News / Africa

Nigerian Militants Attack Oil Facility, Warn of More Violence

An advertisement tank is plastered with posters of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari and his running mate Tunde Bakare during the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential campaign rally at Mapo square, Ibadan, south-west Nigeria, Mar 14 20
An advertisement tank is plastered with posters of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari and his running mate Tunde Bakare during the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential campaign rally at Mapo square, Ibadan, south-west Nigeria, Mar 14 20

Nigeria's best-known militant group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, is claiming responsibility for attacking a facility run by the Italian oil firm Agip.

In a written statement, the group says it is launching a new campaign of attacks ahead of April's legislative, presidential, and gubernatorial elections as a reminder to the government not to take its threats for granted. The group is warning Nigerians to stay away from political gatherings.

Smoke and debris fill the sky after a car bomb explodes alongside firemen responding to an initial car bomb that had exploded five minutes earlier in Abuja, Oct 1 2010
Smoke and debris fill the sky after a car bomb explodes alongside firemen responding to an initial car bomb that had exploded five minutes earlier in Abuja, Oct 1 2010

These militants claim responsibility for bombings last October near Independence Day celebrations in the capital Abuja that killed 15 people.

There have already been a series of bombings at campaign events in the oil-rich Niger Delta as well as attacks against candidates in northern Nigeria, where a separate militant group says it is fighting to establish an Islamic state.

With more than 70 million Nigerians registered to take part in April's vote, security services in Africa's most populous nation say they are taking unprecedented measures to ensure a safe election.

Chukwuemeka Ebuka, assistant to the secretary of police for Anambra State, says the "readiness on the side of the police is to ensure that the election is free and fair and to ensure that any violent act is nipped in the bud."

There have been problems in the past with Nigerian militants disguised as security forces. Ebuka says there will be special tags to identify policemen involved in securing the vote.

"So that will make it impossible for anybody who is a fake policeman. It will make it easier for real and genuine policemen to identify the fake ones," said Ebuka.

Delta State University political science professor Benjamin Agah says the government's primary responsibility here is ensuring proper security for a free and fair vote. He says politicians themselves are to blame for some of the violence as elected office in Nigeria has become a make-or-break grab for money and power.

"Politics is not a do-or-die affair. Politics is to serve the people," said Agah. "So the moment the people you are going to serve say no to you, don't go."

Retired Rear Admiral John Kpokpogri is running for deputy governor of Delta State as the candidate of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria party. He agrees there is a sometimes desperate, winner-take-all mentality to Nigerian politics.

"It is not a do-or-die affair. We go and play the game according to the rules, and the more popular candidate will win at the end of the day," said Kpokpogri. "I believe that the democracy, the election is going to be free and fair."

Kpokpogri says he is satisfied with the government's response to electoral violence thus far.

"The violence or those issues have nothing to do with the election. The election is going to take place, and the security agencies are equal to any miscreants who are trying to cause problems that people think will ruin the election,"Kpokpogri said. "The election is going to come and take place and nothing negative will happen."

This will be the fourth presidential election since Nigeria's return to civilian rule in 1999. President Goodluck Jonathan is facing several challengers, chief among them former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs