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Nigerian President Reschedules Meeting with Oil Worker Unions


Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has asked to reschedule a much-anticipated meeting with state governors, oil company executives and oil workers' unions to discuss insecurity in the Niger Delta.

The president skipped a planned meeting of the parties Tuesday. He has asked them to gather again in the capital, Abuja, on Thursday.

Representatives of the country's two main oil workers' unions are threatening to strike unless security is improved in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

Meanwhile, officials in the southern city of Port Harcourt say militants released a British captive earlier Wednesday. They say the man was released because he was in poor health.

Oil industry officials say armed gunmen abducted the British man and a U.S. worker from their car in Port Harcourt January 23.

Gunmen frequently carry out kidnappings and attacks on oil facilities in the region. Many of the militants say the government should share more of the country's multi-billion-dollar oil wealth with impoverished communities.

More than 100 hostages have been taken and released over the past year. About 30 foreigners are still being held hostage.

The kidnappings and violence have slowed Nigerian oil production for the past year and have contributed to high world oil prices.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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