US embassy cable - 01ABUJA2297

NIGERIA: ARMY MINISTER OFFERS CONDOLENCES - ADDRESSES SOME OFR CONCERNS

Identifier: 01ABUJA2297
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA2297 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-09-13 16:13:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
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 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04