Nigeria: We Believe In Killing And Cash

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July 26, 2010:  The amnesty deal negotiated in the Niger Delta last November, is coming apart because many of the gangs involved work for local politicians. This is common throughout the country, and these gangs are put on the politician's payroll before elections in order to intimidate voters who support other politicians. It's now election season. While the voting isn't until next year, the gangs are already being put to work, and that means several gangs in the Niger Delta, that accepted the amnesty, are getting together again to kill for one local politician or another.

There are over a million Nigerians who have emigrated, mostly to the West. Most of these migrants are highly educated, and unable to find work in Nigeria. Meanwhile, over a million less educated people from neighboring countries have migrated to Nigeria, looking for work. Despite the corruption, the Nigerian economy continues to grow. This is mainly because of the oil income. Although much of this cash is stolen by corrupt politicians, not all of it is shipped to foreign bank accounts or investments. Much of it is spread around inside Nigeria, to ensure the loyalty of supporters.

July 25, 2010: For the second time this year, gangsters in the Niger Delta oil region kidnapped journalists. The latest incident saw three journalists seized on July 11. The kidnappers demanded a $1.6 million ransom. When it became clear that this amount was too high, it was lowered to $200,000. But with the police closing in, the journalists were released on the 19th, and the kidnappers fled. Police arrested some people in the neighborhood where the hostages were held, but were unable to get a precise fix on exactly who the kidnappers were.

July 23, 2010: In the Niger Delta, armed men attacked the waterside home of the Bayelsa state deputy governor. Arriving in four speedboats, a security guard was killed and the attackers placed and detonated explosives that damaged the home. This attack is the result of growing violence between political parties in Bayelsa. Elections are being held next year, and whoever wins, has access to lucrative corruption opportunities.

July 18, 2010: In central Nigeria, outside Jos, a Moslem mob attacked a Christian village and killed eight people. A church and seven homes were burned down. The dead included four members of a Christian clergyman's family. So far this year, over 1,500 people have died in and around Jos, because of religious violence.

July 15, 2010: In eastern Nigeria, violence broke out between Christians and Moslems. Eight people were killed and over 40 wounded. Six mosques and a church were set on fire.

 

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