World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Jitters In Nigeria's Oil Region Again!

Jitters In Nigeria's Oil Region Again!

By Akanimo Sampson - Port Harcourt,Nigeria

THE alleged designs by agents of the Nigerian government to muffle the freedom and endanger the life of Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), the militia group agitating for improved socio-economic and environmental conditions in the Niger Delta,the country's main oil and gas producing region, is currently producing fresh jitters in the region.

There is a palpable air of uncertainty in the region over the alleged threat on Dokubo-Asari’s life, who most Niger Delta youths have come to accept as the symbol of the oil and gas producing region’s struggle for socio-economic and environmental justice.

Amnesty International (AI) Nigeria Group 17, claimed in a statement last week in Warri, Delta state, that they have uncovered designs by agents of the government to muffle the freedom and endanger the life of the militia leader who recently surrendered his weapons in line with the ceasefire agreement reached with the Presidency.

Apparently uncomfortable with the potentially dangerous allegation which government was yet to deny, some of the armed youths are currently pushing for resumption of hostilities in the oil fields.

Already, Columbus British Ebipade, the general commander of Dokuo-Asari’s volunteer force, has said that if the government acts funny, “we will return to the trenches”.

According to him, ‘any harm done to the leader of the NDPVF will push us to the limit of taking some reprisal actions the magnitude of which has never been witnessed in Nigeria. If our leader is killed, we shall raze down the foundation of this country. This is no empty threat.”

The alleged designs to endanger the life of Dokubo-Asari, seems to be providing a rallying point for political leaders and power seekers opposed to the widely speculated third-term schemes of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Such politicians, Saturday Independent gathered, are currently considering the possibility of engineering a wider political protest that would affect the whole Niger Delta in the event of any harm done to Dokubo-Asari.

There are also serious security issues in the region for the oil companies, who according to a senior Total official, a French oil giant, “must” be concerned to safeguard their staff, especially given the alleged number of small arms still circulating in the oil region.

There are equally guarded whispers in some circles in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, that the oil service companies would not be left out if violence erupts again in the Niger Delta.

For the NDPVF’s General Commander, Ebipade, “many oil service companies would be targeted both in their own right, and because we also see them as representatives of the Nigerian state that is repressing, oppressing and exploiting us without mercy.”

Five major oil companies are however, operating Joint Ventures with the Nigerian government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The oil giants are Shell, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, Total and Agip.

Although the cycle of protest and repression that affected the Niger Delta under the military dictatorship has relatively eased, armed security forces are still widely deployed across the region, mostly at oil facilities. Security operatives are allegedly still abusing the rights of the oil bearing communities on a routine basis.

The United States’ international rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), has persistently claimed that respect for human rights has hardly improved in the Niger Delta since May 29, 1999.

“The Federal Government should seek to achieve a negotiated solution to the fundamental demands of the peoples who live in the oil-producing areas of Nigeria. In addition, government must ensure proper discipline over the security forces and hold them accountable for abuses”, says the US group.

Meanwhile, the Amnesty International Nigeria Group 17, had claimed that government had commissioned a squad of the security agents comprising both Nigerian and foreign nationals to monitor Dokubo-Asari and his group.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC