Nigeria Update

by Africa Policy Information Center
Washington, DC, United States
March 1998
3 pages
Type: Mailing
Coverage in Africa: Nigeria
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
The mailing says it is almost five years since the Nigerian military regime overturned the results of Nigeria's June 12, 1993 presidential elections and more than two years since it executed environmental and human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight colleagues in defiance of worldwide appeals for clemency. Although the U.S. has joined others around the world is criticizing the lack of democracy in Nigeria, the flow of money tells a different story. U.S. investments in Nigeria, led by investment in the oil sector, have grown from around $4 billion to as much as $7 billion in five years, and bilateral trade increased from $4.9 billion to $6.7 billion from 1994 to 1996. The military regime headed by General Sani Abacha has kept political prisoners in jail and stepped up repression against critics, journalists, and members of the Ogoni minority group in the Delta area. Shell, Mobil and other multinational oil companies are heavily invested in Nigeria's energy sector. The mailing reports that the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has protested environmental contamination of the land by multinational oil companies. The mailing discusses President Ibrahim Babangide; Bashir Tofa; Chief Moshood Abiola; General Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti and Shehu Sani of the Campaign for Democracy; Frank Kokori and Milton Dabibbi of the oil workers union; Batom Mitee; Kudirat Abiola; and Major-General Musa Yar'Adua. People are asked to contact President Clinton and urge him to complete the Administration’s policy review on Nigeria before he travels to West Africa and to announce new substantive measures to pressure the Nigerian military regime to release prisoners and allow the country to return to democracy. Failure to do so will show lack of seriousness about supporting pro-democracy efforts. The mailing asks people to write to General Sani Abacha and urge him to release all political prisoners, lift barriers to free public debate, and implement a genuine transition to civilian rule. The mailing asks people to write Phillip J. Carroll, President of Shell Oil (U.S.), saying that Shell cannot evade responsibility for its environmental, social and political impacts. • Stronger Pressure Needed to Move Nigeria to Democracy • Background • Human Rights Abuses • The International Response • Actions • For Additional Background and Updates
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the Africa Policy Information Center).
Collection: Private collection of David Wiley and Christine Root