THE REALIST THEORY OF CONFLICT AND THE PLACE OF WOMEN DURING CONFLICTS IN NIGERIA: A CASE OF THE OGONI CONFLICT

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ABSTRACT


This study examines conflicts in Nigeria. Specially, it examines conflict in Ogoni and found out that in most of the conflicts in Nigeria and Ogoni community in particular that women do not play any significant role during the conflict. They are only seen as victims of the conflict. Using the Realist theory of conflict to analyze the causes of these conflicts, it was found that the major cause is the personalized self interest of elites in Ogoni, the Nigerian government and the West represented by the multinational oil companies (Shell and Chevron) to control the oil wealth. The theory also explained that women are mostly victims of this conflict because they do not belong to the elite on both sides of the conflict therefore, could not make any influential contribution when decisions of the conflict are taken leading to the neglect of their rights, privileges and proper protection during the conflict.
It also portrayed that women do not belong to the elite in Ogoni due to their low level of education, job opportunities, and cultural vales e.t.c. placing them in a subordinate position in comparism with their male counterpart. Lastly, this theory proffered prospects for improvement in women disempowerment in the Ogoni conflict.

CHAPTER ONE
1.1 INTRODUCTION
Conflict occurs when two or more parties with perceived incompatible goals seek to undermine each others goal seeking (http://en.wikipedia org/wiki/conflict). Conflict theory therefore is a theory that pre supposes the existence in any and all human societies of dominant groups and institutions which employ coercive power to impose their values upon others (Dervitto 2000). It is best epitomized by the classic pyramid structure in which an elite dictates terms to the larger masses. Also it approaches
the problem of social inequality from the standpoint of the various groups of the society as a whole, their needs and desires rather than the need of the society as a whole (Lenski 1966). As a result of stratification, members of the elite class tend to connect their interest with that of the organization they are associated with (Collins 1994).

 

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