Procedure : 2015/2520(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0396/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 30/04/2015 - 10.9
CRE 30/04/2015 - 10.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0370/2015

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 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Nigeria (2015/2520(RSP))

Charles Tannock, Geoffrey Van Orden, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Ryszard Czarnecki, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Angel Dzhambazki, Beatrix von Storch, Branislav Škripek, Jana Žitňanská on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Nigeria (2015/2520(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the fifth Nigeria-EU ministerial dialogue, held in Abuja on 27 November 2014,

–       having regard to the Nigeria-EU Joint Way Forward of 2009,

–       having regard to statements by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) on the situation in Nigeria,

–       having regard to statements by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the situation in Nigeria,

–       having regard to the statement of 8 January 2015 by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, on the situation in Nigeria,

–       having regard to the Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–       having regard to the UN Secretary General’s Report on Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC), published on 1 July 2014,

–       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 second revision of the Cotonou Agreement 2007-2013, ratified by Nigeria on 27 September 2010,

–       having regard to Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,

–       having regard to the ruling of the Nigerian Electoral Commission of 7 February 2015 on the timing of the country’s presidential elections,

–       having regard to the outcome of those elections which subsequently took place on 28 March 2015,

–       having regard to the statements by the VP/HR of 30 and 31 March on the conduct and outcome of the presidential elections,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas Nigeria is the biggest economy on the African continent and a major EU trade partner;

B.     whereas between 2009 and 2013, EU aid to Nigeria totalled about EUR 700 million, of which EUR 200 million was allocated to the consolidation of peace and stability, tackling poverty and creating job opportunities for young people (ex-militants) in the Niger Delta;

C.     whereas despite its vast resources, Nigeria ranks among the most unequal countries in the world; whereas corruption is also widespread throughout Nigeria and contributes to this economic and social inequality;

D.     whereas presidential elections took place on 28 March 2015; whereas the Nigerian Electoral Commission ruled on 7 February 2015 that those elections, planned for 14 February, would be delayed by six weeks;

E.     whereas those elections were won by opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari, marking the first time an incumbent president has failed to win re-election in Nigeria;

F.     whereas the peace and stability of Nigeria are increasingly threatened by the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which has wreaked havoc since 2009 with a wave of bombings, assassinations and abductions as it seeks to impose a strict form of Sharia law, overthrow the government and create an Islamic state;

G.     whereas in 2014 alone it has been estimated that more than 4 000 people were killed in attacks by the Islamist terror group Boko Haram, and 900 people kidnapped; whereas the United Nations estimates that over 1.5 million people have been displaced, and at least three million have been affected by the insurgency in north-east Nigeria;

H.     whereas in March 2015 Boko Haram pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group currently waging a campaign of violence across parts of the Middle East;

I.      whereas Boko Haram is now believed to control more than 50 000 square kilometres of north-eastern Nigeria;

J.      whereas up to 2 000 people were reportedly killed in the town of Baga on 3 January 2015 in the bloodiest attack yet by Boko Haram; whereas the Nigerian Government disputes these figures and, despite credible reports suggesting most of the victims were children, women and elderly people, claims around 150 people were killed, of which most were militants;

K.     whereas Boko Haram has also targeted churches in what is believed to be attempts by the militants to stir up religious tension;

L.     whereas Boko Haram militants disguised as preachers killed at least 24 people and wounded several others in an attack near a mosque in north-east Nigeria’s Borno State on 6 April 2015;

M.    whereas the escalating violence of the insurgency threatens the security of West Africa as a whole;

N.     whereas the Nigerian military faces a mountainous task, with limited resources, trying to protect civilians from the bombers and gunmen who are spread over a large area;

O.     whereas counter-insurgency measures have yet to provide adequate protection for civilians from the threat posed by Boko Haram, with the population in the three north-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe subjected to increasingly intense attacks and systematic human rights violations;

P.     whereas a French-led initiative has called for Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad to contribute 700 troops each to a multinational force against Boko Haram, but no country has implemented the plan;

Q.     whereas Boko Haram has taken and held a number of towns in north-east Nigeria and continues to forcibly recruit civilians to their ranks, including many children;

R      whereas in April 2014 more than 270 girls were kidnapped from a government school in Chibok, Borno State; whereas the majority remain missing; whereas since then hundreds more people have been abducted by Boko Haram;

S.     whereas more than 300 000 Nigerians have fled to north-western Cameroon and south-western Niger to escape the violence;

T.     whereas the Boko Haram insurgency was discussed at the recent EU-Nigeria Ministerial Dialogue;

U.     whereas on 10 January 2015 a suicide bomber, reported to be a 10-year-old girl, killed at least 19 people in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria, in the latest such attack in the region; whereas the following day two female suicide attackers killed four people and injured more than 40 people in the town of Potiskum;

V.     whereas on 12 January 2015 the Catholic Archbishop of Jos in central Nigeria accused the West of ignoring the Boko Haram threat and said the world had to show more determination to halt the group’s advance in Nigeria;

W.    whereas on 9 January 2015 the UN High Commission for Refugees reported that the number of Nigerian refugees seeking safety in Chad had almost quadrupled in 10 days after attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in north-eastern Nigeria uprooted thousands;

1.      Notes the outcome of the recent presidential elections and congratulates Muhammadu Buhari on his victory; further urges the new president to lead Nigeria to a more stable, peaceful and prosperous future in the interests of all Nigerian people;

2.      Believes the transition of power through the ballot box demonstrates a deepening democracy in Nigeria which could serve as a model for other African nations;

3.      Finds regrettable the decision by the Nigerian Electoral Commission to postpone the presidential elections which were originally scheduled to take place on 14 February 2015;

4.      Expresses concern that the security threat in Nigeria may have prevented some voters from going to the polls, and further notes that, while observers have generally praised the election, some concerns have been raised about fraud;

5.      Praises the people of Nigeria who voted in the 28 March 2015 elections, many of whom did so despite the threat of violence from Boko Haram insurgents;

6.      Strongly condemns the ongoing and increasingly disturbing violence in Nigeria, including the use of children as suicide bombers, which have led to thousands of deaths and injuries, and displaced hundreds of thousands more;

7.      Deplores the massacre of innocent men, women and children, and stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Nigeria in their determination to fight all forms of terrorism in their country;

8.      Calls for concerted international efforts to end the Nigerian bloodshed, but believes this must be driven by greater regional cooperation between states and other relevant actors;

9.      Calls for the international community to fulfil its commitment to providing a comprehensive range of political, development and humanitarian support to Nigeria and its people in tackling the Boko Haram threat and in ensuring the development of the country;

10.    Calls on the Nigerian Government to ensure the Nigerian military is properly equipped with all available resources to combat the Boko Haram threat;

11.    Believes the Nigerian Government has a right and responsibility to defend its people from terrorism, but insists that such actions must be conducted in accordance with respect for human rights and the rule of law;

12.    Calls on the Nigerian Government to conduct a full and thorough investigation into all reports of atrocities and to take appropriate action, in accordance with the rule of law, against those found to have been involved in human rights abuses;

13.    Believes Nigeria’s political leaders must use the outcome of the 28 March 2015 elections as a catalyst to resolving the country’s economic and social problems, which are a cause of spiralling violence; further calls on Nigeria’s political leadership to undertake measures to this effect to tackle government inefficiencies, corruption, mismanagement, and embezzlement of the country’s oil wealth;

14.    Considers it regrettable that the international community has so far failed to act to provide meaningful support to the people of Nigeria in tackling both the increasing violence and in addressing social and economic issues;

15.    Believes reforms to Nigeria’s judicial system are urgently needed in order to provide effective criminal justice to combat terrorism;

16.    Supports the Nigerian Government in its actions aimed at combatting the Boko Haram threat, but reminds it of its responsibilities to ensure such actions are conducted in accordance with international law;

17.    Calls for thorough investigations into allegations of human rights violations including extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and extortion-related abuses and believes such actions cannot be justified as a means to combatting the threat posed by Boko Haram or other terrorist organisations;

18.    Calls for further international efforts to secure the release of the 200-plus girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from a government school in Chibok, Borno, in April 2014;

19.    Urges the Nigerian Government to work with regional partners to build a strong, robust coalition to combat the Boko Haram threat; further warns that without such cooperation the violence is likely to continue, undermining peace and stability across the region;

20.    Praises the work and bravery of local and international journalists and human rights defenders in seeking to bring to the world’s attention the barbarity of Boko Haram’s extremism and the innocent victims of their violence;

21.    Condemns Boko Haram’s targeting of religious institutions and worshippers, and notes that the group’s violence has struck Muslim, Christian and other faiths without distinction;

22.    Notes that in January 2015 the Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau threatened more massacres and war on neighbouring countries; praises the bravery of soldiers from across the region who are seeking to repel and defeat the Boko Haram threat;

23.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the Vice-President of the European Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the institutions of the African Union and of the Economic Community of West African States (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.

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