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Nigeria: Recent Documents
Nigeria: Recent Documents
Date distributed (ymd): 971103
Document reposted by APIC
Region: West Africa
Issue Areas: +political/rights+
This posting contains a press release from the Africa Fund announcing a
New York City Council committee vote to rename a street corner in honor
of the slain Nigerian democracy activist Kudirat Abiola. It also provides
references to several other recent documents on the situation in Nigeria.
The Africa Fund
For more information contact
The Africa Fund, 17 John Street,
New York, NY 10038 USA.
Tel: (212) 962-1210 Fax: (212) 964-8570
U.S. Ambassador "Convinced" Nigerian Regime Murdered Opponent
New York City Votes To Honor Slain Democracy Leader
October 27, 1997
New York -- Former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Walter Carrington told
the New York City Council today that he was "convinced" that
the Nigerian military dictatorship was responsible for the murder of democracy
leader Kudirat Abiola in June 1996.
Carrington's charge came in testimony before a City Council committee
in support of a motion to name the street corner in front of the Nigerian
Consulate in honor of the slain democracy leader. The unanimous committee
vote in favor of the renaming is a major political defeat for the Nigerian
military government, which mounted an intense effort to block the name
change. Final action on the motion is expected on Wednesday before the
full Council, where approval is a near certainty. The idea of naming the
corner after Mrs. Abiola was suggested by The Africa Fund and a New York
City-based Nigerian democracy group, the United Committee To Save Nigeria.
Mrs. Abiola, the wife of imprisoned President-elect Moshood Abiola,
was in route to the Canadian Embassy to press for stronger international
sanctions when she was gunned down in what the United States Government
termed an "apparent assassination."
"Kudirat was the opposition leader the Abacha regime most feared,"
the Ambassador said. "She was indefatigable in her efforts to unite
all those who fought for a return to democracy in Africa's largest and
potentially richest country. And for that I am convinced she was assassinated
by agents of the military government."
Ambassador Carrington, who represented the United States in Nigeria
from 1993 until earlier this month, described to the Council a September
18th raid by heavily armed Nigerian security forces on a farewell party
in his honor hosted by Nigerian human rights groups.
Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, internationally respected
for his leadership role in the anti-apartheid movement, made a second appearance
before the Council to speak in favor of Kudirat Abiola Corner. Mayor Dinkins
told the Council that they should do no less for the people of Nigeria
than they did for South Africa in supporting the cause of freedom. "The
cause of freedom knows no national boundaries and the people of the city
of New York know that we can make a critical difference. We know because
of our contribution to the peaceful liberation of South Africa. Censure
and economic sanctions did in fact work."
"The Council Committee vote today in favor of Kudirat Abiola Corner
is a victory for the Nigerian people," said Africa Fund Executive
Director Jennifer Davis. "It demonstrates that their struggle for
democracy is supported by the people of America. Citizen action is important
because the United States buys billions of dollars worth of oil from Nigeria
every year. This gives the United States powerful economic leverage over
Reverend Richard Wills of Harlem's historic Canaan Baptist Church,representing
civil rights leader and American Committee On Africa President Reverend
Wyatt Tee Walker, spoke about the great concern of America's Christian
churches, and particularly the African American churches, about the suffering
of Nigeria's 110 million people under the dictatorship. Nigerian democracy
activist Edward Opaoroji also spoke in favor of the street change, arguing
that Kudirat Abiola represented the aspirations of all Nigerians.
Chief Anthony Enahoro, one of the last great living leaders of the Nigerian
independence movement and head of the National Democratic Coalition of
Nigeria delivered a moving appeal for Kudirat Abiola Corner. Naming Kudirat
a heroine who gave her life for something bigger than herself, he added:
"If it is true that to die completely a person must not only forget
but be forgotten, then Kudirat will never die completely, because she will
never be forgotten.
"Mr. Chairman and Council Members, yours is the historic opportunity
to accord enduring recognition to an inspiring heroine, a victim of an
awesome tragedy, a young African woman who dared to confront a brutal military
regime and demand democracy and human rights for the Nigerian people --
- From Human Rights Watch (Africa), Transition or Travesty? Nigeria's
Endless Process of Transition to Civilian Rule Copies of this report are
available from the Publications Department, Human Rights Watch, 485 Fifth
Avenue, New York, NY 10017-6104 for $8.50 (domestic shipping) and $13.00
(international shipping). For more information Human Rights Watch (Africa),
1522 K Street, N.W., Washington D.C. 20005; TEL: 202/371-6592; E-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org; Web Site Address: http://www.hrw.org
- A joint letter signed by 31 press freedom groups worldwide to the leaders
attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Edinburgh,
Scotland on 24-27 October, calling attention to the numerous violations
in Nigeria against freedom of expression. For further information, contact
Akin Akingbulu, IJC, Box 7808, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria, tel/fax: +234 1 4924998/4924314,
or the Canadian Committee to Protect Journalists (CCPJ), 490 Adelaide Street
West, suite 205, Toronto, Ontario M5V 1T2 Canada, tel: +1 416 703 1638,
fax: +1 416 703 7034, e-mail: email@example.com,
- The magazine Delta, with extensive background on the Ogoni, Shell and
other related issues, has released its October issue. Contact Box Z, 13
Biddulph St., Leicester LE2 1BH UK; tel/fax: 44-116-255-3223; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A web site (http://www.oneworld.org/delta)
has been announced but is not yet operational. The issue can be located,
however, at http://www.essential.org/listproc/shell-nigeria-action
in files named msg00348.html through msg00360.html
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.