Viewing cable 03ABUJA403
Title: NIGERIA: BATAGARAWA ON MPRI; C-130 SPARE PARTS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
03ABUJA4032003-02-25 12:34:00 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 000403 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
CAIRO POL FOR MAXSTADT 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/25/2013 
TAGS: MASS PREL PGOV KDEM NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: BATAGARAWA ON MPRI; C-130 SPARE PARTS 
FUNDING AND ELECTION PREPARATIONS 
 
 
REF: 02 ABUJA 3156 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR HOWARD F. JETER FOR REASONS 1.5 
(B) AND (D). 
 
 
¶1.  (C) SUMMARY: During a February 20 meeting with 
Ambassador Jeter, Minister of State for Defense (Army) 
Lawal Batagarawa promised to discuss funding problems for 
MPRI and the shipment of U.S. donated C-130 spare parts 
with Minister of Finance Adamu Ciroma.  Turning to the 
upcoming elections, Batagarawa said the military would be 
ready to help the Nigerian National Police (NNP) in 
maintaining order, but it would not take action unless the 
NNP requested assistance.  Batagarawa also said that if 
necessary, the military would provide logistical assistance 
to the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC). 
Finally, Ambassador expressed his concern that possible 
U.S. military action in Iraq could lead to potentially 
violent anti-American demonstrations.  END SUMMARY. 
 
 
¶2.  (C) During a February 20 meeting with Ambassador Jeter, 
Minister of State for Defense (Army) Lawal Batagarawa 
promised to look into problems of obtaining GON funding for 
MPRI (REFTEL) and the shipment of U.S. donated C-130 spare 
parts.  Batagarawa said he would raise both issues with 
Minister of Finance Adamu Ciroma on Friday, February 21 and 
promised to update the Embassy on Monday, February 24. 
(COMMENT: As of Tuesday, February 25, Post has not been 
contacted by Batagarawa's office and ODC Abuja attempts to 
elicit the information from the MOD's Office of Joint 
Services have been unsuccessful.  Ambassador plans to 
initiate a call to Batagarawa within the next few days.  END 
COMMENT.) 
 
 
¶3.  (C) While Batagarawa said he was "embarrassed" by the 
GON's inability to honor its commitments to these programs, 
he expressed sympathy for Ciroma.  He noted that the 
Minister of Finance is under tremendous pressure to release 
funds at a time when cash flows into government coffers are 
"extraordinarily poor".  Nevertheless, Batagarawa said he 
would work to resolve the issue before the end of March. 
 
 
¶4.  (C) Ambassador asked Batagarawa what the military was 
doing to prepare for the April elections.  The Minister 
said internal security was the responsibility of the NNP, 
however, the military would be prepared to lend assistance 
if the police requested it.  Batagarawa also said the 
military was prepared to assist INEC in transporting 
election materials throughout the country, if required. 
 
 
¶5.  (C) Finally, Ambassador expressed his concern that 
possible U.S. military action against Iraq could lead to 
potentially violent anti-American demonstrations in Abuja 
and elsewhere in Nigeria.  When asked how intense he 
thought such protests might be, Batagarawa declined to 
"speculate" and said he wanted more time to think about the 
issue before making a statement.  (COMMENT: We plan to 
follow-up with Batagarawa and other senior GON officials on 
this issue.  END COMMENT.) 
 
 
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COMMENT 
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¶6.  (C) Ambassador discussed MPRI funding with President 
Obasanjo in November (REFTEL) and, like the problems 
surrounding the shipment of the C-130 spare parts, he has 
raised the issue with Batagarawa on multiple occasions. 
Despite promises from all levels of the GON to resolve 
these issues, little progress has been made thus far. 
While there is some hope the GON will eventually make good 
on its financial commitments to MPRI and take advantage of 
the donated C-130 parts (The Ambassador raised the C-130 
spare parts issue on February 24 with President Obasanjo's 
Permanent Secretary, who might be able to produce 
results.), it is unlikely the GON will do anything until 
after the distraction of the upcoming elections has receded 
into the past. 
 
 
¶7.  (C) It is unlikely the NNP will be able to contain any 
serious outbreaks of violence without the support of the 
military.  Batagarawa's comments reflect both the hope 
within the military that it will not be needed to maintain 
order and the recognition that if electoral and communal 
violence escalate during the run-up to elections the 
military is the only dependable guarantor of peace in 
Nigeria.  END COMMENT. 
JETER