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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.