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Old 18th Oct 2006, 11:18
  #1260 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 73
Posts: 1,561
It would be hard to argue that the oil has brought much to the people of the Delta, no. Even the programs meant to help them often have seen the funds diverted. A lot of the MEND rhetoric is correct in that regard, whether or not what they are doing is correct.

The problem for expats is that they are between the indigenes and the oil companies/Nigerian government in all that's going on, working out this little 50 year-old problem.

It is very logical to think that if the aviation operations, to name this area of direct concern, can be interrupted, then that brings pressure to bear on the government. It is just one more tactic like blowing up pipelines and attacking shipping, isn't it?

Time will tell, but I just do not see the oil companies and the Nigerian government getting a handle on things given their present rate of progress. The sort of gestures being made might have helped 20 years ago but events may have moved past that.

I really do think about how Viet Nam developed. Even though we knew the government of the Republic of Viet Nam was weak, corrupt and ineffectual we couldn't imagine going from the sort of trouble now seen in the Delta to what later developed.

There was even a sort of air assault on a village near Escravos, wasn't there? I heard a villager had his arm broken in that incident. The tactic worked, but to try that again might see an unarmed helicopter being shot at. This is just the sort of escalation seen in Viet Nam, in a way.

You cannot draw exact parallels, of course, especially given that there is no equivalent Communist threat in Nigeria. Perhaps the forces at work in the Delta are much more powerful than they are assessed to be.

It simply might be that almost all of the folks on the oil company/government side are mainly focused on making money, not on thinking a bit more deeply about politics, and, after all, 'All politics is local.'
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