Accepted paper:

Post amnesty politics in Nigeria's Niger Delta: the contested rise of new big men

Authors:

Arnim Langer
Tarila Ebiede

Paper short abstract:

This article analyzes the post-amnesty politics in Nigeria's Niger Delta region. We argue that the implementation of the Post Amnesty Programme (PAP) has empowered ex-militant leaders to become influential political and economic actors in the Niger Delta.

Paper long abstract:

This article analyzes the post-amnesty politics in Nigeria's Niger Delta region. We argue that ex-militant leaders have risen to become influential political and economic actors since the implementation of the Post Amnesty Programme (PAP) for armed groups in the Niger Delta. Our argument suggests that the rise of ex-militant leaders as 'new big men' in the Niger Delta is a direct - yet unintended - outcome of the design and implementation of the PAP. We explain how ex-militant leaders were co-opted economically through the award of lucrative security contracts. Our findings show that ex-militants gained more power in their communities as they were given control over the access to the PAP programme. Ex-militant leaders subsequently used their positions of economic influence and power to become and remain influential political actors as well, thereby fundamentally changing politics at the community as well as state-level in the Niger Delta Region. This article also seeks to build on theories of neopatrimonialism, especially how patronage politics manifest in the context of peacebuilding in societies emerging from armed conflicts.

panel Pol19
Politics after war: armed actors in post-conflict societies [CRG African Politics and International Relations]