Appeal from Abiola

The Nigerian presidential candidate Moshood Abiola and his party said yesterday he clearly won last Saturday's election and appealed to the military government to announce the result, Reuter reports from Lagos. They warned that the peace and stability of the country would be at risk if the official result declaring Mr Abiola the winner was further delayed. The statement signed by Mr Abiola and top officials of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) appealed to Nigerians to keep calm. The electoral commission suspended release of the result on Wednesday, obeying a court order obtained by a shadowy group wanting the military President Ibrahim Babangida to stay in office until 1997. The President has repeatedly promised to quit on 27 August.

Britain yesterday urged the military government to transfer power to civilians on schedule and said it 'deeply regretted' the court order.