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Socio-Economic and Cultural Factors Affecting Militancy in Oil Bearing Communities of Imo State – South East Nigeria

Socio-Economic and Cultural Factors Affecting Militancy in Oil Bearing Communities of Imo State – South East Nigeria


Militancy in the oil-bearing communities of Imo State, Nigeria has remained a baffling and threatening phenomenon to the peace, progress, and socio-economic development of the region. This restiveness has without doubt interrupted and disfigured the socio-economic and cultural life of these communities in Imo state. The oil-bearing communities are located in the South-Western part of Imo State which is located in the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, with the natural blessings of crude oil. This crude oil was discovered in the 1930s but documented exploration started in the 1960s, although the abinitio dominant occupations of the people were majorly farming, hunting and fishing before the interference of oil activities. Thus, turning a blessing into a curse, as the oil discovery, exploration and exploitation begat soil impoverishment, air/water pollution, environmental dilapidation, poverty, and loss of bio-organism, which have contributed negatively to the socio-economic and cultural life of these oil-bearing communities. This study examined historically the trends and notable glimpse of the various militant activities in Imo State. This paper theoretically examines the socio-economic and cultural impacts of militant crises in the oil-bearing communities of Imo State specifically, following the perceived incessant unrest in the areas as a result of neglect from the federal government and multinational companies involved in the oil exploration, as data were secondarily sourced. The paper adopted relative deprivation theory as the most explanatory tool towards understanding the core causes of this menace and is of the opinion that this cankerworm can be attacked to the barest minimum if adequate multifaceted measures will be taken such as; diversification and development of their economy, provision of social basic amenities, gross-tackling of unemployment by the government, restriction on the flow of weaponry into these communities, proper management of oil spillage by the oil companies, and finally creating friendly environment by the host communities. It is the sole point of departure of this work to draw the attention of all oil stakeholders to cries of the unfortunate misery of the natural blessing in oil bearing communities in Imo State, so that they can be salvaged to a considerable standard.

Keywords:  Militancy; Socio-economic; Oil Bearing Communities; South East Nigeria

Amaugo, Ijeoma Mercy

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