Nigeria: The Criminals Are Winning


May 6, 2007: 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 day.

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 River delta).

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.




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