By Michael Peel
<P style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal>The biggest U.S. buying and selling companion in sub-Saharan Africa, petroleum-rich Nigeria exports part its day-by-day oil construction to the U.S.. Like many African international locations with average 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 large oil businesses, and scooter drivers run their very own ministates. The oil-rich Niger Delta sector 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 bright reportage, background, and investigative journalism, in A Swamp jam-packed with cash journalist Michael Peel tells the tale of this impressive nation, which grows ever extra wild and lawless through the day as its sophisticated petroleum pumps via our towns. via a number of colourful characters--from the realm Boy gangsters of Lagos to a corrupt nation 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 strength intake and the breakdown of the Nigerian country, the place the corruption of the haves is matched simply by means of 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 assets: 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 jam-packed with Dollars--shortlisted for the Guardian First publication Award--shows that if the Arab global is the precarious jap conflict line in an intensifying international warfare for crude, then Nigeria has develop into the tumultuous western front.
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Additional info for A Swamp Full of Dollars: Pipelines and Paramilitaries at Nigeria's Oil Frontier
One or two of the fighters whooped, enjoying their power and freedom on the deserted waterway. One boat flew a Jolly Roger, while another was guarded by a fighter in a ripped leather jacket, black beret and machine gun. Before Asari and I parted, I asked him what would happen as his campaign developed. His reply was thoughtful and troubling. ‘One small mistake can bring everything down,’ he said. ‘Like all revolutionary movements, such mistakes can be very expensive. It can lead to the deaths of so many people.
Fighting involving Asari’s militia and other gangs has plagued the Delta for years. The gangs wax and wane, carrying surreal names such as KKK, Icelanders and Germans, with new groups constantly springing from the ashes of the old. When I asked Asari why the militias chose names that were so strange and – given the racial implications of KKK – even nonsensical, he shrugged. ‘Maybe because they admire imperialism,’ he replied. ‘It has to do with intellectual bankruptcy. I don’t know. ’ The other militias used drugs ‘very well’, he continued.
When I asked if the vehicle had a television, Asari pulled down a screen that was showing a poor-quality broadcast of a female presenter talking. The car needed some maintenance, he said, because it had been parked up for a long time while he was in the swamps. He told me later that he owned seven vehicles: the Lincoln, four Mercedes and two buses. The strange circumstances of our meeting were heightened by the presence of a secret police officer detailed by the government to stay with Asari. The officer sat silently on the back seat and did not interfere; the few comments he did make suggested he sympathized more with Asari than with his government paymasters.