US embassy cable - 02ABUJA1190

NIGERIA ON BUSTANI -- HELP US CONVINCE AFRICA

Identifier: 02ABUJA1190
Wikileaks: View 02ABUJA1190 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2002-04-16 12:54:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PARM PREL 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 001190 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
THE HAGUE FOR OPCW DEL (MIKULAK); LONDON FOR GURNEY 
 
 
E.O. 12958: 15 APR 2012 
TAGS: PARM, PREL, NI 
SUBJECT: NIGERIA ON BUSTANI -- HELP US CONVINCE AFRICA 
 
 
ABUJA 1160 AND PREVIOUS (NOTAL) 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY CDA ANDREWS.  REASON:  1.5(D). 
 
 
1.  (C) DCM April 16 spoke with Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, 
Chairman of Nigeria's National Council on the OPCW. 
Baba-Ahmed said Nigeria intended to vote for Bustani's 
removal and that he saw little likelihood of that 
position changing.  However, taking this stance had 
put Nigeria "far from [its] natural allies...in the 
African Group." 
 
 
2.  (C) Baba-Ahmed thought a "well-packaged approach" 
in support of Bustani's removal "targeted at African 
and Asian countries without a strategic interest in 
OPCW" would reduce resistance to the USG initiative. 
As leader of the African Group in the OPCW, Nigeria 
now needed to bring along other countries.  While 
Nigeria had no strategic interest in the OPCW, it had 
a strong strategic interest in sustaining its regional 
leadership role and could not afford to be too far out 
in front of too many other African countries, Baba- 
Ahmed continued. 
 
 
3.  (C) Nigeria, through Ambassador Dosunmu-Awolowo in 
The Hague, was endeavoring to convince other Africans 
that Africa had nothing to gain by Bustani's retention 
and that OPCW would face severe difficulties if the 
U.S. were to withdraw support, Baba-Ahmed said. 
Nigeria hoped that the USG would continue to lobby 
other Africans energetically, highlighting that those 
programs from which Africa benefits (international 
cooperative assistance, training, recruitment of 
staff, etc.) would suffer no negative impact from 
Bustani's removal. 
 
 
4.  (C) Baba-Ahmed also asked DCM if there were 
"strategic reasons" other than those outlined in 
previous demarches for U.S. opposition to Bustani. 
DCM briefly recapitulated our concerns, said he was 
unaware of other considerations, and suggested that he 
(Baba-Ahmed) or Dosunmu-Awolowo contact USDEL experts 
if Nigeria had specific questions.  Baba-Ahmed 
reiterated that Nigeria had announced its position in 
favor of removing Bustani and would be most unlikely 
to change it.  But the GON would have an additional 
level of comfort if it felt certain it understood all 
the issues, he added. 
 
 
5.  (C) Comment: There is a tendency here to look for 
hidden agendas; USDEL may wish to seek out Baba-Ahmed 
in The Hague (he plans to arrive morning of April 20). 
Having taken a decision to support the USG on Bustani, 
Nigeria is unlikely to change course.  However, the 
possibility cannot be ruled out completely if fellow 
African countries exert strong pressure in the other 
direction. 
ANDREWS 

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