This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
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
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.