An interesting article in the “Africa Confidential Vol 57 no 4” about Nigeria and security in the Niger Delta and how corruption is installed in the political , economic and political meanderings on Delta region.
The search is on for the militant kingpin High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, who has disappeared since a court warrant was issued last month for his arrest on corruption charges (AC Vol 56 No 25, Taking down Tompolo). The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), led by President Muhammadu Buhari‘s new anti-corruption chief Ibrahim Magu, accuses Tompolo and his associates of siphoning away 34.5 billion naira (around US$15 million) in government cash, part of a $175 mn. money laundering operation. The money was allocated to securing the Niger Delta’s waterways under Buhari’s predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, an Ijaw man like Tompolo.The government’s Joint Task Force is dug in around Tompolo’s Oporoza political base in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State, not far from American oil major Chevron’s Escravos facility (see Map). This snaking confluence of creeks and inlets was the battleground in May 2009 for an armed standoff between the JTF and Tompolo’s forces at ‘Camp five’ and the most serious fighting before the ceasefire and Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP; AC Vol 50 No 11, The fight gets more serious).
Or also as some have “private navy” and of opposing the Nigerian naval authority may jeopardize the free maritime movement in the Gulf of Guinea
Delta militants still keen on confrontation with the federal government also note that, having sat the election cycle out, Tompolo has retained his private navy of seven refitted Norwegian Hauk-class, high-speed torpedo support ships (AC Vol 56 No 3, Lots of gunboats, little diplomacy). The JTF search for him threatens to spark a renewed Delta-wide conflict once his rivals scramble for control of parts or even all of his legacy. The gangland power structures of the last six years are shifting.