Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Ismael Muvingi

Second Advisor

Cheryl Duckworth

Third Advisor

Elena Bastidas


amnesty program, federal government of Nigeria, militants, natural resources/oil, Niger Delta conflicts, oil companies


This is a qualitative research study that used a narrative approach to explore the perspectives of the research participants (indigenes of the oil communities) on the challenges of the government amnesty program in the Niger Delta. Cyril Obi (2014) argues that the program is an unsustainable state-imposed peacebuilding project that only brought about a “graveyard peace” that enabled continued access to oil by the state and the oil companies operating in the region. Like other analysts and scholars, he explained that for peace to be sustained in the region, the underlying issues such as oil revenue allocation, environmental damage, poverty, unemployment, lack of basic infrastructures, marginalization of the Niger-Delta people, underdevelopment and negligence among other issues in the conflicts must be addressed. While some scholars and analysts believe that the amnesty program has been a huge success, others argue that the program was a total failure. Currently, there are still ongoing conflicts in the region as new militant groups have emerged. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the perspective of the participants on the amnesty program and why it could not sustain peace in the region. The study analyzed interview data from purposeful sampling of youths, elders/community leaders and militants as well as ex-militants/beneficiaries of the amnesty program in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers States, to uncover why the program could not sustain peace in the region. From its findings, the study made recommendations that could assist in finding a lasting peace in the region.