|Wikileaks:||View 01ABUJA2297 at Wikileaks.org|
|Tags:||PREL MASS MARR ASEC NI|
|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.
C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 002297 SIPDIS E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/13/2011 TAGS: PREL, MASS, MARR, ASEC, NI SUBJECT: NIGERIA: ARMY MINISTER OFFERS CONDOLENCES - ADDRESSES SOME OFR CONCERNS Classified by CDA Andrews; Reason 1.5 (d). 1. (C) CDA Andrews and PolMilOff 13 September called on Army Minister Lawal Batagarawa at the Minister's request. Batagarawa expressed his condolences for the attacks against the United States. He also stated that he had spoken to the Director General of the State Security Service, Kayode Are, who had told him that the Embassy had made inquires regarding press reports of some Nigerians cheering the attacks in Zamfara State. Batagarwa reassured us that the vast majority of Nigerians, including Muslim Nigerians, were horrified by Tuesday's events, and that these signals of support for terrorism against the United States were coming from a very small and fringe group of people. "Islam teaches that what happens to your neighbor today can happen to you tomorrow, so you should sympathize with his problems," Batagarawa emphasized. 2. (C) Andrews suggested that, with the visit of President Obasanjo to Zamfara State underway, this might be a good time for Governor Sani to speak out against public demonstrations of support for these hateful events. Batagarawa stated that it would be difficult to get that message through to Governor Sani during the President's visit, but that the Embassy could expect to see such a message from the Governor within a week. 3. (C) Batagarawa noted that he would depart on leave 14 September and would return to work on 19 September. He said he would get the OFR MOI back from his Legal Department and so he could review and approve it before departing. 4. (C) COMMENT: Minister Batagarawa is an observant Muslim, who was clearly disturbed by the reports of small public demonstrations of jubilation at the expense of the United States. His assessment that this was an aberration rather than a true example of public sentiment matches ours. The U.S. Mission in Nigeria is reassessing its security posture on a daily basis. At this time, however, we have no reason to believe that either the unrest in Jos or the recent tragic events in the United States will have any spill-over effect on Mission personnel, or on those involved in Operation Focus Relief. Governor Aleiro of Kebbi State is in Zamfara for President Obasanjo's visit, but is expected to return tomorrow. We will endeavor to hear from him directly regarding the security situation in Kebbi. END COMMENT. Andrews
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