He was active in Nigerian politics and is well known for his work in studies of development and democracy, his overriding concern being Africa. He died in an airplane crash on democracy and development in africa by claude ake pdf 86 between Port Harcourt and Lagos in Nigeria.
Claude Ake, a prominent Nigerian political scientist who was a visiting professor at Yale, died on November 7, 1996 when the Boeing 727 on which he was a passenger crashed into a lagoon in a mangrove jungle 25 miles northeast of Lagos, Nigeria. He was 57, and his permanent home was in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
His death was widely believed to have been orchestrated by the then military junta of Gen. Sani Abacha of whom Ake was an uncompromising critic. This is in addition to the fact that Ake was a mentor to slain author, Ken Saro-Wiwa and a brain behind the Ogoni agitations against exploitation. While teaching at Yale he lived in temporary quarters on the Yale campus.
Shell to study the ecology of the oil-producing Niger Delta. He did so to protest the execution of a minority rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa.
Ake was a critic of Shell and the oil industry. He is quoted as saying, “In Nigeria, companies like Shell are struggling between greed and fear. At his death, Ake was also the founder and director of the Center for Advanced Social Science, headquartered in Port Harcourt, which is the capital of Rivers State in southern Nigeria.
Ake was born in Omoku, in that state. He had gone to Port Harcourt to hold a meeting at the center and was on his way back to the United States when he died.
The center is a think-tank for social and environmental research. It also played a practical role, functioning in the early 1990s as an honest broker concerning oil revenues and environmental issues between local officials and representatives of several minority groups in the oil-producing area in southeastern Nigeria. Ake was also a critic of corruption and authoritarian rule in Africa. He wrote in 1985, in an essay on the African state: “Power is everything, and those who control the coercive resources use it freely to promote their interests.
George Bond, the director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs, said: “He was one of the pre-eminent scholars on African politics and a scholar-activist concerned with the development of Africa. His concern was primarily with the average African and how to improve the nature of his conditions. Ake founded the center in 1991, with the mission of fostering development from within the social sciences on the African continent.
Other tasks set for it were to apply scientific knowledge to actual developmental problems in Africa and to enable Africa to become more of a producer of knowledge. When the center was founded, its sole supporter was the Ford Foundation.