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Note: This document is from the archive of the Africa Policy E-Journal, published by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) from 1995 to 2001 and by Africa Action from 2001 to 2003. APIC was merged into Africa Action in 2001. Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.

Nigeria: Statements on Assassination
Any links to other sites in this file from 1996 are not clickable,
given the difficulty in maintaining up-to-date links in old files.
However, we hope they may still provide leads for your research.
Nigeria: Statements on Assassination
Date Distributed (ymd): 960605


We bring to your attention the extremely tragic news of Chief
Kudirat Abiola's assassination today. It is a dastardly crime
against a woman merely seeking the release of her dearly
beloved husband from illegal detention. It represents a
continuing Stalinization of Nigeria by a brutal military

We hope that it has now become clear to all Nigeria watchers
and apologists that the barbaric junta of Abacha must not be
allowed to continue to run Nigeria and its people down for ONE

Saro-Wiwa - Rewane - Ibru: who next ? Is this any environment
for "a political transition programme" when the lives of
ordinary and not-so-ordinary Nigerians are lost every day due
to government-orchestrated violence ? We now ask the United
Nations and Butros-Ghali: is this an environment demonstrating
Abacha's "commitment, statesmanship and sincerity", when the
lives of Nigerians cannot be protected ?

NDM vows the removal of the Abacha regime by all means
necessary, and calls upon all lovers of Nigeria to pledge
same. We ask for all in the international community to match
their words with action.

Released by the Executive Council of the Nigerian Democratic
Movement (NDM) P.O. Box 91291, Washington, DC 20090
202/806-6617; 202/597-7052; 301/808-0800 Fax: 202/806-4632

See the NDM Web Site ( for
and other statements and updates.

June 4, 1996


We received with great shock the news of the assassination of
Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the detained winner of the 1993
Nigerian presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola. The world
has become used to bad news from Nigeria but no one, in his or
her wildest imagination, would have thought that the Nigerian
regime would descend so low as to engineer the calculated cold
blooded murder of an innocent and courageous wife whose
husband they are holding in unjust detention.

We are aware of the many direct and indirect approaches,
including threats, to try to get Kudirat Abiola to betray her
husband by modifying her support of Chief Abiola's mandate.
But Kudirat stood firm. Now, like the many fallen and yet
unsung heroes of the Nigerian struggle, Kudirat has paid for
principle and courage with her most precious possession - her
life ! And with her death, the Abacha regime has finally sunk
to the lowest depths of depravity.

Our appeal is to the international community. Ken Saro-Wiwa
was murdered by this same regime. The world convulsed
momentarily. Mrs. Kudirat Abiola must not be allowed to die in
vain. Her death like many before hers was not the work of any
hoodlums but the result of organized state terrorism. For long
we have tried to convince the world that the Abacha regime is
not interested in democracy but is carefully stringing the
world along in the hope that, given the ponderous rate at
which the world responds to crisis, he just might get away
with his antics. Whilst the world is busy looking for evidence
that the Abacha transition is genuine we have been trying to
make them see that, transition or no transition, Nigeria is
gradually sinking into anarchy and possible disintegration.
The murder of Mrs Abiola can only further complicate and speed
the process.

Nadeco does not want anarchy; Nadeco does not want violence;
Nadeco does not want Nigeria to disintegrate. The consequences
of violence and ethnic hatred are all too clear in recent
history, vide Bosnia and Rwanda to mention only two. But time
is getting dangerously short. Unless the United States, the
European Union and key African countries act soon, the world
will be faced with the spectre of a nation of 100 million
people in the process of bitter disintegration. This will
result in refugee and humanitarian problems of horrendous
proportions for which the long-suffering taxpayers of the
western world have to foot the bill. Preventive action now can
still avoid unnecessary human suffering and huge outlay by the
western world on humanitarian aid and possible peace keeping.

The Nigerian opposition has pursued the struggle in a
responsible, non-violent manner. The world would be sending
the wrong signals to the more radical Nigerian elements if
effective action is not taken now. We have already pointed out
that only oil sanctions, freezing of assets, and a ban on air
and sporting links can bring the regime to its senses
speedily. The world should help Nigeria effect peaceful
change. Time is fast running out.

Prof. A. Bolaji Akinyemi, Foreign Affairs Spokesman
Gov. John EK Oyegun, Executive Secretary
Air Cdre Dan Suleiman (Rtd), Chairman

JUNE 5 1996

The Association of Nigerians Abroad (ANA) has learnt of the
assassination of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, the wife of the jailed
winner of Nigeria's last presidential elections. Unless it is
irrefutably ascertained otherwise, we in ANA are of the
opinion that the military regime of General Sani Abacha bears
complicity in this assassination a week away from June 12, the
third anniversary of the annulled presidential elections which
Kudirat's husband won. Indeed the dividing line between the
so-called "hoodlums" and the Nigerian military has become
increasingly thin by the day.

Several atrocities have been committed, and continue to be
committed by the regime. Her assassination follows the pattern
of the cold-blood assassinations of Chief Riwanu a 73 year old
veteran politician in his residence and attempted
assassination of Mr Alex Ibru an ex-Minister of Information
and a newspaper publisher in February, still in hospital in
London. Indeed this week's murder of Mrs Kudirat Abiola was
preceded a week ago by the murder of two naval officers in
Lagos, and the armed storming of Bauchi prison on the 31st of
May, where Gani Fawehinmi the lawyer that defended Mr Ken
Saro-Wiwa is held without trial.

ANA has said on numerous occasions that the current Nigerian
military regime is a lawless and brutal regime used to
pathological lying to buy credibility from gullible
international and local organisations. That the regime has
absolutely no regard for local and international laws has been
repeatedly demonstrated before the world. The regime will go
to any length to maintain it's reign of terror on the law
abiding and resilient citizens of Nigeria, including the use
of hired assassins to maim and kill it's citizens.

The murder of author and environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa and
eight other Nigerian political activists of the minority Ogoni
ethnic group is still very fresh in our minds. At present,
hundreds of Nigerians have been imprisoned by the regime,
several without any charges or prosecutions. Within the last
two weeks more labour unions, the Academic Staff Union of
Universities (ASUU) and the National Association of Nigerian
Students (NANS) were proscribed, adding to the unending list
of labour unions being proscribed and intimidated. Is it
coincidental that these wanton and barbaric killings are
taking place one week after the release of the report of the
UN Fact-Finding Mission to Nigeria, it appears the junta has
seen the report as a UN endorsement of its modus operandi -
the oppression of the people, the denial of human rights,
neglect for the rule of law and sanctity of life.

We again take this opportunity to call on the international
community to take actions, including sanctions, that will help
bring a rapid end to this brutal and tyrannical regime in
Nigeria. We specifically request the following:
* Imposition of mandatory oil embargo on Nigeria.
* An immediate visa ban on all sporting contacts.
* Visa restrictions on members of the Nigerian regime and
* Withdrawal of military attaches.
* Cessation of military training.
* Embargo on the export of arms to Nigeria.
* Denial of educational facilities to members of the regime
and families.
* A downgrading of cultural links.
* Downgrading of diplomatic missions.
* Ban on airlinks with Nigeria.
* Freezing of the financial assets and bank accounts of
military and government ministers in foreign countries.
* Unconditional release of all political prisoners.
* Initiation of dialogue with Mr Abiola the winner of the June
1993 presidential elections to form a government of national
unity that will handle the transition program.

We also request the international community not to give any
semblance of credibility whatsoever to the regime or any of
it's activities. We refer here to the recent United Nations
Human Rights probe reports which gave some credibility to the
military junta's plans to restore democracy to Nigeria at the
junta's pace. The international community must be consistent
in its criticism and opposition of non-mandated Nigeria's
military regime.

The Nigerian people will like to see an immediate end to the
jailing, maiming, and killing of fellow Nigerians by it's
government. Most Nigerians fully support the individuals and
pro-democracy organisations attempting to correct the
injustices in Nigeria. The support of the international
community will go a long way in hastening the demise of this
brutal regime.

May the soul of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola rest in peace.

Johnson I Agbinya, Ph.D, President, The ANA (Australia); Mr
Ikhide Ikheloa, General Secretary, The ANA (USA); Usman G.
Akano, Ph.D, Vice-President, Canada; Akinola Ogungbadero,
Assistant Secretary General (USA); Alwell Nwankwoala Ph.D,
Legal Adviser, Australia; Michael Olusade Sekoni, Financial
Secretary, USA; Adeniyi Akanni, Treasurer, Canada; Patrick
Nta, Listserve Administrator, USA; Rev. H. Olufemi
Awoniyi,Ph.D, Regional Representative, Europe; Anthony J.
Afolayan, Regional Representative for Africa; Innocent E.
Davidson, Regional Representative for Africa; Uzoma Onyemachi,
U.S. Regional Representative (USA); Muktar A Dan'Iyan,
Regional Representative (USA); Basie Etukudo,
Information/Archivist; Francis Ogbonnaya, Regional
Representative (Australia); Philip O. Ogunbona, Ph.D, Regional
Representative (Australia); Christian Ukachukwu, Assistant
Public Relations Secretary (USA); Akin Kumoluyi, Ph.D,
Regional Representative, Europe; Fatai Oyejobi, Public
Relations Secretary; Michael O. Sekoni, Finance Secretary;
Deji Odetoyinbo, Ph.D, Regional Representative, Canada;
Omoshile O. Clement, Ph.D, Regional Representative, Canada

Voice of America Report

date=6/5/96 title= nigeria/abiola (l only) byline= anthony
moreland dateline= abidjan

intro: the murder of a wife of nigeria's imprisoned opposition
leader moshood abiola has sparked widespread condemnation both
in the country and abroad. thousands of students demonstrated
in nigeria and there are suspicions the country's military
government was involved in the killing. anthony moreland
reports for voa news.

text: even before kudirat abiola died in a lagos hospital
tuesday night of gunshot wounds sustained when she and her
driver were attacked by unknown assailants, rumors of her
apparent assassination were spreading across nigeria.

thousands of students protested in the western city of ibadan
on wednesday to condemn the killing and demanding the release
of the victim's husband, moshood abiola, who is in jail facing
treason charges.

police broke up a march and made several arrests, while
tightening security in the city. the protestors chanted
slogans critical of the administration and called on the
government to accept the results of a 1993 presidential
election which was widely thought to have been won by mr.

mrs. abiola was one of the loudest voices in a campaign for
the release of the opposition leader.

the united states, south africa and france have deplored her

meanwhile, a nigerian group has claimed nigeria's ruling junta
was involved in the killing. a spokesman for the movement for
the survival of the ogoni people said the murder clearly was
part of a brutal campaign by the military government to
eliminate pro-democracy activists, and silence its critics.

last year's execution of nine leaders of the movement led to
international condemnation of nigeria's human rights record
and lack of democracy.

government leaders have sent condolences to the abiola family.
the head of state sent a message expressing his shock over the
killing and promising to do all possible to solve the murder.

nigerian police say they have begun a full scale
investigation. a police statement said no stone will be left
unturned in trying to find the perpetrators of the crime.

mrs. abiola herself was to go on trial next month for
conspiracy and making false statements.

05-jun-96 1:34 pm edt (1734 utc)

International Roundtable on Nigeria (IRTON)
June 5, 1996

For more information call:
Adotei Akwei, Amnesty International USA
(202) 544-0200, ext. 234

International Roundtable on Nigeria Condemns Assassination of
Mrs. Kudirat Abiola

The International Roundtable on Nigeria (IRTON) condemns the
assassination of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola.  Mrs. Abiola was shot
along with her driver in an ambush in Lagos yesterday.  She
was rushed to the Eko Hospital but efforts to save her were

IRTON would like to offer its deepest sympathies to Chief M.
K. O. Abiola and the Abiola family.  Mrs. Abiola's murder adds
to the already too-heavy burdens of the family.  Chief Abiola,
the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, saw
his victory in free and fair elections in June 1993 annulled,
and he has been incarcerated since June of 1994 for trying to
claim his mandate.  Mrs. Abiola's tireless efforts to have her
husband released brought constant harassment from officials of
the Abacha regime.  IN May, she was arrested and was to appear
in court in June.

The increasing violence in Nigeria is the result of the
breakdown of the rule of law in Nigeria.  Responsibility for
this breakdown and the crisis lies directly with the regime of
General Sani Abacha.  The recent spate of political attacks,
which include the shooting of Alex Ibru, publisher of the
Guardian, and the murder of Alfred Rewane, a key financial
supporter of the Social Democratic Party, are alarming
indicators of Nigeria's continuing slide into violence.  Even
as the Provisional Ruling Council claims to be presiding over
a transition to democracy, the country's leading voices remain
stifled in jail, leaders of the independent press have been
detained or forced underground for trying to publicize the
truth, and the judicial system remains handcuffed by decrees
granting immunity to members of the military.

The Abacha regime must ensure that those responsible for this
crime are brought to justice, and that justice must be open
and meet international standards of due process.  At the same
time the persons responsible for the attacks on Alex Ibru,
Alfred Rewane and all other human rights abuses must also be
brought to account.  This is the only way the rule of law will
be re-established.

IRTON calls upon the international community to put its
rhetoric to practice and increase diplomatic and political
pressure on the Nigerian government.  Unless action is taken
soon, Nigeria's descent into political violence will no longer
be a question of if, but of when.  The Clinton administration
has referred to freezing the assets of members of the military
junta, targeted sanctions on the oil industry, a cultural
boycott and a boycott of Nigerian oil.  We call upon the
Clinton administration to implement an activist, preventative
policy now, before the body count increases.

Africa Faith and Justice Network * Amnesty International USA
* Africa Project, Institute for Policy Studies * Chicago
Coalition for a Democratic Nigeria * National Democratic
Coalition (NADECO) * Nigerian Democratic Awareness Committee,
Nigerian Democratic Alliance, Boston * United Committee to
Save Nigeria * United Nigerian Organization * Service
Employees International Union * Fellowship of Reconciliation
* The Africa Fund * Missionaries of Africa * PEN Center USA
West * Center for Economic & Social Rights * Washington Office
on Africa

The International Roundtable on Nigeria is an informal
association of human rights, environmental, labor and US-based
Nigerian pro-democracy groups working to help Nigerians
restore a rights-respecting accountable government.

This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the
Washington Office on Africa (WOA), a not-for-profit church,
trade union and  civil rights group supported organization
that works with Congress on Africa-related legislation. WOA's
educational affiliate is the Africa Policy Information Center


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