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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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.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: Recent Documents

Nigeria: Recent Documents
Date distributed (ymd): 970528
Document reposted by APIC

This posting contains (1) a press release by the Africa Fund on city sanctions against Nigeria, (2) a press release by the Free Nigeria Movement on ethnic conflict in the Delta, and (3) an article from Post Express Wired, currently the most detailed and up-to-date news on-line from Nigeria.


AFRICA FUND WELCOMES CITY SANCTIONS AGAINST NIGERIA

May 22, 1997

Founded in 1966 by the American Committee on Africa, The Africa Fund works for a constructive U.S. policy toward Africa and supports African human rights, democracy and sustainable development. For more information on the Nigeria campaign contact Michael Fleshman at The Africa Fund, 17 John Street, New York, NY 10038. Phone: 212-962-1210. E-mail: africafund@igc.org.

Note: The Africa Fund has announced a job opening for a Director of Field Organizing/Projects Director, to expand their network of state and municipal elected officials, religious, community and labor groups promoting a constructive U.S. policy toward Africa. For more information contact the Africa Fund directly or see the announcement on the Africa News web site (http://www.africanews.org/usafrica/).

Africa Fund Welcomes New City Sanctions Against Nigerian Dictatorship

Jennifer Davis, Executive Director of The Africa Fund, welcomed the adoption of city sanctions against Nigeria by Amherst and Cambridge. The sanctions restrict city business with companies that do business in Nigeria. The two Massachusetts cities join a growing number of cities across the U.S. that have adopted ordinances and resolutions in support of democracy in Nigeria including New Orleans, New York, Oakland and St. Louis.

"The movement in the United States in support of democracy and human rights in Nigeria is growing in cities across the country.," said Davis. "The United States can have significant impact on the Nigerian government because the U.S. annually purchases nearly half of the oil exports on which the regime depends for economic survival."

Nigeria, Africa's largest country with a population of more than 100 million, has suffered under a military dictatorship since 1993 when the military annulled presidential elections. The State Department has found that the Nigerian regime commits serious human rights abuses, denying free speech and the right of assembly and routinely detaining and torturing pro-democracy activists. An estimated 7,000 opponents of the military regime are in jail including the winner of the 1993 Presidential election, Moshood Abiola. In 1995 the Nigerian regime executed nine environmental activists from the Ogoni region, including renowned writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, and another 19 environmental activists now face the same charges and could suffer the same fate.

The Africa Fund has launched a campaign to help the Nigerian people win human rights and freedom. "City sanctions against apartheid helped bring freedom to South Africa," said Jennifer Davis. "Now city sanctions can support the Nigerian people in their struggle for democracy."


Free Nigeria Movement
P.O. Box 441395,
Indianapolis, IN 46244
Phone/Fax (317)216-4590
Email: FNM@ix.netcom.com
Listserv: Maiser@listserv.butler.edu "SUBSCRIBE FREENIGERIA"

On the Ethnic Conflict between the Ijaw, Itshekiri and Urhobo people of Delta State

Contact: Mukhtar Dan'Iyan at (317)216-4590 or FNM@ix.netcom.com

Monday, May 05, 1997

Over the past few days the Free Nigeria Movement's Commission on Justice initiated a dialogue among the leaders of the Ijaw, Itshekiri, and Urhobo ethnic groups of Delta State (the FNM does not recognize the six States or the Local Government changes instituted by the Abacha dictatorship) about the ongoing massacre of the members of the ethnic groups. Among other things, the following consensus emerged:

    * The ethnic crises was orchestrated by subterranean elements working for the Abacha regime in order to create discord and panic among the people in the region; thereby giving legitimacy to Abacha's attempt to perpetuate his rule under the pretext of maintaining law and order.

    * By creating a false sense of division among the ethnic groups in question, and providing sophisticated arms and ammunition, as well as financial compensation to previously unarmed factions to use in slaughtering each other, the Abacha regime is only creating further justification to turn yet another oil producing area into a militarized zone for the unhampered flow of Nigeria's oil through Multi National Corporations (MNCs) such as Shell Oil, Texaco, and Chevron among others.

    * The tactic used is similar to that employed in an attempt to divide another set of people on the Niger Delta; the Ogoni and the Andoni. A division that was not allowed to take place as a direct result of the leadership of the martyred Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Based on the above points, the leadership of the three ethnic groups in question, through the auspices of the Free Nigeria Movement hereby calls on all those involved in the conflict to:

    * Cease fire immediately and lay down the weapons of destruction.

    * Support the FNM's initiative for grassroots based emergency dialogue immediately.

    * To unite with the Free Nigeria Movement in its condemnation of the Machiavelli inspired divide and conquer tactics employed by the illegal regime of Sanni Abacha.

The FNM would once again like to call on all well meaning and patriotic Nigerians to join our effort to peacefully bring about an end to 27 years of military tyranny in our great country by restoring all the electoral mandates held by the democratically elected representatives of the Nigerian people as of November 1st, 1993.

Long live Freedom, Long live the Free Nigeria Movement, Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria

On behalf of the Free Nigeria Movement:

Sincerely,

Tunde Okorodudu, President, FNM
Mukhtar Dan'Iyan, Secretary-General, FNM


http://www.postexpresswired.com

Category: News
Date of Article: 05/20/97
Topic: Pro-Democracy Groups Merge to Fight Abacha
Author: Josiah Emerole, Senior Reporter

Full Text of Article:

A GRAND alliance of pro-democracy groups has emerged with the objective of frustrating the alleged plan by the Head of State, General Sani Abacha, to succeed himself.

The alliance, known as the United Action for Democracy (UAD), is an agglomeration of 22 existing pro-democracy outfits, comprising the well-known and the obscure in the pack.

Some of them are the Campaign for Democracy (CD), the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), the Constitutional Rights Project (CRP), the Democratic Alternative (DA), the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). Others are the Association for Democratic Citizens (ADC), Journalists for Democratic Rights (JODER), United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Media Rights Agenda (MRS) and the People's Labour Movement (PLM). The Community Action for Popular Participation (CAPP), Campaign for Independent Unionism (CIU), Human Rights Monitor, (HRM), Kano Democratic League (KDL), Abuja Coalition (AC), Jos Democratic Movement (JOM), Rivers Coalition and the Senior Staff Consultative Assembly of Nigeria (SESCAN) also featured in the alliance.

The rest are the Kaduna Alliance for Democracy, (KAD), the United Workers' Action Group (UWAG) and the African Redemption Monitor (ARM). The groups, which met in Lagos at the weekend, said they would use all democratic avenues at their disposal to halt any attempt by Abacha to succeed himself. They also agreed to sustain a campaign against the on-going transition programme as well as the Vision 2010 project. In a communique issued at the end of their inaugural meeting, the groups observed that the nation had been under a deplorable state characterised by military dictatorship, economic hardship, violence, ethnic acrimonies and wars, breakdown of social services and infrastructure and a host of others, adding that to avert an outbreak of armed conflict in the country, there was an urgent need for a concerted and sustained mobilisation of the people. The new umbrella body said it is committed to bringing an end to military rule. It wants the enthronement of a people-oriented democracy, political education of the people to empower them to defend their fundamental rights and basic freedoms, and the unconditional release of all political prisoners in the country.

The organisations, in the communique, signed by 22 of their representatives, committed themselves to a programme of mass democratic action around the following nine-point demands:

  • the immediate and unconditional release of political prisoners in the country;
  • the release of Chief Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections to enable him participate in the democratic process in the country;
  • immediate end to military rule and a transfer of power to a transitional government of national unity;
  • the convening of a sovereign national conference to seek popular solutions to the political, economic, socio-cultural and other historical problems confronting the country;
  • a popular democratic transition programme;
  • abolition of all anti-people economic politics, including the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), and in the place, an improved, better and abundant socio-economic life for the masses;
  • provision of the Nigerian environment against all forms of degradation and violations by all companies and agencies operating in Nigeria;
  • the entrenchment and defence of the rule of law; and
  • an end to all forms of nationality domination and oppression as a condition for the emergence of a truly united and democratic multi-ethnic Nigeria nation.

They called on all Nigerians, home and abroad, to embrace their demands and struggle for their realisation in order to achieve freedom.

About the Post Express

The Post Express is an independent newspaper. It has no affiliation with any political, cultural, religious, ideological or ethnic group. Its coverage of the news is accurate and fair; its comments reasoned, informed but firm. it is principally concerned with promoting the prospects of justice in the nation's life. And its primary appeal is to all those, whether in government, the church, the mosque, the school, the workplace or the stock exchange, who have not abandoned the fairth that human affairs are best administered in the spirit of reason, and in a climate of true democracy. ...

The Post Express is a high quality newspaper published in Lagos, but printed simultaneously at three locations in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

...

The Post Express team is led by Stanley Macebuh as chief executive and editor-in-chief, and Chidi Amuta as chairman of the editorial board.


This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), the educational affiliate of the Washington Office on Africa. APIC's primary objective is to widen the policy debate in the United States around African issues and the U.S. role in Africa, by concentrating on providing accessible policy-relevant information and analysis usable by a wide range of groups and individuals.


URL for this file: http://www.africafocus.org/docs97/nig9705.php