• Short Summary

    Nigeria, black Africa's economically strongest state, is celebration its twentieth anniversary of independence.

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    SCU Nigerian President Shehu Shagari speaking in English at anniversary news conference in Lagos

    PRESIDENT SHAGARI: "The task of liberating Namibia (South-West Africa) this year becomes even more urgent. The racialist, brutalist, minority regime in South Africa must be made to abandon its apartheid policy and to respect the right of other men to self-determination. Of equal concern to us are the current conflicts raging in some regions of the continent - in Chad, the Ogaden region and the Western Sahara blood is being shed. Nigeria condemns in clear terms any impediment to peaceful settlement of these conflicts. We will continue to offer our good offices under the auspices of the O.A.U. (Organisation for African Unity) for the amicable resolution of these disputes. Our country has played, and is still playing, an active role in the liberation struggle and economic emancipation of the African continent. For example, Nigeria initiated and hosted the first Africa Economic Summit held in Lagos under the auspices of the O.A.U., culminating in the Lagos plan of action, aimed at the eventual evolution of an African Economic Community on a continental scale. I believe our administration can humbly claim some degree of credit for its initiative and sense of progress. On the global scene our non-aligned policy and posture will be pursued and maintained. In additional, we believe that the possession of nuclear and chemical weapons is a threat to peace and international security and will always support any efforts towards effective disarmament. In the Middle East, Nigeria believes that the issue of a homeland for the Palestinians and their inalienable right to self-determination cannot be negotiated. We cannot support the decision of Israel to change the status of the old city of Jerusalem."

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Nigeria, black Africa's economically strongest state, is celebration its twentieth anniversary of independence. Since the withdrawal of the British in 1960, Nigeria has developed the continent's largest army and has become the second largest supplier of oil to the United States. The current Head of State, President Shehu Shagari, told a press conference in Lagos on Monday (29 September) that Nigeria intends to continue to play a leading role in African affairs.

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