Accepted Paper:

Ethnic Communities and Militant Ideology in Nigeria's Niger Delta  

Author:

Tarila Ebiede

Paper short abstract:

This paper advances an ethnic community perspective of militant ideology in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

Paper long abstract:

This paper advances an ethnic community perspective of militant ideology in Nigeria's Niger Delta region. Armed groups claimed to represent the interest of marginalized communities in the struggle for resource and environmental rights. Current knowledge on this issue spotlights communities' perspectives before militant groups emerged and the motivations and conduct of armed groups during the insurgency. However, there has been little or no attention on why and how ordinary civilians in communities relate to the ideological claims of armed groups during and after the organized armed militancy. This paper seeks to fill this gap by analyzing empirical data from two ethnic communities in the region. The paper identifies and explains the aspects of the ideological claims of armed militant groups that resonates among ordinary civilians in ethnic communities. The paper also explains the role of ideological narratives in fostering popular support and/or opposition of armed militant groups in the region. Findings from this research enhance the current understanding of how ordinary civilians in communities relates with armed groups that claim to have a people oriented ideology.

Panel P044
Ideology and Armed Struggle in Contemporary Africa