, 1979. While in Oyo State the procedure included change and expansion of school, to guarantee its functionality and responsiveness to the stateâs needs.
The policy output of the free education policy was intended to increase educational output in regions, for example, funding, enrolment, physical facilities, instructors, supply of test books and writing materials. The problem of Free Education was insufficient facilities which proceed from insufficient fluid. Lack of preprogram preparation, insufficient and poor quality manpower, which include the shortage of educators emanate from the fact that the program was quite of expensive. Implementation of program is commonly shaken by financial difficulties.
The examine of this program points that, the problem of government policies or why its policy fail is because of lack of sufficient planning and pre-programme preparation.
Policy making and policy implementation are complementary aspects of the policy process. Effective policy implementation demands that the policy making stage must be free from policy making error, individual or group interest. The policy makers must have suitable knowledge and understanding of the issues or the said problem they are investigating. This stage demands sufficient and right information.
Policy implementation happens after choice of policy is made and legislative enactments and rules are founded. It is the phase where objectives and goals are translated into concrete achievement. The implementation of policy tends to be the most troublesome stage in the policy process (Ikelegbe, 2006, p.216).
According to Egonmwan, (2002, p.4),”Implementation involves translation of objectives and goals of policy into concrete achievement through different programed”. Government changes the Jives of citizens and gives social amenities through policies and program. Implementation is the pragmatic part of policies to address social problem.
The Nigerian state has failed in the apportioning of resources; this singular act has prompt to the application of illegal mean by the youth in the Niger Delta area. To address the issue, the federal government has adopted series of policies, and program. The main cause of the crisis as indicated by Ojefia, (2010) is the agitation against degradation and underdevelopment. The cause for the crisis can be traced to nefarious activities of government and oil multinationals which has prompted environmental degradation through oil investigation, marginalization, and poor socio- economic development and so on, of the region. The cause for the crisis has broadened the knowledge of the youths in the area that the easy means to attract government to pay attention on their agitations is through brutality and criminality against the state.
Militantâs activities have affected the economy of the country, and additionally undermine national peace and security. To quiet down this apparent situation, the government applies the use of force (military), they mobilize and equip military force at great cost to go in hot pursuit of rebel/rascals in the Niger Delta. This singular act has prompted loss of lives and property and failed to address the main cause of the crisis. Don, (2000, p.3) state that the “use of force or military lack the ability to discriminate between the guilty and innocent individuals, in this way creating tremendous human problem that may be defined as genocide by the world, with consequences to the entire nation and our image”.
Oil multinationals joined in this act of using force to address the crisis in the region. According to Chigbo (2010, p.19). ” Shell facilities, for example, flow lines and pipelines 90 oil fields, 1000 oil wells, 72 flow stations, 10 gas plants and two major exports terminals at Bonny and Forcados are guarded by mobile forces. Shell apply huge network of mobile police, (Mopol) known as ‘murder and go’, and the Joint Task Force (JTF), a combine of army, naval and police appointed to protect and patrol oil facilities, Shell likewise uses private military and security companies( PALSCS), known for their advancing militarized strategies. The report describe Nigeria as
“Over policed and under-secured” adding that the security circumstance in the Delta fits the pattern and has grown worse such that the region was put under military occupation in 1998. The Nigerian government driven to keeps oil revenue flowing and working in close partnership without multinationals, has heavily militarized the Delta.
The above statement shows the use of military force is not the most ideal approach to address social problems that are due to marginalization, deprivation and environmental degradation from the activities of oil exploration by the government and oil multinationals. This singular act by the government has fuel the crisis which prompted more militant group like the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. (MEND), Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Egbesu Boys and different organization like the Movement for the survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and Ijaw National Council (INC) (Odion, 2010), whose activities have threatened national peace and security.
Beyond the use of force enough use has been made of different carrot and stick strategies, and in the process, a combine of calming, subterfuge/infiltration and weakening through alliance have been used. They include the creation of state at various parts, the grudging upward review of revenue allocation to thirteen percent for derivation (OMPADEC in 1992), the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF 1994) and the recent establishment of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC 2002) by President Olusegun Obasanjor (Ojefia, 2010).
These different measures and strategies embraced by the Federal Government to address the crisis have failed. The Federal Government also institute different environmental program to deal with the problems confronted by the Oil Producing Communities, for example, Agency Act. (Decree No. 58 of 1988) and Environmental Impact Assessment Act (Decree No. 86 of 1992) (Ojefia, 2012). The nature and character of the Nigeria state made all these ineffectual.
Corruption is another main factor that has obstructed the smooth implementation of policies in Nigeria. Corruption is seen as the greatest danger to lasting peace in the Niger Delta district. It is an epidemic, and canker and a syndrome in the Nigeria political system, a pain healer that never heals yet rather expands the pain, an epidemic that demands incredible push to be wiped out. Corruption has made rulers in Nigeria to be immensely wealthy with a culture of impunity while leaving a vast majority in abject poverty. (Odion, 2010). According to the United Nation (1997) report:
Corruptions in government increase poverty from various perspectives. Generally, it redirects resources to the rich individuals, who can afford to pay bribes and far from the poor individuals who can’t. In any case it likewise skews decisions in favor of capital â”intensive enterprises (where the pricings are higher) and far from labor intensive activities more likely to benefit the poor. Corruption also lessens government and reduces their ability to battle poverty. It diminishes tax revenue and hence the resources available for public services.
From the above, one can reason that corruption is a worm that inhibits socio-economic development in the following way:
I. It contributes to the formulation and implementation of unfavorable policies, just to deviate resources for the interest of few.
II. Corruption destroys peace in the society.
III. Corruption contributes to economics aspects and religious crisis in a state.
IV. Corruption is the mind behind underdevelopment.
V. The resultant effects of corruption in a society are reflected on poor.
VI. Corruption develops a violent society; deviant youths, formulation of illegal organizations that endanger national peace and security (militant).
VII. Corruption weakens social, economic and political structures in a state.
2.4. Policy Analysis
Public policy addresses the issues of all political system. Policy analysis is the study of the policy making process. It examines the method of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. It studies the consequences, causes and effects of policy. According to Ikelegbe (2006, p.16):
Public policy is concerned with the description and explanation of specific policy choice and content, the determination of strategies for optional policy making and the implementation, performance and the impact of public policies.
Public policy analysis tries to understand public problem, the causes for policy problem, its nature and effects.
Characteristics of Policy Analysis
Policy analysis has the following characteristics:
(i) Public policy analysis is problem oriented
(ii) Public policy analysis pertains with government policy making.
(iii) Public policy is prescriptive rather than descriptive
(iv) Public policy analysis is multi-discipline (lkelegbe, 2006)
There is no need for policy program to be analysed so it can give solution for future issue. The gathering of relevant data helps in the formulation of relevant policies, various method and approaches are applied in gathering and analysis of data. Social problem changes from generation to generation and method for addressing social problem are to be modified to meet future trend.
2.5. Factors that affect Policy making Implementation in Nigeria
2.5.1. Political Problems
Political problems such as political interference do obstruct policy making process. Obikezie et al, (2008) is of the opinion that political considerations are vital in certain policy areas, lots of times interference and influence on policy making and implementation can be negative.
There are situations where some of the policies decisions are made to favor influential politicians or groups to the detriment of the general well-being of the people. Political interference influence the sitting of key industries or firms possessed by government, the appointment of key officials in sensitive positions, and some of the time policy failure can be ascribed to the appointment of inexperienced personal to mount key positions thus leading to wrong policy formulation. Ikelegbe, (1994, p.141) believed that policies that are mostly influenced by political considerations normally make choices mostly based on subjective conditions. Policy choices are made to address the issue of support, placate or devastate political opponents and record political aides, supporters and allies, (Obi et al 2008, p.101).
Policies in Nigeria are formulated to compensate political allies or to favor a specific ethnic group. Policies fail because they were not targeted at the issue to be resolved, but rather directed at honoring supporters and promoters (God fatherism) of political leaders.
2.5.2. Poor Leadership
Leadership has been the real problem previously and after Nigeria gain independence. It is characterize my self-interest and bias when getting to policy making and implementation stages. Leaders have the initiative to influence public policies. Most leaders assume leadership position with wrong plan to amass wealth for themselves and their families (Onwuka, 2010).
Policy Programs have been initiated, however in-between the initiation, lays the gab, which is “personal interest”. The General Ibrahim Babangida’s Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) of the 1980’s, the Abacha’s Vision 2010, and the Obasanjo’s National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) and the President Musa Yar’Adua Amnesty Program show that Nigerian leaders understand the problem of the Nation (Owunka, 2010).
Personal interest, party interest, the need to formulate policies to compensate political allies and god fathers has hampered the smooth implementation of policies in Nigeria.
Corruption has been a real determinant of the crisis that has shaken the country since the attainment of independence. Ofile, (2009) states that “corruption may be in form of bribery, gratification, nepotism, extortion, embezzlement, miss-appropriation, looting or stealing, ‘inflation of contrast value, falsification of official records, ghost workforce and over invoicing of prices of goods and services. payment for work or supplies not satisfactorily done or not done at all, abuse of tender process, award of contrast to self-proxies or favored relations, falsification of account, money laundering, false declaration of assets, illegal acquisitions of wealth, abuse of public funds”.
The above statement portrays the character of the Nigerian leaders, as our leaders no longer consider what they will do for the success of the nation, yet rather what they gain. Till date, Nigeria has not possessed the capacity to enthrone government free from corruption.
2.6. Data Gathering and Policy Making
Data can be analysed and interpreted using statistical procedures to answer “why” or “how” which brings about the creation of new information and knowledge (Libguides.lib.msu.edu, 2015). Data gathering involves the process of providing research design, planning necessary to gather relevant information that could offer solution to the problems. It involves understanding of the problems and the environment of the study. Data gathering helps effective formulation of policy and program to address a specific social problem. Data collection helps to evaluate the process involved in implementing program. It serves to identify key character. The key character is the process that leads to the achievement of a particular goal. Policy failure in Nigeria can be traced to lack or inadequate, data collection and poor understanding of data collected. Sufficient data collection and its understanding lead to right decision making.
Inadequate policy analysis and incorrect and timely data or outright unavailability of relevant information is policy errors. Policy analysis is the breaking down of the policy for effective implementation. Failure of policy analysis comes from lack of relevant data gathering. Data analysis is the breaking down and ordering of qualitative information gathered through research. (Asika, 2009). Policy making involves getting available and relevant information for policy makers to formulate policies.
Research aid to provide timely data and relevant information, relevant information and timely data can be stored in a well-equipped library, for researcher to get information as at when due. Library play significant role, and make significant contributions to the effectiveness of the educational process. Information and timely data can be stored in the internet for researchers to browse for at any point in time to get such necessary information. Government lack of will to execute necessary projects, has blindfolded its eyes from knowing the significance of research as a help to the country’s economy.
Research is a process of finding new or extra valuable information. This makes research vital to policy process in the efforts to bring about sustainable development (Akpan, 2000).
Government ought to give sufficient fund to the formulation of policy that will empower research and provision of sound libraries, supplied with important materials and ICT facilities and so forth. The formulation of policy is an aggregation of peopleâs collective hope, wishes and desire. Development choice making ought not to be top down but rather a needs motivated, individuals â” supported, community involved, bottom-up process. Policy needs the involvement of stakeholders for policy implementation. As most cases, people whom policies are intended for are not well inform due to their poor reading habit.
According to Akpan, (2009), policy must be conceived before formulation; it must be formulated before it can be executed/implemented. All these must be done with the availability adequate and relevant information and data which ought to be made available for researchers and the overall public.
Policy research ought to not just aid policy makers to discover new regions of emphases, it likewise empowers them to assess the success with which earlier policy targets and goals have been met (or not) and the potential impact of policy alternatives (Gitu, 2001).
2.7. Historical Background of the Niger Delta Crisis
The Niger Delta Crisis
The Niger Delta Region is located in the Southern area of Nigeria and bordered toward the South by the Atlantic Ocean and toward the East by Cameroon. It occupies a surface area of around 112, 110 square kilometres. It represent around 12% of Nigeria’s total surface area and it was estimated by 2006, its population would have more than 28 million inhabitants and around 33,616,000 in 2010 (Wifa, 2008).
The area comprises a greater amount of Nigeria’s constituent states in particular Abia, Akwa Thom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Imo, Delta, Edo, Ondo and Rivers states.
According to Wifa (2008), the states that made up the regional territory called the Niger.
Delta region can be classified into two; specifically, core states and non-core states.
The core Niger Delta states, are Akwa Ibom, Delta, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers state, in the core states are the areas where the problem of hardship and deprivation are experienced the most.
The non-core states are Ondo, Edo, Imo and Abia states where the problems of hardship and deprivation exist however not as extreme as that of the core states since the quality oil trade from the core states are more than that extracted from the non-core state. Once more, marginalization, deprivation are expended in the core states than in the non-core states.
Petroleum Resources are the core back bone of the Nigeria economy. It accounts more than 80% of the Nigerian total foreign exchange revenue. Nigeria is among the biggest producer of petroleum on the planet and the biggest in Africa. Presently, it can’t meet the demand of petroleum products, because of corrupt practices from its leaders, who take petroleum products to different nations to refine and later export back to the country as finished products.
The Niger Delta Region, as rated above, produces the oil wealth that account for the majority of Nigeria’s foreign earning (Wifa, 2008). Crude oil was found in the Niger Delta in 1956. From that point forward, it has turned into the mainstay of the national economy (Ojalia, 2010).
The Niger Delta region has experience long years of neglect and environmental degradation because of oil exploration. Many yearsâ decades of oil companies’ activities in the region has harmed a large portion of the ecosystem of the area that results to socio-economic underdevelopment in the region. Also, aside from the neglect, the activities of oil multinationals have affected the environment and the health of the individuals in the oil producing communities, and it is endless. According to Ojefia (2010), “Unburned carbon is transported into their homes and working areas, all vegetation around is destroyed, the soil is rendered totally infertile and enormous heat makes endless discomfort and hardship”.
The people of Ogoni have experienced many years of serious environmental devastation. Shell Petroleum Company has long legacy of pollution in the region.
According to United Nations Environment Program, restoring Ogoni land would require enough cleanup operation on the world dwarfing BP’s reaction to deep water horizon and could take up to three decades to complete (News watch, 2011). This indicates the massive destruction of the environment, which has prompted loss of marine products, agricultural products and polluted water for drinking. The individuals’ source of lively-hood has been destroyed due to oil exploration and exploitation.
According to Dike, (2001) “the individuals have endured through a long history of economic and social injustice and they are currently tired of being at the bottom”. It shows the individuals’ interest of being in helm of affairs. The region adds to the economy of the state and receives nothing in return, but rather, the reaction of the state has been the application of force to address the issue.
The mileage of the crisis has proven no sign of socio-economic development, the action of the state is a harsh one, and the people of the region have been deprived of their benefits. lkelegbe (2007) is of the perspective that reply of the state to civil society militancy and confrontation has been high handed, suppressive, repressive, brutal, concise and directed at no resolution yet submission”. The multinational companies support the actions of government by applying and adopting the use of government force which they can’t control effectively. In Oni Sangama, Shell failed to caution local villagers of a fast approaching military strike where loss of lives was the probable result. The company paid the soldiers, who participated in the attack on the town (News watch, October 2011).
Social injustice is the response to the fact that the Niger Delta region gets short of what it contributes. Dike (2001) sees social injustice form as contributing more but given less”. Without social justice there will be no peace and socio-economic development will keep on eluding the region.
2.8. Dependency on Petrol and its effects
Dependency on petroleum product has affected the economic and political development of the state. Nigeria after about four decade of oil production had by the mid 1980 gets to be totally dependent on petroleum extraction. This has affected different zones of revenue generation. Petroleum Production undermines agricultural production. A brief look at the 1960 and 1963 independence constitution where genuine federalism was practice, extensive power was granted to the region, making them effectively autonomous entities and a revenue management, where the region had the resource to carry out the tremendous responsibilities of government, every region stored to have a dominant revenue yielding product. The North had Groundnut and Cotton, the West had Cocoa and Rubber and the East had Oil Palm (Ojefla, 2010). The review of the development was the competition among region towards socio-economic development.
Agricultural practice had fed the nation before the discovering of oil. Despite the vast wealth made by petroleum, the benefits have been slow. Oil has drastically divided the nation and impoverished the Niger Delta area. Government has failed to manage petroleum; rather petroleum is managing the government.
The ecosystem has been destroyed because of the activities of’ oil multinational companies. Dependency on oil prompted the degradation of the environment. Oil was discovered in “Ogoni” in 1957. The discovering of oil in “Ogoni” destabilized other economic activities, for example, farming. Government forced the people of Ogoni to hand over their land to oil companies with negligible compensation. The failure on the part of government to implement substantive policies that will prompt socio-economic development generated crisis in the region.
Oil discovery/governments suppressive, repressive and brutal response to the issue prompted the creation of association like MOSOP (Movement for the survival of the Ogoni People) established in 1992 whose significant point is to campaign and represent to Ogoni individuals in the struggle for ethnic and environment rights.
The neglect of this oil producing community prompted the formulation of combatant movement whose huge role is to reprehend the government, and whose activities have affected the political and economic system of the country. The militant groups are likes NDDVF (The Niger Delta People Volunteer Force) led by Mujahid Dokubo Asari and Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV) led by Ateke Tom, the group claimed to be battling for the rights of the Niger Delta People. Again the major critical effect of oil production is that it has hindered the social trust and support from the environment and has blindfolded policy makers from formulating policies that will guide government actions. As government is relying on oil, it hinders the development of representative politics, by taking out the need to collect tax effectively.
The Niger Delta crisis is not a Niger Delta problem, but rather indeed a Nigerian problem located in the Niger Delta Region. The method or approach used in addressing the crisis should be changed. Inadequate measures can prompt mass protest or revolution. The demand from the environment is socio economic development. According to Ledum Mitee (2009), “communities, qua communities must be made to really get the benefit of non-replaceable resource of the land”. Dike, (2001) also pointed out on the need for successive governments to invest in the area to enhance the living states of the individuals. Income realized from oil extraction ought to be used to enhance the individuals’ living conditions however despite what might be expected, where there is no important development, it degenerate to conflict between the government/multinational and communities.
According to Ikelegbe (2006), the making of policy is to address the basic issues affecting the environment, and the region gifted with wealth is faced with poor socio-economic development and environmental degradation. The formulation of sufficient policies to address these problems may help to bring sustainable peace.
Government needs to follow the different stages involve in the policy process, to address the Niger Delta crisis as expressed above:
Policies and recommendations have been made by different commissions on the struggle which at last prompted the selling up of the Willinks commission mostly in protest, delegations and parliamentary contributions by their representatives. The real case that was presented by the individuals was basically on the need for decentralization of power to the peoples of the region (Ledom Mittes, 2009).
Minority groups claimed government services and amenities should be distributed equally on the basis of ethnic grouping instead of population. The commission recommended unique minority commission to be jointly run by the federal and regional governments and any party system adopted in Nigeria, ought to take insight of the minority. They recommended unique development boards for the Niger Delta areas.
Majority domination of the minority groups can be seen as one of the causes for the Niger Delta crisis. The Willinks Commission of (1957) in its recommendation admitted that some of the fears of the minority groups over the majority are true. It claimed the creation of more areas not to be the best method for alleviating such failed to give appropriate recommendations to address the fears of the minority.
The influence of the majority groups (tribes) has deprived different commissions (interventionist agencies) from performing their allocated functions which can be considered as endemic prejudice and insincerity particularly when dealing with inter group problem (Don Pedro, 2009).
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