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Nigerian Troops Deployed in Bayelsa State

Hundreds of Nigerian troops have been deployed to the capital of Bayelsa State, headquarters of controversial governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. The governor jumped bail last week in Britain, where he was being held on money laundering charges. The federal military claims Bayelsa’s biggest militant movement, the Ijaw Youth Council, is protecting the governor.

The Honorable Belo Oboko is president of Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities. Honorable Oboko says Ijaws are concerned because they see Governor Alamieyeseigha as their leader. But do the Ijaw people want their governor to go unpunished for his alleged crimes? Mr. Oboko says the Ijaw people have been denied control over their resources and are not ready for yet another war over their wealth, which he says is controlled and looted by the federal government. He says Governor Alamieyeseigha is a crony of the federal government and has been imposed on the people through a rigged election. Honorable Oboko says it is a double tragedy to allow what he called “a purported money launderer” to bring about a massive security presence or war in Ijaw land. Mr. Oboko says the Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities believes in the rule of law. He says if Governor Alamieyeseigha has stolen resources of the Ijaw people, then he should face the rule of law. Mr. Oboko says whatever resources the governor might have embezzled were not under the control of the Ijaw people. Mr. Oboko says both the state and federal governments have rejected repeated calls by the Ijaws to organize a sovereign national conference to discuss resource control. He says if the sovereign national conference had been held, Governor Alamieyeseigha would not have stolen the people’s money because they would have enough rules to manage the resources.