Emmanuel Awonusi, the nine-year old boy who was kidnapped after his sister was shot by Niger Delta militants is reported to have been released without any demand for ransom.
This is one of many kidnapping cases in the oil region where the victim has been released unharmed and without a ransom. The boy had been kidnapped because his father is an employee of Royal Dutch Shell.
Militant groups have been kidnapping oil workers and their families for many years in the Niger Delta and now they face competition from copy-cat gangs as the business has become very lucrative over the years. It is often said that Oil companies deny paying ransoms to militants.
While some groups are kidnapping others claim that they are fighting for a fairer distribution of wealth for Nigeria’s oil. Recently a valentine’s day massacre was promised by the oil rebels if the government did not take the appropriate steps to meet the demands of the suffering Niger Delta people.
Also a Ministry of the Niger Delta was created to help bring peace and sanity to the region but that has also been viewed as propaganda. Many say the allocated funds to help the region out of its miseries are too meagre to achieve anything productive.
An effort by the Nigerian government to bring peace to the oil-rich Niger Delta region now hangs in the balance as the nation awaits the February 14th deadline..