Henry Okah is the creator of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). Under his guidance, MEND wreaked havoc in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, diverting extracted oil in large quantities and thwarting the plans of the Nigerian government and oil companies for the region. He was extremely innovative in his approach in fighting government forces:
- Mercenary forces were assembled at an ad-hoc basis with the help of cell phones, avoiding a large-scale, permanent organizational structure which could have been traced.
- He was able to sell significant amounts of oil through smuggling networks, becoming an extremely wealthy arms dealer in the process and flooding the delta with high-tech weaponry.
- Thanks to these factors, he was able to create a political front (MEND) via emails and other modern communication systems.
It is estimated that his efforts disrupted more than $29 billion worth of oil production, directly impacting the global price of oil.
Game and Story Use
- Henry Okah - or someone based on him - might work equally well as a patron or a villain (perhaps even a supervillain) for a campaign, depending on where the sympathies of the PCs lie.
- In different settings, something else might replace oil as the resource everyone is willing to fight over. As long as the terrain is difficult to control and it is possible for rebels to communicate relatively quickly, men like Henry Okah can prosper.