It's becoming more difficult to get kidnap victims freed. Cash ransom
is no longer enough, as the kidnappers are increasingly demanding political
concessions (mainly spending government money on infrastructure projects,
instead of seeing the cash stolen by government officials.) The foreign
governments trying to get their citizens freed can put pressure on the Nigerian
government to placate the kidnappers, but that rarely works.
1, 2007: Despite the unrest in the Niger Delta, the national police are
preoccupied with the prospect of political violence nationwide over the next
two months, before the presidential elections in April. Some 78 percent of the
320,000 national police are being mobilized to deal with political
26, 2007:In Port Harcourt, the largest city in the Niger Delta, several
hundred MEND rebels attacked police headquarters and freed over a hundred
prisoners (including a MEND leader). There were about five dead, after several
hours of shooting and the use of an armed helicopter.
25, 2007:In the Delta, a police killed a rebel gunman. One group of
kidnappers are demanding over $500,000 ransom, each, for foreigners they are
holding captive. The government confirmed that nine Chinese oil workers were
kidnapped in the Niger Delta on the 22nd.