A Nigerian delegation flew to a remote Zambian game lodge on Friday (29 September) to deliver a secret message from Nigerian Head of State, Lieutenant-General Olusegun Obasanjo to Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda.
LV Aircraft taxi-ing at Lusaka airport
SV Zambian officials waiting
SV Brigadier Shehu Musa Yar Adua, Chief-of-Staff, Supreme Head-quarters, Nigeria, leading delegation out of plane and being welcomed by Zambian officials
Patriotic Front co-leader, Joshua Nkomo has brushed aside the latest appeal by British Foreign Secretary Dr. David Owen for round-table peace talks with all parties involved in the escalating Rhodesian guerrilla war.
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Background: A Nigerian delegation flew to a remote Zambian game lodge on Friday (29 September) to deliver a secret message from Nigerian Head of State, Lieutenant-General Olusegun Obasanjo to Zambian President, Kenneth Kaunda. The head of the delegation, Brigadier Shehu Musa Yar Adua, said he would hold talks with President Kaunda on the Rhodesian crisis.
SYNOPSIS: The high-ranking Nigerian delegation arrived in Lusaka before flying on to Mfuwe Lodge in the Luangwa National Park, 350 miles (560 kilometres) north-east of the capital. Dr. Kaunda is presently on holiday at the lodge, so the delegation was greeted by officials from his office.
Brigadier Musa is the Chief-of-Staff at the Nigerian Supreme Military Headquarters. Nigeria has become increasingly involved in the Rhodesia issue in the past few months. It was a former Nigerian Foreign Minister, Brigadier Joseph Garba, who was present at a controversial meeting in Zambia on the 21st of August, between Rhodesia's Premier Ian Smith and Patriotic Front co-leader, Joshua Nkomo. Mr. Smith said he had travelled to Lusaka to meet Mr. Nkomo at the invitation of Dr. Kaunda. the disclosure that the secret talks had taken place led to an eruption of accusations and counter-accusations from both parties.
Nigerian sources said that Friday's meeting with Dr. Kaunda was a follow-up to last weekend's summit in Kano between him and British Prime Minister James Callaghan. The two leaders held talks about the recent disclosures arising from the Bingham report on the failure of oil sanctions against Rhodesia. The Nigerian delegation left Mfuwe after delivering General Obasanjo's message.