One of the 36 states of Nigeria. After gaining independence in 1960, three regions were established in the country, each of which was dominated by one of the three main ethnic groups - Yoruba (West), Igbo (East), Hausa / Fulani (North). This configuration gave rise to conflicts, and to mitigate them, several waves of political and administrative reforms were carried out. As a consequence, each of the three main groups was divided into several states, while in some territories states were created for ethnic minorities.
Rivers was established in 1967 as a result of the division of the Nigeria's Eastern region. It was designed as a state for several ethnic minorities, and after the Bayels state was separated from it in 1996, the main ethnic group in Rivers became Ogoni, one of the largest ethnic minorities in Nigeria. Along with traditional religions, Ogonians profess Christianity and speak the languages of the Niger-Congolese family.
Rivers is located in the south of the country in the Niger Delta, where the oil industry of Nigeria is concentrated. The conflict between the states of the Niger Delta, the ethnic minorities living there, and the central government regarding the control over oil resources and oil revenues has been going on for decades. Often it takes violent forms. Ogoni is one of the most active parties to the conflict, the key role in their struggle is played by the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)