Motion for a resolution - B7-0138/2012Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Nigeria (2012/2550(RSP))


to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Mario Mauro, Alojz Peterle, Filip Kaczmarek, Michèle Striffler, Bogusław Sonik, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Gay Mitchell, Cristian Dan Preda, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Santiago Fisas Ayxela, Ria Oomen-Ruijten on behalf of the PPE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0131/2012

Procedure : 2012/2550(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on the situation in Nigeria (2012/2550(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to common position 95/544/CFSP of 4 December 1995, defined by the Council on the basis of Article J.2 of the EU Treaty, on Nigeria (OJ L 309, 21.12.1995, p. 1),

–   having regard to the Council Decisions of 28 November 1997 to extend the validity of the common position referred to above (OJ L 338, 9.12.1997, p. 8), concerning its implementation (OJ L 338, 9.12.1997, p. 7),

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Nigeria,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on human rights violations in Nigeria,

–   having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, ratified by Nigeria on 29 October 1993,

–   having regard to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of 1981, ratified by Nigeria on 22 June 1983,

–   having regard to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in particular its provisions on the protection of freedom of religion in its Chapter IV – Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. saddened by the recent fuel riots and the subsequent loss of lives that followed the end of fuel subsidies on 1 January under sweeping economic reforms meant in theory to improve fiscal discipline in Africa’s biggest oil-producing state; whereas the ‘failure of the petrol subsidy’, as presented, is mainly due to government inefficiencies and corruption;

B.  whereas this hugely unpopular measure demonstrates the extent of the disconnect between the government and a handful of elites on the one hand, and the common people on the streets, subsisting on less than $2 per day, on the other;

C. shocked by the recent outbreaks of violence which took place in several regions of Nigeria, including cowardly attacks on religious symbols and Churches, together with the killing and injuring of Christians during the Christmas period, with appalling loss of human lives;

D. whereas the Government is still not able to control the situation;

E.  appalled by the latest wave of gun and bomb attacks committed by the Islamist sect Boko Haram, that killed at least 185 people in Kano on 20 January, and largely targeted police posts; whereas Boko Haram warned Kano residents that their strikes against security services would continue and urged perseverance as the group fights to install an ‘Islamic system’, in a leaflet distributed around the city overnight;

F.  whereas Boko Haram has targeted Christians, notably on Christmas Day when dozens were killed in a series of bombings -- the deadliest of which claimed 44 lives outside a Catholic church near the capital Abuja, and has vowed to wage a religious war on Christians and drive them from the country’s majority-Muslim north;

G. whereas on 3 January Boko Haram issued an ultimatum and gave Christians in northern Nigeria three days to leave; whereas the killing of at least 8 Christians attending a prayer service on 5 January in Gombe and of 20 Christian mourners on 6 January in Mubi shows that tensions are mounting in the wake of the deadly Church bombings on Christmas day, followed soon after by the bombing of an Islamic school in southern Nigeria;

H. shocked by the latest suicide car bomber attack on 26 February who killed at least three people and wounded at least 38 during morning prayers at a Catholic church in the troubled central Nigerian city of Jos, sparking reprisals by Christian youths with reports that at least two Muslims were killed in the violence and that a row of Muslim-owned shops was also burned; whereas responsibility for this latest attack was also claimed by Boko Haram;

I.   whereas the Islamists, whose name means ‘Western Education Is a Sin,’ are blamed for the deaths of more than 900 people in roughly 160 separate attacks since July 2009; whereas several recent reports indicate a possible connexion between Boko Haram and AQMI (Al Qaeda au Maghreb Islamique) which could pose a serious threat to peace and security in the Sahel region;

J.   whereas thousands have died in religious and ethnic violence in the central states of Nigeria over the past ten years as religious and ethnic tensions have frequently been strained in this region;

K. whereas it is not possible to put systematically Muslims or Christians in the role of either aggressor or victim since historically they have been both;

L.  whereas the current instability underscores the fragility of Africa’s most populous nation;

M. whereas Nigeria’s stability and democracy carry great significance beyond its immediate borders, due to the country’s leading role in the region and in sub-Saharan Africa;

N. whereas under Article 8 of the revised Cotonou Agreement, the EU engages in regular political dialogue with Nigeria on human rights and democratic principles, including ethnic, religious and racial discrimination;

1.  Calls on the Federal Government to resolve the economic and social problems which affect the country by taking several measures, such as by addressing government inefficiencies and corruption;

2.  Strongly condemns the recent violence, in particular the terrorist attacks carried out by the Islamist sect Boko Haram, and the tragic loss of lives in the stricken regions of Nigeria and extends its sympathies to the bereaved and the injured;

3.  Urges all communities to exercise restraint and seek peaceful means to resolve differences between religious and ethnic groups in Nigeria;

4.  Calls on the Federal Government to ensure an investigation of the causes of the most recent violence as well as to ensure that the perpetrators of acts of violence are brought to justice; in particular calls on the Federal Government to crack down on Boko Haram who is boosting its strength by exploiting deep-seated religious tension in Nigeria;

5.  Calls on the Federal Government to take concrete and urgent measures to support interethnic and interfaith dialogue;

6.  Calls for a wider examination of the root causes of the conflict including social, economic and ethnic tensions, and to avoid broad and simplistic explanations based only on religion that will not provide the basis for a long term and lasting solution to the problems of this region;

7.  Calls upon the Federal Government to protect its population and to address the root causes of the violence by ensuring equal rights to all citizens and by addressing problems of control of fertile farmland, unemployment and poverty;

8.  Urges the EU to continue its political dialogue with Nigeria under Article 8 of the revised Cotonou Agreement and to urgently address issues related to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, enshrined in universal, regional and national human rights instruments;

9.  Underlines the importance of regional cooperation for addressing the threat posed by a possible connexion between Boko Haram and AQMI (Al Qaeda au Maghreb Islamique); encourages the countries in the region to deepen their cooperation, including through the relevant regional organisations, in order to prevent synergies between Boko Haram and AQMI; calls on the EU institutions and Member states to lend their support to these regional efforts;

10. Restates its concern regarding the full and effective respect of the right to freedom of religion for all religious minorities in a number of third countries; in this context stresses that freedom of worship is but one aspect of the right to freedom of religion, as the latter includes the freedom to change one’s religion and to also manifest it in teaching, practice and observance, at the individual, collective, private, public and institutional level; in this context it underlines that the public element is central to religious freedom, and that to prevent Christian believers from expressing their faith publicly, while reducing their religion to a private phenomenon, gravely violates their right to religious freedom;

11. Underlines that obstacles still exist in many parts of the world that impede the free profession of faith and calls on the VP/HR Ashton and on the European Commission to insist on such issues in the context of its relevant initiatives concerning human rights;

12. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the EU Council and Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the institutions of the African Union and of ECOWAS, the United Nations Secretary-General, the United Nations General Assembly, the Co‑Presidents of the ACP‑EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the PAN-African Parliament (PAP).