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.
The 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.
SOURCED FROM BBC
Filed under: AFRICAN CRIME AND JUSTICE, AFRICAN NEWS, AFRICAN POLITICS, NIGER DELTA, NIGERIA | Tagged: AFRICAN CRIME AND JUSTICE, AFRICAN NEWS, AFRICAN POLITICS, MEND, NIGER DELTA MILITANTS, NIGERIAN NEWS |