Oil and gas have been described as the mainstay of the Nigerian economy today. The irony of it however, is that the Niger Delta areas, where the country’s oil wealth is being derived from, has been neglected since the 1970s that Nigeria’s oil boom became noticeable in the global market. Successive administration in the country have either paid lip attention to the prevalence of the magnitude of problems. The operations of government’s oil companies and the multinational corporations exploring oil in the regions or engage the poor population in military warfare. The responses of the people especially the youth to this perceived structural inequality are usually in forms of domestic terrorism, kidnapping of oil workers, incessant attacks on oil plants by militants whose major populations are the youth who are seriously being affected by this problem of marginalization. The aim of this study was to take a critical look at poverty as a key economic problem predisposing the youth to violent attacks on oil workers. The paper used Marxian theory of conflict to extrapolate the issue. It therefore stated that the present violent and militarized approach of the Federal Government to the Niger Delta crisis is a utopian.
Key words: Poverty, Niger Delta, youth response.
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