The AP carried a story today concerning the awarding of a security contract in Nigeria to patrol that nation’s waterways and protect against pirates. The contract, worth $103 million, was given to a company linked to a former anti-government insurgent, who had, before being granted amnesty, carried out attacks in the Niger River delta. When asked about the apparent conflict of interest a government official saw no problem with the contract.
“Even if it were to be owned by a militant, what offense has the militant committed in owning a business?” asked Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, which will partner with the private firm. “Here is a country where people have served prison terms and become heads of state or presidents. … When people say ‘ex-militant this,’ ‘ex-militant that,’ they should be mindful of their utterances.”