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Former Nigerian militant boss distances himself from new group

The former Nigerian militant leader of Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta Ekpemupolo said on Monday he was not part of a newborn militant group in the the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

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Ekpemupolo, who is popularly known as Tompolo, said he has nothing to do with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), which is destroying oil facilities in the region.

wpid-Tompolo.jpg“It baffles me that the Nigerian military has refused to believe that I am not part of the group and its activities,” he said.

He asked the government to launch an investigation to ascertain those behind the new group.

Over 8,000 armed youths have given up their weapons to the Nigerian government amid efforts to end years of fighting in the oil-rich region.

Inter-ethnic clashes are commonplace in the Niger Delta region. Access to oil revenue is the trigger for the violence.

Over 300 foreigners have been seized in the Niger Delta since 2006. Almost all have been released unharmed after ransoms were paid.

Attacks on oil pipelines in the Niger Delta have cut Nigeria’s output by around a fifth in recent years.

The unrest in the region has forced many international firms to flee the area.

The government has mobilized the Nigerian army and coast guards in an anti-banditry operation. Endit

Source: Xinhua

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