US embassy cable - 01ABUJA3224

NIGERIA: LETTER FROM BENUE STATE GOVERNOR REGARDING EMBASSY PRESS RELEASE

Identifier: 01ABUJA3224
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA3224 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-12-18 07:40:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PREL PGOV PHUM OPRC 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.

UNCLAS ABUJA 003224 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR AF/W 
 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PHUM, OPRC, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: LETTER FROM BENUE STATE GOVERNOR 
REGARDING EMBASSY PRESS RELEASE 
 
 
1.  What follows below is the text of a November 20 letter to 
the Ambassador received from Benue State Governor George 
Akume in reaction to the Embassy's press statment regarding 
events in Benue. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Appreciation 
 
 
I write on behalf of the Government and the people of Benue 
State to express our profound appreciation to the Government 
of the United States of America for its concern about the 
violence and destruction of lives and property in the state 
recently. 
 
 
We are encouraged by this concern to believe that the Federal 
Government will listen to the respected voice of the United 
States to take appropriate measures to find a lasting 
solution to the ethnic crisis in Nasarawa and Taraba States. 
We are convinced that an "impartial and transparent" 
investigation as suggested by the United States Government 
will indeed provide the basis for such a solution. 
 
 
It is regrettable that Benue State that is not directly 
involved in the conflict between the Tiv and their neighbors 
in  Nasarawa and Taraba States had to bear the full brunt of 
the crises in terms of army reprisal killings and management 
of a large number of displaced persons.  We however, consider 
this as the necessary price we have to pay for good 
neighborliness and the promotion of our nascent democracy. 
We will continue to do our best to support the restoration of 
peace, law and order in our zone. 
 
 
Once again, accept our sincere gratitude and kindly convey 
same to the government of the United States 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2.  Comment:  We were the only diplomatic mission to make a 
public statement about the Benue conflict.  According to 
Akume, that statement may have given some solace to the 
people of the affected area.  More importantly, the GON has 
established a panel of inquiry to investigate the situation 
in Benue and its neighboring states.  While far from the 
decisive factor, our statement may have helped prod the GON 
into forming the investigative panel.  Knowing that we are 
interested and watching may also have a positive effect on 
the workings of the panel.   End comment. 
Jeter 

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