[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[July 7, 1998]
[Page 1190]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Statement on the Death of M.K.O. Abiola of Nigeria
July 7, 1998

    I was deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and untimely death of 
M.K.O. Abiola, a distinguished citizen and patriot of Nigeria. I extend 
my heartfelt condolences to his family and to all of the people of 
    Members of a U.S. delegation, led by Under Secretary of State Thomas 
Pickering, and Nigerian officials were with Chief Abiola when he fell 
ill. They accompanied him to the hospital with a physician and 
Government officials and witnessed physicians at the State House clinic 
work to try to save Chief Abiola.
    I have been encouraged by the efforts of the new head of state, 
General Abdulsalam Abubakar, to restore public confidence in the 
Government of Nigeria and to take crucial initial steps to embark on a 
credible transition to civilian democratic rule. I urge the Government 
of Nigeria to continue and to expedite this transition and call upon all 
the people of Nigeria to contribute peacefully and constructively to 
build a brighter future for their country.
    In this time of tragedy, I wish to reaffirm the longstanding 
friendship of the people of the United States for the people of Nigeria.