Nigeria: The Oil War


February8, 2007: In the Niger Delta, several thousand oil workers have lost their jobs because of the violence, and interruption of oil pumping and pipeline operations. Thousands more locals will be out of work, and the workers threaten violence if the government doesn't do something about the violence (of the separatists and oil stealing gangs) that shut down oil production in the first place. Thousands more are out of work because the threat of kidnapping has kept many Nigerian and foreign oil workers away from the bars and clubs, or even from shopping. The foreigners stay in their heavily guarded compounds, and the local workers stay home. Some 90 percent of Nigeria's export income comes from oil sales. The government has most of the oil facilities under heavy guard, and still operating. But growing violence in the delta could cause most of the oil operations to stop.

February 7, 2007: The northern and southern states are starting to argue over the recent census. Southern Lagos state insists its population is 17 million (in line with UN estimates of 14 million) and not the 9 million shown in the census. Oil money is distributed to the states in proportion to their population.

In the Niger Delta, the first female foreigner was kidnapped. The victim was a Filipina, married to an Iranian (who owns a construction company.) In another incident, a Frenchman was seized. The gangs in the delta are becoming aware that kidnapping is easy money, if you don't have to fight your way past a lot of bodyguards.

The anti-corruption agency released a list of 135 politicians believed to be too corrupt to run for office. Among them was the current vice-president, who is running for the office of president. Opposition party members comprised 61 percent of those on the list.

The state assembly in the northern state of Adamawa has voted to remove their governor for corruption. Only then can a governor be prosecuted for corruption. In such cases, the corrupt officials often fight back, with lawsuits, bribes and physical violence.

February 6, 2007: In the Niger Delta, a Filipino oil worker was kidnapped, and one of the two policemen escorting him was killed. That makes thirty foreigners being held for ransom in the oil region. There are some 4,000 Filipinos working in Nigeria, most in the Niger Delta. The Filipino government has forbidden any more of its citizens from working in Nigeria, after ransom was paid to free 24 Filipinos last month.

February 4, 2007: Factions of the ruling PDP party fought at political rallies, leaving at least four dead. Getting elected means getting rich, because politicians steal all they can while in office. Getting elected is worth killing for.


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