This essay examines the causes of the agitation and militancy in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The conflict shows a dynamic that falls into three historical eras: the precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial. An interplay of three significant factors currently contributes to conditions that are fueling the conflict: foreign administrative control (slave trade and colonialism) of the Niger Delta, which is alien to the indigenous people; the presence of lucrative commodities (oil, palm oil, and timber); and the Niger Delta people's resistance to exploitation and assertion of their rights. The authors conclude that any attempts at finding solutions to the conflict must address issues of program and policy. They posit that policies founded on rights and environmental justice are imperative to help to resolve the differences between the fighting stakeholders.

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