BY PATRICIA TAFT*
Delta is the second most populous state in the Niger Delta, with an estimated 4.1 million people. The state produces about 35% of Nigeria’s crude oil and a considerable amount of its natural gas. It is also rich in root and tuber crops, such as potatoes, yams, cassava, and coco yams. Delta has a legacy of ethnic and political tensions which flared in the late 1990s and again in 2003.
The 2009 Amnesty Program was instrumental in reducing violence and fatalities associate with militancy. In 2010, however, there was a spike in insurgency/counter-insurgency activity with a notable incident that reportedly occurred in the Burutu Local Government Area (LGA) in December.
In 2011, the governor dismissed all elected local government chairmen and replaced them with Caretaker Committee Chairmen. Now, after two years, LGA-level elections are expected to take place on October 25, 2014. During 2012 and 2013, reported incidents included gang violence, criminality, and vigilante/mob justice.
There were a number of abductions, some targeting political figures, their family members, or oil workers. There were several reports of alleged abuses by public security forces, which sometimes provoked mob violence and protest. Conflict risk factors continued into mid-2014 with reports of abductions and communal violence.
This Conflict Bulletin provides a brief snapshot of the trends and patterns of conflict risk factors at the State and LGA levels, drawing on the data available on the P4P Digital Platform for Multi-Stakeholder Engagement (www.p4p-nigerdelta.org). The summaries draw on data collected by FFP’s UNLocK, the Council on Foreign Relations’ NST, WANEP Nigeria, CSS/ETH Zurich, Nigeria Watch, and ACLED integrated on the P4P platform.
*Marcella Aguirre also contributed to this report.