LETTER: Some facts about the tribunal that condemned Saro-Wiwa

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From Ms Ama Biney

Sir: The attempt by the Nigeria High Commission to set the record straight for the Federal Government of Nigeria, in a half-page advertisement in your newspaper, is a despicable travesty of democracy. Nigeria, headed by Sani Abacha, has not only gravely wronged her own people but the rest of Africa. The ruling cabal is now seeking to rationalise its dastardly acts in the light of international uproar over the executions of the nine Ogoni activists.

General Abacha and his siblings in the London Nigeria High Commission see no contradiction in the fact that they have the freedom to advertise in a British newspaper, yet prohibit Ogonis the right to mourn the deaths of their nine activists. They see no contradiction in the fact that they have outlawed the right of Nigerians to air contrary political views in Nigerian newspapers, yet they are allowed to air their distortions externally.

The present political crisis in Nigeria reveals that the problems of Africa have transcended the traditional concept of the sovereign nation- state. The political and economic problems faced by Nigeria are not unique to that country, though General Abacha continues to proclaim undue interference in the internal affairs of Nigeria. The problems abound all over the continent and that is why Nigeria cannot be left alone. What concerns Nigeria concerns all Africans genuinely concerned with democracy.

Yours faithfully,

Ama Biney

Africa World Review

London, SE1

6 December