Daily Watch – Oil production plummets in Q3, Bangui jails rebel fighters in first

1st November 2022

A top adviser to Nigeria’s government has described as “irresponsible” and “unnecessary” the recent warnings by several Western countries of possible terror attacks in the capital Abuja and elsewhere in the country. Speaking after a meeting of Nigeria’s intelligence and military chiefs on Monday chaired by the president, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno told journalists that “any exaggerated sense of insecurity” was unfounded and that the situation in Abuja was “under control”. There were similar words from Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, who said Nigeria’s government was in “full engagement” with foreign partners to make sure “cooperation with them is a constructive one and not an alarmist one”. Last week, the US, UK, Canada, Ireland and Australia warned of possible terror attacks in parts of Nigeria and urged their citizens against travelling there. The alerts sparked public anxiety and tension across the country, as it grapples with various security problems including violence by extremist groups and kidnappings for ransom by armed criminal gangs.

Gunmen suspected to be from neighbouring states invaded Akpanyan Community, Igala Mela Odolu Local Government Area of Kogi State, killing six persons on Sunday afternoon. An eyewitness told The Punch in Lokoja on Monday that hoodlums, numbering more than 30, came in buses and started shooting sporadically in the town, making residents scamper for safety. It was also gathered that the security agents, including the vigilantes, confronted the hoodlums in a gun duel, and this resulted in the death of six persons, among whom were members of the invading hoodlums. Locals said the hoodlums managed to carry away two dead bodies of their members while retreating. In its reaction, the Kogi State government stated that hoodlums coming from other states to terrorise the Akpanya community had crossed the red line of the state, and as such, they would be confronted. The Security Adviser to Governor Yahaya Bello, Jerry Omodara, who confirmed the incident, said the combined forces of security agents and the local vigilantes repelled the attack. He said Governor Bello had directed a total overhaul of security in the area to ward off future attacks by the outlawed group.

In the third quarter of 2022, Nigeria’s crude oil earnings crashed by ₦287.95 billion, as a result of the incessant theft of the commodity in the Niger Delta, the federal government has said. Oil production figures from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, showed that oil output dropped by 1.15 million barrels in July 2022, when compared to what was produced in June. Nigeria produced a total of 34.75 million barrels of crude oil in June, but it dropped to 33.6 million barrels in July. In August, the country’s total oil production was 30.14 million barrels, hence, Nigeria lost 3.46 million barrels of oil in August, when matched with what was produced in July. The oil production losses continued in September, as the total output for the month was 28.13 million barrels. Oil production fell by 2.01 million barrels in September when compared to what was produced in August. Nigeria’s oil production dropped by 1.15 million barrels in July, 3.46 million barrels in August, and 2.01 million barrels in September, making a total drop of 6.62 million barrels, in the third quarter of the year.

A special court in the Central African Republic has issued its first conviction against three militiamen over war crimes committed in 2019 in the northwest of the country. Rebels control two-thirds of the country, which is still reeling from a civil war. Monday’s ruling is a historic conviction by the Special Criminal Court that was established in Bangui four years ago to prosecute war crimes committed in the CAR since 2003. Issa Sallet Adoum and Ousman Yaouba were jailed for 20 years each, while Tahir Mahamat received a life sentence for killing dozens of civilians in north-western CAR in 2019. The three convicted were members of the 3R rebel group that was formed in 2015 during the sectarian conflict in the CAR. Their conviction, however, is a long way from deterring deadly violence by dozens of militia groups active in the country. Despite being pushed back by the army – backed by Russian mercenaries – vast parts of the mineral-rich country remain under rebel control. Several other militia leaders are facing war crimes cases at the Hague-based International Criminal Court over the CAR’s civil war. A 2019 peace deal between the CAR government and key rebel groups unravelled when the latter mounted an insurrection to remove President Faustin Touadéra from power.