Nigeria: Statements on Assassination, 6/5/'96

Nigeria: Statements on Assassination, 6/5/'96

Nigeria: Statements on Assassination
Date Distributed (ymd): 960605


We bring to your attention the extremely tragic news of Chief Kudirat Abiola's assassination today. It is a dastardly crime against a woman merely seeking the release of her dearly beloved husband from illegal detention. It represents a continuing Stalinization of Nigeria by a brutal military regime.

We hope that it has now become clear to all Nigeria watchers and apologists that the barbaric junta of Abacha must not be allowed to continue to run Nigeria and its people down for ONE MORE DAY.

Saro-Wiwa - Rewane - Ibru: who next ? Is this any environment for "a political transition programme" when the lives of ordinary and not-so-ordinary Nigerians are lost every day due to government-orchestrated violence ? We now ask the United Nations and Butros-Ghali: is this an environment demonstrating Abacha's "commitment, statesmanship and sincerity", when the lives of Nigerians cannot be protected ?

NDM vows the removal of the Abacha regime by all means necessary, and calls upon all lovers of Nigeria to pledge same. We ask for all in the international community to match their words with action.

Released by the Executive Council of the Nigerian Democratic Movement (NDM) P.O. Box 91291, Washington, DC 20090 202/806-6617; 202/597-7052; 301/808-0800 Fax: 202/806-4632

See the NDM Web Site ( for this and other statements and updates.

June 4, 1996


We received with great shock the news of the assassination of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, wife of the detained winner of the 1993 Nigerian presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola. The world has become used to bad news from Nigeria but no one, in his or her wildest imagination, would have thought that the Nigerian regime would descend so low as to engineer the calculated cold blooded murder of an innocent and courageous wife whose husband they are holding in unjust detention.

We are aware of the many direct and indirect approaches, including threats, to try to get Kudirat Abiola to betray her husband by modifying her support of Chief Abiola's mandate. But Kudirat stood firm. Now, like the many fallen and yet unsung heroes of the Nigerian struggle, Kudirat has paid for principle and courage with her most precious possession - her life ! And with her death, the Abacha regime has finally sunk to the lowest depths of depravity.

Our appeal is to the international community. Ken Saro-Wiwa was murdered by this same regime. The world convulsed momentarily. Mrs. Kudirat Abiola must not be allowed to die in vain. Her death like many before hers was not the work of any hoodlums but the result of organized state terrorism. For long we have tried to convince the world that the Abacha regime is not interested in democracy but is carefully stringing the world along in the hope that, given the ponderous rate at which the world responds to crisis, he just might get away with his antics. Whilst the world is busy looking for evidence that the Abacha transition is genuine we have been trying to make them see that, transition or no transition, Nigeria is gradually sinking into anarchy and possible disintegration. The murder of Mrs Abiola can only further complicate and speed the process.

Nadeco does not want anarchy; Nadeco does not want violence; Nadeco does not want Nigeria to disintegrate. The consequences of violence and ethnic hatred are all too clear in recent history, vide Bosnia and Rwanda to mention only two. But time is getting dangerously short. Unless the United States, the European Union and key African countries act soon, the world will be faced with the spectre of a nation of 100 million people in the process of bitter disintegration. This will result in refugee and humanitarian problems of horrendous proportions for which the long-suffering taxpayers of the western world have to foot the bill. Preventive action now can still avoid unnecessary human suffering and huge outlay by the western world on humanitarian aid and possible peace keeping.

The Nigerian opposition has pursued the struggle in a responsible, non-violent manner. The world would be sending the wrong signals to the more radical Nigerian elements if effective action is not taken now. We have already pointed out that only oil sanctions, freezing of assets, and a ban on air and sporting links can bring the regime to its senses speedily. The world should help Nigeria effect peaceful change. Time is fast running out.

Prof. A. Bolaji Akinyemi, Foreign Affairs Spokesman Gov. John EK Oyegun, Executive Secretary Air Cdre Dan Suleiman (Rtd), Chairman
JUNE 5 1996

The Association of Nigerians Abroad (ANA) has learnt of the assassination of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola, the wife of the jailed winner of Nigeria's last presidential elections. Unless it is irrefutably ascertained otherwise, we in ANA are of the opinion that the military regime of General Sani Abacha bears complicity in this assassination a week away from June 12, the third anniversary of the annulled presidential elections which Kudirat's husband won. Indeed the dividing line between the so-called "hoodlums" and the Nigerian military has become increasingly thin by the day.

Several atrocities have been committed, and continue to be committed by the regime. Her assassination follows the pattern of the cold-blood assassinations of Chief Riwanu a 73 year old veteran politician in his residence and attempted assassination of Mr Alex Ibru an ex-Minister of Information and a newspaper publisher in February, still in hospital in London. Indeed this week's murder of Mrs Kudirat Abiola was preceded a week ago by the murder of two naval officers in Lagos, and the armed storming of Bauchi prison on the 31st of May, where Gani Fawehinmi the lawyer that defended Mr Ken Saro-Wiwa is held without trial.

ANA has said on numerous occasions that the current Nigerian military regime is a lawless and brutal regime used to pathological lying to buy credibility from gullible international and local organisations. That the regime has absolutely no regard for local and international laws has been repeatedly demonstrated before the world. The regime will go to any length to maintain it's reign of terror on the law abiding and resilient citizens of Nigeria, including the use of hired assassins to maim and kill it's citizens.

The murder of author and environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Nigerian political activists of the minority Ogoni ethnic group is still very fresh in our minds. At present, hundreds of Nigerians have been imprisoned by the regime, several without any charges or prosecutions. Within the last two weeks more labour unions, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) were proscribed, adding to the unending list of labour unions being proscribed and intimidated. Is it coincidental that these wanton and barbaric killings are taking place one week after the release of the report of the UN Fact-Finding Mission to Nigeria, it appears the junta has seen the report as a UN endorsement of its modus operandi - the oppression of the people, the denial of human rights, neglect for the rule of law and sanctity of life.

We again take this opportunity to call on the international community to take actions, including sanctions, that will help bring a rapid end to this brutal and tyrannical regime in Nigeria. We specifically request the following:
* Imposition of mandatory oil embargo on Nigeria.
* An immediate visa ban on all sporting contacts.
* Visa restrictions on members of the Nigerian regime and
* Withdrawal of military attaches.
* Cessation of military training.
* Embargo on the export of arms to Nigeria.
* Denial of educational facilities to members of the regime and families.
* A downgrading of cultural links.
* Downgrading of diplomatic missions.
* Ban on airlinks with Nigeria.
* Freezing of the financial assets and bank accounts of military and government ministers in foreign countries.
* Unconditional release of all political prisoners.
* Initiation of dialogue with Mr Abiola the winner of the June 1993 presidential elections to form a government of national unity that will handle the transition program.

We also request the international community not to give any semblance of credibility whatsoever to the regime or any of it's activities. We refer here to the recent United Nations Human Rights probe reports which gave some credibility to the military junta's plans to restore democracy to Nigeria at the junta's pace. The international community must be consistent in its criticism and opposition of non-mandated Nigeria's military regime.

The Nigerian people will like to see an immediate end to the jailing, maiming, and killing of fellow Nigerians by it's government. Most Nigerians fully support the individuals and pro-democracy organisations attempting to correct the injustices in Nigeria. The support of the international community will go a long way in hastening the demise of this brutal regime.

May the soul of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola rest in peace.

Signed Johnson I Agbinya, Ph.D, President, The ANA (Australia); Mr Ikhide Ikheloa, General Secretary, The ANA (USA); Usman G. Akano, Ph.D, Vice-President, Canada; Akinola Ogungbadero, Assistant Secretary General (USA); Alwell Nwankwoala Ph.D, Legal Adviser, Australia; Michael Olusade Sekoni, Financial Secretary, USA; Adeniyi Akanni, Treasurer, Canada; Patrick Nta, Listserve Administrator, USA; Rev. H. Olufemi Awoniyi,Ph.D, Regional Representative, Europe; Anthony J. Afolayan, Regional Representative for Africa; Innocent E. Davidson, Regional Representative for Africa; Uzoma Onyemachi, U.S. Regional Representative (USA); Muktar A Dan'Iyan, Regional Representative (USA); Basie Etukudo, Information/Archivist; Francis Ogbonnaya, Regional Representative (Australia); Philip O. Ogunbona, Ph.D, Regional Representative (Australia); Christian Ukachukwu, Assistant Public Relations Secretary (USA); Akin Kumoluyi, Ph.D, Regional Representative, Europe; Fatai Oyejobi, Public Relations Secretary; Michael O. Sekoni, Finance Secretary; Deji Odetoyinbo, Ph.D, Regional Representative, Canada; Omoshile O. Clement, Ph.D, Regional Representative, Canada

Voice of America Report

date=6/5/96 title= nigeria/abiola (l only) byline= anthony
moreland dateline= abidjan

intro: the murder of a wife of nigeria's imprisoned opposition leader moshood abiola has sparked widespread condemnation both in the country and abroad. thousands of students demonstrated in nigeria and there are suspicions the country's military government was involved in the killing. anthony moreland reports for voa news.

text: even before kudirat abiola died in a lagos hospital tuesday night of gunshot wounds sustained when she and her driver were attacked by unknown assailants, rumors of her apparent assassination were spreading across nigeria.

thousands of students protested in the western city of ibadan on wednesday to condemn the killing and demanding the release of the victim's husband, moshood abiola, who is in jail facing treason charges.

police broke up a march and made several arrests, while tightening security in the city. the protestors chanted slogans critical of the administration and called on the government to accept the results of a 1993 presidential election which was widely thought to have been won by mr. abiola.

mrs. abiola was one of the loudest voices in a campaign for the release of the opposition leader.

the united states, south africa and france have deplored her murder.

meanwhile, a nigerian group has claimed nigeria's ruling junta was involved in the killing. a spokesman for the movement for the survival of the ogoni people said the murder clearly was part of a brutal campaign by the military government to eliminate pro-democracy activists, and silence its critics.

last year's execution of nine leaders of the movement led to international condemnation of nigeria's human rights record and lack of democracy.

government leaders have sent condolences to the abiola family. the head of state sent a message expressing his shock over the killing and promising to do all possible to solve the murder.

nigerian police say they have begun a full scale investigation. a police statement said no stone will be left unturned in trying to find the perpetrators of the crime.

mrs. abiola herself was to go on trial next month for conspiracy and making false statements.

05-jun-96 1:34 pm edt (1734 utc)

International Roundtable on Nigeria (IRTON)
June 5, 1996

For more information call:
Adotei Akwei, Amnesty International USA
(202) 544-0200, ext. 234

International Roundtable on Nigeria Condemns Assassination of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola

The International Roundtable on Nigeria (IRTON) condemns the assassination of Mrs. Kudirat Abiola. Mrs. Abiola was shot along with her driver in an ambush in Lagos yesterday. She was rushed to the Eko Hospital but efforts to save her were unsuccessful.

IRTON would like to offer its deepest sympathies to Chief M. K. O. Abiola and the Abiola family. Mrs. Abiola's murder adds to the already too-heavy burdens of the family. Chief Abiola, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, saw his victory in free and fair elections in June 1993 annulled, and he has been incarcerated since June of 1994 for trying to claim his mandate. Mrs. Abiola's tireless efforts to have her husband released brought constant harassment from officials of the Abacha regime. In May, she was arrested and was to appear in court in June.

The increasing violence in Nigeria is the result of the breakdown of the rule of law in Nigeria. Responsibility for this breakdown and the crisis lies directly with the regime of General Sani Abacha. The recent spate of political attacks, which include the shooting of Alex Ibru, publisher of the Guardian, and the murder of Alfred Rewane, a key financial supporter of the Social Democratic Party, are alarming indicators of Nigeria's continuing slide into violence. Even as the Provisional Ruling Council claims to be presiding over a transition to democracy, the country's leading voices remain stifled in jail, leaders of the independent press have been detained or forced underground for trying to publicize the truth, and the judicial system remains handcuffed by decrees granting immunity to members of the military.

The Abacha regime must ensure that those responsible for this crime are brought to justice, and that justice must be open and meet international standards of due process. At the same time the persons responsible for the attacks on Alex Ibru, Alfred Rewane and all other human rights abuses must also be brought to account. This is the only way the rule of law will be re-established.

IRTON calls upon the international community to put its rhetoric to practice and increase diplomatic and political pressure on the Nigerian government. Unless action is taken soon, Nigeria's descent into political violence will no longer be a question of if, but of when. The Clinton administration has referred to freezing the assets of members of the military junta, targeted sanctions on the oil industry, a cultural boycott and a boycott of Nigerian oil. We call upon the Clinton administration to implement an activist, preventative policy now, before the body count increases.

Africa Faith and Justice Network * Amnesty International USA * Africa Project, Institute for Policy Studies * Chicago Coalition for a Democratic Nigeria * National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) * Nigerian Democratic Awareness Committee, Nigerian Democratic Alliance, Boston * United Committee to Save Nigeria * United Nigerian Organization * Service Employees International Union * Fellowship of Reconciliation * The Africa Fund * Missionaries of Africa * PEN Center USA West * Center for Economic & Social Rights * Washington Office on Africa

The International Roundtable on Nigeria is an informal association of human rights, environmental, labor and US-based Nigerian pro-democracy groups working to help Nigerians restore a rights-respecting accountable government.


Message-Id: <> From: "WOA" <> Date: Wed, 5 Jun 1996 23:08:23 -0500 Subject: Nigeria: Statements on Assassination

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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