2008: Piracy off the Niger River Delta is way up this year, partly as a result
of increased army and police activity on land. There are now 5-10 ships
attacked a week. In most cases, all portable valuables are taken, but in some
instances, crews will be beaten or shot for no reason. Sometimes, smaller ships
are taken into the swamps and held for ransom. This is dangerous, as the armed
forces can often find the ship from the air.
2008: In a surprising move, the
president fired two ministers for corrupt practices. It was believed that the
new president would go easy on corruption in order to please political allies.
2008: Anti-corruption efforts have led to revelations that there were many
questionable government actions when former president Olusegun Obasanjo was in
power. Obasanjo was elected on an anti-corruption platform, and actually did
much to catch crooked politicians.
shot four pirates, as they caught them trying to move a boat that had recently
2008: A fire at a naval base in the Niger Delta, which destroying two gunboats.
Separatists gang MEND claimed they had launched an attack on the base, which
the navy denied.
2008: Growing population in northern Nigeria has led to more violence between
tribes that farm and those that tend herds. Both are competing for the same
land, and everyone has weapons. The violence is now constant, with a dozen or
more casualties a month.
2008: Police seized a base, in the Niger Delta, used by Ateke Tom, the head of
an Ijaw vigilante group. The base featured a large stockpile of arms and ammo,
as well as an illegal pipeline, plugged into a legitimate one. This made it
easier to steal oil.
2008: A volunteer UN human rights investigator reported that Nigerian police
treat prisoners very roughly. Most Nigerians agree with this, and wish the cops
used the violence on more criminals, and didn't take as many bribes. Nigerians
would also like the police to refrain from the traditional "eye for an eye"
attitude when police are killed during tribal disputes. The police have a
tendency to come back and kill a lot of the civilians involved, to encourage
people to refrain from killing cops.