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December 06, 2003Nigerian opposition leader, Chief Don Obot Etiebet has hit out at Commonwealth aid to poor countries and suggested his country's human rights record is little better than Zimbabwe's, in an interview with Daily Summit.
The Chief is national chairman of the conservative All Nigeria People's Party, which has links with the Abacha regime and is currently Nigeria's second party behind the ruling People's Democratic Party.
"It is baffling to see the Commonwealth is treating Nigeria differently from Zimbabwe," the Chief told us. "As noted by international observers in our last general elections in April and May, the scale of rigging far surpassed that of Zimbabwe."
He also called for an end to development aid to countries like Nigeria. "The developed countries of the Commonwealth should realise by now that no amount of hand outs from them to underdeveloped countries have made them change or prosper over all these years.
"In fact, in Nigeria we do not believe that development or democracy will change anything if the abuses of the electoral system in the country are not put in check".
Chief Etiebet accused the Obasanjo government of multiple breaches of human rights, including the assassination of Chief Bola Ige, the former Minister of Justice. Why, he asked, has Commonwealth chosen to come to Nigeria, when it continues to exclude Zimbabwe?