Nnimmo advocates keeping the oil in the soil and strong discounts the argument that oil is in any way beneficial to Nigeria or any other African country –
“Oil has been the destruction of the Nigerian economy. It destroys the relation between the people and the state….”People say that crude oil is an easy and cheap form of energy. But it’s not the truth. Crude oil may be cheap but only because people are not paying the price. If you see what is going on in the oil fields: The pollution, the degradation, the human rights abuses, the murders and the killings – I would like you to tell me how much one drop of oil should cost.” (4:07)
Africa is surrounded by water and located at the center of the world – the Chinese from the east, the US from the west and Europeans from the north. Historically it has always been an “accessible store house for energy”, from human energy to palm oil to biofuel and agrofuel to the present exploitation of gas. In the Niger Delta alone violence against oil communities can be traced back 100 years, for example the destruction of Akassa in 1895 by the British to stop palm oil merchants selling their produce direct to Europe.
Bassey points out the power of multinationals such as Shell and Exxon which have taken over the colonisation project begun by imperial powers such as Britain and France. Such is their power that neither Nigeria nor the US can stand up to Shell and other giant multinationals. So the question and the challenge facing us is how to destroy the power of the corporations and in effect “socialise them”