Nicholas Ibekwe


As the Nigerian Government grapples with a horrific Islamist insurgency in the North East, an International conflict prevention group has warned that if the Muhammadu Buhari administration fails to urgently address the “long-simmering grievances” and deprivation in the oil rich Niger Delta, the region could soon erupt in violence again.Buhari.

In its latest report issued September 29, the International Crisis Group warned that increasing complaints over chronic poverty and oil pollution as the Presidential Amnesty Programme for ex-militants reaches its twilight, may fuel a renewed rebellion in the region.

The group observed that since the defeat of Goodluck Jonathan, who is a native of the region in March, some activists have resumed their “agitation for greater resource control and self-determination” while some ex-militants have threatened to return to the creeks to resume the armed struggle that characterised the region prior to the amnesty programme.

At its peak in 2009, the insurgency in the Niger Delta cut Nigeria’s oil output by over 50 per cent and was costing the government close to four billion naira (nearly $19 million) per day in counter-insurgency operations, according to the International Crisis Group Read More →

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Three militants of the Boko Haram group died on Tuesday when a bomb they were transporting exploded in Niger’s Far East region of Diffa, local sources said.

The bomb exploded when they were about to enter Bosso town, one of the sources told newsmen, adding that the militants were planning to carry out an attack.

On Sunday, 10 people, among them one soldier, five civilians and four suicide bombers, were killed in two separate suicide attacks by Boko Haram in Diffa. Read More →

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Three persons were confirmed killed while several others sustained injuries when the Joint Task Force (Operation Pulo Shield) engaged suspected militants in a gun duel in Delta State.

The JTF Commander, Maj.-Gen. Alani Okunlola, made the disclosure on Thursday in Warri while briefing newsmen at the 3 Battalion, Effurun.

Parading one suspect arrested with various arms and ammunition, Okunlola said the operation took place on September 5 in Benigboye community, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State.

“My men raided a militant camp in Benigboye. Read More →

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The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Sunday said its fighter jets has successfully combined with ground troops to repel the latest Boko Haram attack on Bita village in Borno State.

This is confirmed in a statement issued by the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Dele Alonge.Nigerian-Alpha-jet

He said a large number of insurgents were killed in the operation, carried out by Nigerian forces in the area.

Alonge said the Nigerian Air Force would continued to provide combat air support to the ground force in all operations carried out by Nigerian troops in the northeast. Read More →

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Writer:Taiwo Adisa-Abuja

Niger Delta youths and a group of ex-militants in the region have warned the incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari against merging the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as a parastatal under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

The youths and 26 groups under the aegis of the South South Mandate (SSM) made the position known after a meeting in Warri, Delta State, vowing that Niger Deltans will not allow their interest to be subjugated and trampled upon by the Federal Government under whatever guise. Read More →

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By Eniola Akinkuotu

A former Niger-Delta militant, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, says with the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan, he and other militants may be forced to return to the creeks.Alhaji-Mujahid-Asari-Dokubo

Asari-Dokubo, who hails from the same state as Jonathan, said the voting pattern showed that the South-West and the North ganged up against the South-South and South-East geo-political zones.

The ex-militant said in a statement by his spokesperson, Rex Anighoro, that it was unfair that the minorities were being emasculated by the majority ethnic groups.

He said he feared that the government of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, would be vicious.

Asari-Dokubo said, “The conditions that advanced the need to embrace the creeks have been sadly re-energised. It is clear that a vicious government who may maim and murder the voice of the so-called minorities may have just been birthed.

“Indeed integration is non-existent as regional gang-ups and supremacy is symbolic with this victory.”

The ex-militant, who had in January said he and his colleagues would wreak havoc if Jonathan lost the election, praised the President for being a true statesman.

He said it was the struggle of the militants that led to the Jonathan presidency.

Asari-Dokubo said since the South-South had lost the presidency, ex-militants would meet to decide the next line of action.

He said, “While President Jonathan enjoys his moments and basks in the euphoria of a new world-renowned statesman having congratulated Muhammadu Buhari, we must quickly be reminded that our struggle was never about Jonathan or about the presidency.

“President Jonathan is an establishment beneficiary of our struggle, our sweat and blood that many bled and died for. He was never in the struggle and he can never wish away our collective march for statesmanship.

“Yes indeed, to an extent, he was a mitigating factor in self-determination pursuit as we went on sabbatical. This mitigation he seems to have willingly repudiated. The days coming will be critical. We shall study all the conditions and consult widely before determining the way forward for our collective existence and survival as a people. The days coming shall either drive the quest of integration or further separate us.”

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Gun-toting security personnel have been drafted to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, following the kidnapping of five personnel of the oil company by unknown gunmen.ExxonMobil

The kidnapping occurred 20 hours after the presidential and parliamentary elections took place.

THISDAY gathered that the incident took place on Monday at a Floating Storage and Offloading Vessel (FSO) in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Sources said five indigenous personnel who were working offshore at the FSO were kidnapped by gunmen suspected to be roving militants.
A source said following the incident, the management of ExxonMobil decided to shut down operations.

According to the source, the management was scared of further invasions by the militants and related post-election violence.

“They are scared that the militants will attack them again. Since they kidnapped five oil workers at the offshore, they have been thinking that they might attack them again onshore. That is why they shut down production,” the source said.
It was equally gathered that the company’s security department had advised its management to bring all the vessels together to avert further kidnapping of personnel by the militants in the area.

“Any vessel that is actively working, Mobil should now have three anchorages so that those vessels will be under security watch.

“Each of the anchorages will not stand close to each other so that they can be under security watch in order to forestall militants coming close to the vessels,” the source added.

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