Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09LAGOS362
2009-09-15 16:26:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Lagos
Cable title:  

NIGERIA: MILITANCY POST AMNESTY

Tags:  PGOV KCOR KCRM NI 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO6086
OO RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #0362/01 2581626
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 151626Z SEP 09
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0949
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 0537
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH AFB UK
RHMFISS/COMUSNAVEUR NAPLES IT
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 000362 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2019
TAGS: PGOV KCOR KCRM NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: MILITANCY POST AMNESTY

REF: A. ABUJA 1669

B. LAGOS 356

C. LAGOS 348

Classified By: Consul General Donna Blair, Reasons 1.4 (B,D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 LAGOS 000362

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2019
TAGS: PGOV KCOR KCRM NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: MILITANCY POST AMNESTY

REF: A. ABUJA 1669

B. LAGOS 356

C. LAGOS 348

Classified By: Consul General Donna Blair, Reasons 1.4 (B,D)


1. (C) Summary: A confidant of former militant leader
Dokubo Asari, Rex Anighoro, claims that a new generation of
militant leaders will become active if the currently
prominent commanders accept the government's amnesty. The
large monetary rewards offered to leaders such as "Boyloaf"
and "Tom Polo" will motivate young men to engage in militancy
in order to demonstrate their capabilities to politicians so
that they will be hired to provide fire-power for the next
elections. Anighoro predicted that future attacks, which he
said could start shortly after the expiration on September 15
of the ceasefire announced by the Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND),will be focused less
on oil installations and more on government institutions.
End Summary.


2. (C) Rex Anighoro, President of the Niger Delta Christian
Youth Movement and a close associate of Niger Delta People's
Volunteer Force founder, Dokubo Asari, told Poloff on
September 11 in Lagos that he estimated a little over half of
all the militants in the Niger Delta had accepted the GON
amnesty. He expects most of the remaining commanders,
including Tom Polo, to accept the amnesty shortly before the
deadline runs out on October 4. Poloff received a message
from the President of the Gbaramatu Youth Council, Sheriff
Mulade, on September 13 stating that yet another "high level"
delegation had visited Tom Polo to try to convince him to
accept amnesty. (Note: Press reports indicate DefMin MG
Godwin Abbe met with Tom Polo on Sunday. End Note.)


3. (C) Anighoro stressed, however, that this would not bring
an end to the violence in the region because new militant
groups were forming and new commanders emerging. He
specifically mentioned the Urhobo Revolutionary Army, which
he claimed was typical of the new groups. (Note: Anighoro
is ethnically Urhobo and Urhobos represent the largest ethnic
group in Delta State, but have up to now been less involved
in violence than Ijaws and Itsekiris. End Note.) These new
groups, he said, will attempt to harness ethnic animosities
and to portray themselves as advocates for the rights of
their ethnic constituents. In reality, he said, the leaders
are only interested in gaining notoriety with spectacular
armed successes. Anighoro described the new leaders as
youths, who have lived by militancy over the last several
years and have few legitimate alternatives. He said they
hoped to move from poverty and outlawry to wealth and
legitimacy by following the example of their former leaders.
The demonstrated career path is first to obtain a reputation
as effective commanders of armed bands while using their arms
to profit from illegal oil bunkering. The next step is to
attract a political patron that pays for their "support" in
the next elections. Finally, they receive amnesty, including
large pay-offs, which enables them to move into legitimate
society.


4. (C) Anighoro predicted that, because these other ethnic
groups are not located in the riverine areas dominated by the
Ijaws and Itsekiri, future attacks will be carried out
farther inland than in the past. He further predicted that
the target of attacks would shift away from oil and gas
installations towards government institutions because
reducing oil production reduces illegal bunkering and because
these new groups are not located as near to oil producing
areas. He believes that the new groups will act largely
independently, vying for attention and reputation, but
occasionally band together for tactical reasons. The
spokesman for MEND, Jomo Gbomo, will continue to issue
politicized statements under the MEND name brand but with
little relevancy because he will not control the new
commanders any more than he did the old.


5. (C) Because the government has no credible post-amnesty
plans, Anighoro claims that any commander accepting the
amnesty will be pursuing his material self-interest only.
People sincerely interested in change, such as (he claimed)
Dokubo Asari, will not accept amnesty until there are

LAGOS 00000362 002 OF 002


credible assurances that real change will take place in the
way the Niger Delta is governed. According to Anighoro, only
a Sovereign National Conference and the promulgation of a new
constitution can truly guarantee that kind of change.


6. (C) This cable was coordinated with Embassy Abuja.
BLAIR