Kidnappings of Oil Execs' Spouses Further Rock Niger Delta

Nigerian-based Lonestar Drilling, which has been subjected to attacks and kidnappings at its operations, has suffered another hostile event. The wife of Lonestar CEO Humphrey Idisi was taken from their home in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Lonestar recently announced it would bolster its operations and increase drilling in the Niger Delta with the delivery of additional drilling rigs.

The "hoodlums" involved in the kidnapping reportedly shot "sporadically" in the air "to scare away people." Residents attempted a rally to thwart the attackers, but they were "overpowered" when the kidnappers used resorted to explosives.

"They came for war as you can see how scattered and extent of destruction they visited on this place," said a Lonestar representative. "It was war and they succeeded in taking away madam."

Nigerian president urged Niger Delta militants April 21 to end the hostilities and give the government an opportunity to "implement his program for the development of the Niger Delta."

The Niger Delta militants, most notably the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, have called for a Niger Delta improvements commensurate with the oil revenues that are coming from the area.

The wife of a MoniPulo executive was also kidnapped on the same night. MoniPulo is a Nigerian-based oil exploration company.

According to African news sources, no groups have claimed responsibility for the kidnappings, nor have ransoms been demanded.

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