Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Former militant urges President Jonathan to take action in Niger Delta

On Tuesday 17th May, a former Niger Delta militant, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, led a demonstration of over 1,000 people to protest against the region's poor living conditions.

Dokubo-Asari, who is the head of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, said the region may see a rise in violence if President Goodluck Jonathan does not take action to improve things in the oil-rich but largely impoverished Delta.

Jonathan, who has won the recent election, is himself form the Niger Delta and is expected to be more sympathetic with the people of the region. Speaking, on behalf of the group, during the march, Dokubo-Asari said: "We are giving Goodluck a chance to make a difference to bring about change ... Goodluck does not have four years. He has one year.” He warned the president, saying "armed struggle is a last resort."

Niger Delta was fraught with conflict for years until the 2009 amnesty deal, which has reportedly quelled the violence in the region. Dokubo-Asari, however, warned that the ongoing problems, including poverty, unemployment and corruption could potentially lead to trouble in the Delta once more.

Sources: AFP, Nigerian Tribune, All Africa

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