Message-Id: <15499551@vixen.Dartmouth.EDU>
Date: 08 Mar 96 14:34:23 EST
From: Peter.A.Rogers@Dartmouth.EDU (Peter A Rogers)
Subject: Oracle


PANA. 8 March, 1996

LAGOS, Nigeria (PANA) - The monarch of Benin in midwestern Nigeria, Omo 'Oba Erediauwa, says the country should take its political crisis to the "oracle" for solution.

Speaking Tuesday at his palace with the chairman of Nigeria's National Reconciliation Committee, Alex Akinyele, the traditional ruler said the oracle should be consulted particularly to resolve the Ogoni crisis in southeastern Nigeria.

Ogoniland is home to author Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was exectuted along with eight others on November 1995 for the 1994 murder of four of their pro-government kinsmen.

The executions led to international condemnation and sanctions against Nigeria.

Ogoniland is one of the more than 250 ethnic minority groups in Nigeria, a secular state by constitution.

Oba Erediauwa, a retired top civil servant, did not specify which of the hundreds of divinities should be consulted, but he said only such a move would end the festering crisis thrown up by the Ogoni crisis.

Akinyele, former information minister and sports administrator, said his committee would recommend to government that Nigerian communities be reconciled for national development.

He said his committee had been holding talks with family members of detained millionaire-politician Moshood Abiola, the undeclared winner of the June 1993 presidential election annulled by the previous military regime.

Abiola is awaiting trial for treasonable felony after proclaiming himself president of Nigeria in June 1994.

Akinyele said his committee would seek an audience with Abiola to resolve that crisis, based on "compromise, concession" and in the national interest.