Rebel leader’s killing to trigger incessant violence

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A war of words and a contest of reason have ensued between the Militants in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta and the Nigerian Army over the death of a notorious militant leader in Rivers state.

The Niger Delta Militants claim that their man, Tubotamuno Angolia, also known as ’Boy Chiki’, was unjustifiably executed while the Nigerian army claim that the rebel leader was killed as he tried to escape arrest.

Who is right, who is wrong, and does the justification of the death of the particular rebel matter in the search for peace in the region? Nigerians are yet to find out.

Following the arrest and eventual killing of Tubotamuno, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) have threatened to break a ceasefire with stunning attacks on soldiers as a result of the “murder”.

The killing and call to attack the “army incessantly” is an indicator to a chain-circular reaction of causes and actions that may continue in the region for time to come.

The rebel was shot a day after gunmen killed two soldiers in Delta State.

It is a matter of fact that many armed groups operate in the Niger Delta. While some claim to be fighting for a bigger share in the oil wealth for the people of the Niger Delta, others use an almost complete breakdown in the rule of law to make money by extortion, oil theft and kidnapping.

Nigeria’s oil production in the restive Delta region has been cut by about a fifth because of violence in recent years. Now Mend is promising reprisal attacks as a result of the death of one of their members.

Reports claim that the rebel was arrested in the Bakana district of Rivers State, as he was on the most wanted list and as he tried to escape, he was fired at and sustained a bullet wound which resulted in his death,” Joint Military Task Force spokesman Lt Col Sagir Musa said in a statement released by the Nigerian Army, Tuesday.

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