The Role of Shell and the Oligarchy in the Current Situation in Nigeria
The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: First of all, how do you explain the violence in Nigeria? What is causing all this chaos?
Freeman: Well, the underlying cause of all the violence that’s occurred in Nigeria recently and going back a few years, and including the demonstrations over the last two weeks, is the fact that the Nigerian economy is not functioning.
And it’s not functioning because there are certain political and financial forces such as the British with the Royal Dutch Shell, the financial crowd from the city of London, the World Bank and the IMF. And they have prevented the nation of Nigeria from developing and providing the basic economic necessities for the people.
And what you’re seeing, for example, in the north is you have a young people who have been radicalized because they can’t live in the conditions they’re given. They don’t have jobs. They don’t have opportunities. They don’t have income.
And throughout the whole country, it’s paralyzed because they have no power and, basically, there are 120 or so million people in Nigeria who are still living on one to two dollars a day.
So, the country is set for an explosion and that’s what we’re seeing now.
Press TV: Indeed. And, of course, what sort of impact will this have on the political structure of Nigeria with regards to what many people say the crisis has a political solution?
Freeman: Well, actually, the crisis is going to require a total overhaul of the policy in Nigeria. What you have is you have a small grouping, a financial mini oligarchic class that’s grouped around the oil money, and importing oil because the refineries don’t work.
You saw the reaction to the people when they demonstrated when the subsidies were removed.
And, therefore, unless this destruction of the economy is changed, there has to be jobs, there has to be infrastructure, people have to have a sense that the country really cares about them – that it’s fighting in their interests.
There’re very top-down controls by financial forces in Abuja, by the oil forces led by Royal Dutch Shell. And without changing that, Nigeria is in great danger.
We could see the breakup of Nigeria into competing separate entities. We could see the government being changed dramatically. In fact, it’s questionable whether the current government will remain in power for the next four years…
All this is uncertain because of the profound economic collapse that’s occurred in Nigeria and also occurring within a world economy that is also collapsing.
Unless there’s a dramatic change against the oil companies, against the financial forces in Abuja, and for the people, the conditions in Nigeria are very dangerous for this government.
GMA/AZ – PressTV – 22/1/2012
Reloaded by LibyanFreePress