ISBN 9789956764990
Pages 214
Dimensions 216 x 140mm
Published 2017
Publisher Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon
Format Paperback

Religion, Occult and Youth Conflict in the Niger Delta of Nigeria

by Edlyne E. Anugwom

The book examines the nexus between youth conflict and the occult drawing its insights from the oil-rich Niger Delta of Nigeria. It sees the occult represented by the Egbesu deity in this conflict as a form of religious belief imbued in this case with the powers of good. Thus, the religious occult is regenerated and re-energised as an idiom of justice and fairness within the Nigerian state by militant youth fighting the forces of the Nigerian state. Ingeniously, the young men simply dug into the cultural repertoire of the people for a hitherto popular expression of justice and perceived source of potency which they felt would not only provide spiritual protection but also pander to the popular imagination of justice. Even against the background prevalent Christianity, the Egbesu does not generate tension in beliefs but responds to the critical exigency of the immediate socio-political milieu of the people.

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“Focusing on Egbesu’s new found role as both a protector and energy-giving power for those being attacked and also attacking, Anugwom’s project enters into an existing anthropological conversation around the topics of development, modernity, and the occult. In the conversations these topics intersect in complex ways and are amplified through intersections of local material realities, spiritual beliefs, and local expectations of progress.”

Mwenda Ntarangwi, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Vice President, Theological Books Network, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

“This study of youth activism and agency in Nigeria is instructive for theorising the intricate interconnections in African reality, between the visible and the invisible, the modern and the traditional, the cultural and the religious, power and wealth. It demonstrates the dynamism and creativity of being an African youth in the 21st century.”

Francis B. Nyamnjoh, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town

About the Author

Edlyne E. Anugwom

Edlyne E. Anugwom (PhD) is a Professor of Sociology and African Development currently with the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He has over fifteen years of research experience in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. His research interests include political sociology of African development; labour and industrial sociology; natural resources conflict; youth conflict and the social dimensions of climate change. Edlyne is also the current Secretary-General of the Pan African Anthropologists Association (PAAA). He is a reviewer for a number of reputable journals, and also the current Editor of the African Anthropologist journal. He has held fellowship/teaching positions in Leiden, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Wassenaar, Mainz, and Bridgewater U.S.A among others. 

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