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Nigeria: The Free Nigeria Movement (FNM), including information on its structure, leadership, activities, mandate, location of its offices and any affiliation to the Joint Action Committee of Nigeria

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 February 1999
Citation / Document Symbol NGA31244.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Nigeria: The Free Nigeria Movement (FNM), including information on its structure, leadership, activities, mandate, location of its offices and any affiliation to the Joint Action Committee of Nigeria, 1 February 1999, NGA31244.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ab0f54.html [accessed 17 September 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.

 

According to information obtained from the Internet Website of the Free Nigeria Movement (FNM), the FNM is a "grassroots based global mass movement working for the full and total restoration of freedom to Nigeria and its people (FNM n.d. 1)." The organization states that its "mission is to build a non-violent global grassroots based mass movement inspired by, and modelled after the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, and the Free Burma Coalition (FBC)." The FNM claims it is "composed of concerned individuals all over the world," including both Nigerians and friends of Nigeria, and describes itself as "stand[ing] unconditionally behind Chief M.K.O. Abiola." In an effort to increase pressure on Nigeria's military regime, the FNM has organized boycotts of  Motorola, Coca-Cola and Royal Dutch/Shell petroleum, three high-profile multinational corporations that do business in Nigeria. FNM claims that its campaign to isolate the Nigerian regime has been instrumental in several American cities-Oakland, Berkeley and North Richmond in California, Amherst and Cambridge in Massachusetts-passing selective purchasing/ divestment ordinances against Nigeria (ibid.; Africa News 17 Nov. 1997). In one November 1997 statement the FNM claimed it was "in the process of putting together a government-in-exile" composed of democratically elected representatives whose mandates had been usurped by the Abacha regime (ibid.). FNM indicates it has a radio station called Voice of Free Nigeria (VoFN) that broadcasts into the country every Saturday evening between 19:00 and 20:00 GMT (20:00 to 21:00 Nigerian time) at 11.645 kHz (ibid.; Africa News Online 9 July 1998; FNM 7 June 1997).

FNM press releases list the following persons as FNM leaders: Tunde Okorodudu, president; Mukhtar Dan'Iyan, secretary-general; Nasiru Ikharo, national information secretary (FNM 7 June 1997; Africa News Online 9 July 1998; Africa News 1 May 1998). A November 1997 FNM press release names Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammed as first vice-president, and indicates that at the time he was "operating within Nigeria" (Africa News 17 Nov. 1997).

One source describes the FNM as a "foreign-based opposition group" (Reuters 9 June 1997). Addresses for a Benin City office or a "headquarters" could not be found among the sources consulted, but an address for FNM's Secretariat-General was obtained from the FNM Website: 

Free Nigeria Movement Secretariat-General PO Box 441395 Indianapolis, IN 46244 USA Tel/fax: (317) 216-4590

Information on any connection between FNM and the Joint Action Committee of Nigeria was scarce among the sources consulted. The only connection found between the two groups was a listing of the Joint Action Committee as a "co-convenor," along with 41 other organizations, of an FNM-organized "March on Washington for a Free Nigeria" scheduled for 27 July 1998 (FNM n.d. 2).

Additional information on the Free Nigeria Movement can be found on the organization's Internet Website at  . Attempts to contact FNM's Indianapolis office for additional information were unsuccessful within the time constraints of this response. 

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate 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. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Africa News [Durham, NC]. 1 May 1998. Free Nigeria Movement. "Disinformation Campaign by 'Nigerian News du Jour'." (NEXIS)

_____. 17 November 1997. Free Nigeria Movement. "A Call to Action on Mayor Barry's Trip to Nigeria." (NEXIS)

Africa News Online. 9 July 1998. Free Nigeria Movement. "The Murder of President Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola." [Internet] [Accessed 5 Feb. 1999]

Free Nigeria Movement (FNM). n.d.1 "Free Nigeria!" [Internet] [Accessed 5 Feb. 1999]

_____. n.d.2 "March on Washington for a Free Nigeria." [Internet] [Accessed 5 Feb. 1999]

_____. 7 June 1997. "Press Release on Launch of Voice of Free Nigeria Radio." (BBC Summary 27 June 1997/NEXIS)

Reuters Financial Service. 9 June 1997. BC Cycle. James Jukwey. "Nigeria Can't Shake Off Voided Poll Four Years On." (NEXIS)

Additional Sources Consulted

Electronic sources: Internet; LEXIS-NEXIS; IRB databases

Unsuccessful attempts to contact oral sources

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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