Gunmen kidnap workers on Nigeria oil rig
Gunmen attacked an oil rig off the coast of Nigeria’s southeastern state of Akwa Ibom late on Sunday and kidnapped several people including two foreigners, security sources said on Monday.
The sources said the attack took place in the shallow-water Okoro oilfield off the Obolo local government area of Akwa Ibom. There was no immediate confirmation from the security services.
Akwa Ibom lies on the edge of the Niger Delta, a vast wetlands region home to Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry, whose infrastructure had been repeatedly attacked for years until an amnesty was agreed last year.
Thousands of gunmen laid down their weapons under the deal, brokered by President Goodluck Jonathan, but the militants were always highly factionalised and some gangs with local grievances against foreign oil firms remain active, security sources say.
A resurgence of violence in the Niger Delta would be an embarrassment for Jonathan, who is the first Nigerian head of state from the Niger Delta and who faces a tough battle in presidential elections expected next April.