Nigeria: Oil Gangs Attack Oil Facilities


September 24, 2005: Over the last few days, followers of arrested NDVF leader Moujahid Dokubo Asari have seized several oil pumping stations, and cut about one percent of the country's oil production. The NDVF is demanding that Asari be released by the police. The army and police are mobilizing forces to put down the insurrection. Gangs like the NDVF have become wealthy, and well armed, from stealing oil. The NDVF has also taken up the complaints of the civilian population their members come from, who want some of the oil wealth (aside from stolen oil), to stay in the area. Officials in the national government prefer to steal most of the oil profits and keep it for themselves.

September 21, 2005: The oil companies are negotiating and signing economic aid deals with local tribal leaders in the Niger delta area, in an attempt to fill in for the lack of government aid programs. The corruption in the local and national government prevents much of the oil revenue from reaching the people in the oil producing areas, which creates a lot of political unrest.

September 20, 2005: Police arrested Niger delta gang leader Moujahid Dokubo Asari. His followers, members of the NDVF (Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force), threatened action if their boss was not released. Asari was arrested in the capital, after being quoted in a newspaper interview calling for the breakup of Nigeria. Asari also freely admitted that his gang prospered by stealing oil from pipelines.

September 17, 2005: The governor of the southern Beyelsa state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, was arrested in Britain on money laundering (of over $30 million) charges. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had been investigating Alamieyeseigha for several months, and had asked the British to make the arrest. Beyelsa state contains much oil wealth, and has long been known for its high rate of corruption. British police found nearly two million dollars in cash when they searched Alamieyeseigha's London home.


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