A Swamp Full of Dollars: Pipelines and Paramilitaries at by Michael Peel

By Michael Peel

<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal>The greatest U.S. buying and selling accomplice in sub-Saharan Africa, petroleum-rich Nigeria exports part its day-by-day oil construction to the U.S.. Like many African countries with ordinary assets coveted via the world's superpowers, the rustic has been formed by way of overseas funding and intervention, conflicts between countless numbers of ethnic and spiritual teams, and greed. Polio has boomed besides petroleum, small villages face off with colossal oil businesses, and scooter drivers run their very own ministates. The oil-rich Niger Delta quarter on the middle of all of it is a bother spot as scorching because the neighborhood pepper soup.
<P style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal>Blending brilliant reportage, background, and investigative journalism, in A Swamp filled with money journalist Michael Peel tells the tale of this striking nation, which grows ever extra wild and lawless through the day as its subtle petroleum pumps via our towns. via a bunch of colourful characters--from the world Boy gangsters of Lagos to a corrupt country governor who stashed funds in his London penthouse, from the militants of their swamp woodland hideouts to grease corporation executives--Peel makes the relationship among Western power intake and the breakdown of the Nigerian kingdom, the place the corruption of the haves is matched basically via the selection and ingenuity of the have-nots. What has occurred to Nigeria is a stark caution to the us and different fiscal powers as they develop more and more frantic of their look for new oil resources: unbridled plunder finally rebounds on those that have performed the taking.
<P style="TEXT-INDENT: 0.5in; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal>A Swamp choked with Dollars--shortlisted for the Guardian First ebook Award--shows that if the Arab global is the precarious jap conflict line in an intensifying global conflict for crude, then Nigeria has turn into the tumultuous western front.

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W STARK HEREILLITERATES DUTY AND AND GLORY JUNKIES LEAD 31 The more of these stories I heard, the more I realized I was holding a magnifying glass not just to the Delta, but to the sensibility of my own society and that of the other consumer states of Nigerian oil. Already I could see many common themes. The rich men’s houses in impoverished Oloibiri were no more obscene than their counterparts in London; their opulence was simply starker compared with the general standard of living. Nor were the Delta resource control disputes so different in essence from the campaign of the Scottish nationalists for dominion of the UK oil pumped off Scotland’s shores.

The oil spills the Delta suffers make California’s La Brea tar pits – which once swallowed woolly mammoths whole – look like innocuous puddles. In January 2008, Nigeria’s National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency said it had found more than 1,150 oil-spill sites abandoned by various oil companies in the Niger Delta. Between 2003 and 2007, Shell alone admitted it had suffered well 28 A SWAMP FULL OF DOLLARS over 1,000 oil spills, adding that the majority of these were due to sabotage. Once again, the routine awfulness of Delta oil pollution is hard to appreciate unless you’ve actually seen it.

I don’t know. ’ The other militias used drugs ‘very well’, he continued. They took cocaine, heroin, ‘all sorts’. I asked him whether his men did the same. ‘Maybe outside the camp,’ he replied. ’ I was sceptical of Asari’s assertion that his gang was an ultradisciplined fighting force compared with the rabble it was struggling against. He claimed his force was a mass movement with, at a conservative estimate, 2,000 people under arms. He had sent out 100,000 application forms to prospective members, he said – although he didn’t have a sample paper to show me.

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