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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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.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: U.S. Mayors Resolution

Nigeria: U.S. Mayors Resolution
Date distributed (ymd): 970626
Document reposted by APIC

The Africa Fund June 24, 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 contact The Africa Fund, 17 John Street, New York, NY 10038. Phone: 212-962-1210. E-mail: africafund@igc.org.


U.S. Conference of Mayors calls for U.S. Action Against Nigerian Dictatorship

The 1,000 member U.S. Conference of Mayors, at its 65th annual meeting in San Francisco, adopted a resolution today calling for swift restoration of human rights and democracy in Nigeria, and the release of political prisoners. The resolution urges the Administration and Congress to take all practical steps, including economic measures, to achieve the early restoration of democracy and human rights in Nigeria. The resolution welcomes the measures adopted by cities across the U.S. in support of Nigerian democracy.

"By adopting the resolution the U.S. Conference of Mayors has shown the same kind of leadership in support of the democracy struggle in Nigeria as it did in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa," said Jennifer Davis, Executive Director of The Africa Fund, who addressed the International Affairs Committee at the conference.

The resolution notes that "the United States can have significant impact on the Nigerian government because the U.S. annually purchases nearly half 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, routinely detaining and torturing pro-democracy activists, and denying free speech and the right of assembly.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a non-partisan organization of more than 1,000 cities with a population of more than 30,000. Each city is represented in the Conference by its mayor. Mayors co-sponsoring the resolution include: Hon. Willie L. Brown, Jr. (San Francisco, CA); Hon. Shirley Dean (Berkeley, CA); Hon. Roosevelt Dorn (Inglewood, CA); Hon. Robert B. Ingram (Opa-Locka, FL); Hon. Thomas E. Jennings (Roswell, NM); Hon. Thomas Menino (Boston, MA); Hon. Marc Morial (New Orleans, LA); Hon. Norman B. Rice (Seattle, WA); Hon. Sheila Doyle Russell (Cambridge, MA) and Wellington E. Webb (Denver, CO).

Following is the full text of the resolution:

SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA

WHEREAS, in Nigeria a military dictatorship denies more than 100 million people basic human and democratic rights and the State Department has found that the Nigerian regime routinely commits serious human rights abuses, including arbitrary detention and torture of pro-democracy activists and denial of free speech and assembly; and

WHEREAS, an estimated 7,000 opponents of the military regime are in jail including the winner of the 1993 Presidential election, Moshood Abiola, who has been imprisoned for three years; and pro-democracy activists have called for international action at great risk to their lives; and

WHEREAS, the 1995 execution of nine environmental activists from the Ogoni region, including renowned writer Ken Saro-Wiwa, was condemned by world leaders including Presidents Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela, and many U.S. mayors; and another 19 environmental activists now face the danger of execution on the same charges; and

WHEREAS, 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; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has a proud history of support for democracy in Africa and around the world and The Africa Fund has launched a campaign to help the Nigerian people win human rights and democratic rule; and

WHEREAS, the cities of Amherst, Cambridge, New Orleans, New York, Oakland and St. Louis have passed resolutions and ordinances in support of freedom in Nigeria;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors welcomes the actions by U.S. cities in support of democracy in Nigeria, and calls for the release of political prisoners and the swift restoration of human rights and democracy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the Administration and Congress to take all practical steps, including economic measures, to achieve the early restoration of democracy and human rights in Nigeria.


This material is produced and distributed 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 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/nig9706.may.php