Kidnapping in the Niger
River Delta has become the second largest source of income (after stealing oil)
for political and criminal gangs. But the government cannot afford to lose
control of the oil production, and is just sending more troops and police to
the region, to try and keep the criminal activity under control. So far, the
criminals are winning.
May 5, 2007: Armed men came aboard an
offshore oil rig and kidnapped a British oil worker.
May 4, 2007: In two raids in the Niger River
Delta, 17 foreign oil workers were kidnapped. Eight were released later in the
May 3, 2007: Kano state, in the north, has
ordered non-Moslem school children to dress as devout Moslems, or face
punishment. Kano is one of the northern states that has adopted Sharia
(Islamic) law. This has caused some unrest, over the issue of whether
non-Moslems were subject to Sharia. While only about ten percent of the people
in the north are non-Moslem, there is often violence against the Moslem
minority in the Christian south when Christians in the north are abused. The idea
behind introducing Sharia was to reduce corruption and street crime. It hasn't.
May 1, 2007: MEND rebels seized six foreign
(five Europeans, one American) oil workers from a ship off the Niger Delta. A
sailor was killed during this operation. MEND says it will hold them until May
30th, then release them, and will not negotiate for ransom. Earlier,
unidentified gunmen kidnapped the mother of the the newly elected governor of
Rivers state. This is one of the three oil producing states (Niger
April 30, 2007: There is general unrest over
the recent elections, which were considered rigged.
April 28, 2007: Some $13 billion in oil sales
are being lost each year because of the unrest in the Niger River delta.