US embassy cable - 01ABUJA1446

NIGERIA: AMBASSADOR TRAVELS TO KEBBI STATE FOR OFR SUPPORT

Identifier: 01ABUJA1446
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA1446 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-06-22 14:04:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: MASS MARR PREL NI ECOWAS
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ABUJA 001446 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: MASS, MARR, PREL, NI, ECOWAS 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: AMBASSADOR TRAVELS TO KEBBI STATE FOR OFR 
SUPPORT 
 
 
1.  (U) Summary:  Ambassador Jeter met June 19 with Governor 
Mohammed Aleiro and the Emir of Gwandu, the second-ranking 
Northern traditional ruler, in the first trip to Kebbi State 
by an American Ambassador.  Governor Aliero said he was 
pleased that Kebbi State had been chosen as a training site 
for OFR III.  He noted that President Obasanjo addressed the 
issue of USG troop training during the last Council of State 
meeting in Abuja, asking the Governors to use their state 
officials and traditional rulers to explain the training and 
reduce the prospect of erroneous reports.  The Emir pledged 
support for OFR.    End Summary. 
 
 
2.  (U) Ambassador Jeter met June 19 with Governor Mohammed 
Aleiro and the Emir of Gwandu, Ajhaji Mustapha Jokolo, 
formally the second-ranking Northern traditional ruler, in 
the first trip to Kebbi State by an American Ambassador. 
Accompanied by the DATT, USAID Director, Poloff, and a Public 
Affairs FSN, the Ambassador described to the Emir the 
training that would take place in Kebbi State under OFR III. 
As a former army Captain who trained in the U.S. and who was 
Aide-de-Camp to military ruler General Buhari, the Emir was 
very supportive of the USG,s efforts to train and equip 
Nigerian soldiers to enforce the peace in Sierra Leone.  He 
pledged to communicate to his subjects both the nature and 
the importance of the OFR training. 
 
 
3.  (U) In a separate meeting, after welcoming the 
Ambassador,s delegation, Governor Aliero also pledged his 
personal support for the OFR III training in his state. He 
noted that President Obasanjo addressed the issue of USG 
troop training during the last Council of State meeting in 
Abuja, asking the Governors to use their state officials and 
traditional rulers to explain the training and reduce the 
prospect of erroneous reports.  Governor Aliero said his 
Administration would work to ensure a warm welcome. 
 
 
4.  (U) The Governor also described economic conditions in 
ten-year-old Kebbi State, which resemble those of other 
Sahelian areas.  The economy, he said, consisted almost 
entirely of small-scale subsistance farming, which during a 
three-month rainy season, produced primarily millet, cassava 
and some rice in the wetlands along the Niger river.  Aliero 
emphasized the importance of education to economic 
development and democratic consolidation.  His progress on 
education, he said, included spending 40 percent of his 
annual budget on education, hiring 1400 new teachers for 
schools, and increasing teacher salaries by 30 percent. 
(Note: Adult literacy among the agricultural states in the 
North runs between thirty to forty percent, divided between 
English, Hausa and Arabic.  End Note.)  The Governor asked 
for USG help in developing the solid mineral resources in 
Kebbi State and the North, claiming that Nigeria,s solid 
mineral reserves could prove to be competitive with those of 
South Africa,s. 
 
 
5.  (SBU) Comment.  The Kebbi State elected and traditional 
leadership appears fully supportive of the OFR III training, 
and we expect a trouble-free relationship with local 
officials.  End comment. 
 
 
Jeter 

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