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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 Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.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 US Actions

Nigeria: Recent US Actions
Date distributed (ymd): 971013
Document reposted by WOA

+++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++

Region: West Africa
Issue Areas: +political/rights+ +US policy focus+ Summary Contents: This posting contains: (1) a press release from the Free Nigeria Movement reporting on new sanctions against Nigeria adopted by Alameda County, California; (2) a press release from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) condemning the harassment of the outgoing US Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington; and (3) the text of H.Res. 260 calling for increased US sanctions on Nigeria.

+++++++++++++++++end profile++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Free Nigeria Movement
P.O. Box 441395
Indianapolis, IN 46244
Phone/Fax +1 (317)216-4590

Email: PR@FreeNigeria.org - unavailable 01/00
Website: http://www.FreeNigeria.org - no longer available 01/00
Listserv: Maiser@listserv.butler.edu, text of message "SUBSCRIBE FREENIGERIA"
Radio Station: Voice of Free Nigeria (VoFN) 11.680 kHz, every Saturday at 19:00 GMT (8:00pm Nigerian Time)

County of Alameda, California Enacts Binding Selective Purchasing/Divestment Resolution against Nigeria

Tuesday, September 30, 1997

The County of Alameda, in the State of California, U.S.A., today (September, 30, 1997) adopted a binding resolution prohibiting the County from contracting with or purchasing from those who do business in or with Nigeria. This followed the recommendation of the September 22nd, 1997 meeting of the County's Personnel/Administration/Legislation Committee, which recommended inter alia that the County should adopt a selective purchasing/divestment policy against the General Sani Abacha led illegal Nigerian military junta, which illegally seized the electoral mandates of all the duly elected representatives of the Nigerian people, including the detained legitimate President of Nigeria, Chief Moshood K.O. Abiola.

The issue of Nigeria was brought before the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, and coordinated thereafter by the Free Nigeria Movement (FNM), an effort which led the Board of Supervisors' President, Mr. Keith Carson, to thank the President of the Free Nigeria Movement, Mr. Tunde Okorodudu, for the continued efforts of the Free Nigeria Movement to bring the plight of Nigeria before a global audience.

Economically, this is the most important action taken against the military regime of Sani Abacha and the Nigerian military in the country's 37 years of flag independence. Unconfirmed estimates value the direct economic impact of the Alameda sanctions on business interests which are in, or do business with Nigeria somewhere in the range of US$200 million and above in lost revenue.

Especially effected by this resolution are Coca-Cola, Chevron Oil, Shell Oil and Motorola, all of which are major beneficiaries of the County's US$1.25 billion annual budget.

The County of Alameda has under its jurisdiction the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Livermore, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, Pleasanton, San Leandro and Union City.

The Alameda County ordinance is the first of its kind at the county level, although the towns of Amherst and Cambridge in the State of Massachusetts, as well the cities of Oakland and Berkeley in the State of California have passed similar resolutions. Tomorrow, October 1st, 1997, Free Nigeria Movement activists are scheduled to present a similar ordinance before the Austin City Council, in the State of Texas.

The FNM wishes to thank everyone involved in this endeavor, and to again request that all foreign businesses involved in the Nigerian economy immediately divest all their shares and effect a total pull out from the country, till the democratically elected legitimate representatives of Nigeria have their mandates restored, and decide on the modalities for the return of foreign investments and investors.

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

On behalf of the Free Nigeria Movement: Sincerely,

Nasiru Ikharo,
National Information Secretary, FNM


Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515-0535

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 7, 1997
CONTACT: Marcela Howell (202) 225-2201

CONGRESSWOMAN MAXINE WATERS URGES OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL CONDEMNATION OF NIGERIA

Calls for Increased Sanctions Against Brutal Dictatorship

Washington, D.C. -- Congresswoman Maxine Waters introduced a resolution to condemn the Nigerian dictatorship for its campaign of political intimidation and personal harassment of United States Ambassador Walter Carrington. The resolution, which has seventy-five cosponsors, also calls for stronger sanctions against the Nigerian dictatorship of Sani Abacha.

The resolution was introduced following the recent storming of a farewell reception organized by fifteen human rights groups in Nigeria for U.S. Ambassador Carrington by the armed security forces of Abacha. Ambassador Carrington, along with other Embassy officials, was physically blocked from entering the first reception location by armed personnel and police vehicles.

After he arrived at an alternative site of a private residence, the party proceeded. Approximately twenty minutes later, security forces forced open the gate of the private residence, breaking the lock, and entered the compound. Armed with automatic weapons, uniformed security personnel wrestled the microphone from the speaker and demanded that the party cease. Security force officers cocked their weapons, but did not fire them.

After a brief presentation of a farewell gift to Ambassador Carrington, the reception disbanded. No one was injured and there were no arrests.

"The treatment of U.S. Ambassador Walter Carrington is just the latest incident in a series of human rights violations," said Rep. Waters. "Past human rights abuses have already led us to impose limited sanctions on the dictatorship in Nigeria. Obviously, these sanctions are not enough.

"We should all be incensed about this treatment of one of our Ambassadors. It is an insult to all of the citizens of the United States and cannot be tolerated," added Waters.

The resolution, H. Res. 260, will be heard in the International Relations Committee.


105th Congress, 1st Session

H. RES. 260

Condemning the Nigerian dictatorship for its abuse of United States Ambassador Walter Carrington.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 6, 1997

Ms. WATERS (for herself, Mr. OBERSTAR, Mr. KLECZKA, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. NADLER, Mr. DICKEY, Mr. CLAY, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Mr. PAYNE, Mr. FLAKE, Mr. WYNN, Mr. TOWNS, Mr. CLYBURN, Mr. THOMPSON, Mrs. CLAYTON, Mrs. MEEK of Florida, Mr. MILLER of California, Mr. SAWYER, Mr. MOLLOHAN, Ms. DELAURO, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. DAVIS of Florida, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. WISE, Mr. ORTIZ, Mr. GREEN, Mr. FROST, Mr. FAZIO of California, Ms. KAPTUR, Mr. GORDON, Ms. PELOSI, Mr. DIXON, Mr. BISHOP, Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas, Mr. DEFAZIO, Ms. VELAZQUEZ, Mrs. MINK of Hawaii, Mr. KENNEDY of Rhode Island, Mr. MALONEY of Connecticut, Mr. WATT of North Carolina, Ms. FURSE, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. FORD, Mr. STRICKLAND, Mr. MENENDEZ, Mr. BOSWELL, Mr. REYES, Mr. BLAGOJEVICH, Mr. EVANS, Mr. POSHARD, Mr. GEJDENSON, Mr. ANDREWS, Mr. SCOTT, Ms. LOFGREN, Mr. KENNEDY of Massachusetts, Mr. HASTINGS of Florida, Mr. CUMMINGS, Mr. JACKSON of Illinois, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Ms. HARMAN, Ms. MCKINNEY, Mr. FARR of California, Mr. EDWARDS, Mr. BALDACCI, Mr. DOYLE, Mr. HALL of Ohio, Mr. POMEROY, Mr. HOYER, Mr. HEFNER, Mr. CONDIT, Mr. BOYD, Ms. SLAUGHTER, Ms. DANNER, and Ms. HOOLEY of Oregon) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations.

RESOLUTION

Condemning the Nigerian dictatorship for its abuse of United States Ambassador Walter Carrington.

Whereas the Nigerian Government has conducted a campaign of intimidation and harassment against the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, throughout his tenure including--

(1) accusing the United States of attempting to destabilize the Government of Nigeria;

(2) attempting to strip the Ambassador of diplomatic immunity in an effort to create false charges against him relating to a series of bombings; and

(3) harassing, intimidating, and embarrassing the Ambassador;

Whereas the United States has already imposed limited sanctions against Nigeria following a series of abuses including--

(1) the imprisonment of the duly elected President Moshood K.O. Abiola, arrested and imprisoned by current dictator Sani Abacha;

(2) the execution by hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 Ogoni environmental activists, universally condemned by the international community as a travesty of justice; and

(3) the State Department's classification of Nigeria as a major drug-trafficking country in May 1994, followed by Nigeria's continuing refusal to cooperate on anti-narcotics efforts;

Whereas the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, has suffered harassment, physical intimidation, and embarrassment throughout his tenure as Ambassador;

Whereas a farewell reception was organized for United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, by some 15 Nigerian prodemocracy and human rights groups, including the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO);

Whereas at 6:15 p.m. on September 18, 1997, Ambassador Carrington, accompanied by 4 other Embassy officials, was enroute to the reception;

Whereas Ambassador Carrington's car was intercepted by vehicles and armed security forces and was prevented from proceeding to the residence where the reception was scheduled to occur;

Whereas Ambassador Carrington, having been forcibly barred from proceeding to the designated reception site, went to the private residential compound that had been designated as an alternative venue for the reception;

Whereas upon the arrival of Ambassador Carrington at the alternative venue at 7:15 p.m., the Ambassador was greeted by approximately 100 people waiting in an open yard surrounded by a high cement wall and a tall metal gate;

Whereas, around 7:30 p.m., approximately 20 uniformed security forces, heavily armed with automatic weapons, pounded on the gate, broke the lock, and entered the compound;

Whereas members of the Nigerian security forces rushed into the reception shouting at the guests, and cocking their weapons in an aggressive attempt to break up the gathering;

Whereas 1 armed police officer threatened to shoot a human rights activist who was attempting to address the crowd;

Whereas Ambassador Carrington quickly departed the compound with other Embassy officers and diplomats under duress;

Whereas the United States Department of State has lodged numerous complaints prior to this incident and several formal protests following these events with the Nigerian Government; and

Whereas the Nigerian Government has neither explained nor apologized for the incidents of September 18, 1997, instead, the Nigerian Minister for Presidential Affairs publicly derided the United States Ambassador's tenure as 'four years of waste during which nothing was accomplished':

Now, therefore, be it Resolved,

That the House of Representatives--

(1) finds that the actions of the Nigerian security forces on September 18, 1997, are the culmination of a campaign of political intimidation and personal harassment against United States Ambassador Carrington by the regime of dictator Sani Abacha;

(2) condemns the Abacha dictatorship in Nigeria for these outrageous acts;

(3) calls for the United States Department of State to take all necessary and appropriate measures to ensure the physical safety of the United States Ambassador and Embassy staff in Nigeria; and

(4) calls for stronger sanctions by the United States against the Nigerian dictatorship of Sani Abacha in response to these egregious events.


Related resource:

At its meeting of September 11-19, 1997, the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches approved a new statement on Nigeria. (no longer available on-line).


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 (APIC).


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