Nigeria is to release militant leader Henry Okah because he has accepted a government amnesty offer, the presidential spokesman says. But spokesman Olusegun Adeniyi said details of the release still needed to be worked out. Henry Okah is a leader of the Mend militant group in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

NIGERIAN REBELThe government recently offered an amnesty to members of any militant group which laid down its weapons. Speaking on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Italy, Mr Adeniyi said: “The president is delighted to hear that he [Mr Okah] has accepted the amnesty offer. With his acceptance, he will be released when the formalities are concluded.”

A senior spokesman for the Mend rebels, General Boyloaf, confirmed to the BBC that, if Henry Okah was set free, the organisation would lay down its arms. But he said the release of Henry Okah was just one issue – and there were other issues to be settled in the region.

The Mend rebels have been fighting for an increased share of Nigeria’s vast oil wealth in the Niger Delta region, but the government has in the past dismissed them as criminals. The militants say they are fighting for the rights of local people in the delta.



One Response

  1. How many of the weapons provided for the youths to rig elections in 2003 and 2007 have been recovered? These militant groups started their troubles in 2003/04 struggling over control of bunkering routes in Niger Delta. They were favored politically to make money from this illegal oil business in 2003 and they were getting richer. Atake Tom and Dokubo-Asari were the leaders of the most prominent cult groups involved in this bad business and they were working for some politicians in government.

    To be frank with you, MEND is a bunch of oil thieves in the region. All the money they were making from the oil and kidnapping since they have been in control of the bunkering business in 2004 are not spent to improve the lives of the people of the region. They used it to enrich themselves and arm themselves to make more and more than they are seeing. That is why Dokubo-Asari can afford to go abroad for medical treatment. In Nigeria, only the very rich ones seek medical treatments abroad. Considering the level of poverty in the region, what job is Dokubo doing that he is as rich as he is now? The same thing applies to the rest of the militants, they are all criminals.

    Imagine the wealth they control in the region and the accounts they own. Meanwhile, NDPVF started using the excuse of the suffering of the people in the region to perpetuate their criminal activities. I am disappointed that the press keeps avoiding the truth, they are always scared of being critical on the subject of campus cultism in Nigeria. I wonder how long it will take us to call a spade a spade. Virtually all the politicians in government today used campus cults to rig elections. They provided arms for the youths and exhaust law enforcement agencies to combat the problems.

    The people of the region deserve a serious and urgent change. They deserve better representation without being terrorized. The people are so much disaffected that they cannot support neither the government nor the militants, they are at crossroad, yet they are killed for nothing too. The government forces and the criminals kill them. Why must this continue? These people are not the cause of the uprising! It was the politicians. I think to start with, the former governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili need to explain a lot of things for us. If he thinks otherwise, well I have a lot of questions for him and it will be better we both come on air to public talk about it.

    The problem is not only Niger Delta. Go everywhere in the country, the youths are armed beyond control, only that in the Niger Delta, oil is there and the criminals have established themselves to run illegal business forcefully with the use of sophisticated arms.

    The truth is that, without proper check and total eradication of campus cultism in Nigeria, the worst is yet to come. As far as the situation in Nigeria is for now, the people of the Niger Delta region are still not represented as oil thieves and political bandits are unleashing terrorism on the people with the use of arms to enrich themselves all in the name of fighting for the people.

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