Research Grant Details
Strategies to Disseminate Non-Violent Peace Education in the Crude Oil Producing Niger Delta
Benefit to Oil and Gas
Useful tool for peace and conflict resolution in oil bearing communities. Practical solution on CSR.
Niger Delta University *
Mankind has just ended a century of violence, the one that is possibly more violent than any other in
recorded history: World Wars and colonial conquests, civil wars, revolutions, and counterrevolutions.
The magnitude of the previous violence is very staggering; however, up till now mankind is not still done
with violent means of settling disputes, (Mamdani 2004:3)
Aggressive methods of settling intra and inter communal disputes and even conflicts with external
agencies have been part of the history of resource-rich communities in Africa such as the Niger Delta
region from the pre-colonial time to the present era. The use of violence to settle differences is becoming
a very standard occurrence in Africa's natural resources-rich communities. The Niger Delta region of
Nigeria, for several decades, has been a conflict zone. Militants from the region just recently fiercely
fought the federal government for the control of the crude oil and gas being produced in the area.
Unfortunately the government too resorted to a full-scale violence to end the activities of the militants
and till now, despite an amnesty arrangement put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria,
normalcy has not been restored to the region, because the ex-militants and other stakeholders in the
region to a large extent still resort to direct such as violent demonstrations and structural violence in
forms of kidnapping, sea piracy and oil bunkering to settle disputes and to express their grievances.
Currently in the Niger Delta, violence is use to settle most political, social, economical and cultural
disputes. Vices such as domestic violence and child abuse are also now common in the region.
The conflicts in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, especially from the crude oil producing communities, is
upsetting crude oil production in the country and this is also seriously influencing international crude oil
prices negatively because the crisis usually help to spurt up international crude oil prices. Crude oil is still
one a major mainstay of the global economy; oil still makes up to about 40 per cent of the world's energy
use and 96 per cent of its transportation energy (ThisDay, Oil Report, 2008:24). The Niger Delta's crude
oil produces 95 per cent of the nation's (i.e. Nigeria) foreign exchange earning, 65 per cent of
government revenues and more than 60 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (Cola, 2007).
Two major crude oil producing communities (Nembe and Brass) in the Lower Niger Delta of Bayelsa
State of the country alone, produces more than a billion Naira daily to the federation account, Barigha-
Amange (2008:4). Kolawole (2009:24) pointed out that, Oil is the spirit and soul of Nigeria, take away
oil earnings, and the country will go prostrate.
The conflict in the Niger Delta is destroying human resources and the environment in no small measure
too. Kidnappers or hostage takers have collected as ransom payments over $US100m (about 15 billion
Naira) from 2006-2008 alone (Guardian, April 1st 2009). And commercial kidnapping is still rampant in
the region despite the amnesty programme.
The European Union has earmarked about $1 billion ($602m) for peace in Nigeria (BBC News, 20th
November 2009). According to the EU Development Chief, a substantial amount of the funding will be spent on resolving conflict in the oil-rich and crime plagued Niger Delta. Nonviolent peace education
dissemination with the right strategies in the region will drastically help to reduce the different kinds of
conflicts bedeviling the area. It was just recently that the search for peaceful means of fighting oppression
started gaining momentum in the country and in the Niger Delta region in particular. The federal
government of Nigeria sponsored Amnesty Programme for militants of the Niger Delta and the peaceful
demonstrations against the Amnesty Programme held occasional by some ex-militants who were
aggrieved are signs of the gradual adoption and acceptance of non-aggressive means of settling and
protesting against perceived injustices.
Peace Education or Irenology (Greek, Irene means peace) is the pedagogical effort to build a better
world, including the teaching of skills and the techniques of conflict management (Lee and Haries,
2005). It a fast growing academic discipline, because the need for peace is at present a sine-que non for
development and progress all over the world, mostly because of the effects of globalization and the
increase of violent actions to solve even minor disputes.
Unfortunate, violent actions are promoted even among developed nations; this explains why the
defence industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. The promotion of violent among national
governments reflects in their annual budgets. The military budgets of so many countries are more than
every other sector including health and education (Imobigha, 2008:8).