IN SEARCH OF A PARADIGM FOR UNDERSTANDING THE DIALECTICS OF       POVERTY AND CONFLICT IN NIGERIA’S NIGER DELTA REGION:   ...
the fact that the Ogoni area accommodates a large number of agro-chemical, petroleumand gas industries because of the enor...
muds kipper, crockies, mussels, shrimp‟s and all – is now being gradually replaced byunknown and otherwise useless palms. ...
This sort of development, for sure accounts for the disadvantaged position of theOgoni in the Niger Delta. Indeed, Naanen ...
scholar and revolutionary, V. I. Lenin. According to Levinson (1994:44), internalcolonialism is a form of majority – group...
attachment can be expected and would be explained as in the case of the Celtic Fringe,Belgium or Quebec.      Naanen (1995...
(i)     The core‟s ruling class is sufficiently powerful (economically and militarily) to        completely eliminate the ...
(ii)    The existence of systemic instability in which mutable loyalties may be        transferred or displaced or simply ...
stop their absorption or dilution by any of the neighbouring larger groups. Within thiscontent, it may not necessary be th...
The introduction of British rule over Ogonis was accompanied by same thingswhich altered the structure and basis of social...
For sure, all government policies were transmitted through warrant chiefs. These,of course, included policies on education...
(1930), political leadership in Ogoni coalescent around Ogoni warrant chiefs and eliteswho emerged from the colonial struc...
service and appointment into the Executive Council and membership of boards ofparastatals. The elites played the leadershi...
the link between production and distribution. State revenues accrue from taxes or rents onproduction rather than productiv...
additional challenges; one of such challenges is disunity among the leadership. Thefactionalization of leadership may resu...
factionalized with one group in strong alliance with the state and the other which did nothave state support radicalized. ...
within this framework that Ogoni people celebrated the International year of IndigenousPeoples, otherwise called the Ogoni...
as the chairman of the peace conference. While efforts were on to disengage thecombatants, the Rivers State Government und...
also implied that what was important to government was not the suffering of the peoplebut the need to have unhindered acce...
therefore facilitated the educational empowerment of the new generation of Ogoni youths.In the voting that ensued, the Sar...
Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni people and apologized to the then GovernorChief Rufus Ada George for the insult and...
which had been forced out of the area of the height of the Ogoni agitation in 1993. Thispromise brought to the fore old ri...
3.     Incorporation of more Ogonis into Federal and State Government.4.     A visit by a delegation of nearly 100 Ogoni p...
vacuum for those whose relevance depends on it. We appreciate what the state andFederal government have done for us in the...
fishing activities for which the Ogoni people, once the food basket of Rivers State areknown. The ongoing process of envir...
commendable. The government must however follow up by instating on the training andposting of teachers to rural schools in...
Naanen, B. Appendix A, “Progress of the Ogoni people in Nigeria Towards the Attainment      of the International Developme...
THE READINESS OF ORGANIZATIONS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CHANGE        MANAGEMENT IN A HYPER-COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT               ...
readiness factors of change content, change context, change process, and individualattributes, individual attributes was r...
increased pressure on both the price and the quality of products and services that variousfirms offer. This creates increa...
Research QuestionsFrom the foregoing the following research questions, could be deciphered.       What are the readiness f...
However, (Walinga, 2008) defines readiness as being at peace, tolerant or open tochange. Thus, change readiness is defined...
Defining change management is tough under any circumstances write Holland andSkarke (2003) especially in the context at a ...
suggesting a variety of psycho-socio-emotional factors that may contribute to anindividuals movement from one stage to the...
Middle Management: Dinosaurs or Dynamos of Change Management      A central debate within the literature on middle managem...
managers must play their role very well. Huy, (2001) says that the main problem is thatthe top managers fail to listen to ...
the information sought. The researchers utilized open ended and check list questions. Theopen ended questions were centred...
Table 2.0: Distribution of respondents based on organizational levelS/N Organizational level                          Numb...
Table 3.0: Demographic characteristics of the 362 respondentsS/N Question               Response                 Frequency...
S/N Factors                         N          Mean               SD            Rank 1.    Change content               36...
Table 5.0: Level of commitment of top managementS/N   Response                  Frequency          Percent       Cumulativ...
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CENTRE FOR ADVANCED ARTS, SCIENCE, SOCIAL AND MANAGEMENT SCIENCE RESEARCH

  1. 1. IN SEARCH OF A PARADIGM FOR UNDERSTANDING THE DIALECTICS OF POVERTY AND CONFLICT IN NIGERIA’S NIGER DELTA REGION: EVIDENCES FROM OGONI BY NEKABARI JOHNSON NNA Ph.D DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL AND ADMIN. STUDIES FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT P.M.B. 5323 PORT HARCOURT NIGERIAAbstractThis paper attempts to identify a theoretical paradigm to understanding the deepeningpoverty, conflict and underdevelopment in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Using theOgoni experience, the paper examines the theory of internal colonialism that has beenapplied by many scholars. It maintains that those who apply the theory tend to put the blameon domination and exploitation by elements within the major ethnic groups in Nigeria, whileignoring the class character of the Ogoni society. It maintains that the poverty and conflict inOgoni has been accentuated by the elites within the Ogoni society who act in concert withtheir partners from other groups.Key words: Conflict, Niger Delta, Internal Colonialism, Political Elites and Poverty.INTRODUCTION The Ogoni people inhabit an area between longitudes 7o 101 and 70 30E andlatitudes 4o 301 and 4o 50H along the Coast plains terraces to the north-east of the NigerDelta region of South Eastern Nigeria. The population of the area, according to the 2006Nigerian National Census is 934,878 with a density of 771 (NPC, 2006). According toSaro-Wiwa (1994:29), this translates to 1,200 per square mile, making it one of thehighest in the world and five times the Nigerian national average of 250. There istherefore severe land scarcity and land hunger, a situation which is further exacerbated by
  2. 2. the fact that the Ogoni area accommodates a large number of agro-chemical, petroleumand gas industries because of the enormous agricultural and petroleum and gas resourcesfound in the area. Interestingly therefore the Ogoni area is prone to a high level ofindustrial pollution. In spite of the enormous resources and the large number of industrialestablishments, the Ogoni area has experienced a very high level of youth unemployment,Saro-Wiwa (1994:26) in his reaction to the deplorable economic condition of the youthsobserved that over seventy percent of Ogoni youths are unemployed and those inemployment only find normal jobs, which abound in companies in Ogoni, such asNAFCON, the two refineries, the petro-chemical complex, even the Eleme people whohave lost almost all their land to the companies do not find employment at a levelcommensurate with the sacrifices they have made as hosts of the companies. This has become a sore point in the relationship between the companies and thehost communities. Added to the problem of unemployment is the issue of environmentalpollution and degradation. In a statement attached to the Ogoni Bill of Rights (1990). Dr.G. B. Leton, one of Nigeria‟s foremost natural scientists and first President of theMovement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) expressed deep concern about theadverse environmental and ecological consequences of oil exploration and exploitationwhich the Ogoni has suffered and continues to suffer. The Lands, streams and creeks are totally and continually polluted. The atmosphereis for ever charged with hydrocarbons; carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide; manyvillages experience the informal quaking of the wrath of gas flares which have beenburning 24 hours a day for 33 years; acid rains, oil spillages and blow outs are common.The result of such unchecked environmental pollution and degradation is that the Ogonipeople can no longer farm successfully. An environment that was once the food basket ofthe Eastern Niger Delta, the Ogoni now buy food (when they can afford it). Fish which isa common source of protein is now rare in the area yet they have the capacity and all ittakes to produce it. Owing to the constant and continued pollution of our stream andcreeks, fish can only be caught in deeper and offshore waters for which the Ogoni are notequipped. The Ecology is changing fast, the mangrove tree, the aerial roots of whichnormally provide a natural and welcome habitat for many a sea food – crabs, periwinkles, 1
  3. 3. muds kipper, crockies, mussels, shrimp‟s and all – is now being gradually replaced byunknown and otherwise useless palms. The health hazards generated by an atmospherecharged with hydrocarbon vapour, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are innumerable. Interestingly, this view has been supported by many natural scientists in Nigeria.For instance a Report on Page 3 of the Punch Newspapers of 15 July 2011 and attributedto some experts at the Ohio State University‟s Department of Geosciences, states thatalthough air pollution is often linked with some heart and lung-related illnesses, it canalso have a negative effect on the brain. The Report revealed that exposure to airpollution has both short and long term toxic effects that insure the heart and blood vesselsand increase rates of hospitalization for cardiac illness. The worsening economic situation in Ogoni, manifesting in high rate ofemigration and rural poverty has great consequences on the development of the area.Naanen (2003:72) observed that the economic situation in Ogoni since the 1950s has ledto the migration of farm labourers to other parts of South-Eastern Nigeria and the NigerDelta. A significant number traveled to the former Spanish Colony of Fernando Po (nowEquatorial Guinea) as contract labourers. Similarly, Cameroon has attracted a significantnumber of Ogoni migrants since the 1950s, most of who were involved in fishing. But thehostility of Cameroonian Law Enforcement Agencies and the decline of the local fishingindustry have in recent years, considerably reduced the number of Ogoni migrants. Someof the migrants to other parts of the Niger Delta and across Niger Delta as far as field inLagos and Ondo claim to pursue occupations such as palm wine tapping for which theOgoni remain famous. A significant percentage of the agricultural labourers have been boys of school age,some of whom took to such occupations for an income either to pay their ways throughschool or to provide for themselves some money for survival. Naanen, (ibid) alsomaintained that majority of these child labourers, never had the opportunity of going toschool and simply had to find a way of earning an income early in life either to helpthemselves or support their parent and siblings. 2
  4. 4. This sort of development, for sure accounts for the disadvantaged position of theOgoni in the Niger Delta. Indeed, Naanen (1995:10) has observed that the Ogoni area isunderdeveloped in all ramifications. Thus it does not only lack basic social infrastructurebut human capital as well. He argued that as at 1969, the Ogonis had only a secondaryschool enrolment of less than 400 and approximately 10 university graduates and anoverall in literacy rate of about 15 percent. He reveals that by the late 1950s, the Ogonihad lost most political rights as part of Biafra. He was referring here to a population ofmore than 450,000 cutting across more than 200 village communities. Naanen (2003:651) maintained that the Ogonis find themselves very much in thiscontext of national poverty. However, consideration has to be given to the country,political peculiarities, which tend to be weighed heavily against minorities andindigenous groups. Control or access to power in Nigeria and to state-centred economycan make a lot of difference between poverty and progress, group such as the Ogoni havelargely remained marginal in the distribution of power hence the entrencheddiscrimination they suffer. Such socio-economic inequality affects access to jobs, theprovision of social facilities, the development of infrastructure and other economicopportunities. No wonder, many scholars of Ogoni extraction such as Saro-Wiwa (1994), Naanen(1995) and Nna (1999) have attempted to analyze the Ogoni condition within the contextof the theory of internal colonialism. In doing so however, they tend to ignore the role ofinternal class forces within the Ogoni society and thus failed to follow the theory ofinternal colonialism to its logical conclusion. This paper attempts to focus attention onthe nature and character of the class division within the Ogoni society, particularly therole of political elites as internal agent or collaborators in the deepening of the povertycondition within the Ogoni society and the competition between them for access to suchand resources through the state.Theoretical Framework The dominant theoretical explanation for the Ogoni condition attributes thepoverty situation to the relationship of domination and exploitation by the major ordominant groups in Nigeria and small ethnic groups such as the Ogoni. This perspectivedraws largely on the theory of “Internal Colonialism” adapted from the works of Russian 3
  5. 5. scholar and revolutionary, V. I. Lenin. According to Levinson (1994:44), internalcolonialism is a form of majority – group-minority group relations in which the minoritygroup is treated much the same as a colonized group under exploitative colonialism.Accordingly, internally colonized groups perform a disproportionately high share of low-paid, unskilled labour, subject to control by the majority, viewed and treatedethnocentrically in accordance with dominant culture values. To Marger (1997:131) it is a type of inequalitarian pluralism which ischaracteristic of societies like the United States where ethnic relations otherwise follow apattern of assimilation. He reveals that in such cases, racial ethnic groups are treated in acolonial fashion. Wolpe (1975:230) has identified two major characteristics of the internalcolonialism model.(i) The colonial relationship is conceived of as occurring between different countries total population, nation‟s geographical areas or between different races, colours or cultures.(ii) The colonial relationship is characterized in a general way as involving domination, oppression and exploitationMcRoberts (1979:294) reports that the perspective assumes that for various reasons(economic, political or military) a stronger, more developed core region imposes itselfupon a peripheral region whose subsequent development is geared to the needs of thecore. He posited that out of this colonial relationship between regions, there develops acultural division of labour in which high status positions are reserved for members of thecore region and periphery populations are relegated to lower level position. This perspective thus assumes that resources from the periphery regions that is,areas inhabited by internally colonized populations are used for the development of theregions of the dominant groups and this tends to engender in those internally colonized,feelings of resistance and rebelling and therefore leading to the formation of secessionistmovements (Nna, 1999). Paloni (1979:363) has therefore revealed that under the theoryof internal colonialism, the existence of strong secessionist movement or the persistenceof conflict emerging from religious affiliations, language distinctions or other primordial 4
  6. 6. attachment can be expected and would be explained as in the case of the Celtic Fringe,Belgium or Quebec. Naanen (1995:19) is a major exponent of this perspective with regard to the Ogonicondition. He maintains that Internal colonialism in Ogoni land is broadly characterizedby certain fundamental developments. First, ethnic based political domination, which isused to expropriate Ogoni resources; especially oil and gas for the development of thepower-controlling group while the Ogoni remain underdeveloped and impoverished.Second, the alliance between these dominant groups – the multinational oil companiesand state enterprises (which are controlled by the dominant groups) operating in Ogoni-land, which restrict the Ogoni‟s access to the modern and more rewarding sectors of theNigerian oil economy, establishing a pattern of economic discrimination against theOgoni people. Third, oil based environmental degradation which gravely undermines thetraditional peasant and fishing economy of the Ogoni, leaving the people without adependable alternative means of livelihood and fourth, gross land widespread humanrights violation in Ogoni land. Furthermore, Naanen submits that Ogoni-land, which has produced more than 30billion dollars worth of oil for Nigeria, has virtually nothing to show for the prodigiouswealth and that Ogoni land continues to exist in its original condition: no potable water,no dependable health facilities, few usable roads, no electricity, no telecommunications,and for the past three years, the schools have not been functioning because teachers havenot been paid. Poverty and social deprivation are conspicuous, the mortality rate is high. Paloni (1979:360) has argued that this sort of use of the internal colonialismmodel is incomplete at the theoretical level because it leaves aside the considerationvalue that the expansion of the core responds to the interests of a class. He thus maintainsthat the character of this expansion depends in part on the strength of this class and inpart on the strength of ruling classes in the periphery. Consequently, he submits that thenature of the process of the expansion of the core is at least a function of the relationbetween both dominant classes. He reveals that a variety of strategies can be adopted,depending on the historical conditions determining the limit of action of these classes.They include the following: 5
  7. 7. (i) The core‟s ruling class is sufficiently powerful (economically and militarily) to completely eliminate the basis of power of the periphery‟s ruling classes.(ii) The completion of the core‟s expansion depends on the ability of the core‟s rulingclasses to enlist the support of the periphery ruling class. He observes that under thesecircumstances, the alliance between both sets of ruling classes is crucial to seal theprocess of expansion. He further notes that if the realization of the first strategy couldpermanently cripple the basis or authority of the ruling classes in the periphery it couldfacilitate the implementation of centralized administration. However, the coalescence ofan alliance, he says, may operate in the opposite direction. Consequently beingrecognized as parties in the common enterprise, the ruling classes in the periphery maystrengthen their local influence and maintains the conditions of their legitimacy. Palonicautions however, that in most cases, the situation would produce a system of loyaltiesgained by the distribution of personal production or other materials of symbolicadvantage. Furthermore, he makes it clear that the relation in which the core andperiphery stand after a certain period of time will depend not only on which of these twostrategies have been implemented but also on the degree to which peripheral regions areculturally and ethnically homogenous. He nevertheless stresses that regardless of howdistinctive the peripheral regions are when compared with the core regions, the presenceof internal heterogeneity will prevent the crystallization of an ethnic or other segmentalbased reaction against the centre in forms other than sporadic outbursts of discontent. Hethus maintains that the alliance of both ruling classes will eventually favour themaintenance of a system of personal loyalties as the dominant factor behind politicalalignments in the periphery. He however explains that the establishment of this system of alliances can betraced back to the predominance of feudal relations or some of its variants. He furtherexplains that the backwardness of the periphery before its contact with the core is both aneffect and a condition of the maintenance of these relations and identifies the two maincharacteristics of the relationship as follows:(i) The existence of personal relations between individuals occupying positions with unequal control of resources, 6
  8. 8. (ii) The existence of systemic instability in which mutable loyalties may be transferred or displaced or simply withdrawn if resources became scarce or if alternative resources enter the situation.In conclusion, therefore, Paloni maintains that in a situation of clientelistic relationsgoverned by the principle of maximizing immediate personal advantages, there is acommon identification with symbols and no possibility of communal action. It stronglyresembles an aggregate of contractual link, subject to permanent alteration. It is thereforeimperative to unravel and analyze the class relations in Ogoni and the relationshipbetween the dominant classes, particularly the political class and the state structures.Political Elites and the Dialectics of Poverty and Conflict: Evidence from Ogoni-Land. There is no consensus among historians on when exactly the Ogoni people settledin their present location or from where they came there. What appears common in somesources is that they were a relatively egalitarian and well ordered society except for theposition of priests to deities such as the Gbenebeka who were well respected and proudfor by the people. It is also suggested in those sources that the Ogoni build in relativeisolation from the outside world before the advert of British colonialism and this perhaps,account for why they escaped European sources (Nnanen, 2003:15). Naanen (2003:16)attributes this relative isolation to the refusal of the Ogoni to engage in inter-marriagewith any groups apart from their Ibibio neighbours to the North-East and their refusal toparticipate in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Saro-Wiwa (1994:3) on his part attributes itto the fierce and independent character of the Ogoni people. He asserts that historically,the Ogoni people have always been fierce and independent. This is the reason they havenever been colonized by other people and were not sold as slaves in the course of thenotorious Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. They were known to their neighbours as cannibalsand were able to preserve for themselves the most fertile and most healthy parts of thecoastal plain terraces North of the Niger Delta. He reveals that the refusal of the Ogoni people to engage in inter-marriage withother ethnic groups except the Ibibio, was as a result of the law passed by their ancestorsin order to preserve the purity of the Ogoni, preserve their language and culture and to 7
  9. 9. stop their absorption or dilution by any of the neighbouring larger groups. Within thiscontent, it may not necessary be the cause of their isolation. However, Naanen (2007:16)also has further revealed that the Ogoni people refused to sign any treaty of protectionwith the British and had to resist the imposition of British rule by force of arms resultingin battles of resistance in 1901, 1905 and 1907 when a protectorate was declared over inOgoni and in which the Gbenebeka deity served as the major rallying point for theOgonis. This resistance was ended in 1914 when one Major G. H. Led a militaryexpedition which burnt down the Gbenebeka shrine at Gwara, and signaled the eventualend of Ogonis sovereignty. Saro-Wiwa (1994:4) attributes the problems of the Ogoni people to the advent ofBritish colonialism which shatter the Ogoni society and inflict on them a backwardnessfrom which we are still struggling to escape. It was British colonialism which forced usinto the domestic colonialism of Nigeria, he asserted. Right from 1908 when Ogonis wereadministered as a part of Opobo Division, they were made part of the Rivers Province ofthe Eastern Region in 1951 and Rivers State in 1967, the Ogoni people have struggled toresist colonialism and return to their much-cherished autonomy and self-determination. Saro-Wiwa traced the struggle of the Ogoni people to the 1930s through to the1950s as organized by Paul Birabi under the Ogoni Central Union and the Ogoni StateRepresentative Assembly. He lamented that the efforts of Ogoni people have been madedifficult by Nigeria‟s domestic colonialism, which is cruel, unfeeling and monstrous; itsmethod has been an outrageous denial of rights, a usurpation of our economic resources,a dehumanization which has sought to demoralize our people by characterizing them asmeek, obscure and foolish. He concluded that this development has made the Ogoni people to lose pride inthemselves and their ability and compelled them to “vote for a multiplicity of parties orelection regard themselves as perpetual clients of other groups and come to think “thatthere is nowhere else to go but down.” This perspective has some short-comings: top ofwhich is that it sees the Ogoni people as a monolithic group devoid of social divisions. Ittherefore ignores the actual social impact of colonialism on the structure of Ogonisociety. 8
  10. 10. The introduction of British rule over Ogonis was accompanied by same thingswhich altered the structure and basis of social relationship. For instance, the introductionof the common law and the subsequent establishment of courts for the dispensation ofjustice led to the appointment of warrant chiefs, court clerks, bailiffs and interpretersamong others. These positions were filled with people who had had some form of accessto the colonial institutions in long distance trades and thus had an idea of how tocommunicate with representatives of colonial authorities. The introduction of Christianityand through the western education gave rise to the appointment of catechists‟ interpretersand Sunday school teachers among others. These positions put these individuals in avantage position in the new order and thus transformed their position in society vis-à-visthe rest of the society. They began to serve as clients to those who represented thedominant political authority at the time and in the process not only sustained their controlof Ogoni political affairs but their own livelihood as well (Nna, 1986:62). It was thereforepossible for the emerging political elites in Ogoni therefore to consolidate their positionin the society by sending their children to patrons and friends in the coastal cities to learnthe ways of the white man by acquiring western education. Indeed Naanen (2003:15) hasrevealed that until the second decade of the 20th century, formal western education wasvirtually unknown among the Ogonis, who produced their first university graduate in1943. This is markedly different from other parts of the country such as Lagos and certaincoastal areas of the Niger Delta where western education had impacted on society muchearlier. Naanen attributes this development to what he calls the “historically insularnature” of Ogoni society which was forced by a fierce determination by the group todefend its cultural identity. He maintained that the Ogoni were isolated from broadersocial forces found in the Coastal region, stimulated by European trade, which carriedwestern education in Nigeria due to the Christian missionaries who followed the traderoute. Ogoni‟s capacity to embrace Western education, when it did enter the area waslimited by poverty and customary practices. The trend was not helped by governmentpolicy, which not unexpectedly, tended to favour the power-controlling groups. 9
  11. 11. For sure, all government policies were transmitted through warrant chiefs. These,of course, included policies on education and community development. These peopleused this trend to all advantage, denying the poor access to opportunities for educationdevelopment. This trend contrasted sharply from other communities in which children ofthe warrant chiefs and elites shunned western education and allowed the poor to embraceit. The implication of this development, of course, was the creation of conditions forsocio-economic disempowerment which reinforced the political domination by theemergent elites and their patrons. Naanen (1995:19) locates the historical domination of the Ogoni in the lastdecades of the 19th century when Nkwerre traders from the Igbo hinterland, arrived thearea. He premised his analysis on a 1932 Colonial Intelligence Report on Ogoni, whichstated that in its state of (relative) isolation, the only channel of intercourse with theoutside world were the Nkwerre sellers who introduced all the European articles used, didall the tribe‟s blacksmithing, carried on such (internal/slave dealing as there was in thewestern side of the area and exploited the Ogoni … (The Nkwerre) settlers remain aproblem in Ogoni affairs to this day. This is far from the whole truth indeed; the Ogoni also had trade relations withcoastal communities in Okrika, Bonny, Opobo, Andoni and Egwanga (Ikot Abasi).Again, the Nkwerre traders may have exercised same form of dominance in theireconomic, relations with the Ogoni but that did not extend to the exercise of politicalauthority over the Ogoni people. Naanen (2003:17) stated emphatically that Ogoni‟sfiercely independent disposition in historical times is abundantly attested to by thetraditions of its neighbours and European reward which also emphasize the people‟sreputation for hostility to outsiders. Other sources claimed they were war like and had areputation for cannibalism. These were important factors in explaining why Ogoni wasnever subjugated by any groups as they successfully defended their independence up toBritish conquest. This position is corroborated by Saro-Wiwa (1999:3). Granted that this was thesituation, it would be near impossible for few Nkwerre traders to have exercised anymeaningful political influence over the Ogoni people in the 1930s. Within this period 10
  12. 12. (1930), political leadership in Ogoni coalescent around Ogoni warrant chiefs and eliteswho emerged from the colonial structure and institution. It was these individuals whoformed the Ogoni Central Union in the 1990s. The Union in the preface to itsConstitution Rules and Regulations recognized the relative backwardness of the peopleand appealed to Ogoni sons and daughters to take the development of Ogoni-land as amajor challenge. The only logical conclusion to be drawn from this therefore is that Ogoni politicalaffairs were in the hands of emergent Ogoni political elites. These elites, however, werenot the autonomous leaders of the pre-colonial period but rather peosuxra of colonial ruleand therefore clients of dominant forces outside of Ogoni. It was these people whoformed the nucleus of the Ogoni Central Union in the 1930s and 1940s. The Ogoni Central Union appealed to the youths and people in general whereverthey are, reminding them of their backwardness and uneven position among other tribesof Nigeria and calling them to action. It appeals to those in authority, the NativeAuthorities, the District officers, the Resident and Chief Commissioner, EasternProvinces for tolerance, sympathy and cooperation. This challenge was taken up in the 1950s by Paul Birabi and others whoundertook various developments projects, including the establishment of primary schoolsand a secondary school, dispensaries, and the award of scholarship, to indigent students.This dispensation continued during the 1960s under the aegis of the Ogoni RepresentativeAssembly. It was however short lived by the incessant squabbles among the elites in theircompetition for positions with the Native Authority and the political dispensation. Thesesquabbles came to a head with the Nigerian Civil War which began in 1967. The CivilWar pitched Ogoni political elites into two camps. A few, led by Saro-Wiwa pitchedcamp with the Federal side while the vast majority, led by I. S. Kogbara and Dr. G. B.Leton pitched camp with the rebel Biafran side in which Kogbara served as ambassadorto the United Kingdom and Leton served as head of the scientific unit of the rebelmovement. It was however, made worse when the war ended with the creation of a newRivers State. The creation of the new state came with opportunities that were limited in thedefunct Eastern Region. There emerged many opportunities for recruitment into the civil 11
  13. 13. service and appointment into the Executive Council and membership of boards ofparastatals. The elites played the leadership roles in all these and were the directbeneficiaries of the new developments. The creation of the new Rivers State alsoprovided new opportunities for the accumulation of wealth through the award ofcontracts. In order to consolidate their position, Ogoni political elites, especially thosewho resurrected from the Biafran rebellion and got assimilated into the new statestructures formed on organization called KAGOTE. KAGOTE is an acronym for Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme the six clans thatmake up Ogoni land, it emerged as the most powerful social organization in Ogoni afterthe Civil War and consisted of the pioneer members of the Rivers State ExecutiveCouncil, Traditional Rulers and businessmen. Members of the organization effectivelyused their position in government and business to create opportunities for privateaccumulation of wealth for themselves and their members and thus continued toconsolidate their stranglehold on Ogoni political affairs. Thus, membership of KAGOTEprovided people with leadership position in Ogoni land, for instance members ofKAGOTE within the Rivers State Executive Council were instrumental to the allocationsof six first class chieftaincy stools to Ogoniland. The highest to a single ethnic group inRivers State and determined who occupied such stool. It was members of KAGOTE whodetermined chairmanship and membership of local government councils, membership ofthe Rivers State Executive Council from Ogoni and top positions in the state civil service.It also assisted its members to win major contract from multinational corporations andstate enterprises within the area and protect them from security agencies where they wentwrong. It was therefore common to see chief who had connection with the group to usesecurity agents to full advantage in the intimidation and harassment of dissident membersof their communities. Ogoni people subsequently found themselves under a new form ofdomination and exploitation, not from major ethnic groups this time but from their ownleaders, leaders thrown up by their own historical circumstances.The Nature and Character of Ogoni Political Elite Many scholars on the post-colonial state formation in Nigeria have described it asa “Rentier State” because of its near total dependence on oil revenue. According to Graf(1983:19), the essential features of the Rentier State in the world market is that it serves 12
  14. 14. the link between production and distribution. State revenues accrue from taxes or rents onproduction rather than productive activity. This production depends, however, ontechniques, expertise, investment and markets – generated outside the territory controlledby the state. For this reason, practically all aspects of exploration, production andmarketing are dominated by international capital, typically in the form of transnationalcorporation. For the transnationalized state, rents derive from local ownership of the areasand/or resources of extraction. There are certain implications of this for the political leadership in Ogoni. One isthat the Nigerian state is not productive and the leadership lacks an effective economicbase. Being dependent on rents from transnational enterprises, its survival to a largemeasure, depends on the stability of the local communities from which resources areextracted. It must therefore groom an equally parasitic petit-bourgeois sector in thosecommunities who will help maintain stability and for which protection from the state isparamount. Thus, the more oil flowed uninterrupted from the soil of Ogoni-land, themore prosperous the oil companies and the state and the better it is for the Ogoni politicalelites. There is therefore an unwritten alliance between international capital, the state andthe Ogoni elites represented by members of the KAGOTE. The political elites in Ogonitherefore are not likely to serve the interest as the people of such interest do not make forthe prosperity of international oil companies and those who manage state affairs inNigeria. It is therefore not capable of lifting the people from their conditions of povertyand deprivation. S.F. Nwika clearly made this point clear in a public lecture delivered toOgoni political elites in 1983; He observed that the last three years have been a periodmarked by private prosperity in the midst of public poverty for the Ogoni people. While afew Ogoni leaders have done exceptionally well for themselves and their families, withinthe present political system, the nationality is probably worse off today than it was undermilitary rule. He therefore concluded that our present-day leadership is prone to confused andpersonal with group interest. This weakens the moral base of leadership. It is my stronglyheld view that the problem of the Ogoni nationality in can be placed at the door of ourleaders. Most of our leaders faced for the first time by contract with enormous wealthhave forgotten their bearing and their people. A situation such as this is prone to throw up 13
  15. 15. additional challenges; one of such challenges is disunity among the leadership. Thefactionalization of leadership may result from the shift competition for state resources,the type that would pitch one leader against the other(s). Saro-Wiwa (1995:51) makes thispoint in the situation in Ojukwu‟s rebel Biafra when he reveals that the mentality of theeducated Ogoni was always to keep close to the government of the day in order to pickup crumbs from the master‟s table. Accordingly, although Ojukwu‟s rebel Biafrangovernment was hostile to the Ogoni as a people, the educated few were picking bygroveling off the feet of the administration. There is thus, a tendency for most of the political elites to lean towards thegovernment of the day no matter how hostile the policies of that government may be forthe people as a collectivity. This may account for the rather cut throat competition forgovernment appointments as a means of guaranteeing self aggrandizement. Osaghae(1995) alludes to the fact that the Ogoni elites are not united, he maintains that, theOgonis have fared better than most other minorities (including oil producing minorities inappointment to top government positions, which is usually the yardstick for measuringaccess to state power … since the creation of Rivers State in 1967, every clan in Ogonihas produced one minister or more at the federal and state levels in addition to other toppolitical appointment. It is rather exaggerating to say that every clan in Ogoni has produced one ministeror more at the federal level. The point remains that for the Ogoni political elite,appointment to government position is not only a measure of one‟s status but aguaranteed access to the means of private accumulation of wealth. It is therefore a majorcause of the factionalization within the elites. The movement for the Survival of Ogoni People was formed by a fraction of theOgoni Political elite in 1990 to establish a broad base approach to Ogoni leadershipquestion. It emerged as a new strategy to attract the attention of the government and oilcompanies to its diminishing access to the means of private primitive accumulation ofwealth. It therefore sought the support of the mass of the people by appealing to theirpoverty. As a means of facilitating its access to wealth or state controlled resources.However, because of the cut-throat competition among the elite, it too became 14
  16. 16. factionalized with one group in strong alliance with the state and the other which did nothave state support radicalized. In 1990, it had issued a Bill of Rights which demanded among others thefollowing:1. Political autonomy to participate in the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a distinct and separate unit by whatever name, whether Ogoni State, province, etc. through political control of Ogoni affairs by Ogoni people;2. The right to the control and use of a fair proportion of Ogoni economic resources for Ogoni development;3. Adequate and direct representation as a right in all Nigerian national institutions;4. The use and development of Ogoni language in Ogoni territory;5. The full development of Ogoni culture;6. The right to religious freedom;7. The right to protect the Ogoni environment and ecology from further degradation.The Ogoni Bill of Rights was presented to the Nigerian people and government under thedictatorship of General Ibrahim Babangida. Rather than address the issues raised, thegovernment merely acknowledge receipt a year after the document was received.MOSOP was then compelled to issue a demand notice to shell to pay compensation forenvironmental damages it caused in Ogoni land and pay royalties and mining rents to theOgoni people. The total demand involved amounted to 10 million U.S dollars. Shellrefused to pay and respond to MOSOP letters. What it did later was to rely on obnoxiouslaws that are detrimental to the interest of Ogoni people. According to Shell, the demandsof the Ogoni people were outside the business scope of oil operating companies andwithin the government‟s sphere of responsibility. Their campaign is overtly political andshell is being used to raise the international profile of the campaign through disruption ofoil operations and environmental accusation. MOSOP followed up with a shopping list of things it expected shell to do for theOgoni people; but the company refused to cooperate. This non-compliance compelledMOSOP to go international in 1992. The movement addressed the United NationsCommission on Racial Discrimination and registered with the Unrepresented Nations andPeoples Organization, (the only group in Nigeria to do so) in December 1992. It was 15
  17. 17. within this framework that Ogoni people celebrated the International year of IndigenousPeoples, otherwise called the Ogoni Day, on the 4th of January 1993. The Ogoni strugglewas thus internationalized. The Nigerian government responded with the arrest and detention of Ogonileaders and promulgated the treasonable offences Decrees 1993, outlawing the demandfor self-determination and propagation of sub-national ideas aimed at creating “a statewithin a state”. Excerpts of the decree published in Newswatch May 24 define offencesthat constitute treason as: A person who levies a war against Nigeria in order to intimidate; or overawe the President and Commander-in Chief of the Armed forces or the Governor of the state is guilty of treason and liable on conviction to death sentence. A person, who utters any word, displays anything or publishes any material, which is capable of causing a community or section to engage in violence against a section of that community or another community is also guilty of treason. A Person, who unlawfully displays anything or publishes any material, which gives or creates the impression that a particular country, state or local government has been located or is being created or established out of Nigeria is guilty of treason. Similarly, guilty of treason is a „person, who files or exhibits in any open or public place in that part of Nigeria, state, local government, a flag whether or not the flag is of a national flag or is similar to the flag and represents that such a flag of the country, state or local government. The Rivers State Government followed up with a similar edict. The editorial ofNewswatch Magazine of 29 May, 2006 maintained that the decree, which saw suchactivities as treason, punishable with death, was aimed at Ogoni leaders and to stifle theOgoni struggle. Ogoni people already had a flag following their membership of U.N.P.O.The Ogoni solidarity song was being sung in most quarters as an anthem and theircampaign for self-determination and demand for royalties were also misconstrued ascreating “a state within a state”. The government followed up with a policy ofencirclement. This included propping neighbours against the Ogoni people. Between1993 and 1994, the Ogoni people were at war with the Andoni, the Ndoki and the Okirikapeople. When this is added to the harassment by the security, fortes, the burden on acollective struggle was clear. Ake intervened in the Ogoni – Andoni conflict and served 16
  18. 18. as the chairman of the peace conference. While efforts were on to disengage thecombatants, the Rivers State Government under Governor Rufus Ada – George hastilyarranged a peace agreement. As chairman of the peace conference, Claude Ake protestedthis seeming haste. In a letter dated October 19, 1993 and addressed to Chief Rufus Ada-George, Executive Governor of Rivers State on the peace agreement, Ake said he waswriting to express his misgiving about the peace agreement on the above conflict, whichwas signed on October 6, 1993. He could have preferred to ignore it except that it raisesimportant issues and also because, having been publicly identified as the Chairman of thepeace conference, it is popularly assumed that he had something to do with it. Ake‟s concerns were that the „Peace Agreement‟ was hastily arranged andsigned without consideration to the plight of the refugees or any show of compassionfor the dead and suffering. He added that it is ironic that we proceed with such hastenow when we took so long to disengage the combatants even after they hadunanimously called for peace deployment. It may be that the long delay was due tocircumstances beyond one‟s control. But the fact is that most of the dying anddestruction occurred during this long interval. We should, at least, have offered anexplanation and expressed regrets. This was indicting on the part of the Government. However, what was even moreindicting was Ake‟s observation that the reports on the conflict have noted the scale andsystematic nature of the destruction as well as the sophistication of the operations. Thesefeatures raised questions about whether the conflict is merely communal and also thepossibility that the two communities might have been victims of some other forcesexploiting a local situation. It was surely in the interest of the communities as well asnational security to have looked more closely at these issues. Ake further expressed concern that the agreement was signed without the priorconsultation with the people neither was it ratified by them. Even then, the agreement hadhastily added that were no outstanding issues as basis of conflict between the twocommunities and proclaimed safe, passage for oil companies to operate in the area. Theimplication of this was clear; the place must be made safe for oil activities to go on. It 17
  19. 19. also implied that what was important to government was not the suffering of the peoplebut the need to have unhindered access to oil. The policy of encirclement was also notedin the class of the Ndoki where the administration of Dauda Komo appeared not only tohave facilitated the war but also to have rewarded the Ndoki people with amenities. Although, government denied complicity in the crisis had been demonstrated bythe shooting of unarmed Ogoni farmers protesting the destruction of their farmland andcrops by soldiers who had accompanied Wilbros, an American contracting company toOgoni land, it was even clearer in the suppression of the report of the Major TaiwoCommission of Enquiry into the Ogoni-Okirika water Front Conflict in December, 1993.The various crises and the internationalization of the Ogoni struggle threw up a majorcrisis in the leadership of MOSOP and pitied some moderate politicians and traditionalrulers against the younger, more radical elements in the movement. The impetus was the 1993 Presidential Election. While a segment of the MOSOPleadership had favoured a boycott of the election based on certain provisions of the 1979constitution, which legalized the usurpation of Ogoni rights over their resources, a moremoderate segment was disposed towards participation. This moderate group was made upwith (mainly political elements in MOSOP) mostly members of the KAGOTE. While aboycott was considered necessary in enhancing the international profile of MOSOP, andits publicity, it was also needed to emphasize the focus of the Ogoni struggle by drawingattention to the basic flaws of the constitution as it affects the oil producing minorities. Fundamentally, the boycott was perceived as humiliation of the petit bourgeoispoliticians in Ogoni land, in denying them an avenue for accumulation at the expense of theOgoni people. A boycott was advocated by more youthful and dynamic segment under K.B. Saro-Wiwa. Saro-Wiwa endeared himself to Ogoni youths in his 20s when he opposedthe war of secession in Biafra by joining the Federal side. This was in contrast to the elderslike Chief Kobani, Dr. Leton, Mr. Baddey and Chief Kogbara, among others who were onthe side of Biafra. Again, in his days as a member of the State Executive Council, Saro-Wiwa, did more than any other Ogoni leader in mobilizing the people for education in linewith the legacy of the Ogoni Central Union. It was even said that as Commissioner forEducation, he awarded scholarships to a lot of Ogoni youths to study in the universities. He 18
  20. 20. therefore facilitated the educational empowerment of the new generation of Ogoni youths.In the voting that ensued, the Saro-Wiwa group won by 11-16 votes in favour of a boycott. MOSOP was thus polarized with the resignation of most of the pioneer officials.This development paved way for the more youthful elements to take over leadershipposition in MOSOP and its subsequent reorganization around community-baseddemocratic structures; thus threatening the old power structure in Ogoni land. According to I.S Kogbara, most elders of MOSOP felt that such situation wouldspell the demise of MOSOP, as they would have no control of its components, not tomention the unintentional exclusion from membership of many Ogoni who might not fitinto any of the independent organization. With the emergence of more youths in the decision-making organ of MOSOP (thesteering committee) the organization emerged as a force for those who were hithertodenied access to power and economic opportunities, including those who were deniedtheir rightful positions as Chiefs. MOSOP mobilized the people through the affiliatecommunity-based organizations to the extent that the basis, of the authority of the oldpower elites (KAGOTE) was undermined. It was not only the authority of KAGOTE thatwas threatened, its means of livelihood, its members were also put in jeopardy followingthe harassment of Shell and the stoppage of oil exploration activities. It was of this „bornagain‟ MOSOP that Professor Ake spoke of when he stated that, MOSOP and Ogoni landmust survive and flourish for the sake of us all, for better or for worse; MOSOP andOgoni land are the conscience of this country. They have risen above our slave culture ofsilence, and have found courage to be free and they have evolved a politicalconsciousness, which denies power to rogues, hypocrites, fools and bullies. At the height of the confrontation between the State and oil companies on the onehand and the Ogoni people represented by the Movement for the Survival of OgoniPeople (MOSOP) on the other, a group of Politicians and Traditional Rulers of Ogoniextraction put up a paid advertorial in the State government owned newspapers on May 41993, not only distanced themselves from the Movement activities but castigated itsleadership. They decided to register their anger and complete disapproval of the lawlessactivities of certain elements in Ogoni who claim to be operating under MOSOP or the 19
  21. 21. Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni people and apologized to the then GovernorChief Rufus Ada George for the insult and disrespect organized and insinuated on him.Similarly, the apology was extended to the Federal government for any embarrassmentcaused to the nation and stated that they appreciated the steps being taken by the federalgovernment to address the issues of the development of oil producing areas in generaland Ogoni in particular (Saro-Wiwa, 1995:158) Some of these individual were signatories to the Ogoni Bill of Rights and cannotclaim ignorance of the demands of Ogoni people presented by MOSOP. Saro-Wiwa(1995:159) reveals that the stipulated cost of the advertorial was beyond the reach of theadvertisers, implying that they were sponsored by the state government which allowedthem free access to the state media. He also reveals that the Shell PetroleumDevelopment Company, the main target of MOSOP‟s environmental campaign used thesame advertisement in international circles to portray Saro-Wiwa as not popular and thatMOSOP was working at cross-purposes with the Ogoni people. This notwithstanding, analleged Ogoni person under the false name of Baridan Lekara in a paid advertisement inthe influential Guardian Newspapers, on the 26th of September 1993 castigated theleadership of MOSOP, saying that Ken-Saro-Wiwa is out to gain cheap popularity andhas brainwashed the people, promising each adult Ogoni 3 Million Naira reparation if thestruggle succeeds. The same pattern of attack was made on the return to civil rule in 1999 by Ogonipolitical elites who claimed to be Ogoni representatives in government. On return to civildemocratic rule in 1999, many had expected that the crisis of development in Ogoni-landwould be resolved. This was particularly so for the fact that many internationaldevelopment agencies and Human Right groups had anchored the resolution of the crisisin the return to democratic rule in Nigeria. This expectation was further raised whenPresident Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice-President Atiku Abubakar paid visit to Ogoniland on different occasions with the first two years in the life of the administration. Eachof these leaders was given high level civic reception and chieftaincy titles by Ogonitraditional rulers and political elites. The visits came with a promise to normalize strainedrelationship between the Ogoni people and Shell Petroleum Development Company 20
  22. 22. which had been forced out of the area of the height of the Ogoni agitation in 1993. Thispromise brought to the fore old rivalries between fractions of the political elites. Thoseserving in government who supported reconciliation with Shell and those opposed toreconciliation, mainly remnants of the radical elements within the Movement for theSurvival of Ogoni People (MOSOP). In 1999, the Obasanjo administration appointed a commission to look into pastHuman Right Violations under the military. It was headed by a renowned jurist, JusticeChudifu Oputa. More than three thousand petitions were received from Ogoni alone,(about three quarters of the total received by the commission). This was the onlygovernment hoped to assuage the feelings of the people and pave the way forreconciliation within Ogoni society. The success was limited. Those elected, ingovernment were not ready to commit class suicide. They kept up their antagonismagainst the MOSOP which had now lost much of its potency caused by in-fighting anddesertion. In 2005, the Federal Government appointed Reverend Father Matthew HassanKukah to facilitate reconciliation between Shell Petroleum, the government and Ogonipeople with a view to opening up the area for full economic activities. The whole processwas stalemated because of mistrust between the parties concerned. The attempt by the Obasanjo administration to push through the commencementof oil exploration on the eve of its departure was vehemently opposed by the radicalelements in MOSOP but was as expected, supported by the dominant political elites,particularly those serving at the various levels of government. This pushed Ogoni back tothe brink of disaster. In a release issue by the Ogoni representatives in government on14th May, 2007, they applauded the efforts of government in tackling the Ogoni crisis.They specially listed the following as the achievement of the civilian administration withregard to the Ogoni crisis.1. A visit by the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria to Ogoni land on May, 2007. During that visit, the President laid the foundation stone for the monument of the Ogoni heroes, marking for the first time a concrete expression of the end of internal hostilities within Ogoni land. The symbolism of this event was not lost on the Ogoni people, in particular, and the nation in general.2. Resettlement of the families of the Ogoni 13. 21
  23. 23. 3. Incorporation of more Ogonis into Federal and State Government.4. A visit by a delegation of nearly 100 Ogoni people spread across the length and breadth of Ogoni land to meet with the President in Abuja.5. Getting the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to undertake the assessment study and subsequent clean up of Ogoni land.For a people who have sacrificed so much, this is surprisingly an achievement;particularly so, when put side by side with the demands in the Ogoni Bill of Rights. Thishowever, goes to show the extent of the division in Ogoni and the trend in loyalty of thepolitical elites. The situation is critical when seen in the context of the depth of thebitterness and rivalry within the political class. The press release contained a catalogue ofattack on the more radical elements in the Movements for the Survival of Ogoni People(MOSOP). It said among other things that all Ogoni people know the role that MOSOPplayed in the struggle against the dictatorship of the military. They claimed of improvedliving condition since the return of democracy and maintained that the Rivers StateGovernment, has, by a succession of policies, exhibited its commitment to ending thesuffering and repositioning the Ogoni people to attain greater heights. They also claimedthat many key positions in the Rivers State Government were held by Ogoni sons anddaughters, and hundreds of kilometer of road networks existed in Ogoni land, not to talkof the infrastructure that were on ground. Apparently, a study conducted by Naanen and others on “progress of the Ogoni inNigeria towards the attainment of the International Development Targets for Povertyeradication, education and health” in 2004 does not give room for optimism. Indeed, itnoted that the Ogoni, as an indigenous people, mainly minorities have been marginalizedjust like other indigenous people elsewhere. Their powerlessness and exclusion in multi-ethnic Nigeria has naturally translated into a corresponding magnitude ofunderdevelopments. This view notwithstanding, Ogoni representatives in government accused theleadership of MOSOP of trading with the plight of Ogoni people, stating that the plight ofthe Ogoni people has been turned into an industry ending this situation therefore creates a 22
  24. 24. vacuum for those whose relevance depends on it. We appreciate what the state andFederal government have done for us in the last seven years. We remain committed tocollaborating with the government agencies, men and women of goodwill in ensuring thebest deal for the people of Ogoni. It accused the leadership of MOSOP of corruption andlack of accountability and transparency, arguing that this has cost Ogoni people a greatdeal.CONCLUSION In the foregoing, we were concerned with identifying the most appropriatetheoretical model for dealing with the crisis of development and conflict in Nigeria‟sNiger Delta region. We specially looked at the Ogoni experience. We noted that the mostdominant model applied is the internal colonialism model. We observed, however thatscholars who apply this model do not take cognizance of its inbuilt class analysis andthus see the situation specifically as a dichotomy between a majority-controlled statesystem and a pauperized minority. We suggested that this approach is not adequate andthus not appropriate. We then suggested the use of clientelism, bearing in mind the factthat Ogoni is not only sectionally divided but also class divided. In the situation whichexisted, the political elites were divided and most of them derive their status and powerfrom sources outside Ogoni society. These sources may be related to oil multinational corporations or the state system.It is these sources, which define the nature and character of the conflict in Ogoni and it isthis link which elites have with these sources that provide their major means of survival.It is therefore no wonder that Ogoni elites have remained predominantly pawn in thepolitical system. The conflict between elected representatives and MOSOP at theinception of democratic politics is a manifestation of the development and it is this too,which underscored the killing of the four moderate Ogoni leaders on May 21, 1994. Willhistory repeat itself? Only time will tell. It is an understatement just to say that there issectional and class division in Ogoni. The case is that the ordinary people have lostpower. There must be conscious effort to empower the people and in that processempower the communities. The way to begin is to recreate the conditions for theregeneration of the traditional economies of the people. By this, we mean the farming and 23
  25. 25. fishing activities for which the Ogoni people, once the food basket of Rivers State areknown. The ongoing process of environmental audit by the United Nations Environmentprogramme (UNEP) is welcome. It is the expectation that the environmental clean-up ofthe area will also follow. We do hope the issue of gas flaring, oil spillages and otherforms of environmental degradation will be resolved so as not to endanger the flora andfauna in future. Then, there will be need to follow up with the required injection ofresources into agriculture. To this end, communities should be organized on the basis ofclusters and particular agricultural products for which these clusters are known should beidentified and funded. The cluster communities should then be encouraged to form theelected representative assemblies, the responsibility of which will be to manage thecluster communities industries. These companies, specializing in the production,processing and marketing of products of community industries, oil companies and thevarious level of government will be expected to provide funding as well as technicalassistance while the communities provide land and labour. This type of public-privatepartnership is expected to relieve the oil companies and governments of the burden ofproviding jobs, social amenities and basic infrastructure for the communities and thushelp to minimize the level of conflict and violence in the area. It is interesting to note that the Nigerian Federal Government has proposed aPetroleum Industry Bill which is now being considered by the National Assembly. A keyingredient in that Bill is the proposal to allocate ten percent equity in the oil industry tothe oil bearing communities. This is far from the clamour for resources control by thecommunities of the Niger Delta. However, it can provide initial investment into thecluster community agro-allied industries. This proposal is expected to engender a period of economic empowermentrevolution in Ogoni. Once peoples are empowered economically, they are expected tomake political demands and seek representation in politics. This will end the dominanceof political clients who derive their power from outside Ogoni and have the politicalaffairs of the communities for personal aggrandizement. This will however work on twoconditions. First, the human capital base of Ogoni must be developed and expandedthrough increase investment in public education. The current effort by the Rivers Stategovernment in building and equipping model primary and secondary schools is 24
  26. 26. commendable. The government must however follow up by instating on the training andposting of teachers to rural schools in Ogoni. It must also insist on monitoring andevaluation of the performance of these teachers in partnership with community basedperformance monitoring and evaluation committees in this context, government mustencourage the formation of viable civil society/community based organization as part ofits development agenda. Beyond this, government must revive technical colleges and vocational education,to pursuer for middle level technical manpower in the area. It must also encourage theenthronement of community values and institutions and with that, the empowerment ofrural communities. This will give communities a greater say in their own affairs.REFERENCESAke, C. Statement on the Ogoni – Andoni Conflict, April 1994, Port Harcourt.Ake, C. Interview, Liberty Magazine, 1 April 1993, pg. 32.Alberto, P. (1970). “Internal Colonialism or Clientelism Politics? The Case of Southern Italy”, Ethnic and Racial Studies. Vol. 2, No. 3, July, 1979.David, L. (1994). Ethnic Relations: A Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia. California : ABC- CLIO, Santa Barbara.Draft Press Statement: Report to MOSOP, 14 May 2007.Eghosa, O. (1995). “The Ogoni Uprising and Oil Politics: Minority Agitation and the Future of the Nigerian State”.Kenneth, M.C. R. (1979). “Internal Colonialism: The Case of Quebec” Ethnic and Racial Studies. Vol. 2, No. 3, July 1979.Kogbara, I. S., Interview in Newswatch Magazine, May 24, 1993.Leton, E.B (1990). “Address at the Launching of the Ogoni Bill of Rights. Lagos: NUJ Light House.MOSOP (1990). The Ogoni Bill of Rights. Port Harcourt : Saro‟s International Publishers.Naanen, B. (1999). “Nigeria: Ogoni, an Endangered Indigenous Peoples” Indigenous Affairs, April-June 1995.Martin, N. M. (1997). Race and Ethnic Relations: America and Global Perspective. New York: Wadsworth Publishing Company. 25
  27. 27. Naanen, B. Appendix A, “Progress of the Ogoni people in Nigeria Towards the Attainment of the International Development Targets (IDTs) for Poverty, Education and Health”, in Richard Bourne, Invisible Lives, Undercounted Underrepresented and Underneath. The Socio-economic plight of Indigenous people in the Commonwealth CPS unit, May, 2003.Naanen, B (2003). “History, Politics and the Niger Delta: A Reply to Bala Usman”, kiabara in the Journal of Humanities. Vol. 9 No 1, pp 13-21.Newswatch Magazine, May 24, 1993.Nna, N.J. (1999). Oil and the National Question in Nigeria: The Niger Delta Expreince. Ph.D Dissertation, submitted to the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.Nna, N.J. (1986). The Colonial Impact on the Political Economy of Tai, an Unpublished B.Sc Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria., June.Nwika, S.F. (1982). This is not our Finest Hour. Key-note Address at the General Meeting of the Ogoni Nationally, held at Bori on Saturday 15th May 1982.Saro-Wiwa, K. (1999). A Month and a Day: A Detention Diary. Ibadan: Spectrum Books.SPDC (1996). People and Environment, Annual Report.The Guardian, Sept. 26, 1993.The Ogoni Central Union, Constitution, Rules and RegulationsWolpe, H. (1975). The Theory of Internal Colonialis‟ The South African Case; Ivra Oxaol, Tony Barnett and David Booth (Ed) Beyond the Sociology of Department, Economy and Society, in Latin America. USA: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Dr Nekabari Johnson Nna is a Senior Lecturer in the Department Of Political and AdministrativeStudies, Faculty Of Social Sciences, University Of Port Harcourt Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He HasPublished widely in both Local and International Journals in Political Science particularly and SocialSciences generally. 26
  28. 28. THE READINESS OF ORGANIZATIONS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN A HYPER-COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT BY NICHOLAS N. IGWE, Ph.D, JP, MIMC, MNIM DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT GODFREY OKOYE UNIVERSITY ENUGU, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA. e-mail: ngozinick@yahoo.com VICTORIA C. CHIBUIKE, Ph.D, MNAE DEPARTMENT OF TECHNOLOGY AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATIONENUGU STATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (ESUT) ENUGU, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA. e-mail: victoriachibuike@yahoo.com AND FRANCIS C. ALINNO, MNIM DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT AKANU IBIAM FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC UNWANA AFIKPO, EBONYI STATE-NIGERIA E-mail: alinoy@yahoo.comAbstractSuccessful Nigerian organizations of the future must not only be efficient, effective,competent and competitive within any specific domain, but must be able to adapt,respond, manage change and turbulence in their environment. The paper seeks to identifyfactors that get managers and employees of manufacturing firms in Anambra and EnuguStates ready for change management implementation. It examines equally whethermiddle managers in these organizations act as dinosaurs or dynamos of changemanagement implementation. The survey research method was adopted. Data wascollected from a population of 177 manufacturing organizations from the two states. TheYamane‟s statistical formula was employed for sample size determination. Out of the four 27
  29. 29. readiness factors of change content, change context, change process, and individualattributes, individual attributes was ranked highest with a mean of 4.31. The paperreveals that middle managers in the organizations are not dinosaurs but dynamos ofchange management implementation. It recommends that those who will be affected bychange management implementation must be involved in the work of structuring it fromthe outset with a view to identifying their interests, their knowledge, their attitude towardthe change project and their mental state.Key words: Readiness, Change Management, Hyper-Competitive, MiddleManagement, Implementation.INTRODUCTION The management literature has claimed that the complexity of business activitieshas made firms to confront hyper-competitive or high-velocity environments (D‟Aveni1994; Brown and Esienhardt, 1997) or shaped by jolts (Meyer et al, 1990). The Nigeriancorporate profile has not been spared in these phenomenal changes taking place all overthe world accentuated by the wave of globalization. Since 1990s, we have seen dramaticchanges in this direction, and its impact on business and corporate practice in Nigeria.The environment for business has changed tremendously and so have the consequencesfor business practices (Osisioma, 2004). These environmental features have beenexacerbated by a sudden opening of the markets to free competition accelerated by hyper-competitivity among the business firms. In these circumstances, rapid adaptive andorganizational processes are essential to a firm‟s survival and success. A myriad ofcomplex and often contradictory factors help determine who wins, who loses and how thegame is played. Moreover, many of these factors change, often abruptly and inunpredictable ways-over time. Managers therefore must continually be alert to thesechanges in the environment, as well as challenges and be prepared to take decisive actionwhen appropriate. Ohmae (1999) asserts that the inevitability of globalization cannot be de-emphasized pointing out that competition is increasing from all quarters and moderncorporations no longer have any place to hide. If they cannot compete globally they runthe risk of becoming extinct due to manufacturing inefficiencies or poor products andservice. Again customers are increasingly demanding more for less. They are putting 28
  30. 30. increased pressure on both the price and the quality of products and services that variousfirms offer. This creates increased pressures for efficiency that many firms would prefernot to face. This is why managers must be skilled in change management techniques. There area number of reasons why managing change becomes inevitable in a hyper competitiveenvironment: To change the direction of an organization in order to accelerate growth and productivity. To improve the performance of weaker divisions or units, and To train and develop managers to adapt to changing conditions. Organizations are designed to accomplish some objectives or functions and tocontinue doing so for as long as possible. But change can affect all types oforganizations, from giants to the smallest business. No one can escape change. A changein one part of the system will have an impact on one or more of the other parts. Drucker(cited by Herbert (2002:2) succinctly puts it in corporate parlance: “Managers must learnto build and manage a human group that is capable of anticipating the new, capable ofconverting its vision into technology, products, processes and services, willing and ableto accept the new”. The challenge facing Nigerian organizations therefore is not to avoidchange and attain a state of changelessness. It is to manage change. That is seek change,initiate it, keep looking for something new to do, something old to discard and do allthese with minimum disruption of the status quo, thus attaining a state of profitabledynamic equilibrium. Organizations that do not change are forced to change fromexistence to non-existence (Ejiofor, 1998). Given the prevalent and importance oforganizational change and the difficulty of successfully bringing it about, there has beenmuch debate over the last two decades in particular as the most appropriate way tomanage change (Pettigrew, 1990; Stacey 2003; and Dawson, 2003). There is a consensusamong academics and practitioners that organizations are facing unprecedented levels ofchange and consequently the ability to manage change successfully should be a coreorganizational competence (Cooper and Jackson, 1997). From the foregoing, thefollowing pertinent research questions become imperative: 29
  31. 31. Research QuestionsFrom the foregoing the following research questions, could be deciphered. What are the readiness factors that get organizational employees for change management? What is the level of commitment of the top management for change management implementation? To what extent is a middle level manager dinosaur or dynamos of change management in organizations?Research Objectives Using Anambra and Enugu States as research areas, this study sought to investigatethe readiness of organizations for a successful change management. Accordingly, thefollowing research objectives were set for the study: To identify factors that get organizational employees ready for change management. To examine the commitment of top management in crafting out a successful change management. To find out if middle managers in these organizations are dinosaurs or dynamos of change management. THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE Organizational theorists worldwide might agree that readiness for change is oftenthe crux to any change management strategy (Armenakis, Harris and Mossholder, 1993).If people are not ready for change, they tend to resist (Lewin, 1945; Prochaska et al,1994). The key question for change agents appears to be how people get ready forchanges in their environment in such a way that they are eager to implement effectivechanges within their organizations. Change is seen as a departure from the status quo. Itimplies movement towards a goal, an idealized state or a vision of what should be and amovement from present conditions, beliefs of attitudes. Readiness can be defined asprepared mentally and physically for an experience or action (Merriam-Webster, 2005). 30
  32. 32. However, (Walinga, 2008) defines readiness as being at peace, tolerant or open tochange. Thus, change readiness is defined as the state in which one is best prepared tochange intentionally because one is best prepared for change in the environment, and thechallenge of change readiness becomes “getting managers ready to get employees readyfor change”. Readiness is arguably one of the most important factors involved inemployees‟ initial support for change initiatives (Armenakis, Harris and Feild, 1999). The concept of readiness may have been first introduced by Jacobson (1957), thefoundation for readiness as a unique construct has been embedded within severaltheoretical models of the process through which change unfolds. Van de, Ven and Poole(1995) synthesized change theories across several disciplines giving researchersmanagers and organizational development professionals a theoretical means to betterunderstand the phenomenon. Readiness takes its roots in early research on organizational change (Schein andBennis, 1965). Perhaps, the greatest challenge of change lies with the assumption in theorganization change literature that employees needed to “be made ready” for the changethat is imminent within the organization (Armenakis and Harris, 2002). Increasingemployee decisional latitude, participation and power often requires a further change inmanagerial approach from authoritative to participative. Perhaps, more important thanfacilitating employee readiness for change would be exploring how leaders can get readyto get employees ready for change. The theoretical basis for change readiness begins with early studies on creatingreadiness “by reducing reassure to change”. Coch and French (1948) illustrated the powerof participation in their experiments involving garment workers. Experiments in creatingreadiness involve proactive, attempts by a change agent to influence the beliefs, attitudes,intentions and ultimately the behaviour of organizational members. At its core, it isbelieved that change readiness involves changing individual recognitions (Bandura,1982). Most change readiness models emphasize the importance of the need forgenerating an awareness of the need for change and supporting people‟s perceived abilityto change. 31
  33. 33. Defining change management is tough under any circumstances write Holland andSkarke (2003) especially in the context at a new technology being implemented in anexisting organization. In its simplest sense, change management means the process ofhelping an individual, group or organization change. Thus, change management implies apurposeful effort to bring about change (Rothwell et al, 2009). Contributing, Kudray andKleiner (1997) define change management as the continuous process of aligning anorganization with its market place and doing it more responsively and effectively thancompetitors. In their own commentary, Anderson and Anderson (2001) define changemanagement as a set of principles, techniques and prescriptions applied to the humanaspect of exerting major change initiatives in organizational settings. Its focus is not onwhat is driving change (technology, reorganization plans, merger and Acquisition (M &A), globalization etc.) but on how to orchestrate the human infrastructure that surroundskey projects as that people are better prepared (ready) to absorb the implications affectingthem.Readiness for Change The change readiness model explores and elaborates on the gap betweenpreparation and action by asserting first that effective organizational change begins at theindividual level of analysis. Whereas social information processing models (Griffin,1987) suggest that an individuals readiness to change may be shaped by the readiness ofothers, the present research begins from the assumption that all organizational changemust first be enacted at the individual level and perhaps even more specifically at theleadership level. Leaders, after all, are individuals. Ultimately, it would seem that allchange, whether organizational, individual, externally, or internally initiated, depends onthe individuals resolve or willingness to change. Edmondson and Woolley (2003)discovered that variance in interpersonal climate and behavioural norms across differentwork groups are likely to affect responses to a change program or other organizationalintervention, even when implementation methods are consistent in their delivery.Researchers in the area of individual change or “personal transformation” have describedthe individual change process in terms of unfreezing, moving, and refreezing (Lewin,1951). Researchers have identified the “stages of change” (Prochaska et al., 1997), while 32
  34. 34. suggesting a variety of psycho-socio-emotional factors that may contribute to anindividuals movement from one stage to the next, including self efficacy, perceivedbehavioral control, and social support (Lazarus and Folkman, 1987). However, as these purposeful changes are introduced, differences and conflictsbetween the organizational leaders and members may be confronted. For change to occurin the direction that leadership desires, conflicts must be resolved such that organizationalmembers‟ beliefs and cognitions align with those of the leaders (termed dialecticalchange by Van de Ven and Poole, 1995). In essence, a state of readiness must bedeveloped. Therefore, it is not surprising that the assessment of readiness prior to theintroduction of change has been encouraged and several instruments have been developedto fulfill that gap (Cunningham et al, 2002; Weeks et al, 2004). These instruments measure readiness from one of several perspectives namely,change process, change content, change context and individual attributes, (Jones,Jimmieson and Griffiths, 2005). The change process refers to the steps followed inimplementation. One dimension of process can be the extent to which employeeparticipation is permitted. A second perspective is the organizational change contentwhich refers to the particular initiative that is being introduced (and its characteristics).Content typically is directed toward administrative, procedural, technological orstructural characteristics of the organization. The third perspective is organizationalcontext. Context here consists of the conditions and environment within which employeesfunction. For example, a learning organization is one in which employees are likely toembrace continuous change. The fourth and final perspective is the individual attributesof the employees. Because of the differences between individuals, some employees aremore inclined to favour organizational changes than others may be. So in this paper;readiness for change can be seen as a comprehensive attitude that is influencedsimultaneously by the content (i.e. what is being changed), the process (i.e. how thechange is implemented), the context (i.e. circumstances under which the change isoccurring) and the individuals (i.e. characteristics of those being asked to changedinvolved. Collectively, it reflects the extent to which an individual or individuals arecognitively and emotionally inclined to accept, embrace and adopt a particular plan topurposefully alter the status quo. 33
  35. 35. Middle Management: Dinosaurs or Dynamos of Change Management A central debate within the literature on middle management is whether the middlemanagement plays a destructive or productive role through the way it responds to andtries to influence senior management. A search through the literatures shows that middlemanagement has more often than not been singled out as the primary locus for resistanceto change management (Biggart, 1977; Dopson and Neumann, 1998; Dopson andStewart, 1990). A frequent complaint of senior executives is that middle operatingmanagers fail to take actions necessary to implement strategy or that they interfere withthe implementation process by trying to manipulate the process. Added to this is thepressure on organizations on cutting costs, being adaptable and flexible have mademiddle management more vulnerable. More often, they are seen as adding costs andobstructing information flow. And implementation problems connected to changemanagement issues are often heaped at the door steps of middle managers citing poorunderstanding and commitment to strategy (Floyd and Wooldridge, 1992; Guth and MacMillan, 1986). However, recent studies have questioned this notion of “foot-dragging” middlemanagers, suggesting that middle management can have an important role promoting andfacilitating change management strategy in organizations (Currie, 1999; and Huy, 2002).This perspective views middle managers as strategic assets championing new ideas,facilitating adaptability and synthesizing strategic information for senior managers informulating strategies (Floyd and Lane, 2000). Moreover, it argues that middle managerscan have a key role in implementing strategic intents because they are uniquely suited tocommunicate the change across different organizational strata and above all, they canaddress their employees‟ emotions during change management. Leading scholars havesuggested that whether middle management takes a constructive or disruptive roledepends on its commitment to the strategy (Macmillan and Guth, 1985). In general, themiddle management‟s strategic commitment depends on: how the contemplated strategyfits with what the managers perceive as the interest of the organization; how it fits withthe managers‟ own personal self-interest. It must be pointed out for middle managers‟ tobehave like dynamos in the implementation of change management strategy, the top 34
  36. 36. managers must play their role very well. Huy, (2001) says that the main problem is thatthe top managers fail to listen to their middle managers because they view them asinherently resistant to change. Since senior managers „know‟ middle managers resistchange, they only pretend to listen to them. Middle management in turn, learns that theywon‟t be listened to, so they take the role as “the complaint child”. The above assertion isin tandem with (Igwe, 2008:158) where it was pointed out that leadership and middlemanagement commitment were the key drivers to both success and failure toward therealization of organizational competitive challenges such as productivity, performanceand profitability via organization development. Whether middle management takes a constructive or destructive role also dependson how top management defines its role in the implementation process. In studying a top-down change, (Balogun and Johnson, 2004) find that senior management was largelyabsent in operationalizing strategic intent. Rather than being active directors of change,senior management became “ghosts” in the implementation process. In terms of structuralchanges, this implied that top management outlined the new structure and left it to themiddle managers to develop the operational details of this structure in its absence (Meyer,2006).METHODOLOGY The study adopted a survey design in order to facilitate the realization of theresearch objectives as earlier stated (Eboh, 2009). The research frame utilized consists oforganizations in Anambra and Enugu States Southeastern Nigeria. The population of thestudy was 177 manufacturing organizations. It is made up of 157 organizations registeredwith Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and 20 other organizations not registered butwhose amount of capital was more than N20 million. The principal instrument for datacollection was the structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered to bothmanagement and non management employees of 372 obtained from a population of 5407employees using Yamane (1964) for sample size determination. The questionnairecontaining 31 questions with issues raised in the study was divided into two (2) sections:section A and Section B. section A sought to collect bio-data of the respondents. SectionB dealt with the core subject matter. Structured questionnaire was considered inevitablebecause of the population of the target respondents coupled with the technical nature of 35
  37. 37. the information sought. The researchers utilized open ended and check list questions. Theopen ended questions were centred on change management readiness, the commitment oftop management and middle management in the implementation process. Aftercalculating the sample size, this value was allocated proportionally to the two statesdepending on the proportion of the employees that came from each state using Kumar(1976) proportional allocation formula. Again the questions were optioned using a fivepoint Likert type of responses namely: strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree andstrongly disagree. In addition to the primary data, secondary data were drawn frompublished works and the internet.Table 1.0: Distribution of Questionnaire among the two statesS/N State Number of Number of personnel Number of organizations in the organizations questionnaire served 1. Anambra MAN members 135 4075 305 Non MAN members 14 352 Total 149 4,427 305 2. Enugu MAN members 22 852 67 Non MAN members 6 128 Total 28 980 67 Grand Total 177 5407 372Source: Field Survey, 2011. 36
  38. 38. Table 2.0: Distribution of respondents based on organizational levelS/N Organizational level Number of Percentage respondents1. Upper management 52 14.02. Middle management 110 29.63. Lower management 92 24.7 Total management (254)4. Operatives 188 31.7 Grand total 372 100.0Source: Field survey, 2011.DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION The data collected from the survey were analyzed using frequency and percentagesto provide clues to the problems under investigation. This enabled the researchers comeup with the findings and recommendations. Out of the three hundred and seventy twocopies of questionnaire administered on respondents, (362) three hundred and sixty two(97.31%) were retrieved in a usable form Eight (2.1%) were not returned and two (0.5%)were not usable that is badly filled. The demographic distribution of the respondents (organizations employees) isshown below on table 3.0. The data on sex 215 or 59.4 percent of the respondents weremale while 147 or 40.6 percent were female. On marital status of the 362 respondents,162 or 44.8 percent were single, 128 or 35.4 percent were married, 46 or 12.7 percentwere widowed, 18 or 4.9 percent of the respondents have separated from their spouseswhile 8 or 2.2 percent claimed that they were divorced. Details on age, religion andhighest education of the respondents are shown on the table. 37
  39. 39. Table 3.0: Demographic characteristics of the 362 respondentsS/N Question Response Frequency Percentage1. Sex? Male 215 Female 147 Total 362 100.02. Marital status? Single 162 44.8 Married 128 35.4 Widowed 46 12.7 Separated 18 4.9 divorced 8 2.2 362 100.03. Aged? Less than 20 12 3.3 21-30 120 33.2 31-41 157 43.4 41-50 45 12.4 51-60 16 4.4 Above 60 12 3.3 362 100.04. Religion? Christianity 325 89.8 Moslem 30 8.3 Other religion 07 1.9 362 100.05. Highest educational SSCE 55 15.2 qualification? RSA - - OND 75 20.7 HND/B.Sc 160 44.2 M.A/M.Sc/MBA 72 19.9 Ph.D - - 362 100.0Source: From the 362 questionnaire returned 2011.Table 4.0: Ranking of Change Readiness Factor 38
  40. 40. S/N Factors N Mean SD Rank 1. Change content 362 4.16 2.05 3 2. Change context 362 4.22 2.08 2 3. Change process 362 3.90 1.87 4 4. Individuals attributes 362 4.31 2.16 1Source: Field survey, 2011. See Appendix III.Key: N stands for total number of respondents stands for mean SD stands for standard deviationTable 4.0 shows the respondents‟ ranking of the four readiness factors for changemanagement in the selected organization based on their mean importance. Individualattributes of the employees ranked highest followed by change context with means of4.31 and 4.22 respectively. Change context factor was third (4.16) and change processwas ranked least (3.90). This finding collaborates earlier researches by Van de Ven andPoole, 1995; Weeks et al, 2004 and Jones, Jimmieson and Griffiths, 2005. These writers assert that assessment of readiness prior to the introduction of changeis very essential for change management success. It has been suggested that a variety ofpsycho-emotion factors may contribute to an individual‟s readiness for changemanagement. These are perceived behavioural control, self efficiency and social support(Lazarus and Folkman (1987). 39
  41. 41. Table 5.0: Level of commitment of top managementS/N Response Frequency Percent Cumulative frequency1. Very high 182 50.3 50.32. High 80 22.1 72.43. No opinion 36 10.1 82.44. Low 50 13.8 96.25. Very low 14 3.8 100.0 Total 362 100.0Source: Field survey, 2011.As shown on table 5, 182 (50.3%) and 80 (22.1%) of the respondents agreed that thelevel of commitment of top management was very high and high respectively. However,36 (10.1%) expressed no opinion. 30 (13.8%) and 14 (3.8%) responded that the level ofcommitment by leaders of organization was of low and very low respectively. This resultreveals that change readiness in the part of the employees can be enhanced greatly by thecommitment of the top management/leaders in the organization. Edmondson andWoolley (2003), discovered that variation in international climate and behavioural normsacross different work groups in organizations are likely to affect response to changeprogram or organizational intervention, Griffin, (1987) agreed with the above assertionwhen he suggested that an individual‟s readiness for change can be shaped by thereadiness of others, especially the top leaders. 40

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