A key militant leader in Nigeria’s oil-producing Baylesa State has been arrested after women in the area he was using as a hideout demanded the police deal with an influx of oil rebels to the area.

Ken Nweigha, known as “Daddy Ken”, was detained after a roadblock shootout near Odi town.

It is unusual for people to stand up to militants as they are often well-connected and pay Delta communities to keep quiet.

But residents said they feared a repeat of an army operation 10 years ago, which devastated the town.

Militants have been fleeing military action in neighbouring Delta State.

Mr Nweigha, the head of an armed group based in Bayelsa State, was said to have been harbouring them.

The 500 women in Odi called on the commissioner of police, visiting the area at the time, to do something to prevent the military coming back to the town.

It was after this that Mr Nweigha drove his car into a roadblock, local media reported.

He tried to escape, but the police opened fire, killing another man in the car.

The women were worried the militants presence would bring soldiers to the town, still living in the shadow of a military attack in 1999.

US-based rights body Human Rights Watch reported 50 people were killed in that attack, which was provoked by the murder of 11 soldiers, allegedly by militants led by Daddy Ken.

Other local accounts put the number of dead at much higher.

A military operation is currently under way in the swamps of neighbouring Delta State.



2 Responses

  1. IYC: Why State, Army Officials Want Conflict in Niger Delta to Continue

    In the wars of Nigeria’s southern, oil-producing region, government officials, military officers and insurgents often act in collaboration with each other in order to extract funds from the undocumented export of oil or from the security budgets. Read an edited transcript of my interview with Udengs Eradiri, Secretary General of the Ijaw Youth Council, on that subject.

  2. Here is the footage of Nigerian military massacre of innocent civilians in oil rich Niger Delta of the country

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