Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Harcourt Fuller

Second Advisor

Dr. Larry Grubbs


The state-killings of the Ogoni Nine on 10 November 1995 exposed environmental damage and social degradation beyond comprehension to the globe. Since the discovery of crude oil in Oloibiri in 1957, the Niger Delta has been subject to mass oil extraction led predominately by Shell-BP. This thesis explores the long history of mineral and oil cultivation and its influence on the formation of the Nigerian state. This thesis argues that oil’s predominance in Nigeria’s economy was rooted in British neo-colonialism. International and domestic Shell-BP sectors informed political decisions in Nigeria’s post-colonial world that eventually led to the death of nine Ogoni leaders in 1995. Mass mobilization under Ken Saro-Wiwa turned a regional, ethnic conflict into an international spectacle through his tireless work to uncover this connection. Saro-Wiwa, and MOSOP’s lasting and impactful legacy, was exposing rampant corruption and intentional personal and environmental destruction.


File Upload Confirmation