14 Oct. 2015
A church minaret is seen behind houses built near the banks of the Nun River on the outskirts of the Bayelsa state capital, Yenagoa, in Nigeria's delta region October 8, 2015. Tensions are building in the swampland of the Niger Delta as an amnesty that aimed to bring stability to Nigeria's volatile southern region is due to expire at the end of the year. While the region's towns and cities are mostly calm, local residents say kidnappings and armed robberies are on the increase in the mangrove swamps, where most oil wells are located. Former military ruler and Muslim northerner President Muhammadu Buhari said in his inauguration speech in May that he might "streamline" the amnesty, implemented in 2009 by his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian like most of the Delta population. The deal is aimed at pacifying militants fighting for a greater share of oil revenues in Africa's biggest crude producer. At risk are payouts worth $300 million a year to 30,000 youths, money designed to discourage them from blowing up pipelines or kidnapping oil workers in a region where basic services are almost non-existent. REUTERS/Akintunde AkinleyePICTURE 1 OF 24 FOR WIDER IMAGE STORY "TENSIONS IN THE NIGER DELTA". SEARCH "DELTA TENSION" FOR ALL IMAGES.