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Two Approaches to Conflict Resolution and Their Applicability to Ogoniland, Nigeria

Nwamaka Okeke-Ogbuafor, Kelechi Ani, Tim Gray


This article analyzes two theories of conflict resolution and their applicability to Ogoniland in Nigeria: western approaches to conflict resolution and indigenous African conflict resolution systems. The empirical evidence we use to evaluate these two approaches is based on the perceptions expressed by respondents in two communities in Ogoniland, K-Dere and Kanni-Babbe. In October and December 2016, we distributed 200 survey questionnaires across these two communities. Of these, 178 were returned for analysis. In addition, we conducted thirty-one key informant interviews and four focus group discussions. The results show that while beneficiaries of both conflict resolution systems praise them, some community members do not feel educationally qualified and/or cannot afford to use western approaches to conflict resolution and perceive that indigenous African conflict resolution systems are a source of conflict rather than reconciliation. We conclude that if western approaches to conflict resolution were supplemented by a legal aid system such as a public defender, they would be more accessible to disadvantaged people and would offer a practicable alternative to the potentially biased indigenous African conflict resolution systems. This would significantly improve the level of conflict resolution in Ogoniland.


Ogoniland; conflict resolution; Nigerian government

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Published by the University of Florida Press on behalf of the Association of Global South Studies.