The Nigerian Honorable Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Olugbenga Ashiru presided over the Security Council meeting on Oct. 12, 2011 at the United Nations. After the three hour debate, he spoke with journalists on pressing issues including the arrest of 4 editors at ‘The Nation’ newspaper in Nigeria, the Nigerian attempted bomber Farouk Abdulmutallab who pleaded guilty in Detroit, and Nigeria’s position on Palestine’s application to the Council for UN membership.
Watch the clip:
The Nation arrest:
In view of this security debate, which was sponsored by Nigeria, one of the components focused on promoting human rights. How do you reconcile that with the recent arrest of 4 editors at The Nation newspaper yesterday who have been detained for more than 24 hours? Also, how do we convince the world that actually there is freedom of press in Nigeria with that arrest?
You are very much aware there’s press freedom in Nigeria, I am not aware of the arrest, but if it has happened, I believe they will be taken to court, and if there are charges or if they have done something wrong, which I’m not aware of, they’ll be taken to court, they’ll follow the due process as it is done in other countries. But I can assure you that the government we have in Nigeria has not oppressed anybody; there is freedom to write whatever you want to write, but if you write something that they believe there’s the need for you to explain, of course, as in other countries, it will follow due process. So I believe we should wait and see how it plays out.
Nigeria has always advocated and supported 2-state solution to Middle East problem. The 2 parties should continue to dialogue and negotiate so they can live in peace side by side.
We monitored the proceedings. We had a lawyer to defend the guy. As regards to terrorism, Nigerian government is adamant to make it an issue of the past. I believe it is a fair trial. He had a lawyer.