Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. Constanze Weise

Committee Members

Dr. Daryl Carter, Dr. Elwood Watson


In 1956, shortly before Nigeria’s independence, Shell BP found crude oil in Oloibiri Bayelsa State marking a turning point in the socioeconomics and politics of the nation. Since then, oil has grown into a major export commodity comprising over ninety-five percent of the nation’s gross national product. The region is one of the world’s largest ecosystems, but due to the ongoing pollution, a direct result of the oil companies lacks potable water. This study addresses this humanitarian crisis and examines the agency of Nigeria’s federal government and the collaboration with multinational oil corporations’ contributions to the environmental deconstruction in the region. The thesis further investigates the historical moments building towards the uprising in Ogoniland, centered around the leader Ken-Saro Wiwa, who was killed by the Nigerian government. It examines social movements in the region, and aims to tie the local question to the federal question of unity in the country.

Document Type

Thesis - embargo


Copyright by the authors.

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