UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
Since the Nigerian military regime hanged Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight fellow activists on November 10, there has been an unprecedented wave of protest around the world, by literally hundreds of organizations. On Friday November 17, a rally outside the Nigerian consulate in Johannesburg led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu expressed the common themes of outrage at the Nigerian government and calls for sanctions against the Abacha regime and at Shell oil company. The same themes were in evidence in similar rallies in Washington and many other cities, and in action alerts from Nigerian and international human rights and environmental groups.
For those having access to the World Wide Web, the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars has collected a wide variety of statements and links to other sites on their home page (see URL address below).
Two alerts with typical statements of demands are included below:
Association of Concerned Africa Scholars Action Alert
November 12, 1995
Condemn Killing Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Nigerian Activists
Demand the U.S. Government Impose Oil Sanctions on Nigeria
Demand Democracy in Nigeria
In response to the executions of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Nigerian activists on November 10, the Association of Concerned African Scholars urges its members to DEMAND THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IMPOSE FULL SANCTIONS ON THE ABACHA GOVERNMENT, IN PARTICULAR ON U.S. IMPORTS OF OIL, AND PURSUE THIS AT THE UNITED NATIONS.
The sanctions imposed by the Clinton administration after the executions on November 10 included recalling the U.S. Ambassador, protests, a ban on the sale of military goods and visa restrictions but they did not include economic sanctions. According to The Africa Fund, Nigeria earns $10 million a day from oil exports and the U.S. accounts for 70 percent of the country's oil sales.
Nigerian democracy activists and other groups are demanding oil sanctions and the Clinton administration should be pressed to act immediately. The day after the executions thousands of Nigerians rallied to protest in Lagos, but the military crackdown continues and there are reportedly 2000 troops in Ogon region where Saro- Wiwa came from and many other activists from that region, as well as nationwide remain in jail.
If you can do nothing else, write the White House. But ACAS also urges its members to consider all of these actions:
* Write, call or fax the White House to say the November 10 actions on Nigeria are not enough, and demand the U.S. must impose sanctions on Nigeria, and particular block all future U.S. oil imorts until democracy is restored:
President Bill Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
(202) 456-1414, fax: (202) 456-2883
* Contact the Shell Oil Company and demand they end their collaboration with the Abacha regime and end all payments to illegal regime;
* Organize your faculty and student organizations to pass a resolution condemning the killings and calling for U.S. sanctions until democracy is restored in Nigeria (send copies to the White House and to your elected representatives);
* Organize a teach-in on your campuses, or a roundtable on the current situation in Nigeria, including readings from Ken Saro-Wiwa's book;
* Invite a Nigerian speaker or other speaker to your campus this Spring to discuss the situation in Nigeria and plan future actions.
For further information on the current situation in Nigeria, sample letters,
resolutions and other actions access the ACAS World Wide Web page at
"http://www.prairienet.org/acas/siro.html" or contact Amnesty International (202-544-0200), The Africa Fund (212-962-1210) or TransAfrica (202-797-2301).
********** Contacts for Nigeria Action **********
1. For more information on the current situation, speakers and other resources:
Amnesty International (202) 544-0200, or e-mail the Africa Director Adotei Akwei at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Africa Fund (212) 962-1210, e-mail: email@example.com.
Africa Policy Information Center (202) 546-7961, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
TransAfrica (202) 797-2301
2. Send Your Protests to the President:
President Bill Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500
Tel: (202) 456-1414 * Fax: (202) 456-2883
cc: Your Senators, US Senate, Washington, DC 20510
cc: Ambassador Zubair M. Kazaure
Nigerian Embassy to the U.S.,
1333 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
3. Send Your Protests to the Nigerian government and Shell
General Sani Abacha
Chairman, Provisional Ruling Council
Abuja, Federal Capital Territory
C.A.J. Herkstrter, Chairman
Royal Dutch Shell
Carel van Builantlandtlaan 30
2596 HR The Hague
(public affairs office in London)
In Nigeria, two leading newspapers:
The Guardian, Fax: 011-234-1-522-027
Tribune, Fax: 011-234-1-266-6770
For more information about the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars contact co- chair Bill Martin, University of Illinois, 326 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright Street, Urbana, IL 61801 (e-mail is "email@example.com" or look at the ACAS homepage on the web "http://www.prairienet.org/acas/").
ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIANS ABROAD (ANA)
7 Lobelia Street, Macquarie Fields, NSW 2564, Australia
A year ago the Association of Nigerians Abroad (ANA) predicted that the Nigerian military cabal will unleash the most brutal and lawless acts of irresponsibility on Nigeria. Since then, the evil and satanic regime has, gradually and systematically chosen to re-enact Stalinist-style terror on the Nigerian people. Some of the regime's actions include state sponsored murder, torture of political detainees, false accusation, and indiscriminate imprisonment of Nigerian citizens. The latest act in these series of atrocities is the deliberate judicial murder of Mr Ken Saro- Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni political activists. At the same time, the military regime holds more than 80 political detainees in prisons scattered all over the country. ANA has always believed that the present military regime in Nigeria is the reincarnation of evil and its continued existence can only lead to further chaos. We therefore urge the international community to enact urgent measures to bring an end to the tyrannical regime in Nigeria. If this is not done as a matter of urgency, the consequences for Nigeria and the entire world community will be enormous.
Ken Saro-Wiwa's murder was preceded by the cold-blooded murder of veteran politician and social critic, 73-year old Chief Alfred Rewane, gunned down in his home about six weeks ago by elements suspected to be from the Nigerian armed forces. Late Chief Rewane's crime may have been his persistent paid advertisements in Nigerian newspapers in which he expressed his opposition to continued military rule. ANA notes that his killers are yet to be apprehended.
As the number of our fallen patriots mounts, we members of ANA note that the military junta in Nigeria has now crossed the Rubicon; it has abandoned the path of sanity, the rule of law, and respect for the sanctity of human life. Instead, it has embraced gross disregard for international norms and protocols and a reckless, military adventurism which it hopes to spread to other African countries. ANA notes that Gambia, another country being ruled by military decree, was one of two countries that abstained from a vote on the suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth of Nations. Those in the international community who believe in the inalienable rights of man must resolve to oppose this regime at every turn. A regime that loots the country's treasury and kills its own innocent citizens forfeits all credibility and does not deserve the respect and trust of her citizens or of the civilized world. As citizens of Nigeria we have resolved to use every legitimate means to rid our nation of the organized banditry that today passes for a government.
There is a moral responsibility which must be borne by certain governments and multi- national companies whose desire for profit and the proverbial black gold has blinded them into unholy alliances with the evil regimes. In particular, we note the roles being played by Shell Petroleum in Nigeria. Shell's operation in Nigria is one of the worst nightmares visited on Nigerians and the Ogoni people in particular. Shell has continued to support the evil regime, and for good measure was represented by counsel at the special Tribunal which tried and convicted Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other Ogoni activists, and is therefore morally implicated in their death. Still, Shell continues to drill for oil in the region apparently oblivious to the suffering of the Nigerian people or the environmental havoc it has wrought on the Niger Delta. Shell must be stopped from further destruction of the precious little land left in the Niger Delta. Every litre of petroleum product from Nigeria marketed by Shell is being extracted at the expense of the blood and the lives of our patriots whose families and land are being destroyed mainly for the benefits of a tyrannical elite and of Shell and its shareholders.
The world community recently celebrated the rebirth of South Africa. ANA wishes to stress this joyful event would have been impossible without the coordinated actions of the international community. Nigeria was an active proponent for economic sanctions and total isolation of the racist regime. It is disheartening that a Nigerian government is now carrying out the same atrocities that were once committed by the racist South African government. Sanctions proved effective in ending apartheid in South Africa and Nigeria was at the fore-front of the demand for the imposition of comprehensive sanctions on South Africa. They believed in sanctions. With all due respect to the British Prime Minister, Mr. Major on the hardship that economic sanctions may cause, our generation accepts and prefers the hardship of economic sanctions to the wanton killing of our citizens by a brutal regime. Besides, the oil-wealth has only gone to benefit the ruling cabal not the average Nigerian. Indeed, sanctions represent the best available tool that could lead to a speedy emancipation of Nigerians from military colonisation and oppression. We therefore urge the world to be courageous in imposing total oil embargo on Nigeria. By doing, so you will be reducing the duration of our oppression at the hands of the military regime and helping to get rid of an evil seed that is plaguing the rest of the African continent. As other smaller African countries struggle to establish democratic governments, Nigeria has remained an impediment to further democratisation in West Africa and indeed the entire continent.
We commend the steps already taken by various countries to censure the Nigerian regime. In particular we welcome the decision of the Commonwealth to suspend Nigeria until democracy is restored to our country, and the decision of the US administration and other governments to recall their Ambassadors and to end military cooperation with the despotic regime. However, much more needs to be done. The world must speak in unmistakable terms of its opposition to this regime if we hope to avoid a major conflagration in Nigeria. In particular we demand the:
* imposition of a total embargo on the importation of Nigerian crude oil by the UN Security Council and the European Union;
* diplomatic isolation of the military regime, its principal officers and supporters from all international organizations including the UN, the OAU and the non-aligned countries;
*denial of visas to enter several of your countries;
* freezing of the bank/trust accounts, wherever found, of members of the military junta, their dependent families and their accomplices;
* denial of any leadership role/position to any officer or surrogate of the military junta in regional, continental or world-wide organizations.
* freezing of all accounts used for servicing the Nigerian oil industry;
* total ban on all arms sales and military cooperation with Nigeria;
* recall and/or expulsion of all Military Attaches in Nigerian missions abroad and a general reduction in staff level at Nigerian Diplomatic Missions;
* international boycott of Nigeria from all State organised sporting initiatives, including the FIFA organised soccer tournament.
* freezing of all new loans, extension or rescheduling of old loans; we particularly applaud the decision of the IFC to freeze a $180 million loan and equity package that would have been used by the Nigerian regime, Shell, Elf, and Agip oil companies to build a gas plant and pipelines in the ravaged Niger Delta.
* world-wide boycott of all Shell Products. We hold Shell equally responsible for the death of all nine activists and for the decimation of the oil producing areas of the Niger Delta.
Removing this tyrannical dictatorship from Nigerian affairs is a task for all of us and we cannot afford to fail. It is a daunting task that must become the supreme goal of every Nigerian and friends of Nigeria. Our cause is a just one, our goal is freedom and prosperity for our nation, for every Nigerian and peace for the world. The eventual emancipation of our people will signal the emancipation of the African continent from power hungry despots bent on taking us back into the Stone Age. We must move with the world into the 21st century. Removing the Nigerian military junta from office is our first step along this journey to freedom, respectability and prosperity.
May the souls of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Dr. Barinem Kiobel, Saturday Dobee, Paul Levura, Nordu Eawo, Felix Nuate, Daniel Gbokoo, John Kpuinen, Baribor Bera, Chief Rewane and all our fallen patriots rest in peace and may their sacrifices fuel our just cause.
Long Live the People of Nigeria.
November 13, 1995
Johnson I Agbinya, Ph.D, President, Australia; Usman G.
Akano, Ph.D, Vice-President, Canada; Mku T. Ityokumbul,
Ph.D, General Secretary, USA [statement also signed by 46 other officers and members of
Message-Id: 199511181522.HAA24927@igc3.igc.apc.org From: "APIC" firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sat, 18 Nov 1995 10:20:44 +0000 Subject: Nigeria: Selected Action Alerts