Juliana Ruhfus at an election rally of Nigeria's
ruling party
This weekend Nigerians are at the polls, electing their state governors in the first of a series of general elections in Africa's most populous nation. Much is at stake, especially in the oil rich Niger Delta which provides 80 per cent of the government's revenue.
The history of democracy in Nigeria is poor. Since independence in 1960 its people have lived through over 30 years of military rule, a much questioned return to democracy under President Obasanjo in 1999 and a 2003 election marred by violence and vote rigging.
In spite of the Delta's vast oil wealth the people are poor and deprived of a democratic voice. As a result there has been an escalation in armed militant groups operating in the region. 
Some groups claim that they are fighting to help ensure local people benefit from the Delta's oil wealth, in the face of intimidation and corruption from politicians. 
Other groups are happy to hire out their armed services to the politicians, as they hit the campaign trail promising change. But faced with poverty, violence and corruption, People & Power's Juliana Ruhfus asks whether the people in the Niger Delta have any faith in change.
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This People & Power Special aired from 14 April 2007


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