Nigeria is to send more troops into its oil-rich south-east region to step up security, amid widening street protests by a separatist group.
The Nigerian army says it needs to work with local police to guarantee security especially in areas of Port Harcourt, the centre of Nigeria’s oil industry where protests have been spreading widely in recent day.
The group behind the protests brands itself as the Indigenous People of the Biafra, rekindling memories of the bloody civil war that was triggered almost 50 years ago. The civil was an attempt to set up a Biafra republic, a break away from Nigeria. This time round, the demonstrators are demanding more say particularly over the region’s oil wealth.
President Muhammadu Buhari made improved security a key election promise. Until now, he’s focused on Islamist group Boko Haram in the north. Deployment of troops will hopefully stabilise the south-east quickly since it is a vital component of Africa’s biggest economy.