Letter: No compromise with injustice in Nigeria

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The Independent Online
Sir: Nicholas Winterton calls the report in your newspaper that gave him the excuse to peddle political wares 'overly simplistic'. He then proceeds to claim that such reporting 'could stall the progress towards democratic reform' in Nigeria.

What 'democratic reform' is he talking about? One of the first things General Abacha did on coming to power was to dissolve all elected bodies in the country: from the humblest local council and state assembly to the House of Representatives and the Senate. Although he had given the impression that he would honour the result of the 12 June 1993 election, he did nothing of the kind.

When Chief Abiola, after giving Abacha time to fulfil his promises, found that Abacha had failed to do so, Abiola came out boldly to claim his mandate by declaring himself President. For this, Abacha is putting him on trial for treason. But isn't it Abacha who should be tried for treason?

The Nigerian people are waging a heroic struggle to gain control of their own affairs, from a minority military regime. The military have called a constitutional conference where they hope to keep the opportunists among our politicians talking endlessly about writing a new constitution, when they have a perfectly good one written in 1989, waiting to be implemented.

It is to be hoped that more members of a British House of Commons, often touted as 'The Mother of Democracy', support the people's struggle than concur with the oppression Abacha has unleashed on us.

Yours faithfully,


London, N1