Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka visits Canada to discuss ending military rule in Nigeria & raise funds for Radio Kudirat

Tuesday, March 11, 1997
Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, the outspoken Nigerian author and human rights activist, will arrive in Canada this week to lecture on "Ending Military Rule in Nigeria". Professor Soyinka, author of "The Open Sore of a Continent: A Personal Narrative of the Nigerian Crisis", will lecture in Montreal, London, and Toronto at fundraising benefits for Radio Kudirat International (Nigeria), a pirate radio station broadcasting to Nigeria. Radio Kudirat began operating on June 12, 1996 as a voice of freedom and as an alternative to the propaganda of the Nigerian military dictatorship. Soyinka's visit to Canada comes at a time when Nigeria's military regime is under intense scrutiny by the international community. The regime has been censured by many countries, Canada included, for a litany of human rights abuses. The violations include the widely publicized judicial murder in November 1995 of writer and human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other leaders of the Ogoni people. Other abuses include illegal detention, torture of political detainees, and banning and censoring of media. Nigerian political prisoners include the winner of the annulled 1993 presidential elections, M.K.O Abiola, labour leader Frank Kokori, editor Christine Anyanwu, former head of state General Olusegun Obasanjo and his deputy Shehu Yar' Adua. EVENTS March 14: Ottawa meeting, Foreign Affairs; Montreal lecture, Stephen Leacock Building, Rm 132, McGill University at 7:30pm. Voluntary contributions accepted. Contact the Committee for Human Rights and Democracy in Nigeria at tel: 514 956 0411. March 15: London benefit dinner, Howard Johnson Hotel, 1150 Wellington Rd South at 6:00pm. Tickets: $40.00, $70.00/pair, $20.00/students. Contact the Canadian Organization for Human Rights & Democracy in Nigeria (COHDN) at tel: 519 649 5320, fax: 519 649 2960, e-mail: cohdn@pair.com. For media interviews, contact Dr. Usman Akano at tel: 519 649 4666, fax:* 519 661 3725. March 16: Toronto press conference at 2:00pm and lecture at 3:00pm in the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Auditorium at 252 Bloor St. W. Suggested donations: $10.00, $5.00 students/unwaged. The event also features Ugandan actor and playwright George Seremba, Diana Wiwa Barikor of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP Canada), and York Professor Ato-Setyi Otu. Hosted by Paul Idahosa of York University and Kristina Stockwood of the Canadian Committee to Protect Journalists (CCPJ). Sponsored by COHDN, the Canadian African Democratic Movement for Nigeria (CADMN), the Ad Hoc Committee on Nigeria, the Ogoni Solidarity Network and the CCPJ. For information, contact CADMN at tel: 416 242 7275. For media interviews, contact the CCPJ at tel: 416 703 1638, fax: 416 703 7034

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