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I am a very serious person and beg for persons who are on the same vibration to unite with me, and I'll do the same.
It's 2009 and our movement is coming together. In New York we're holding a free event for conscious people. Could you please see our link, and if your heart moves you, please spread the word to your colleagues. Thanks
World peace forever
System pits Blacks against whites, Christians against Muslims versus athiests, while elite at top PLUNDER THE WORLDIt's so amazing that most people haven't figured the global game out. We're pitted against each other so that the ELITE can steal from our tax-payer stockpiles and steal from the third world.
At convenient times they use their various tools, racism, classism. If they need oil from a certain region they claim "Axis of evil", so most of us follow, if they want something from Africa, they actually don't have to do much because most peoples minds are already programmed to be ANTI-AFRICA, so that one's a no-brainer. But if they want a certain law or legislation passed they use the Hatred of Mexicans sometimes, or switch it to the hatred of YOUTH (blaming youth gangs, then selling us on a BILLION dollar prison).
They have so many scripts, many of us don't even check the consistent patterns, we just remain complacent and quietly follow them into the GAS OVENS, or watch as they GAS innocent civilians (using various weapons that were created using our TAX - PAYER dollars).
For INJUSTICE to thrive the PEOPLE MUST REMAIN QUIET and COMPLACENT. Now isn't our world truly QUIET and COMPLACENT? No doubt. When you are able to put the pieces of the puzzle together, they use AD HOMINEM strategies to vilify you. Clearly, since they keep the actual deal hidden, it often takes some sensible piecing of the puzzle together. Just because the serial killer keeps his/her actions hidden, doesn't mean that their TRACKS don't exist. Yet they continue to call the truth CONSPIRACY THEORIES. Well, I'll take a theory over their words and heart/intent any DAY!!!
As more and more humans wake the F up, the keepers of the gate find people that look, sound, act like us, in order to keep us enslaved. They'll be putting more women, Blacks, Mexicans, Africans, Asians, representatives from many of the groups that you'd think were PRO PEACE AND TRUTH AND JUSTICE, they'll suddenly have a change of heart and put these so-called leaders in to further keep you confused and keep their GAME PLANS in play. GOOD COP - BAD COP all over again, just on a GLOBAL scale! Sad to say it but welcome to the age of OBAMA! He's a cute guy with cute clothes and an arsenal of English Language words that rival most of my most articulate fellow-warriors, yet, I fear that whether he knows it or now: HE'S JUST A PAWN. He has to know it, he's not stupid. The only saving grace would be if he's played along with them, but now will be our secret weapon from the inside. We'll see based on his actions; but for now I see him telling the world that the FINANCIAL SYSTEMS must change, yet he's not saying: THE FINANCIAL SYSTEMS HAVE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF THE POOR, THIRD WORLD, now we'll make sure that in this new financial system, people of ALL COUNTRIES will have the opportunity for true FINANCIAL FREEDOM!!" Maybe he'll do this and/or say it, but I doubt it. He's stabilizing the system for the SAME OLD CROOKS.
Yeah I cried too when he won, just like I was happy when OJ got off. Not because I think either of them is on the right side of the tracks, but BECAUSE whether the EVIL like it or know, Obama and OJ are just signs to TRUTH SEEKERS that we can BEAT THE SYSTEM, even if both men are "PLANTS". Our time for real CHANGE is coming? (And to think some African-Americans and Euro-Americans will want to lynch me for saying this. :-) Obama has become JESUS/MOHAMMED/ all rolled into one.
And if you dare speak about truth, justice, etc, you get banned, vilified, or you mysterious die while skiing, or end up with some disease easily infused into you using, again, tax-payer created weapons that are kept on the down-low. NSA has over 30,000 people working in secret, and our society is full of people working regular jobs, but who double as agents for corrupt imperial system. YET FEAR NOT, fight on, it takes 1,000 evil forces to keep 1 TRUTH SEEKING WARRIOR down. Truth is overcoming their lies and wars. WORDS OF TRUTH (and actions) are your armor; a desire for peace your motivation.
Stay strong, stand strong!
Tried FACEBOOK.com and they suck, they're like BIG BROTHER online, little privacy, etc. Back on tribeHi Tribe friends:
I was away, working on music, editing and trying FACEBOOK.com. Basically they're either owned by NSA or the CIA and have even hired some folks that were involved in torture and squashing free speech under various Presidents, etc.
It's a mad world, we have to fight for our freedom from the very people who we pay taxes to hire (politicians and civil servants who end up killing our freedom).
Well, here's to wishing that Tribe.com isn't (or won't become) just another place to peep into our messages and private discussions for any thoughts of freedom and resisting the worldwide global strategies of the MATRIX and secret societies! Damn
Bigotry in society: When natives assist, natives are rarely mentioned (Lewis and Clark to British biologist stingray supposed capture)This morning I read an article about the capture of the largest stingray on record. Then I re-read the headline: "British Biologist Captures Stingray" and I wondered why bigotry continues to follow humanity.
Lewis and Clark didn't succeed on their own, nor did the first persons to reach the North Pole, yet for most students and even historians, they are unaware that these feats would have been just dreams without the skilled assistance of others.
But in our Western world, we teach bigotry by ignoring the natives, females, Blacks, etc, without whose help, many feats would have never been possible.
In 2009,it amazes me that we travel space, have amazing computer systems, DNA breakthroughs, yet RACISM, SEXISM and BIGOTRY haven't been shattered. Rather it's becoming more institutionalized as "token females, blacks, natives' are in the media while the masses still experienced old world imperial treatment based on educational and media propaganda.
Here's to one world.
PEACE IS COMING (Hi friends) Our time to change the world and save it from selfish humans has arrivedMy friends: It's been some time since I've been in tribe. Hope you are all well. Great things happening with my new songs, new films, and renewed energy levels. Let's take this window of opportunity and save our planet from greedy investors, corporations, polluting manufacturers, blind arrogant politicians and anyone that would destroy the future of all our children!
Be strong and I'm also getting back into Orisha so stay tuned.
Nigeria - Niger Delta
The Niger Delta is an unstable area of Nigeria, and inter-ethnic clashes are common - often access to oil revenue is the trigger for the violence. Pipelines are regularly vandalized by impoverished residents, who risk their lives to siphon off fuel. Vandalism is estimated to result in thousands of barrels of crude oil wastage every day - a loss to the Nigerian economy of millions of dollars each year. Nigeria is the world's sixth largest oil-producing nation. However, mismanagement and successive military governments have left the country poverty-stricken.
Although many observers of the South South think primarily of youths invading oil company properties when they think of conflict there, in fact the roots of South South conflicts lie deeper in history and in the contemporary social circumstances of the area. Contemporary history of the Delta can be summarized as economic decline and broken promises. Historically, Delta communities prospered as “middlemen” controlling trade with the interior, particularly palm oil products and slaves. But with the development of the colonial state and independence, the region experienced a steady decline and stagnation, for no new sources of wealth developed there to replace these activities. More recently, the failure of the early independent Nigerian government to follow through on a promise to treat the Delta as a special development area, the steady reduction in the share of oil royalties that states in the Delta have received, and, finally, the habitual disregard of state needs by non-indigenous military state governors, continued and worsened Delta problems. The FGRN’s neglect of the Delta’s development (roads, schools, electricity, and health services all ended well inland before reaching coastal communities), Nigeria’s overall economic decline since the mid-1980s, and the tendency of educated Delta youths to leave the area, have confirmed its status as an economic backwater. The people who remained behind simply lacked prospects elsewhere.
The complexity of issues and number of stakeholders involved exacerbate South South problems. The Delta, in part because of its riverine/swamp topography, has historically been politically extremely fragmented, and subject to frequent and at times violent disputes over land and fishing rights, as well as over traditional leaders’ political jurisdictions. These all lead to cycles of “revenge violence.” As more powerful weapons became available in the Delta in the mid- and late-1990s, disputes became more violent. Youth gangs became more powerful who were willing and able to protect their villages and elders. As democratic competition returned in 1998–1999, some of these same youths took up a new line of activity, paid disruption of campaign events, and/or provided candidates protection from such unwanted attentions. Finally, traditional leaders have lost much credibility and respect as they have been corrupted by payments from the military government and the oil companies.
There is an inevitable and serious conflict of interest between Delta communities that bear the environmental damage of oil extraction and the rest of the nation for which oil money is essentially a free good. Delta populations, clearly a minority, regularly lose these struggles. Had they some authority over environmental issues, many current problems might be more manageable. Lacking this, and given the federal government’s control over all subsurface resources as well as “ownership” of all land, all Delta issues inevitably become national issues. The national government has failed to resolve these. In its campaign to “buy off” Delta discontent on the cheap, earlier administrations frequently corrupted Delta community leaders. There is a deep distrust in the Delta concerning the federal government and a feeling among local populations that most other Nigerians care little for their problems, so long as the oil flows. Delta populations constantly campaign for a larger share of the federal cake, most of which originates in their homelands (discussed further in the Economics section below).
As a result of these factors, and because oil companies did and do make tempting targets, many aggrieved youths in the Delta resort to direct action to extract compensation for their perceived losses. They invade oil company properties, take employees hostage, and shut down facilities. Oil companies typically negotiate release of captured personnel and properties with relative ease by paying the youths modest ransoms. This oil company strategy creates a “moral hazard”: the willingness of companies to pay ransoms stimulates imitators of this lucrative “business,” leading to sustained disruptions, at times to competition among youths, and to a general sense of anarchy in the Delta.
Another conflict closely linked to federal control over Delta oil and the economy in general is the intense competition for political office. For politicians, and for their communities, control of federal office opens the high road to resources that can be diverted from public to private or community control. Competition is naturally intense for federal political offices and has historically turned violent in the second election in each of Nigeria’s two previous republics. In summary, federal control over oil and much of the rest of the economy tends to “federalize” many economic problems, particularly in the Delta, and stimulates intense efforts to gain and hold office throughout Nigeria.
In this culture of cynicism about government, economic stagnation and hopelessness, historical political fragmentation, and low-grade violent conflict, pre-existing political fragmentation became institutional disintegration. Small groups of youths with weapons went unchallenged and found oil companies easy targets for hold-up and ransom. As the oil companies paid off the first gangs, others were inspired and soon followed suit. Throughout the 1990s, incidents of youth gangs extorting payments from oil companies and engaging in violence escalated, until they leveled off and began dropping in 1999.
Something is needed to encourage multiple and historically competing/conflicting communities to start working together, to bring more moderate and mature leaders back into the centers of decision making, to co-opt or marginalize violent youths, and to find constructive and promising avenues of activity for a currently "lost generation." If the promised 13% royalties on oil production are actually paid to the states and spent in the Delta, and if the new Nigeria Delta Development Corporation (NDDC) comes on line, they might offer enough funds to leverage meaningful local cooperation in the development and implementation of "area development plans."
Military authorities in Bayelsa State in the Niger delta region declared a state of emergency in late December 1998 in response to violence by members of the Ijaw ethnic group who sought greater local autonomy. In November 1999, the army destroyed the town of Odi, Bayelsa State and killed scores of civilians in retaliation for the murder of 12 policemen by a local gang.
Fighting continues between two ethnic groups -- Itsekiris and Ijaw residents of the Niger Delta. Tensions between the Itsekiris and the Ijaw communities remained high in 2003, with intermittent reports of violence. Tribal clashes in March 2003 forced the withdrawal of major oil companies from the area. Ethnic clashes in the region led to dozens of deaths, and forced multi-national oil giants to curtail operations in the area. Oil companies were forced to shut down 40 percent of the country’s output as the Ijaws and Itsekiris traded gunfire. Ethnic fighting resurfaced in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta in mid-August 2003. This was the most serious fighting in the area since March. But in October 2003 James Ibori, the Governor of Delta State, brought the warring Ijaw and Itsekiri communities together to agree a fragile peace. Fighting between the two groups killed more than 200 people during 2003 and forced the government to send in troop reinforcements to restore order.
The level of violence that Delta youth can muster seemed unlikely to seriously impede oil production. This implied that Delta conflicts will not exert a marked negative effect on the national economy. Moreover, Delta problems do not threaten consolidation of democratic civilian governance in Nigeria nor do they trigger ethnic riots elsewhere in the country.
On 01 Jun 2004 leaders of rival ethnic militia groups agreed to peace terms in the Nigerian oil town of Warri. The peace agreement struck between the Ijaw and Itsekiri militia groups crowned efforts by Delta State governor James Ibori to end fighting between the two tribes over claims to land and oil-related benefits. More than 200 people had died in ethnic clashes in Delta State over the previous year. But the peace deal failed to address key demands of the Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities Group for improved political representation and better access to the region’s oil resources. Government officials urged foreign oil companies to resume operations in the troubled Niger Delta region that had been disrupted by a year of fighting. ChevronTexaco, which had shut down 140,000 barrels per day of production, showed no immediate enthusiasm to reactivate its closed facilities.
What is now known as the Nigerian Oil Crisis began on 25 September 2004 when the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) threatened to attack oil facilities and infrastructure in the Delta region. Royal Dutch Shell responded the next day by evacuating 235 personnel from its oil fields. The NDPVF threatened to declare an all-out war against Obasajo’s government on 1 October and told all oil companies and their foreign workers to leave the Delta. Obasanjo entered into negotiations with the group and a ceasefire and disbarment plan were declared on 29 September.
By 5 October, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, the leader of the NDPVF, withdrew from disarmament obligations. The rest of October was punctuated by a series of oil worker strikes and fluctuations in the global price of oil. On 28 October, the NDPVF began to turn its weapons over to the government.
In November, strikes continued and by the 15 th, the government agreed to lower domestic oil prices. The unions suspended their strikes the next day. Unfortunately, fighting began anew when members of the Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV) attacked the Okrika region. The NDPVF responded by dropping at out disarmament plans. On 30 November, the Nigerian government revealed that over one million barrels of crude were lost each week during November.
On 15 June 2005, six Shell workers (two Germans and two Nigerians) were kidnapped. A group calling itself the Iduwini National Movement for Peace and Development claimed responsibility. Three days later, all six workers were released but their kidnappers stated that Shell was still under threat as it had yet to follow through on promises of development in the region.
The situation between the government and the NDPVF worsened when Asari was arrested for treason on 20 September 2005. The next day 300 NDPVF turned out for a protest armed with machetes and promising revenge. On 22 September, over 100 militants stormed an oil pumping station. Threats of more seizures led to another station being closed but government forces were able to reopen both stations by 26 September.
Asari was formally charged with treason on 6 October. If convicted he could face the death penalty. In what was probably a response to the charges, militants blew up a pipeline and killed eight people in December. As a result of this attack Shell was forced to delay crude shipments out of Nigeria.
In January 2006, a new militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger River Delta (MEND), entered the fray. MEND is closely linked to the NDPVF and is demanding, among other things, the release of Asari and $1.5 billion in compensation from Shell for the pollution they claim it caused. MEND’s first significant act was an attack on Italy’s Eni SpA petroleum company. The deaths of nine Eni officials forced the company to evacuate its staff and contractors from the area. Along with further kidnappings and another withdrawal of Shell workers, it was estimated that the instability had resulted in a 10% drop in Nigerian oil production.
By April, continued attacks had brought Nigerian oil production capability down to 75%. On 5 April, Obasanjo established a special committee to address the crisis by improving education, employment, and infrastructure. By the end of the month, Obasanjo offered the region thousands of new jobs and a highway. MEND’s response came in the form of a car-bombing the next day. Killings and kidnappings of foreign oil workers and the government’s retaliatory attacks continued through December.
The Niger Delta, the delta of the Niger River in Nigeria, is a densely populated region sometimes called the Oil Rivers because it was once a major producer of palm oil. The area was the British Oil Rivers Protectorate from 1885 until 1893, when it was expanded and became the Niger Coast Protectorate.
View of the Niger Delta from space. North is on the left.
The Niger Delta, as now defined officially by the Nigerian Government, extends over about 70,000 km² and makes up 7.5% of Nigeria’s land mass. Historically and cartographically, it consists of present day Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States. In the year 2000, however, Obansanjo's regime expanded its definition to include Abia State, Akwa Ibom State, Cross River State, Edo State, Imo State and Ondo State. Some 31 million people of more than 40 ethnic groups including the Ijaw and Igbo people, speaking some 250 dialects live in the Delta.
The South-South Niger Delta include Akwa Ibom State, Bayelsa State, Cross River State, Delta State, Edo State, and Rivers State.
Nigeria Criticized for Decreased Niger Delta Spending
By Gilbert da Costa
09 December 2008
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Groups in Nigeria's Niger Delta have criticized the Yar'Adua administration for the proposed spending for the region next year. President Umaru Yar'Adua proposed a slight decrease in government expenditure in the Niger Delta, despite a clamor for massive government intervention in the region.
Nigeria map hightlighting Delta eng 190
Among government plans for next year, nearly $700 million, out of a national budget of $23 billion, will be spent on improving electricity supply in Nigeria and $600 million will go to the Niger Delta's oil producing region.
A Niger Delta analyst who is a member of a panel set up by the government to consider ways to end the Delta unrest, Tony Uranta, says the proposal was rather provocative.
"We believe that the budget, rather than been seen as a budget of caution is a budget of provocation to the Niger Delta. The Niger Delta Development Commission had 84 billion [naira] [about $650 million] to it in the last budget. And yet the NDDC [Niger Delta Development Commission] and the Niger Delta ministry, put together, now have only 77 billion naira [about $600 million], which is less than the 84 billion budgeted to them."
Groups in the Niger Delta have denounced the proposed budget as reflecting a lack of political will to resolve the Delta crisis. Attacks by militants on oil facilities in the Niger Delta, home to Africa's biggest oil and gas industry, have shut down about a fifth of Nigeria's output since early 2006.
Militants say they are fighting for a greater share of the oil wealth for people in the Niger Delta, where more than 70 percent of the population survives on less than one dollar a day.
Analysts say continued insecurity in the Niger Delta could derail Nigeria's projected oil production of more than 2.25 million barrels per day for 2009. Any significant production shortfall could drive down revenues for Nigeria.
Uranta says restoring peace to the Niger Delta could have positive implications for the performance of the 2009 budget. He recommends the release of a rebel leader from the region and the withdrawal of government troops.
"Restiveness in the Niger Delta can be curbed if the president sincerely begins a process of confidence building by granting Henry Okah open and free trial and bail," said Uranta. "The issue of unrest is being exacerbated by the presence of the military in the region."
The federal government has said it is pursuing a "master plan for infrastructure development" in the Niger Delta, but militant groups say there has been no visible progress.
Nigerian Soldiers Jailed for Life for Arms Sales to Rebels
By Gilbert da Costa
19 November 2008
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Six Nigerian soldiers have been sentenced to life imprisonment for selling guns and other weapons to militants and criminals in the Niger Delta. Prosecutors said the arms sales had contributed to the violence in the oil-rich region. For VOA, Gilbert da Costa filed this report from Abuja.
Security experts and rights groups have long accused some members of the security forces of secretly selling arms to militants and criminals in the Niger Delta.
A Nigerian army panel, which sat in the northern city of Kaduna, convicted the six soldiers for theft of 7,000 military assault rifles, sub-machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades between 2003 and 2007. The weaponry, worth around $1 million, was sold to militants.
Army spokesman General Emeka Onwamaegbu said the trial process was not over yet, and that the convicted soldiers could face more charges.
"I can assure you with all confidence that all our other facilities where we keep weapons are quite well protected," he said. "All those who were investigated are being tried. However, their trial is not over. They have just been sentenced on the charges that were brought against them. There are still other charges that they are standing trial for now."
Nigeria is battling an insurgency that has curtailed output in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Militants have kidnapped more than 200 local and foreign oil workers and destroyed several oil and gas pipelines and other facilities.
Efforts are being made by the government to increase the speed of development in the region.
Rebel groups have called for a more equitable distribution of the country's oil wealth. Nigeria is the world's eighth largest oil exporter, but militants' raids have cut shipment by a fifth.
The Nigerian government faces a new challenge from spiraling crime in the oil-producing Niger Delta.
Niger Delta Struggle
During colonial period, the core Niger Delta was a part of Eastern Region of Nigeria which came into being in 1951 (one of the three regions, and later one of the four Regions). This region included the people from colonial Calabar and Ogoja Divisions, (see old Calabar Kingdom), the Igbo people, and the Ijaw, with Igbo as the majority and Professor Eyo Ita of Calabar as the head (premier) of the region under NCNC (National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon) as the ruling political party in the region. NCNC later became National Convention of Nigerian Citizens after Western Cameroon decided to cut-away from Nigeria and became a part of Cameroon.
In 1953, the region (eastern region) had a major crisis due to the expulsion of Professor Eyo Ita from office by the majority tribe. Using the platform of the Ibibio Union, the minorities in the region (non-Igbo), mainly people of the old Calabar Kingdom, the Ijaw and Ogoja demanded a state of region of their own, the Calabar-Ogoja-Rivers (COR) state. The struggle for the creation of COR state continued and was a major issue on the status of minorities in Nigeria during debates in Europe for Nigerian independence.
The present South-South political zone seems some-what close to the COR state movement, but not quite as the original COR state would include the Coastal South-South states only; namely: Akwa Ibom State, Bayelsa State, Cross River State, Delta State and Rivers State.
A second phase of the struggle saw the declaration of an Independent Niger Delta Republic by Isaac Adaka Boro during Ironsi's administration, just before the Civil war.
During the Nigerian civil war, Southeastern state was created which had the colonial Calabar Division (old Calabar Kingdom), and colonial Ogoja Division, and Rivers State for the other minorities, especially the Ijaw, Ogoni, etc. Southeastern State was renamed Cross River State and was later split into Cross River State and Akwa Ibom State. Rivers State was later divided into Rivers State and Bayelsa State.
Phase three saw the request for justice and the end of marginalization of the area by the Nigerian government with Ken Saro Wiwa as the lead figure for this phase of the struggle. The indigents cried for lack of development even though the Nigerian oil money is from the area. They also complained about environmental pollution and destruction of their land and rivers by oil companies. Ken Saro Wiwa and other leaders were killed by the Nigerian Federal Government under Sani Abacha.
Unfortunately the struggle has gotten out of control and the present phase, the phase four, has become militant in nature. Nigeria needs to stay strong and united and the government needs to help solve the Niger Delta Crisis.
 Western Niger Delta
Western Niger Delta consists of the western section of the coastal South-South Nigeria which include Delta and Edo States. The western Niger Delta is an heterogeneous society with several ethnic groups with Ijaw as the majority. Other ethnic groups include Urhobo, Ezon, Isoko, Itsekiriand Ukwani(Igbo). Their livelihoods are primarily based on fishing and farming. History has it that the Western Niger was controlled by chiefs of five separate powerful nations with whom the British government had to sign separate "Treaties of Protection" with in their formation of "Protectorates" that later became southern Nigeria. The five Chiefs were the Chiefs of Itsekiri, Isoko, Ukwuani, Ijaw and Urhobo.
 Eastern Niger Delta
Eastern Niger Delta consists of the eastern section of the coastal South Nigeria which include Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River States. The Eastern Niger Delta region has the Ijaw (including the Nembe-Brass, Ogbia, Kalabari , Okrika, Ibani and Andoni clans), the Igbo (which consists of the Ikwerre, Ekpeye, Ndoni, Etche, Ndoki, Ogba-Egbema subgroups) and the Ogoni. Others are, the Annang, the Efik-Ibibio, the Oron, the Eket and the Ekoi (Ogoja) people, who are all related with a common language and ancestors.
 Nigerian oil
Coincidentally, Nigeria has become Africa's biggest producer of petroleum, including many oil wells in the Oil Rivers. Some 2 million barrels a day are extracted in the Niger Delta. Since 1975, the region has accounted for more than 75% of Nigeria's export earnings. Much of the natural gas extracted in oil wells in the Delta is immediately burned, or flared, into the air at a rate of approximately 70 million m³ per day. This is equivalent to 41% of African natural gas consumption, and forms the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. The environmental devastation associated with the industry and the lack of distribution of oil wealth have been the source and/or key aggravating factors of numerous environmental movements and inter-ethnic conflicts in the region, including recent guerilla activity by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
 Oil revenue derivation
Oil revenue allocation has been the subject of much contention well before Nigeria gained its independence. Allocations have varied from as much as 50%, owing to the First Republic's high degree of regional autonomy, and as low as 10% during the military dictatorships.
Oil revenue sharing formula
Year Federal State* Local Special Projects Derivation Formula**
1958 40% 60% 0% 0% 50%
1968 80% 20% 0% 0% 10%
1977 75% 22% 3% 0% 10%
1982 55% 32.5% 10% 2.5% 10%
1989 50% 24% 15% 11% 10%
1995 48.5% 24% 20% 7.5% 13%
2001 48.5% 24% 20% 7.5% 13%
* State allocations are based on 5 criteria: equality (equal shares per state), population, social development, land mass, and revenue generation.
**The derivation formula refers to the percentage of the revenue oil producing states retain from taxes on oil and other natural resources produced in the state. World Bank Report
 Recent destabilisation
Map of Nigeria numerically showing states typically considered part of the Niger Delta region: 1. Abia, 2. Akwa Ibom, 3. Bayelsa, 4. Cross River, 5. Delta, 6. Edo, 7.Imo, 8. Ondo, 9. Rivers Click to view
Activities of local indigenous people against commercial oil refineries and pipelines have destabilized the region. Recently foreign employees of Shell, the primary corporation operating in the region, were taken hostage by outraged local people. Such activities have also resulted in greater governmental concern with the area, and the mobilisation of the Nigerian army and coastguard into the region.
In April, 2006, a bomb exploded near an oil refinery in the Niger Delta region, a warning against Chinese expansion in the region. MEND stated: “We wish to warn the Chinese government and its oil companies to steer well clear of the Niger Delta. The Chinese government by investing in stolen crude places its citizens in our line of fire.”
Government and private initiatives to develop the Niger Delta region have been introduced recently. These include the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC ), a Government initiative, and the Development Initiative (DEVIN ), a community development non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Port Harcourt in the Niger Delta. Uz and Uz Transnational , a company with strong commitment to the Niger Delta, has introduced ways of developing the poor in the Niger Delta, especially in Rivers State.
In September 2008, MEND released a statement proclaiming that their militants had launched an "oil war" throughout the Niger Delta against both, pipelines and oil production facilities, and the Nigerian soldiers that protect them. Both MEND and the Nigerian Government claim to have inflicted heavy casualties on one another. 
The Sweet Crude documentary film by Director Sandy Cioffi and Producer Tammi Sims is now in post-production. Sweet Crude tells the story of Nigeria’s Niger Delta.
Environmental Justice from the Niger Delta to the World Conference Against Racism
by Sam Olukoya, Special to CorpWatch
August 30th, 2001
Disasters in Nigeria's oil operations are common. 200 villagers died in this pipeline explosion a year ago. AP/Clement Ntaye
NIGER DELTA -- Erovie, a community in the Niger Delta, is thousands of miles from Durban, South Africa where delegates from around the globe are gathering this week for the World Conference Against Racism. But the tragedy that befell the citizens of Erovie, who were poisoned by toxic waste from Shell Oil's operations, is a graphic example of what the Conference's NGO Forum refers to as environmental racism: the disproportionate impacts of pollution borne by communities of color around the world.
At the Durban Conference fifty Nigerian non-governmental organizations are working with others from around the world to underscore the drastic consequences of these practices and to demand environmental justice. Unlike many other critical issues being addressed at the Conference, they are not only looking to governments to make change, they are also demanding that corporations be held accountable for their abuses. Some even insist that corporations-including the many foreign oil companies operating in the Niger Delta-- pay restitution to communities that have been devastated by their actions. The World Conference Against Racism marks an important opportunity for dozens of groups to inject an environmental justice and corporate accountability perspective into the mix, according to participants in the NGO Forum.
"We want to highlight the need for the multinational oil companies to stop the devastation of the Niger Delta and for the Nigerian government to enact laws that will compel them to respect the people and their environment," explains Annie Davies of the Nigeria based NGO DevNet.
Erovie and Shell
Local residents began to experience health problems soon after Shell Oil company injected a million litres of a waste into an abandoned oil well in Erovie two years ago. Many who consumed crops or drank water from swamps in the area complained of vomiting, dizziness, stomach ache and cough. Within two months 93 people had died from this mysterious illness. Independent tests by two Nigerian universities and three other laboratories, conducted in the year after the health problems emerged, indicate that the substance was toxic. All the tests confirmed poisonous concentrations of lead, zinc and mercury in the dumped substance.
"The presence of heavy metals at above acceptable limits and the unusually high concentration of ions make the substance toxic. Therefore, if these substances were to infiltrate the underground water or aquifer, it would have serious environmental and health implications," says one of the reports.
In the year and a half since the reports were released, many residents have fled the community to avoid illness from the waste contamination. But Shell has refused to respond to the community's appeal to clean up the toxic mess. Rather, the oil company and the Nigerian government claim the substance is harmless. The Nigerian government even ran a newspaper ad saying its own test showed that "the substance had no obvious significant harmful impact on human and the immediate environment." In an attempt to foreclose the controversy, the government described the advertisement as the "full and final report" on the waste's toxicity.
But for the community, the controversy has just begun. Community members have gone to court seeking an order to compel the Nigerian government to conduct a fresh independent scientific inquiry on the nature of the waste. The community is also seeking a court order to compel Shell to immediately remove the hazardous waste and undertake a comprehensive clean up.
"Our land should not be turned into a waste dump for Shell, our ancestors forbid it, they are angry," says Odhegolor Abikelegba a community leader.
Shell, which is responsible for half of Nigeria's production of two million barrels of crude oil a day, denies the charges of human rights and environmental abuses. "Shell has always conducted its business as a responsible corporate member of society which observes the laws of Nigeria and respect the fundamental human rights in line with the United Nations declaration of human rights," asserted Ebert Imomoh, the company's Deputy Managing Director in Nigeria, when he recently appeared before a government panel investigating human rights abuses.
Shell Not the Only Corporate Villain
Reports of environmental and human rights abuses by multinational oil companies operating in the Delta are common. And Shell is not the only corporation under fire. In one instance, six youths engaged to clear an oil spill from a pipeline belonging to the Italian Oil company Agip, were burnt to death while eleven others sustained seriously burns. "We were bailing the crude oil with buckets and our bodies were soaked with oil when suddenly there was fire," says Reuben Eteyan who survived the incident.
In another case, documented by foreign journalists in 1998, Chevron flew in troops by helicopter during a peaceful protest on one of their oil platforms in the remote Ilaje community. Those troops shot dead two youths and wounded several others.
Terisa Turner, coordinator of the non-governmental International Oil Working Group, described multinational oil companies conduct in the Niger Delta over decades as an expression of environmental racism. "These practices are not, and could not, be pursued in Western Europe or North America, nor should they be practised anywhere," she says.
Turner says Northern countries benefit from the abuses taking place in the Niger Delta because the bulk of the oil extracted there is used in the North. The profit, she said, also accrues to shareholders in the North.
She observes that environmental racism in the Niger Delta persists due to propaganda "devised by corporate public relations conmen, blinding oil consumers in the west from knowing or caring about the blood that is mixed with the oil they consume."
By contrast, residents of the Niger Delta sleep in mud houses, drink dirty water from ponds and rivers and live far below subsistence level. The oil wealth accruing from their land is shared between the Nigerian government and the oil companies with very little or nothing getting to the communities. The government's share of the money often end up in the private bank accounts of government officials. This perhaps explains why the Nigerian government is quick to side with foreign oil companies in conflicts with the communities.
Reparations is a crucial issue in the struggle for environmental justice in Nigeria. Many of the ethnic groups in the Niger Delta have drawn up various demands. A key document is the Ogoni Bill of Rights which seeks reparations from Shell for environmental pollution, devastation and ecological degradation of the Ogoni area. Shell's abuses in Ogoniland were made infamous by the late playwright and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was executed by the Nigerian government.
The issue of reparations for colonialism and slavery are also a hot button issue at the World Conference Against Racism. Northern governments are loathe to accept responsibility for 18th and 19th Century slave trade. But the pillaging of Southern countries continues-oil extraction in the Niger Delta is just one example. The challenge for activists trying to inject an environmental justice perspective into the debate, will be to raise the issue of reparations from corporate violators, like Shell, Agip and Chevron, not just from governments.
1. What is Shell?
The "Royal Dutch/Shell Group," commonly know as Shell, is an amalgam of over 1,700 companies all over the world. 60% of the Group is owned by Royal Dutch of the Netherlands, and 40% is owned by the Shell Transport and Trading Group of Great Britain. These two companies have worked together since 1903. Shell includes companies like Shell Petroleum of the USA (which wholly owns Shell Oil of the USA and many subsidiaries), Shell Nigeria, Shell Argentina, Shell South Africa, etc.
Shell Nigeria is one of the largest oil producers in the Royal Dutch/Shell Group. 80% of the oil extraction in Nigeria is the the Niger Delta, the southeast region of the country. The Delta is home to many small minority ethnic groups, including the Ogoni, all of which suffer egregious exploitation by multinational oil companies, like Shell. Shell provides over 50% of the income keeping the Nigerian dictatorship in power.
Aside from letters, the only way to reach the powers of Shell Nigeria is through other Shell companies like Shell Oil of the USA. When Shell Oil feels the impact of a boycott and understands that our grievances lie with Shell Nigeria, it puts pressure on the Shell Group to influence change in Nigeria.
2. Why boycott Shell?
Since the Nigerian government hanged 9 environmental activists in 1995 for speaking out against exploitation by Royal Dutch/Shell and the Nigeria government, outrage has exploded worldwide. The tribunal which convicted the men was part of a joint effort by the government and Shell to suppress a growing movement among the Ogoni people: a movement for environmental justice, for recognition of their human rights and for economic justice. Shell has brought extreme, irreparable environmental devastation to Ogoniland. Please note that although the case of the Ogoni is the best known of communities in Shell's areas of operation, dozens of other groups suffer the same exploitation of resources and injustices.
"The most conspicuous aspects of life in contemporary Ogoni are poverty, malnutrition, and disease."
-Ben Naanen, Oil and Socioeconomic Crisis in Nigeria, 1995, pg. 75-6
Although oil from Ogoniland has provided approximately $30 billion to the economy of Nigeria1, the people of Ogoni see little to nothing from their contribution to Shell's pocketbook. Emanuel Nnadozie, writing of the contributions of oil to the national economy of Nigeria, observed "Oil is a curse which means only poverty, hunger, disease and exploitation" for those living in oil producing areas2. Shell has done next to nothing to help Ogoni: by 1996, Shell employed only 88 Ogoni (0.0002% of the Ogoni population, and only 2% of Shell's employees in Nigeria)3. Ogoni villages have no clean water, little electricity, few telephones, abysmal health care, and no jobs for displaced farmers and fisher persons, and adding insult to injury, face the effects of unrestrained environmental molestation by Shell everyday.
When crude oil touches the leaf of a yam or cassava, or whatever economic trees we have, it dries immediately, it's so dangerous and somebody who was coming from, say, Shell was arguing with me so I told him that you're an engineer, you have been trained, you went to the university, I did not go to the university, but I know that what you have been saying in the university sleeps with me here so you cannot be more qualified in crude oil than myself who sleeps with crude oil.
-Chief GNK Gininwa of Korokoro, "The Drilling Fields", Glenn Ellis (Director), 1994
Since Shell began drilling oil in Ogoniland in 1958, the people of Ogoniland have had pipelines built across their farmlands and in front of their homes, suffered endemic oil leaks from these very pipelines, been forced to live with the constant flaring of gas. This environmental assault has smothered land with oil, killed masses of fish and other aquatic life, and introduced devastating acid rain to the land of the Ogoni4. For the Ogoni, a people dependent upon farming and fishing, the poisoning of the land and water has had devastating economic and health consequences5. Shell claims to clean up its oil spills, but such "clean-ups" consist of techniques like burning the crude which results in a permanent layer of crusted oil meters thick and scooping oil into holes dug in surrounding earth (a temporary solution at best, with the oil flowing out of the hole during the Niger Delta's frequent bouts of rain) 6.
Natural Gas Flaring
Ken Saro-Wiwa called gas flaring "the most notorious action" of the Shell and Chevron oil companies7. In Ogoniland, 95% of extracted natural gas is flared8 (compared with 0.6% in the United States). It is estimated that the between the CO2 and methane released by gas flaring, Nigerian oil fields are responsible for more global warming effects than the combined oil fields of the rest of the world9.
Although Shell drills oil in 28 countries, 40% of its oil spills worldwide have occurred in the Niger Delta10. In the Niger Delta, there were 2,976 oil spills between 1976 and 199111. In the 1970s spillage totaled more that four times that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez tragedy12. Ogoniland has had severe problems stemming from oil spillage, including water contamination and loss of many valuable animals and plants. A short-lived World Bank investigation found levels of hydrocarbon pollution in water in Ogoniland more than sixty times US limits13 and a 1997 Project Underground survey found petroleum hydrocarbons one Ogoni village's watersource to be 360 times the levels allowed in the European Community, where Shell originates14.
Pipelines and construction
The 12 by 14 mile area that comprises Ogoniland is some of the most densely occupied land in Africa. The extraction of oil has lead to construction of pipelines and facilities on precious farmland and through villages. Shell and its subcontractors compensate landowners with meager amounts unequal to the value of the scarce land, when they pay at all. The military defends Shell's actions with firearms and death: see the Shell Police section below.
The Nigerian Environmental Study Action Team observed increased "discomfort and misery" due to fumes, heat and combustion gases, as well as increased illnesses15. This destruction has not been alleviated by Shell or the government. Owens Wiwa, a physician, has observed higher rates of certain diseases like bronchial asthma, other respiratory diseases, gastro-enteritis and cancer among the people in the area as a result of the oil industry16.
The Shell Police and the Rivers State Internal Security Task Force
Both Shell and the government admit that Shell contributes to the funding of the military in the Delta region. Under the auspices of "protecting" Shell from peaceful demonstrators in the village of Umeuchem (10 miles from Ogoni), the police killed 80 people, destroyed houses and vital crops in 199017. Shell conceded it twice paid the military for going to specific villages. Although it disputes that the purpose of these excursions was to quiet dissent, each of the military missions paid for by Shell resulted in Ogoni fatalities18. The two incidents are a 1993 peaceful demonstration against the destruction of farmland to build pipelines and, later that year, a demonstration in the village of Korokoro19. Shell has also admitted purchasing weapons for the police force who guard its facilities, and there is growing suspicion that Shell funds a much greater portion of the military than previously admitted. In 1994, the military sent permanent security forces into Ogoniland, occupying the once peaceful land. This Rivers State Internal Security Task Force is suspected in the murders of 2000 people20. In a classified memo, its leader described his plans for "psychological tactics of displacement/wasting" and stated that "Shell operations are still impossible unless ruthless military operations are undertaken."21 Since the Task Force occupied Ogoniland in 1994, the Ogoni have lived under constant surveillance and threats of violence. The Nigerian military stepped up its presence in Ogoniland in January of 1997 and again in 1998 before the annual Ogoni Day celebrations.
The trial and execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 8: The Struggle continues...
Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 8 were leaders of MOSOP, the Movement for Survival of the Ogoni People. As outspoken environmental and human rights activists, they declared that Shell was not welcome in Ogoniland. On November 10, 1995, they were hanged after a trial by a special military tribunal (whose decisions cannot be appealed) in the murder of four other Ogoni activists. The defendants' lawyers were harassed and denied access to their clients. Although none of them were near the town where the murders occurred, they were convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that many heads of state (including US President Clinton) strongly condemned for a stunning lack of evidence, unmasked partiality towards the prosecution and the haste of the trial. The executions were carried out a mere eight days after the decision. Two witnesses against the MOSOP leaders admitted that Shell and the military bribed them to testify against Ken Saro-Wiwa with promises of money and jobs at Shell20. Ken's final words before his execution were: "The struggle continues!"
The Ogoni 20 and others...
On September 7, 1998, the Ogoni 20 were released on bail! The 20 had been imprisoned for the past four years under the same unsubstantiated charges as those used to execute Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 8. It is unclear whether they will be tried. Sadly, another 25 people were arrested in January, 1998 for organizing the annual peaceful Ogoni Day celebration. There are unknown other Ogonis imprisoned because they appeared to support the Ogoni cause or for helping others remember Ken Saro-Wiwa.
Not just the Ogoni
The majority of Nigeria's oil comes from the Niger Delta in Southeast Nigeria. All across the Niger Delta, ethnic minority communities suffer the same environmental devastation and oppression under multinational oil companies and the Nigerian military. In 1990, Shell specifically requested that the military protect its facilities from nonviolent protesters in the village of Umeuchem. 80 villagers were killed in two days of violence. A later judiciary panel determined that the villagers posed no threat against Shell21. There have also been accusations of the military arming some communities to fight other communities and prevent the growth of cohesive groups like MOSOP, because wide-spread movements could lead to the end of the flagrant prosperity for Shell and the military. However, communities like the Ijaw, Ekwerre, Oyigba, Ogbia, and others in the Niger Delta have taken measures to reclaim their despoiled lands and human rights22. Since October 1998, Ijaw groups have been occupying oil industry platforms and pipeline transfer stations, at one point blocking a third of Nigeria's oil exports. As of early December, 1988, the groups were still shutting off flow and demanding environmental and economic justice.
3. Why does the Nigerian government allow this to happen?
In Nigeria, it is questionable whether it is multinational oil companies like Shell or the military which hold ultimate control. Oil companies have a frightening amount of influence upon the government: 80% of Nigerian government revenues come directly from oil, over half of which is from Shell. Countless sums disappear into the pockets of military strongmen in the form of bribes and theft. In 1991 alone, $12 billion in oil funds disappeared (and have yet to be located)23. Local governments admit that oil companies bribe influential local officials to suppress action against the companies. Hence the interests of the Nigerian military regime are clear: to maintain the status quo; to continue acting on Shell's requested attacks on villagers whose farms are destroyed by the oil company; to continue silencing, by any means necessary, those who expose Shell's complete disregard for people, for the environment, for life itself. Shell and the Nigerian military government are united in this continuing violent assault of indigenous peoples and the environment. And just as oil companies exploit numerous communities in the Niger Delta, the government's involvement in the above crimes is not limited to the Ogoni.
To allow the Ogoni to continue raising local and global awareness and pressure would be political suicide for an oppressive, violent military regime, whose only mandate is its own guns24. The Nigerian military government could not allow this movement of empowerment to spread into other impoverished communities of the Niger Delta. By harassing, wounding and killing Ogoni and others, the military ensures that it remains in power and that its pockets remain lined with the blood money of Delta oil.
4. What are groups in Nigeria doing to stop Shell?
The first highly visible action organized by the Movement for Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) occurred on January 4, 1993 with 300,000 Ogoni (3/5 of the population) participating in the peaceful "Ogoni Day" demonstration. The overwhelming turnout signals a solid consensus for change, for freedom from the oppressions of Shell and the military regime. MOSOP is an umbrella association of ten Ogoni groups encompassing over half of the Ogoni population. Today, MOSOP's leaders live in exile, but MOSOP remains a significant presence both in Nigeria and abroad. Since MOSOP became highly visible, other groups in oil producing regions have begun modeling their actions on MOSOP's tactics of intense yet peaceful demonstrations, pan-ethnic-group organizations, and charters based on the Ogoni Bill of Rights. The military and Shell have been careful to prevent any movements from gaining MOSOP's momentum. See The MOSOP Story by MOSOP Canada.
There are currently many groups in the Niger Delta working on researching and educating about the environmental and social impacts of the oil industry on the Niger Delta. A few of these are Environmental Rights Action (ERA) and Niger Delta Human and Environmental Rescue Organization (ND-HERO). Additionally, many ethnic groups other than the Ogoni are vocalizing and demonstrating against the environmental racism and human rights abuses of Shell, Chevron, Mobil, and many others.
In 1990, MOSOP created the Ogoni Bill of Rights, which outlines the major grievances of the Ogoni, and applies to the peoples of many other oil producing areas. The major points of the Ogoni Bill of Rights are:
• clean up of oil spills
• reduction of gas flaring
• fair compensation for lost land, income, resources, life
• a fair share of profits gained from oil drilled at their expense
An oft forgotten element of the Ogoni struggle are the thousands of people who have fled Ogoniland under threat of violence from the Shell Police and the Rivers State Task Force. Ogoni refugees are found in Benin, Togo, and Ghana and other countries25. A majority of these refugees are students. There are also many people living in exile in the US, Canada and Europe. In 1997, Diana Wiwa visited Ogoni refugees throughout the region.
5. The UN, the Commonwealth and the US
International condemnation of Nigeria is widespread, but there has been much more talk than action.
In a surprising and welcome move, the United Nations Special Rapporteur's report on Nigeria (released 4/15/98) accused Nigeria and Shell of abusing human rights and failing to protect the environment in oil producing regions, and called for an investigation into Shell. The report condemned Shell for a "well armed security force which is intermittently employed against protesters." The report was unusual both because of its frankness and its focus on Shell, instead of only on member countries. This was repeated in a November 1998 visit by the same official to Nigeria and the Delta region.
The Commonwealth is a group of 53 developed and developing nations around the world. Almost all members have had a past association with another Commonwealth country, as colonies or protectorates or trust territories. The Commonwealth believes in the promotion of international understanding and co-operation, through partnership. Nigeria's membership of the Commonwealth was suspended by Commonwealth Heads of Government on 11 November 1995. Despite repeated pleas from Nigerian human rights activists, the Commonwealth has failed to follow through on threats of expulsion.
The US: words without action
In word, the United States is a strong critic of the Nigerian government, both past and present. It has condemned the existence of the military regime, of election cancellations, and of the situation in Ogoniland. It has threatened to take action. Yet it never does. As the largest consumer of Nigerian oil, the US could be the strongest advocate for human rights and justice, yet it refuses to take on that role. The US government has even protected Nigeria from economic sanctions by states and cities within the US. In March 1998 an official from the Clinton administration warned the Maryland House and Senate that bills creating state-wide economic sanctions against Nigeria for human rights abuses are a violation of US commitments to international trade agreements and to membership in the World Trade Organization. The Clinton administration termed such bills a "threat to the national interest." Not surprisingly, multinational oil companies such as Shell, Mobil, and Chevron lobby heavily against aggressive US policy towards Nigeria, an approach which appears to be working.
1. Watts, Michael, "Black Gold, White Heat," in Geographies of Resistance, Steve Pile, Michael Keith,eds., London: Routledge, 1997.
2. Nnadozie, Emmanuel, Oil and Socioeconomic Crisis in Nigeria, Lewiston: Mellon University Press, 1995.
3. Watts, op.cit.
4. Nigeria Environmental Action Study Team (NEST), Nigeria's Threatened Environment, Ibadan, 1991.
5. Saro-Wiwa, Ken, Genocide in Nigeria, Port Harcourt: Saros International Publishers, 1989.
6. Ellis, Glenn (Director), "The Drilling Fields," 1994, text from film by Catma Films.
7. Saro-Wiwa, Ken, Genocide in Nigeria.
8. Shell, 1996.
9. Ake, Claude, "Shelling Nigeria Ablaze," Tell, 1/29/96, p. 34.
10. Cayford, Steven, "The Ogoni "Uprising: Oil, Human Rights and a Democratic Alternative in Nigeria," Africa Today, vol. 43, no. 2, Apr/June 1996, p. 183.
11. Ellis, op.cit.
12. Watts, op.cit.
13. Project Underground, The Flames of Shell: a fact sheet, Berkeley, 1996.
14. Project Underground and Rainforest Action Network, Human Rights and Environmental Operations Information on the Royal Dutch/ Shell Group of Companies: 1996-1997 Independent Annual Report, 1997.
15. NEST, op.cit.
16. Marrah, Kofi, "No Let-up in Ogoniland Struggle", African Agenda, Third World Network Features, June, 1998.
17. Ellis, op.cit.
18. Ellis, op.cit.
19. Nigerian News du Jour, "Environmental Action Group says military on Shell's payroll," 4/23/98.
20. Human Rights Watch, The Ogoni Crisis, report 7/5, New York: Human Rights Watch, 1995.
21. Robinson, Deborah, Ogoni: The Struggle Continues, Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1996.
22. Birnbaum, Michael, QC, "Nigeria: Fundamental Rights Denied," Article 19, Appendix 10.
23. Kudirat Institute for Nigerian Democracy, "Oil Economy," KIND Website <www.igc.org/kind/economy.html>
24. Watts, op.cit.
25. Wiwa, Diana, "The Role of Women in the Struggle for Environmental Justice in Ogoni," Delta website, <www.oneworld.org/delta/news4.html#1>, October 1997.
The Carnation Revolution (Portuguese: Revolução dos Cravos), also referred to as the 25 de Abril, was a left-leaning military coup started on April 25, 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, that effectively changed the Portuguese regime from an authoritarian dictatorship to a democracy after two years of a transitional period known as PREC (Processo Revolucionário Em Curso, or On-Going Revolutionary Process), characterized by social turmoil and power dispute between left and right wing political forces. Despite repeated appeals from the revolutionaries on the radio inciting the population to stay home, thousands of Portuguese descended on the streets, mixing themselves with the military insurgents.
Inspired by the pro-independence guerrillas they had been fighting in the Portuguese empire's territories in Africa, a group of Portuguese officers organised in the Armed Forces Movement rose to overthrow the fascist/authoritarian Estado Novo (New State) regime that had ruled Portugal since the 1920s. Portugal's new regime pledged itself to ending the colonial wars and began negotiations with the African independence movements. By the end of 1974, Portuguese troops had been withdrawn from Portuguese Guinea and the latter had become a UN member. This was followed by the independence of Cape Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and Angola in 1975. The Carnation Revolution in Portugal, also led to Portugal's withdrawal from East Timor in Southeast Asia.
Although the regime's political police, PIDE, killed four people before surrendering, the revolution was unusual in that the revolutionaries did not use direct violence to achieve their goals. The population, holding red carnations (cravos in Portuguese), convinced the regime soldiers not to resist. The red carnation is a symbolic flower to Communism, which was the main ideological tendency of the anti-New State insurgents. The soldiers readily swapped their bullets for flowers. It was the end of the Estado Novo, the longest authoritarian regime in Western Europe, and the final dissolution of the Portuguese Empire.
In the beginning of the 1970s, the authoritarian regime of the Estado Novo ("New State") continued to weigh heavily on the country, after a half-century of rule under President of the Council of Ministers António de Oliveira Salazar. After the military coup of May 28, 1926, Portugal implemented an authoritarian regime of social-Catholic and Integralist inspiration. In 1933, the regime was recast and renamed Estado Novo ("New State"), and Oliveira Salazar was named as President of the Council of Ministers until 1968, when he suffered a stroke following a domestic accident. He was replaced by Marcelo Caetano in September who served as President of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) until he was deposed on April 25, 1974.
Under the Estado Novo, Portugal's undemocratic government was tolerated by its NATO partners for its anti-communist nature; this attitude changed dramatically during the mid-sixties, under pressure of public opinion and left wing movements rising in Europe. There were formal elections but they were rarely contested - with the opposition using the limited political freedoms allowed during the brief election period to openly protest against the regime, before withdrawing their candidates before the election so as not to provide the regime with any legitimacy. In 1958, General Humberto Delgado - a former member of the regime - stood against the regime's presidential candidate, Américo Tomás, and refused to allow his name to be withdrawn from the competition. Tomás won the election, but only amidst claims of widespread electoral fraud that denied Delgado of his 'legitimate' victory. Immediately after this election, Salazar's government abandoned the practice of popularly electing the president, with that task being given thereafter to the regime-loyal National Assembly. During Caetano's time in office, his attempts at minor political reform were obstructed by the important Salazarist elements within the regime (known as the Bunker). The Estado Novo's political police — the PIDE (Polícia Internacional e de Defesa do Estado), later to become DGS (Direcção-Geral de Segurança), and originally the PVDE (Polícia de Vigilância e Defesa do Estado) — persecuted opponents of the regime, who were often tortured, imprisoned or killed.
Prime Minister Marcelo Caetano, overthrown in the Carnation Revolution (Revolução dos Cravos) on the 25th April 1974 in Lisbon.
The International context was not favourable to the Portuguese regime. The Cold War was near its peak, and both Capitalist and Communist-bloc nations were supporting the guerrillas in the Portuguese colonies, attempting to bring these under, respectively, American and Soviet influence (see Portuguese Colonial War). The intransigence of the regime and the desire of many colonial residents to remain under Portuguese rule led to a delayed decolonisation process, in the case of Angola and Mozambique, nearly 20 years.
Unlike other European colonial powers, Portugal had long-standing and close ties to its African colonies. In the view of many Portuguese, a colonial empire was necessary to continued national power and influence. In contrast to Britain and France, Portuguese colonial settlers had extensively inter-married and assimilated within the colony over a period of 400 years. Despite objections in world forums such as the United Nations, Portugal had long maintained that its African colonies were an integral part of Portugal, and felt obliged to militarily defend them against Communist-inspired armed groups, particularly after India's unilateral and forcible annexation of Portuguese exclaves Goa, Daman and Diu, in 1961 (see Operation Vijay).
Independence movements in the African colonies — Mozambique, Angola, Portuguese Guinea, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Cape Verde — all eventually manifested some form of armed guerrilla resistance. Except in Portuguese Guinea, these armed guerrilla forces were easily contained by Portuguese counterinsurgency forces and home defense militia, despite various arms embargoes against Portugal. Nevertheless, the various conflicts forced the Salazar and subsequent Caetano regimes to spend more of the country's budget on colonial administration and military expenditures, and Portugal soon found itself increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. After Caetano succeeded to the presidency, colonial war became a major cause of dissent and a focus for anti-government forces in Portuguese society. Many students and anti-war activists were forced to leave the country so they could escape imprisonment and torture by government forces.
Economically, the regime maintained a policy of corporatism that resulted in the placement of a big part of the Portuguese economy in the hands of a few industrial groups. However, the economy was growing strongly, especially after the late 1950s, and Portugal co-founded EFTA, the OECD and NATO. In fact, despite the cost of the Colonial war - the Portuguese economy was growing at much faster annual rate than the rest of Western Europe and was averaging an impressive 6% annual growth. It was rapidly catching up with its wealthier neighbours in Europe. It would take almost 20 years for Portugal to reach the same level of parity of GDP compared to its Western European neighbours as it had prior to the revolution.
Main article: Timeline of the Carnation Revolution
In February 1974, Caetano determined to remove General António Spínola in the face of increasing dissent by Spinola over the promotion of military officers and the direction of Portuguese colonial policy. At this point, several left-wing military officers who opposed the war formed a conspiracy - the Movimento das Forças Armadas (MFA, "Armed Forces Movement"), to overthrow the government by military coup. The MFA was headed by Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho and joined by Salgueiro Maia. The movement was significantly aided by other officers in the Portuguese army who supported Spinola and democratic civil and military reform. Some observers have speculated that Costa Gomes actually led the revolution.
Portuguese Government poster from the mid-70's by Artist João Abel Manta
There were two secret signals in the military coup: first the airing of the song E depois do adeus by Paulo de Carvalho, Portugal's entry in the 6th of April 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, which alerted the rebel captains and soldiers to begin the coup. Next, on April 25, 1974 at 12:15 am, the national radio broadcast Grândola, Vila Morena, a song by Zeca Afonso, a progressive folk singer forbidden on Portuguese radio at the time. This was the signal that the MFA gave to take over strategic points of power in the country and "announced" that the revolution had started and nothing would stop it except "the possibility of a regime's repression".
Six hours later, the Caetano regime relented. Despite repeated appeals from the "captains of April" (of the MFA) on the radio inciting the population to stay at home, thousands of Portuguese descended on the streets, mixing themselves with the military insurgents. One of the central points of those gathering was the Lisbon flower market, then richly stocked with carnations, which were in season. Some military insurgents would put these flowers in their gun-barrels, an image which was shown on television around the world. This would be the origin of the name of this "Carnation revolution". To clarify the above context, this was not a popular revolution but a military coup- there were no mass demonstrations by the general population prior to the coup.
Caetano found refuge in the main Lisbon military police station at the Largo do Carmo. This building was surrounded by the MFA, which pressured him to cede power to General Spínola. Both Caetano (the prime minister) and Américo Tomás (the President) fled to Brazil. Caetano spent the rest of his life in Brazil, while Tomás returned to Portugal a few years later.
The revolution was closely watched from neighbouring Spain, where the government and opposition were planning for the succession of Francisco Franco, who died a year later, in 1975.
 The aftermath of the revolution
After the military coup at Lisbon, Portugal went through a turbulent period, commonly called the Continuing Revolutionary Process (Portuguese: Processo Revolucionário em Curso, or PREC) that lasted until November 25, 1975, marked by constant friction between liberal democratic forces and communist ones. After a year, the first free election was carried out on April 25, 1975 in order to write a new Constitution that would replace the Constitution of 1933 that ruled the country for the reign of the Estado Novo. In 1976, another election was held and the first Constitutional government, led by Mário Soares, assumed office.
Before April 1974, the war in Africa was consuming as much as 40% of the Portuguese budget and there was no sign of a final solution in sight. At a military level, a part of Guinea-Bissau was de facto independent since 1973, but the capital and the major towns were still under Portuguese control. In Angola and Mozambique, independence movements were only active in a few remote countryside areas from where the Portuguese Army had retreated. However, their impending presence and the fact that they wouldn't go away dominated public anxiety.
A direct consequence of the military coup at Lisbon was the sudden withdrawal of Portuguese administrative and military personnel from Portugal's overseas colonies. Hundreds of thousands of other Portuguese citizens -- workers, small business people, and farmers (often with deep roots in the former overseas territories) -- also returned to Portugal as retornados.
East Timor was invaded by Indonesia in 1975 and occupied until 1999. There as an estimated 102,800 conflict-related deaths in the period 1974-1999, (approximately 18,600 killings and 84,200 'excess' deaths from hunger and illness), the majority of which occurred during the Indonesian occupation..
Angola would enter into a decades-long civil war which involved nations like the Soviet Union, Cuba, South Africa and the United States. Millions of Angolans would die either as a direct consequence of the war or of malnutrition and disease.
After a short period of stability Mozambique would also enter into a devastating civil war that left it as one of the poorest nations in the world.
After a long period of one-party rule, Guinea-Bissau endured a brief civil war and a difficult transition to civilian rule in the late 1990s.
Cape Verde and São Tomé and Principe, on the other hand, escaped civil war during the post-independence period, and by the early 1990s had established multi-party political systems.
Macau remained a Portuguese colony until 1999. China, pursuing an agreement with the United Kingdom on Hong Kong, did not want to complicate matters.
 Economic issues
Main article: Economic history of Portugal
The Portuguese economy had changed significantly by 1973 prior to the revolution, compared with its position in 1961. Total output (GDP at factor cost) had grown by 120 percent in real terms. The pre-revolutionary period was characterized by robust annual growth rates for GDP (6.9 percent), industrial production (9 percent), private consumption (6.5 percent), and gross fixed capital formation (7.8 percent). The following period was characterized by a slowly growing economy that only impetus has been the entering of the European Economic zone. It has never reached pre-revolutionary period growth rates. Despite some progress in the 1960s and early 1970s, Portugal at the time of the Revolution was still relatively underdeveloped with poor infrastructure and inefficient agriculture.
However, researchers agree that pre-revolution Portugal increasingly accomplished notable social and economic achievements. After a long period of economic divergence before 1914, the Portuguese economy recovered slightly until 1950, entering thereafter on a path of strong economic convergence with Western Europe. Portuguese economic growth in the period 1950-1973 under the Estado Novo regime (and even with the effects of an expensive war effort in African territories against independence guerrilla groups), created an opportunity for real integration with the developed economies of Western Europe. Through emigration, trade, tourism and foreign investment, individuals and firms changed their patterns of production and consumption, bringing about a structural transformation. Simultaneously, the increasing complexity of a growing economy raised new technical and organizational challenges, stimulating the formation of modern professional and management teams.
In the agricultural sector, the collective farms set up in Alentejo after the 1974-75 expropriations due to the leftist military coup of 25th April 1974, proved incapable of modernizing, and their efficiency declined. According to government estimates, about 900,000 hectares (2,200,000 acres) of agricultural land were occupied between April 1974 and December 1975 in the name of land reform; about 32% of the occupations were ruled illegal. In January 1976, the government pledged to restore the illegally occupied land to its owners, and in 1977, it promulgated the Land Reform Review Law. Restoration of illegally occupied land began in 1978.
Portugal's per capita GDP had reached 56.4 percent of the EC-12 average in 1974. Due to oil shocks, recession in Europe, the return of hundreds of thousands of overseas Portuguese, Portugal underwent an economic crisis starting in 1974-75. . After the revolution it would collapse and it took 16 years for the GDP as percentage of the EC-12 average to climb to 54.9 percent again. Portugal had been one of the founding members of EFTA (European Free Trade Association) in 1960. After the fall of the Estado Novo regime and the loss of its overseas territories in 1974 and 1975, Portugal left EFTA and entered into the European Economic Community in 1986.
 Freedom Day
Freedom Day on April 25 is a national holiday in Portugal, with official and some popular commemorations, though some right-wing and apolitical sectors of the population still regard the developments after the coup d'état as pernicious for the country. On the other hand, some of the military leaders are unhappy that the leftist inspiration of the uprising has since been abandoned.
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