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Militant Ijaws threaten to disrupt local elections

Militant ethnic Ijaw youths have threatened to disrupt local elections in the southern town of Warri on Saturday unless their demand for a separate local government is met, Reuters reported. In a statement, they also said the area’s nominated candidates were not credible “since the recent exercise to register voters did not take place in the Ijaw areas of Warri”. Their organisation, the Federated Niger Delta Ijaw Communities (FNDIC), further warned it was “wishful thinking” to believe the Ijaws would not react “proportionately” if local polls went ahead without their demands being met. Reuters notes the dispute, which pits the Ijaw against their Itsekiri neighbours, is part of an upsurge of violence in the country’s main oil-producing region where residents accuse the government and oil companies of denying them a say in local administration and access to oil revenue.
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