Last Updated: Wednesday, 09 July 2014, 13:04 GMT

Nigeria: Information on the Persecution of National Democratic Coalition Members in Nigeria

Publisher United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
Author Resource Information Center
Publication Date 27 October 1999
Citation / Document Symbol NGA00001.SPM
Cite as United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Nigeria: Information on the Persecution of National Democratic Coalition Members in Nigeria, 27 October 1999, NGA00001.SPM, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a6a344.html [accessed 10 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Query:

Since the death of General Abacha and the transition to civilian rule has there been evidence or information that members (both leadership and rank-and-file) of the National Democratic Coalition in Nigeria have been harmed or persecuted by political opponents?

Response:

A search of FBIS, LEXIS/NEXIS, several national newspaper databases (Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Lagos Guardian), and extensive internet resources did not find any references to persecution of National Democratic Coalition members in (or out) of Nigeria following strongman Abacha's death.  To the contrary, a wealth of information indicated generally positive human rights trends in Nigeria following General Abubakar's succession of Abacha and especially following his return of the country to civilian rule with this February's election of President Olusegun Obasanjo (New York Times 18 Oct.1999).

The National Democratic Coalition, or NADECO, initially expressed reservations about whether General Abubakar genuinely intended to restore democracy in Nigeria (BBC

11 June 1998), but their complaints for the most part subsided this year.  During the Abubakar interregnum NADECO sought constructive relations with the government.  Its most recent substantive political disagreement with the government seems to be its rejection of the constitution promulgated immediately before Abubakar stepped down in May (FBIS 10 May 1999).  Nothing to follow up on that has been heard from them since. This August they filed a claim with a Nigerian human rights commission for $20 million in compensation for abuses suffered under the Abacha regime (AFP 22 Aug. 1999).

In September 1998 Nigerian police declared a senior NADECO leader a wanted man, but this was in connection with bank fraud.  Air Commodore Dan Suleiman was believed to be living in the UK (FBIS 14 Sept. 1998).

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the RIC within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.

References

Agence France-Presse (AFP). "Nigerian anti-military group seeks compensation for abuses" (22 August 1999) — as reported in NEXIS.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Nadeco leader not expecting Abacha's death to change things," [Radio Kudirat Nigeria, Voice of Democracy] (11 June 1998) — as reported in NEXIS.

Cornwell, Rupert. "Nigeria comes in from the cold," The Independent (London: 25 June 1998) — as reported in NEXIS.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). "Nadeco Rejects New Constitution" [Radio Kudirat] (10 May 1999) — as reported on FBIS web site.

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS). "Nigerian Police Declare Nadeco Official Wanted Over Fraud" [Paris AFP] (14 September 1998) — as reported on FBIS web site.

New York Times. "Nigeria's Promising Start," [Editorial] (New York: 18 October 1999), p. A22 — as reported in NEXIS.

Vick, Karl. "Albright Hails Restoration of Democracy in Nigeria," Washington Post (Washington: 21 October 1999), p. A21 [web site] <www.washingtonpost.com>

Wallis, William. "Obasanjo quickly into his stride," Financial Times (London: 31 May 1999), p. 4 — as reported in NEXIS.

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