1 October 1998 Demonstration by Joint Action for Nigeria (JACON) held in Lagos, specifically information of arrests and detentions, and reaction of the authorities [NGA31740.E]

On 1 October 1998, the Joint Action Committee of Nigeria (JACON) led by Femi Aborishade, held a protest rally at Yaba Park in Lagos (Sunday Vanguard 4 Oct. 1998), at which hundreds of protesters burnt the national flag as a sign of disillusionment with the military rulers of Nigeria (ibid.; AFP 1 Oct. 1998; DPA 1 Oct. 1998). The police reportedly watched the burning of the flag but did not react (AFP 1 Oct. 1998; DPA 1 Oct. 1998).

The Deutsche Presse-Angentur (DAP) reports that JACON called the demonstration on 1 October because it was on that day that the late president, Sani Abacha, who died in June 1998, had, for three previous years, been promising to handover power to a civilians government (1 Oct. 1998).

When General Abdulsalam Abubakar came to power, he reportedly proposed a transition program (IPS 7 Dec. 1998). In July 1998, JACON reportedly called a meeting which "unanimously" resolved to reject General Abubakar's transition program. JACON allegedly advocated "a sovereign national conference" which would be organized by a government of national unity (ibid.).

According to the DPA, at the 1 October 1998 demonstration, one of the leaders of JACON, Osagie Obayuwana, allegedly called on the people of Nigeria to boycott the elections scheduled for February 1999 because JACON deemed the military to be incapable of overseeing a transition to democracy (I Oct. 1998). For additional information on JACON, please consult NGA31548.E of 30 March 1999 available at Regional Documentation Centres.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please see the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Agence France Presse (FPA). 1 October 1998. Peter Cunliffe-Jones. "Nigerian Junta Boss Urges Smooth Transfer Amid Peaceful Protest." (NEXIS)

Deutsche Presse-Agentur. 1 October 1998. "Nigerian Opposition Groups Burn Flag, Leader Lauds Rule of Law." (NEXIS)

Inter Press Service. 7 December 1998. Remi Oyo and Toye Olori. "Nigeria: General Obasanjo's Party Wins Local Elections." (NEXIS)

Sunday Vanguard. 4 October 1998. "Mixed Grill At Independence Celebration."

Additional Sources Consulted

Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series [Oxford]. October-November 1998. Vol. 35. Nos. 10-11.

Keesing's Record of World Events [Cambridge]. October-December 1998. Vol. 43. Nos. 4196-4198.

West Africa [London]. October-November 1998. October-November 1998. 4196-4198.