Nigerian political analyst and writer Ike Okonta examines the failure of democratic and civic institutions in Nigeria four decades after the end of the bloody civil war in Biafra. As an Open Society Fellow, Okonta, an expert in ethnic identity and resource conflict in West Africa, is looking at the lingering effects of the war and the increase in oil revenues on the formation of the post-war Nigerian state.
Okonta’s books include When Citizens Revolt: Nigerian Elites, Big Oil, and the Ogoni Struggle for Self-determination (Africa World Press, 2007) and the co-authored volume Shell, Human Rights, and Oil in the Niger Delta (Sierra Club, 2003). His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Project Syndicate, and other publications.
Okonta received his PhD in politics from Oxford University and was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. Previously, he served as an editor at two magazines in Nigeria, the News and Tempo, which he also helped found. Okonta also received the Association of Nigerian Authors prose prize for his short story collection The Expert Hunter of Rats.