JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This article evaluates conflicting ownership claims to crude-petroleum resources by the Nigerian State and by ethnic mi-norities of the Niger Delta. It details the colonial origin of the state's control of oil resources and the political context of the conflict. Using theoretical principles drawn from clas-sical and modern liberals, the article considers the grounds on which each side makes its claims and rejects the sover-eignty argument that Nigeria belongs to its entire people and so do the resources within it. Instead it shows that the multiethnic makeup of the country has prompted the adop-tion of a differentiated political community: the national and sub-national. This requires the sharing of jurisdiction-al rights within the country that will also include rights to mineral resources.
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