SPN Lagos demonstration broken up by police, 18 arrested
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) condemns the unjust arrest of members and journalists for protesting against anti-poor policies by the Buhari Government
* We demand for immediate release of all arrested protesters
* We demand an end to violation of human rights under Buhari government
*** UPDATE – All charges were dropped and all those arrested were released late in the afternoon of September 10 ***
The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) strongly condemns the brutalisation and arrest of members of our party and journalists by officers of the Nigerian Police Force. The arrested SPN members and leaders were on a peaceful protest today in Lagos to demand immediate reversal of the obnoxious increase in electricity tariffs and fuel price by the Buhari/APC government, and for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to respect the judgement of the Appeal Court by relisting SPN and other political parties.
The arrested people include the National Secretary of the SPN, Chinedu Bosah, National Youth Leader of the party, Hassan Taiwo Soweto, SPN National Executive member, Dagga Tolar, and about fifteen others, including four journalists with Galaxy TV, Sahara reporters, Premium Times and Objectiv media. Cameras and phones of the journalists have been seized and destroyed while all arrested were physically brutalized. Currently they are all being held at the Lagos State Police Command.
We demand immediate release of all arrested, public apology from the police and payment of medical bills and other damages to those arrested. The unjust arrest today again reveals the despotic character of the Buhari/APC government and further betrays its anti-democratic and anti-masses character. While the government is launching attacks on economic rights of the working and poor people, it, at the same time, wants to deny them democratic rights to express their minds.
It also exposes the desperate attempt of the Nigerian ruling class to ensure Nigerians are short-changed and denied of a genuine political voice like the SPN. Obviously, the Buhari government knows that its rule is no more popular, given serial attacks on the living conditions of the people, mismanagement of the economy, and massive corruption going on in the government. It has thus resorted to brute force to sustain its rule.
If the Buhari government is allowed to get away with these undemocratic conducts, it will be emboldened to turn to fully fledged totalitarian regime. For us, the right to peaceful protest is guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution, as clearly captured in Section 40 of the Nigerian constitution. This is why the arrest of members of our party and journalists is criminal, unjust and undemocratic. It shows the level of disregard for fundamental human rights by the APC/Buhari administration.
We in the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) reiterate our rejection of the inhumane increase in fuel price and the hike in price of electricity tariff. This sad development further shows that a system designed to meet the profit interest of the few over the wellbeing of the vast majority is incompatible with human development.
We join Nigerians to reject this vicious anti-people policy of increments in fuel price and electricity tariff and the horrific condition that the ruling class has thrown the country into. The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), demands an end to all attacks on democratic rights by the Buhari/APC government. We also call on the leadership of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to wake up from their slumber and begin to mobilise the working masses of Nigeria against the anti-people policies of the APC/Buhari administration. This is the best way to stop the Buhari/APC government from further attacks on the working and poor people.
*** UPDATE – All charges were dropped and all those arrested were released late in the afternoon of September 10. Many thanks to all who protested. ***
We ask that protests demanding the immediate release of all those arrested should quickly be sent to:
ILIYASU AHMED, ASSISTANT INSPECTORS-GENERAL OF POLICE, ZONE 2 LAGOS: 08035874005
Lagos police at: 08065668179
Lagos Police public relations: 09090003792
Please copy protests to the SPN at firstname.lastname@example.org
Acting National Chairperson