Identity Politics and Conflict in Nigeria: A Criminological Focus on Oil and Oil Producing Communities in the Niger Delta DOI: 10.36108/IJSI/2202.11.0120

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Aniekan S. Brown
Ediomo-Ubong Ekpo Nelson
Emmanuel J. Umontuen


This study explored identity mobilization and conflict among oil producing communities in the Niger Delta in Nigeria with an analysis of conflict involving Eket and Ibeno people in Akwa Ibom State. Fashioned after the survey tradition, primary data were obtained from key informant interviews while published materials provided secondary data. Inspired by the social disorganization theory, findings show how increasing recognition of the accumulative potentials of oil engendered violent conflict between the two ethnic groups as they struggled for greater access to oil benefits. Youths carried out the violent clashes, while local elites fueled the conflict by providing political coverage and arms. Identity mobilization through discourses of autochthony and locality played a central role in the conflict, as each group was organized in order to enhance competitive efficiency. The conflict shows the centrality of oil in Nigeria's political economy, and how it shapes both national political discourse and the broad rhythms of accumulation, rent-seeking disposition and social conflict, including conflict among oil producing communities. 

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S. Brown, A. ., Ekpo Nelson, E.-U. ., & J. Umontuen, E. (2022). Identity Politics and Conflict in Nigeria: A Criminological Focus on Oil and Oil Producing Communities in the Niger Delta: DOI: 10.36108/IJSI/2202.11.0120. Ibom Journal of Social Issues, 11(1), 12. Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Aniekan S. Brown, Department of Sociology & Anthropology

University of Uyo – Nigeria


Ediomo-Ubong Ekpo Nelson, Department of Sociology & Anthropology

University of Uyo – Nigeria


Emmanuel J. Umontuen, Department of Sociology & Anthropology

University of Uyo – Nigeria


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