Viewing cable 03ABUJA400
Title: NIGERIA: BATAGARAWA REFUSES TO COMMENT ON BENUE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03ABUJA4002003-02-25 09:01:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abuja
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 000400 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
C O R R E C T E D COPY CITING STATE SVC 0689 
ADDING "CLASSIFIED BY" STATEMENT 
 
 
CAIRO POL FOR MAXSTADT 
LONDON FOR GURNEY 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2013 
TAGS: PHUM PREL PGOV MOPS PINS NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: BATAGARAWA REFUSES TO COMMENT ON BENUE 
TRANSFERS/RETIREMENTS 
 
REF: ABUJA 205 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMB JETER, REASONS 1.5 B & D 
 
 
¶1.  (C) During a February 20 meeting with Ambassador Jeter, 
Minister of State for Defense (Army) Lawal Batagarawa 
refused to comment on the veracity of GON claims that 
officers associated with the October 2001 Benue massacre 
were transferred, retired or otherwise relieved.  When the 
Ambassador tried to raise the issue, Batagarawa said he 
would not discuss it and asked the Ambassador to "just 
leave it" for now.  Batagarawa promised to return to the 
Benue issue "later". 
 
 
¶2.  (C) Comment: Batagarawa claims not to have known of 
President Obasanjo's December 2002 letter to Senator 
Feingold until the Ambassador informed him of its 
existence.  On several occasions since, Batagarawa has 
promised to provide the Ambassador with evidence of 
Obasanjo's claim to have taken punitive action against 
officers involved in the Benue incident.  Batagarawa's 
subsequent refusal to discuss the issue lends credibility 
to previous Embassy and DAO Abuja reporting indicating any 
transfers/retirements were not punitive in nature, but 
rather were routine personnel actions.  While Post cannot 
be certain, it is likely Batagarawa's promise of proof was 
an attempt to stall while he investigated the matter. 
Having found no evidence to support his President's claims, 
Batagarawa has decided to avoid discussing the issue. 
JETER