Okah Says No Military Solution in Oil-Rich Delta
Nigeria militant leader Henry Okah, who is currently on trial in South Africa on terrorism charges, said there’s no military solution to the rebellion under way in the oil-rich Niger River delta.
There are thousands of people who are willing to fight and they’ll continue to fight, Okah said in an interview on Dec. 5 after he called Bloomberg from prison in Johannesburg. If I can have access to weapons, I’ll give thousands of weapons to people in the delta to defend their lives and their land.
Attacks in the delta by armed groups including MEND cut more than 28 percent of the country’s oil output between 2006 and 2009. MEND wants the region to have exclusive control of its resources, while paying tax to the central government. While he denied being the leader of MEND, Okah said he has influence among various armed groups, who, he said, call me master.
The Nigerian military has launched an offensive aimed at wiping out militants who refused to embrace the amnesty declared by the federal government last year for repentant militants.