If anyone still denies the existence of the “resource curse”, maybe a trip to the Niger Delta wouldn’t go amiss. They should also read the Stakeholder Democracy Network’s latest depressing news on what happened in August in the Niger Delta:

  • “A signification increase in kidnappings totalling 19 expatriates, mainly in Rivers state, including six taken from ‘Goodfellas’ bar in central Port Harcourt.
  • President Obasanjo on 15th August directs security forces to meet ‘force with force’ in the Niger Delta.
  • Soldiers burn settlement adjacent to compound of Italian Oil servicing company, Saipem, after army sergeant is killed during the kidnapping of an Italian worker.
  • Seventeen persons killed in Bayelsa State– including ten militia members and a Shell worker, reportedly in process of being released – in a clash with a military patrol.
  • Militia group MEND on 28th August declares an end to kidnapping of oil workers and warns other groups and communities off the practice, as controversies escalate over ransom demands and payments”.

Nothing changes then.