SPN Condemns Police Repression of August 5 Peaceful Protest
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemns the repression of peaceful protest held in Lagos, Osogbo, Abeokuta and a few other cities nationwide on Monday 5th August 2019 by armed police and other security operatives including the Joint Military Force popularly known as OP MESA. Tear gas and live ammunition were used to disperse the protests. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of the protesters who were arrested at the protests and have been detained at various police cells. They are not criminals but activists and ordinary Nigerians who were out to exercise their democratic rights to demand good governance, something which has become a scarce commodity under the Buhari government like the previous capitalist governments.
These arrests have increased the number of activists who have been clamped in detention in connection to August 5 nationwide protest called by African Action Congress and Coalition for Revolution. This is a reminder of the dark days of the military juntas, particularly that of Sani Abacha, wherein democratic rights were severely repressed. We therefore also reiterate our call for the immediate and unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore, the Presidential Candidate of AAC and Publisher of Sahara Reporters, who has been detained since Saturday, August 3, 2019.
We call on trade unions, pro-masses organizations and human rights groups not only to call for the release of Sowore and others but also back the call with a series of solidarity actions including protests and sustained media campaigns. They must also demand that the Buhari government which has become a civilian dictatorship must always respect the democratic rights of Nigerians. They should also actively support the demands of the protest including full implementation of N30, 000 minimum wage and adequate funding of education. Indeed, the NLC, TUC, and ULC must take seriously their demand on the minimum wage by preparing and mobilizing workers to struggle for the full implementation.
As we stated in our previous statement, Buhari government has failed on the economy, something which has increased poverty, inequality, insecurity, homelessness, unemployment, etc. because it is a capitalist government. Capitalism prioritizes the greed, interest and profit over the needs of the vast majority and the society. This is why we consistently call on the working people and youth to support and join the struggle for the enthronement of a working peoples’ government democratically run on a socialist programme in order to guarantee the use of wealth and material resources of Nigeria for the benefit of all and the society.
Acting National Chairperson