2 Leading Nigerians Visiting Israel

The visit here of two leading Nigerian personalities is viewed by Israeli officials as a “positive development.” However, the same officials expressed caution about reading too much into the political significance of the event.

Alhagi Ado Abdulhai Bayero, the emir of the Kanu Moslems of northern Nigeria, and Alaieluwa Oba Okunze Jijuwadop, king of the 12 million-member Christian Uruba tribe, are officially here on a tour of Moslem holy places, but they were scheduled to see President Chaim Herzog, Premier Yitzhak Shamir and director general of the Foreign Ministry, David Kimche.

This marks the first time leading Nigerian personalities have visited Israel since Nigeria severed diplomatic ties with Israel in 1973. Neither man holds a government post but both are prominent tribal leaders and businessmen.

Kimche said today that although there was no immediate political significance to the visit, it was an expression of the friendship of many of the African countries to Israel. He said it was “hard for him to believe that they would have come to Israel had it been contrary to the wish of the Nigerian authorities.”

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