German oil worker released in Niger Delta

16th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 August 2006, ABUJA - A German, Gerhard Ezech, abducted by Niger Delta militants from a night club in Port Harcourt on Sunday, has been released, police said Wednesday. Port Harcourt police spokesperson Ireju Barasua said Ezech was released on Tuesday. He had been abducted along with three other expatriate oil workers, but it was only a fellow-victim, an American, Royce Prait, that gained freedom alongside the German, Barasua said. Ezech's German compatriot, Guido Schiffart, who was abducted last Thursda

16 August 2006

ABUJA - A German, Gerhard Ezech, abducted by Niger Delta militants from a night club in Port Harcourt on Sunday, has been released, police said Wednesday.

Port Harcourt police spokesperson Ireju Barasua said Ezech was released on Tuesday. He had been abducted along with three other expatriate oil workers, but it was only a fellow-victim, an American, Royce Prait, that gained freedom alongside the German, Barasua said.

Ezech's German compatriot, Guido Schiffart, who was abducted last Thursday, also in Port Harcourt, has however not been released.

A group calling itself the Movement of the Niger Delta People, claimed responsibility for the abduction of Schiffart.

He was seized by heavily-armed militants, dressed in military camouflage uniforms on August 10 while on his way to work.

The group said in a statement that it abducted the German because it wanted his employer, Bilsinger & Berger, to desist from its "nefarious regime of dubious compensation and miserly provision of infrastructural amenities" to its host communities.

The kidnapping of expatriate oil workers had increased since the beginning of the year as restive Niger Delta youths use abduction to gain the attention of the Nigerian government and international oil companies.

They want to highlight the environmental damage from oil exploitation, but unconfirmed reports say they also were seeking large ransom payments for the captives' release.

On Tuesday, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo ordered a clampdown on militant youths in the Niger Delta.

The militant youths have abducted 11 foreign oil workers this month alone, though four were released earlier Tuesday.

Obasanjo warned that the Nigerian government would spare no effort to put a stop to the abductions and other crimes that had threatened economic activities in the Niger Delta.

DPA

Subject: German news

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